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Friday, 4 September 2009

Cake Heaven

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?

bookmix

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.

 

spicy-scones

 

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!!

berrymuffins

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..

 carrotand-bancake2

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.

30 comments:

makeyesup said...

Ok, you have really tempted my sweet tooth, it's aching for goodies now. Recipes must have worked well as the photos looks so tasty.

giz said...

Great job June. Now I want a copy of that book

Keryn said...

This is definitely the book for me. I have given up baking totally as I'm sure I'm the only person who can actually stuff up a packet cake mix - lol. Thanks June.

Michele said...

YOU made an edible cake?!?!?!?! lol WOOHOO you must be turning a corner or this cookbook is heaven sent!! hehehe ;-) In any case I think I need that cookbook too! Those berry and yogart muffins looked devine and healthy! What more can you ask for?! :-)

Susie2shoes said...

My dear husband was wondering if you would marry him. I don't do cakes because they make me fat......errrrrrr

Hugs
Susie

Tammy Dunlap said...

Oh now I am really hungry! Lol!

Shinade aka Jackie said...

Okay, I am off to eat now. You really triggered my appetite. June they are marvelous photos and recipes!

I think I have to go with the blueberry and yogurt and also the banana carrot cake!!

Those look so delicious!! I have never had a banana carrot cake before.

I love carrot cake so I will definitely have to try this out!!

Happy weekend,
Jackie:-)

Glynis said...

This book sounds great, I wonder if it will work in Cyprus? LOL
I have cake curse since coming here, I curse when I bake cakes and see the result!

Liliana said...

Great review! You certainly got me sold the book. The recipes you made look absolutely delicious!

Gloria said...

I love this, really nice job and look delicious, so good, gloria

Jamie said...

I love to bake and that's a great review of your selected cookbook. The berry and yogurt muffins look really good as well as that banana carrot cake. I'm sure you family enjoyed everything you made.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for revealing the title of the magical book - GOT TO HAVE IT!!! A recipe for scones that works... hooray! Never found one that I could do - and don´t get me wrong, I can do loads of stuff including profiteroles and yeast dough. But EVER EVER EVER failed when it came to scones *sob* and I love them... Consider yourself as a sort of life saver!

Ann said...

Wow, it looks delicious. I sure could go for a piece of that carrot cake right now.

daisydilly (vicki) said...

i'm coming over to your place!!!!

hope Lilley's coming along better

Rose said...

That carrot/banana cake looked yummy!!!

Swapna said...

Hi June... wow... I am another one cursed when it comes to cakes.. I think I need this book... :)..thanks for sharing ..the pix look sooooo yummy

Hopie said...

Sounds like you had fun with your bloggeraid book! All of your creations look divine. What a great way to break your cake curse :-)

Ruth Daniels said...

Everything does look very tasty and obviously I need to hunt for the book! Thanks for sharing.

digivickie said...

Ohhh, heavenly!

Bellini Valli said...

U would be willing to be on the receiving end of any of these delicious treats. So glad you are enjoying the book!!

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

WOW...that's a load of delicious baking! Great pictures & a wonderful selelction you picked to try. I love the Australian Women's Weekly set of cookbooks. Yay for BloggerAid for making this happen.

January said...

hmmmm yummy! it makes me hungry!

storybeader said...

wow! Great looking foods!

Duni said...

They all look so yummy!
I usually bake more as the weather gets cooler. Carrot cake is a staple of mine, as are chocolate muffins :)

Maricris Zen Mama said...

Yum! they look really delicious. You did a great job.

Amberpony Creates said...

Yum Yum Good Thing i already had some German Chocolate Cake today. he he he

I came by to ask you to come by and check out my entry into the SASS Next Designer Contest. My Kit is called Grandpa's Shop you can find the links to everything at My Blog Plus a CU Dirty Trash Can giggle. who knows maybe you can use it for something he he he

Thanks for all the inspiration that helped me get this far

Vana63 said...

Hi June! It seems Im running about 3 posts behind these days and funny thing, another blog friend was baking this past week too...looks like we are all cake making challenged, hehehe. Ill have to check out that book...when I catch up that is :-)

Lily's quilt is adorable, Thanx hun...and we had a little tuf with some spiders last week too, Hugs!

Carol said...

Ah.....I need to bake something! Perfect descriptions, Cen! I must buy that book!!

Megan the Plumber said...

Oh my God, they look amazing!

Dorothy said...

emmmm so good and the book sounds just my style as I like simple and I'm wondering if it'll be available here. I love to cook however baked goods and desserts were not my strong focus either and this might make it easier to accomplish.

Dorothy from grammology
grammology.com