It’s been a while since I’ve done a recipe book review. If you have a new book you would like me to review, do let me know! I love new recipe books and testing them out. Send them my way, I will only be too happy to help!
This time I am reviewing Mary Berry’s Love To Cook. This book came out at the end of October last year and has been sat on my bookshelf waiting for me to do something with it. Commitments leading up to Christmas and then Covid, meant that this review post fell by the wayside.
I bought this book myself and am not in paid partnership with anyone for this post.
When a new Mary Berry book comes out, I always want to buy it as I know Mary’s recipes always work for me. No matter whether it’s a main meal, or a favourite bake, it always comes out well. So I was expecting more of the same high quality recipes that you always find in a Mary Berry recipe book.
First impressions of the book is that it is set out in a usual user friendly style. I love how there is a photo to go with every recipe. This is a real bugbear of mine, as I get annoyed when there isn’t a picture to accompany a recipe and you’re having to guess what the recipe should end up looking like!
The book has a useful list of what you could have in your storecupboard so you can recreate these recipes quickly, especially when you are pushed for time. Also, there is another handy list of recipes listed by their style: from soups to roasts and salads, etc. This, I find really helpful in a book when I am looking out for ideas.
The book is split into eight chapters:
- First Courses
- Pork, Beef and Lamb
- Veggie Mains
- Salads and Sides
You know me, I always head straight to the baking section in any book and Mary Berry’s book is no exception!
My Top Ten Recipes to choose from the book:
- Watercress and Basil Soup: I love Watercress Soup and find it really comforting on a cold day.
- Miso Prawns with Coriander: These sound delicious and a different way to how I usually cook prawns.
- Hot Smoked Salmon and Samphire Tart with Parmesan Pastry: Smoked Salmon is gorgeous and I’ve tried samphire as an accompaniment but never actually added it to a dish. I can’t wait to try this.
- Spanish Chicken and Chickpea Stew: One of those great one pot meals which would be good for when you want something warming but you don’t want to have to bother with your slow cooker.
- Pancetta and Tenderstem Broccoli Carbonara: I’m always wanting to cook quick pasta dishes, especially midweek. My family love tenderstem broccoli but hate the ordinary broccoli. I wonder why? At least this is a way of getting extra veg into them!
- Milano Roasted Vegetable Rigatoni: I’m always wanting to cook more vegetarian and vegan options but Mr S thinks a meal isn’t a meal without meat or fish in it! I think a few recipes like this might tempt him to think again!
- Lightly Spiced Pilau Rice: I always make a mess of cooking rice when we have curries and chillis. I need a nice rice dish to go with the curries we have to make it taste extra special.
- Lime Posset: Before the pandemic, I went to a local college for evening classes in Baking And Patisserie. One of the things I learned was to make Lemon Posset. It tasted divine and I’d love to make this again.
- The Best Ginger Biscuits: I love stem ginger biscuits so I actually have already made these! *see below!
- Citrus Traybake with Glace Icing: When you think of Mary Berry, you think of traybakes. She is definitely the traybake queen. I know our village has a coffee morning coming up in a couple of weeks, so I will be adding this to the cakes I’m donating for the cake stall.
As with any cookery book review, I love to test out a recipe to add to my blog post. I had to choose a bake as well as you know, I’m obsessed by baking! I had a jar of stem ginger, so it was just asking to be used in some biscuits!
Mary’s recipe for Stem Ginger biscuits is very similar to the recipe I use, which comes from the very first Great British Bake Off Book, published back in 2010. It is a melting method recipe, where you melt the butter and golden syrup in a pan rather like you do when you make flapjacks.
After the butter and golden syrup is melted, you add brown sugar and egg to the mixture. Finally, you fold in bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and self raising flour as well as some chopped pieces of stem ginger to create these wonderful biscuits. My mouth was watering as I was making up the dough. I can’t get enough of ginger biscuits. It stems from (oops, see what I did there?!) when my Nana used to buy Walker’s stem ginger biscuits. I couldn’t always get them near where I lived so she always used to buy an extra packet to take home with me when I went to stay with her.
I’m afraid to say that as soon as the biscuits were photographed, I sneaked one with a cup of tea. I wasn’t even prepared to wait until they were fully cooled down. I tend to like my ginger biscuits on the chewy side but I know that they are crispy. That’s just my personal preference. If anyone orders a batch of my ginger biscuits, I always message the buyer to ask if they would like them soft or crispy. These were perfectly chewy and with a massive hit of ginger, which is exactly what I like!
If you have got “Love to Cook”, what did you think of it? Have you made any of the recipes from the book? Do let me know in the comments section, I would love to know.
Love Sam xx