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Indulge in these yummy desserts!
James Martin - Desserts - James Martin
Member Name: raebroughton
James Martin - Desserts - James Martin
Date: 29/01/10, updated on 29/01/10 (241 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to follow with great results.
Disadvantages: The ice cream section is only useful if you have an ice cream maker!
Every time I went into Whsmiths I saw this dessert cook book on the shelf and kept thinking that I would get around to buying it. Fortunately my husband noticed that I always picked it up and bought it me for Christmas.
The book itself is hardback and I noticed that Amazon are currently selling this for £7.78 in paperback. I think it was nearer to the £10 mark in Whsmiths.
There are over 100 recipes included and the book goes with the TV series Sweet Baby James. At the front is a very nice introduction written by James explaining where some of the recipes came from. Whether they were family recipes, reciepes that James altered or even ones that James made himself.
Above each recipe is a little note from James either giving hints and tips or his opinion on that dessert.
I like how at the start of the book he starts with basic pastries so that you can just refer to the front instead of making a recipe twice as long. This chapter is simply titled as Basics and shows the reader how to produce a varied range of pastries. Then the book goes onto give recipes for cakes such as Victoria sponge and Chocolate cake and other popular recipes such as Shortbread and meringue.
The next chapter is for Hot Puddings, as James mentioned in the introduction there are recipes that have been slightly altered. For example there is a bread and butter pudding but instead of bread he has used Croissants.
Out of this section I have baked the Sticky Toffee pudding with Toffee Sauce recipe. I found it to be very easy to follow with clear and concise instructions. It even looked nearly as good as the picture in the recipe book! It tasted lovely and it is one I will definitely try again.
Following on from Hot desserts is the Cold Pudding section, this section holds recipes such as Ginger and Syrup Cheesecake and the classic recipe of Black Forest Gateau. I haven't got around to making anything in this section but I am looking forward to having a go at making the Raspberry and Passion Fruit Pavlova.
Next up is Tarts and Flans which includes the Classic Lemon Tart which is another one I am looking forward to trying. I have however made the Lemon Meringue Pie. Again the instructions were easy to follow I did find it slightly more tricky than the Sticky Toffee Pudding but not overly so.
Cakes and Bakes is the next section the first recipe is for Madeira Cake which is one of the first recipes from this book that I made. I was very proud when it turned out pretty good. I thought I would try a cake recipe first as that is what I am used to baking. A Swiss Roll recipe is also given but I am never sure whether to attempt it or not as I have visions of it breaking up as I roll the sponge.
One thing to note is that some of the recipes are a little over the top in this section, one good example is the Fire-and-ice cake which has masses of decorations including flowers!
The one recipe I want to try in this section is the Jam Shortbreads, you make shortbread biscuits and then make an indentation in the top and then when they have cooled add a little bit of jam. They sound yummy!
The last section is on Ice Creams and Sorbets to which I have to admit I will probably never use any of these recipes. This is down to the fact I don't have an ice cream maker this makes the recipes useless to me. This is the only negative point about the book but because there are so many other delicious recipes I can forgive James.
At the very back are useful addresses with a list of Delis, specialist kitchen equipment and good quality chocolate and sugarcraft supplies. Along with a very handy A-Z of all the desserts included in the book.
Overall I don't have masses of cookery books but I have to say I was very pleased with this one. I liked how all of the recipes have been split into different chapters so you can go straight to the section you want. This saves time and is so much easier.
Most of the recipes do have pictures showing the finished result but some don't. To be honest I do prefer to see what it should look like but again it is only a minor thing and doesn't really effect the end result aslong as you follow the recipe.
There is a lot of choice in this dessert book and I don't think anyone would be really disappointed with any of the recipes. There is pretty much something for everyone to enjoy especially if you are like me and love puddings!
Why not give this book a go although you may want to avoid if you are on a diet. As i'm pretty sure that you could put weight on just looking through it!
Summary: Four stars from me - A good selection of desserts to try!
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