2012 was well and truly the year of Mary Berry – and I’m quite confident that her popularity will continue on and on! I for one am a huge fan, I have long been swept away by the GBBO wave and have no desire to get off it! Until very recently, my cooking repertoire focused pretty much solely on savoury cooking and one of my new year’s resolutions is to bake more. So, leading us nicely into this post – let’s talk about Mary Berry’s Baking Bible.
This is a big old book with over 250 recipes to choose from, categorised by the following sections:
- Classic Cakes
- Fruit and Nut Cakes
- Spice Cakes
- Chocolate Cakes
- Celebration Cakes
- Special Cakes
- Traybakes and Flapjacks
- Biscuits and Cookies
- Fancy Biscuits
- Shortbreads and Bars
- Baking for Children
- Tarts and Pastries
- Fruit Bread
- Buns and Scones
- Hot Puddings and Pies
- Souffles and Meringues
- Cake Decorations
As you can see, the list is pretty extensive. To be honest, I’m sure that some of these categories could be merged but I felt it was worth including the list to show just how extensive this book is – ‘bible’ is most definitely the right word.
Most of the recipes in the Baking Bible are traditional and they are written clearly and concisely, making them easy to follow even when there is no picture. The photography is simple and elegant and every picture makes your mouth water! At the start of the book, there is a conversion table and full chapter covering the basics – everything from what equipment you need to terminology. Very useful for a new baker like myself!
Recipes I’ve tested so far:
Chocolate Victoria Sandwich – ‘Classic Cakes’ p43.
Probably the nicest cake I’ve ever made. The sponges were springy and light and the buttercream was just right, I thought there wouldn’t be enough but as it’s very sweet, you really wouldn’t want much more.
Classic Rich Christmas Cake – ‘Celebration Cakes’ p135.
By far the biggest challenge for me to date – over a period of three weeks I made this cake (at the request of my mother!). The result was moist and really tasty. I don’t really eat Christmas Cake but this one was really pleasant. Granted, I need to work harder on my holly leaves next year!
Melting Moments – ‘Biscuits & Cookies’ p196.
An easy bake to fill the biscuit tin. See my full post here.