I have mentioned Lilly Higgins new book Make Bake Love on a recent post and promised to do a review - over at her blog Stuff I Make, Bake, Love Lilly was saying that her book is sold out on Amazon, I'm not at all surprised! It is an excellent book, packed full of doable (is that a word??) delicious recipes - with a few aspirational ones in there for good measure. I was absolutely delighted to recieve a review copy. The photography is wonderful, you just want to reach in and grab a bite, there is an excellent balance of unusual flavours (Plum and Cardamom Cupcakes -delicious!) and old favourites. The recipes seem to be well tested (I'm pretty sure I read that Lilly worked as an instructor at Ballymaloe Cookery School) and thought out.
I think that you can often judge a baking book by it's bread section and having made most of the breads from this book (I left out a couple of the yeast ones!!) I have to say that it really stands up - the Health Loaf being a particular favourite here. If I have any criticism of the book, and it is very slight, it is that there are a couple of recipes in there that are just variations of a previous recipe - the Blueberry muffins are very like the Red Berry and White Chocolate Muffins, but that really is nitpicking. All in all, I loved this book (I really enjoy when fellow bloggers make the step over to writing cookery books successfully) and I can't wait for her next one!
I've been having a great time over the past couple of weeks baking up a storm trying out loads of the recipes, one has already become a firm family favourite and I've made it several times!
Even as a non-lover of dried fruit, I'm a huge fan of these cupcakes - I very generously give my raisins away (!) but the sponge retains the sweet, mellow flavour from the fruit.
|Health Loaf - it's great to feel virtuous eating bread this delicious!
The Spiced Sultana Bread was a doddle to throw together, and scored really high on the taste to effort ratio!
I played around with Lilly's Honey Oat Bread, and used bicarbonate of soda as a raising agent instead of yeast (how lazy am I??). Tasted great though!
I'm going to have to try the Seed Loaf again, as I don't think I did the recipe justice - the yeast thing is still my problem area!!!
I have blogged about the Blueberry (Blackberry) Muffins here.
Rocky Road Brownies - oh my!!! Scrumptious stuff!!
Plum and Cardamom Cupcakes had to be at the top of the "to try" list - I just love anything containing cardamom! I tried making these as Lilly did with the plums just halved, but found them to have a better texture when I chopped up the fruit.
From all the recipes I have tried I most want to share the Rocky Road Brownie one - I have been neglecting my brownie section of late, and these belong well up on the list! Lilly says that you have to have both pink and white marshmallows in a Rocky Road - I beg to disagree!!!!!
Rocky Road Brownies
adapted from Lilly Higgins, Make Bake Love
For the Brownies
200g dark chocolate (I used 50%)
250g icing sugar, sieved*
200g softened butter
110g plain flour
For the Topping
200g chocolate, chopped - just use your favourite
100g toasted nuts - I used hazelnuts and almonds
70g digestive biscuits**, broken up
Preheat oven to 170 C
Line a 23cm x 33cm baking pan with parchment paper.
For the Brownies
Melt the chocolate in a microwave or in a bowl over simmering water.
Beat the icing sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. (* I think that the icing sugar is too messy to work with - flies all over the place if you are not very careful, so I would use caster sugar in future)
Add the eggs one by one, mixing well between each addition.
Beat in the flour until just combined.
Slowly pour the melted chocolate into this mixture and combine well, without over mixing.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes, but start checking at 20 - over cooked brownies are so disappointing!
For the Topping
Mix the nuts, biscuit rubble(**I used less than Lilly recommended) and marshmallows together, next time I'll add some broken up Maltesers or Chrunchie Bars to the mix. Keep the chopped chocolate to one side.
When about 5 minutes away from being cooked, remove the brownies from the oven.
Scatter the biscuit mixture over the brownies, and then scatter the chocolate over this.
Return the brownies to the oven for 3 - 5 minutes, until the chocolate has melted sligthly and melded into the topping ingredients.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
Best enjoyed while still slightly warm.....mmmmmmm!
Pop over to The Sporadic Cook, Julie's wonderful blog - you might find it interesting!