The blurb on the back cover says: “With Mary at your side, sharing her secrets of success and guiding you through her masterclasses, you’ll be able to build an impressive repertoire of over 100 recipes to delight your family and friends,”
I was in my local Morrisons shopping when I spotted Mary Berry’s latest cookbook on the shelf. At a RRP of £25 it is not a cheap book but at the special offer of £12.50 I thought it was good value. I flicked through the pages and immediately spotted page after page of delicious easily created recipes for the beginner. These were beautifully photographed with clear, easy to read step by step instructions. The book is published by Dorling Kindersley who are renowned for their clear, user friendly style of photographs and instructions. I knew straightaway that this book would not disappoint.
At the beginning of the book there is a clear guide on Basic Equipment. This is useful if this book is for a complete beginner or maybe a student or young person moving into their own home for the first time. I thought this book would be good for my daughter to use. She is 15 and has taken GCSE Hospitality and Catering. Although it will be a few years yet before she flies the nest, she does love to cook and experiment.
There is also a useful Technique Finder section towards the beginning of the book. This is particularly helpful is you want to find the page reference quickly for basic techniques, such as separating eggs or greasing cake tins, etc. The glossary of cooking methods and techniques is also handy for new cooks.
Then, the book is split into several chapters: Soups, First Courses, Eggs, Fish, Poultry and Game, Meat, Pasta and Rice, Vegetables and Side Dishes, Salads, Puddings, Cakes and Biscuits and Bread. Each chapter starts off with a Master Recipe which features step-by-step pictures and details of how you go through every stage of the dish. Mary says in the Introduction to the book that “These recipes are my favourites and show you everything you need to achieve great results every time,”
Each chapter also has a section entitled Mary’s Secrets of Success. These are some useful guidelines that not only helps to make cooking easier, they also help to achieve great results.
Armed with this fantastic book, I wanted to put it to the test. Making pastry has always been a problem with me and I had been recently feeling more confident about tackling it. This was down to Mary Berry’s advice given on one of her Great British Bake Off Masterclass programmes where she demonstrated how she made her mouthwatering Tarte au Citron. I was totally blown away by Mary’s tips and techniques especially with rolling the pastry out and getting it into the flan tin that I just had to have a go myself.
I made Mary’s Quiche Lorraine recipe and followed it to the letter. I have to say it was a complete revelation and I was totally gobsmacked by the results. Although I didn’t roll the pastry thin enough so therefore there was a bit of the soggy bottom (that Great British Bake Off innuendo still has us sniggering in our house!) the rest of the quiche was very impressive. It was mouthwatering and although my son turned his nose up at it, my hubby, daughter and I enjoyed it with a green salad. I just want to say a big thank you to Mary Berry for giving me my pastry baking confidence back after 30 years of believing I couldn’t make pastry. I still need a lot of practice but I’m determined to try lots more recipes.
To sum up I would say that the Cookery Course book is perfect for a young person just starting out or for an adult that would like to learn the basics but with delicious and inspiring recipes to help them on their way. A lot of the recipes are included in Mary’s other books, such as her Baking Bible but that is ok if you don’t have them already and want a good “all rounder”.
I have decided to review this book which I bought with my own money to feature on my blog. I am not being paid to do this or being promoted in any way. I am doing this to show you a book which I love.
Love Sam xx