The Great British Bake Off has created a groundswell of home baking in Britain--which makes me very happy. What could be better than a family baking together, sharing cupcakes with neighbors, or children baking to raise money for a charity? In the age of ISIS, this kind of wholesome niceness can go a long way in making our world just a little bit lovelier place to be.
Just posted through our letter box yesterday is a Slice of Britain, by Caroline Taggart. It's my very favorite kind of cookbook, combining recipes and travel. A Slice of Britain is a trip through Britain via cake--what could be better! She starts in Cornwall with Saffron Cake and Cornish Fairings, up through the heart of England with Bath Buns and Lardy Cake, over to Wales and Welsh Cakes, up to Scotland with Dundee Cake, and ends in Derbyshire with Bakewells and Gingerbread. It's loaded with stories, snippets, anecdotes, and recipes for the very best of British baking--and there's no reading it without a cup of tea and a slice of cake sitting next to you.
I also succumbed to my first cookbook from Mary Berry, the grande doyenne of British baking and one of the judges from the Great British Bake Off. To me she's like Britain's Nana, baking her way into everyone's hearts. The reason Mary Berry's Simple Cakes came home with me was because the first page it opened to, as I flipped through it in the book store, was her recipe for Lemon Meringue Roulade. It combines meringue and lemon curd, so how can you go wrong with those two things combined into delectable "scrumminess" ('scrummy' is one of Mary's favorite descriptions of deliciousness). All the recipes are step-by-step with clear pictures and directions, along with good general tips on baking.
I tried my hand at the Lemon Meringue Roulade the afternoon I bought the book and it turned out very scrummy (and beautiful) indeed. I'm not sure what I'm baking next, but it will be from one of these great new cookbooks--and Stuart will be first in line to try it.
|Recipe from Mary Berry's Simple Cakes|