This week I have been in cake heaven.....and muffin heaven....and oh yes in pudding delight. My taste buds have been working overtime and my house has been full of gorgeous aromas, pleasantly scenting the air and making everyone's mouth water.
How this wonder came about is all due to a new book that I agreed to view and review as part of BloggerAid. When the book arrived I have to admit that I was a little nervous. Savories and pastries are normally my forte and in the past I have been known to have a few little teeny disasters with cakes. Ask my family, they will agree, well perhaps not about the teeny bit!!
So, imagine my delight when I discovered a book with triple tested recipes for success every time. That's what the cover said..and it was true. The recipes worked perfectly even for me, with my cake curse!!
The name of this wonder book?
The Australian Women's Weekly Mix - Cakes, Muffins, Biscuits and Puddings, published by ACP Books (ISBN9781863968690).
From the beautifully illustrated cover your led through clear and easy to follow recipes, studded with extra hints and tips. There's a great conversions table at the back so that the recipes make sense and are accurate, no matter where you live or what measures you are used to. So often I spot and mark "must try" recipes and end up having to approximate on the measurements...not a good thing to do if you want the best results. Here it couldn't be simpler.
Imagine my relief when I discovered the section that gives advice on how to achieve success with the different sort of recipes in the book. Just what I needed, they must have had me in mind when they wrote this bit. Reading it made me understand where previously I may have gone wrong and not got the expected results. For example...Did you know that the quicker you mix in the liquid to the dry ingredients when making scones, the lighter your scones? I for one was not aware that it would make much difference...but I tried it and it does!!
An other godsend is the glossary at the back. It can be confusing when ingredients are known as something else in the country you live in, but this clever section explains exactly what they are clearly, concisely. I had several "ah, that's what it is" moments on reading it but ended up with everything crystal clear and understanding exactly what it was I needed.
The book offers a huge choice in recipes, from classics and well known favourites, to chic cafe-style recipes too. It certainly made my choice of which to try difficult, they all looked so delicious. A further bonus was that the recipes were not laden with fat and sugar, which can often be a problem with dessert recipes. An other bonus is the inclusion of some gluten free and dairy free recipes, ideal if you have problem with either of those as my daughter does.
I eventually singled out five of the recipes...I know...five!!! Well, I had to make sure they worked. The small fact that there was tasting afterwards had of course nothing to do with the large number I opted for..as if!! I made the five items over two days and I can honestly say they all went down a storm with my family and I thoroughly enjoyed making them. No stress just read, prepare and then do just what it said....that simply.
I picked out the Spicy Scone recipe from the first section..and yes, I added the liquid in quickly as the tip said..so they were wonderfully light and fruity with a beautiful cinnamon flavour. A pure delight with butter.
The next one that caught my eye was the berry and yogurt muffins. The preparation was simple and the recipe appears to be a healthy one with rolled oats, yogurt and berries. Delicious and healthy, what more could you ask. Perfect!!
The carrot and banana cake in the cake section sounded an ideal combination, so I gave this one a try too. It was easy to put together and then just pop in the oven and leave it to work it's magic as it cooked. The cream cheese frosting gave a wonderful contrasting taste that made a perfect balance and helped this stand out from your average carrot cake. I have to admit that I added a little grated chocolate to the top , that's just my thing but promise it's the only thing I changed. The results were pleasant light, I've had problems with my carrot cakes being heavy in the past..but it was just that, a problem of the past. This time it turned out terrifically. A definite must bake again..
I completed my selection with crunchy muesli cookies and coffee and pecan puddings with a caramel sauce...mm the sauce was to die for. All uncomplicated to make and brilliant results. No one was more surprised than me that my success rate was 100%. Truthfully it was, despite my natural cake making handicap.
Perhaps it appears that I got a little engrossed in the baking this week.....I did. This book was a pleasure to read and use and it's one that I know I will return to again and again. With 400 pages in total I still have lots of recipes to try and so much more enjoyment to come!
What's more I discovered that Australian Women's Weekly do a series of books covering most recipe areas. So, now I know what will be on my Christmas list, a few of the others. If they are only half as interesting and successful as this one then they will be a welcome addition to my bookcase.
Now, all this food talk has made me hungry, so I'm off to find something to eat and maybe take an other peek at what else I can bake. Have a great day and why not drop by and checkout BloggerAid, it's a wonderful cause and great fun too. Go have a look and see what you think.