Saturday, 8 November 2014

What To Bake & How To Bake It {Book Review}
It’s that time when we are all thinking about what to get friends and family for Christmas. I don’t know about you, but I think it gets more and more difficult knowing what to get people.

But I was recently sent a book, which I thought would make a perfect gift for any budding baker, or anyone who loves cookbooks in general.

‘What To Bake and How to Bake It’ by Jane Hornby arrived via the postie and I was eager to have a look. The cover alone is visually impressive with a colourful drawing of some of the bakes you will find inside.

There are 50 recipes inside and the sections are split into the following:

Simple Family Baking
Morning Coffee and Afternoon Tea
Special Bakes
Desserts and After Dinner

Each recipe is photographed in easy to follow steps, with photos containing the ingredients and each step of the baking process. So it is ideal for those who may be wanting to get into baking. It really makes the whole process look incredibly simple.

The author Jane Hornby trained as a chef before becoming Cookery Writer and Food Editor of the BBC’s Good Food magazine for 5 years. So you know that with this book you will be in safe hands!

I decided to try one of Jane’s ‘Simple Family Baking’ recipes and went for the Fruity Cupcakes. Here’s the recipe;

Cupcake ingredients
110 grams soft butter
150 grams caster sugar
185 grams plain flour
1 tbsp cornflour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
2 eggs, room temp
½ tsp vanilla extract
120 ml milk

Fruity Glaze ingredients
65g berries (fresh or frozen and defrosted)
Or 2 large ripe passion fruit
125-150 grams icing sugar

My Cupcake Method:
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a cupcake tray with 12 paper liners
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, sieve the flour, cornflour baking powder and salt.  Add half to the butter/sugar and mix in. Add the eggs, vanilla and half of the milk. Beat until smooth.
Add alternate amounts of the remaining flour and milk and mix in between each addition. Keep mixing until smooth.
Divide between the cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre.
Allow to cool fully.

Glaze Method:
Mash the fruit with a fork and sieve in the icing sugar. Stir to combine and spoon over the cooled cupcakes. Allow to set before digging in!

my attempt!
So, as you can see a very simple (yet tasty) recipe, but one which would be great for kids or a novice baker.

The bakes do get more complex, and include:
 fudgy cheesecake brownies
easy bake doughnuts
pumpkin pie
chocolate hazelnut log
mint-chocolate macarons, to name a few.

The step-by-step guide makes it great for anyone to follow and get the hang of.

‘What To Bake and How To Bake It’ is published by Phaidon books, costs £19.95 and is available from Amazon and all other reputable stockists.

Disclosure Statement: I was sent the book free to review. Any opinions expressed are my own.


  1. Steve I love this book sounds amazing!
    And love the cupcakes!

  2. This is a such a great book! I recommend the citrus drizzle cake near the start.


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