Sunday, 4 January 2015

What I'm Looking Forward to for 2015: My Top 3 Good Reads

Hello again. Writing the first post of this year... 2015 baby! Hope everyone had a good Christmas! I certainly did - as you know I had a little (well big if you think about it)  - break from blogging but I'm back to it now. 

Anyway, I thought for a change (with it being the new year an' all) I would tell you about my top 3 cookbooks to be released this year! 

1. Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook

Rachel Khoo is one of my all time favourite tv personality chefs. I think what did it for me was when I watched her for the first time on her tv programme - The Little Paris Kitchen. Even the title got me interested and from then on she got me hooked! But it was only a 6 episode'r so you could only imagine how thrilled I was when she came back to our screens last Summer in the UK (and in fact aired all over the world, just woah!

In the series she encountered a colourful and energetic tour around some of Europe’s most exciting cities and towns including our bustling capital London. So her latest book encapsulates 100 standout recipes, including those much anticipated recipes from the series which I can't wait to get my hand on!! As an art student I also really appreciate all her little sketches which will be flourishing the book throughout - from her very own notebook of the food and places she encountered, and I just know there is going to be some stunning food photography. 

With delicious fare including Ham Hock Tiffin Box to Turkish Creams (pictured above), and Rhubarb and Custard Millefeuille, Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook will inspire even the most jaded cook to try something new. Due to be released on 12th February, 2015.  You can pre-order it here!

2. How Baking Works ( and what  to do if it doesn't ) by James Morton

James Morton is a Scottish baker who rose to fame by coming runner up in the third series of that oh so little favourite tv show of mine called The Great British Bake Off. (Can you sense the sarcasm as I type?) This is second in line to add to James Morton's collection, the follow up from Brilliant Bread. This second book doesn't just look at bread but in fact explores the whole baking repertoire that all of us yearn to perfect. I'm talking cakes, biscuits, macaroons, pastry, muffins, tortes and more....yes! Yes! And Yes! 

But this isn't just any old cookbook this seeks to answer such questions like: does your Victoria sponge always sink in the centre? Does your choux pastry end up flat and dry? Are your brownies more soggy than squidgy? James Morton aims to gently guide even the most novice of novices to achieve the perfect bake every time! With step by step instructions and photographs he takes us through the essential processes, timings and techniques - and how you can adapt and customize to suit your own tastes. 

I can't wait to have a look at this book because even though I don't exactly like to call myself a 'novice' and in fact I'd say I'm actually a rather good baker...but, let's just admit it: there is always something that will bug me and I like to know that it's not just me who gets it wrong. I'd feel pretty smug to think even someone who came runner up on The Great British Bake Off has encountered the same problems as I. So what's not to love about a cookbook with troubleshooting tips included?! How Baking Works (And What To Do If It Doesn't) will be released on 12th March 2015. You can pre-order it here!

3. The Painted Cake by Natasha Collins 

I hadn't actually heard of Natasha Collins before but after doing a little bit of research I could just tell that this sounds like a book for me. Natasha is a leading British cake decorator and just by starting out as a hobby, she ended up creating her own business called Nevie-Pie Cakes and creates the most exquisite cakes with her hand painting skills. 

I know that your going to say that it's not your everyday kinda- baking book but it is the sort of thing that you pull out when you have the time and perhaps want to create a showstopping creation for a celebration that would most definitely impress! I love art and I love cake so this book is a match made in heaven for me. 

The book includes detailed step-by-step instructions for more than 20 projects using fondant painted with edible colours. It's not all about cakes either, there are mentions of cookies too! And there are some template design elements if your not so good at free-hand painting they are pretty damn handy.  

Due to be released on 12th March 2015. You can pre-order the book here!

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