I recently received a rather large, rather inviting, and rather wonderful baking book dear readers.
Annie Bell’s Baking Bible; absolutely full of every delicious recipe you’ll ever need, as well as tons of intriguing recipes you’ll never have heard of or seen before, but once tried, will never be forgotten…
It really is a baking bible, with entire chapters dedicated to cookies & biscuits and my personal favourite, the Chocolate Cakes chapter! Page after page of delicious looking, gooey, chocolate rich cakes…you shall have to restrain yourself from baking everything on every page in one go…
And let’s not forget, each recipe has been triple tested so you won’t find yourself half way through the recipe, panicking because the recipe reads ‘now add a kilo of salt and 1 egg’
So obviously, no post about a new baking book would be complete without some baking! I chose two particularly tasty and unusual looking creations to try out, the first a ‘breton gateau’ a “cake-cum shortbread”; essentially a delicious biscuity victoria sponge.
If you’d like to try it out yourselves, you will need to forage the following:
Serves 8 (or 1, it really is quite tasty)
225g of plain flour, sifted
110g golden caster sugar
110g icing sugar, sifted
225g lightly salted butter, diced
5 medium egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g strawberry jam
1 egg yolk blended with 1 teaspoon of water to form an egg wash
20cm non-stick cake tin with a removeable base, at least 5cm deep
Unsalted butter for greasing
Plain flour for rolling
Place the flour, two sugars, and butter in the bowl of a food processor and whizz until the mixture forms a crumb-like consistency. Blend the egg yolks with the vanilla in a bowl, add to the dry ingredients and whizz to a soft, sticky dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 170C fan over/190C electric, and butter a 20cm non-stick cake tin with a removable base, at least 5 cm deep. Press half the dough into the tin, lay a sheet of clingfilm over the top and smooth out the surface carefully with your fingers. Work the jam in a bowl to loosen it and spread over the surface to within 1cm of the rim.
Roll out the remaining dough on a well-floured work surface (it will still be quite sticky) into a circle fractionally larger than the cake tin. Lay this on top of the jam and press it into place, tidying the edges using your fingers.
Liberally paint the surface with the eggwash and make a lattice pattern using the tines of a fork (I chose to go a bit mad and instead drew my fork round and round to make a big swirly spiral!)
Bake for 45-55 minutes until deeply golden, crusty and risen
Run a knife around the collar and leave to cool in the tin. To serve, remove the collar and cut into wedges. It will keep well for several days in an airtight container*
*I’d like to add here that Annie is somewhat optimistic at this idea of it lasting for several days, mine was gone in several minutes thanks to some peckish family lurking about waiting to see what I produced from the oven…
This is a really lovely sweet biscuity cake creation, very simple to make, and very quick to disappear! If you can keep it in an airtight container for several days, you are truly restrained/controlling over others being allowed at the tasty gateau…let them eat cake!
As well as this, quite fittingly it was my Grandfather’s birthday recently, and so I happened upon a recipe in the bible (the baking bible…there aren’t a list of the lords favourite recipes at the back of THE bible, but Annie’s bible is much tastier…) called ‘Grandpa Beard’s upside-down ginger cake’
I’d never made an upside down cake before, quite honestly I feared them…their upside downess mocking my total lack of baking savvy, but in actual fact, they are rather simple, and rather lovely! Nothing beats the surprise and sheer relief having turned it over and it not all falling into one big messy mound of tasty, but diastrous looking cake mess. Thankfully mine didn’t…
Just another example of the unusual and beautiful recipes to be found in amongst so many tempting recipes in Annie Bell’s Baking Bible.
What’s great about it is you’ll find everything from timeless, standby classics such as Victoria Sponges, to some really amazing looking French creations such as Rum Butter Macaroons and Eclairs. There’s chapters on Chocolate cakes, Cookies, Cheesecakes, Tarts, Pies, Celebration Cakes, Traybakes and Bars, Muffins, Cupcakes, Meringues, Fruitcakes, Ginger Cakes, Bread and even Pancakes! I’m not entirely sure why you would need any other baking book…
Here’s another little favourite part about the book; the photography. It’s as much a book full of beautiful images as it is recipes, and if you’re like me, 90% of the reason I buy a cook book is the photography! So I can drool over the image and imagine what it must be like to make something that looks so amazing, seriously, I don’t know how you can produce a book like this and not become morbidly obese…
Annie’s Baking Bible is available to buy Here