Tuesday 4 November 2014

Great British Cooking by Parragon books *REVIEW* (Treacle Tart)

Every month I will be bringing you a review of a Parragon cookery or children's book as part of the Parragon Book Buddy scheme. As a major book worm, becoming part of this project excited me hugely - especially being able to combine two of my passions so nicely: books and cookery. 

I love a good cookery book, and enjoy nothing more than settling down with a cup of tea to leaf through any new cookery book that comes my way. I sit with sticky note page markers and leave a little trail of markers on the recipes I love the sound of and I know that I simply MUST have a go at cooking, from every new book I get. Then when I need quick inspiration for a dinner party or occasion, I know exactly where to look!

I try to have a go at completely new recipes to me on a monthly basis as a minimum (weekly if I have time), and by reviewing these cookery books each month it will hopefully encourage me to try new recipes even more frequently. 

In September I was sent 'Great British Cooking' priced at £10.71 on Amazon.

Prepare to feel patriotic as we bring you a selection of the favourite recipes of the nation! From Fish & Chips to Treacle Tart, this book contains recipes for all of Britain's most loved foods. With clear instructions and beautiful photography, this guide is sure to inspire you in the kitchen. Also includes a guide on where and when to buy food around Britain, to make sure you get the most out of your meals.

I absolutely love this book - it is full to the brim of my absolute favourite food to eat - British classics, and it is just brilliant to have all of these comforting recipes together in one collection. 

The book has a wonderful introduction full of information about British food, the regions in Britain and what foods they're famous for, and a great British seasonal food guide which lists which ingredients are in season in which month. The book also ends with a very handy set of conversion charts which include temperatures (in celsius, gas and fahrenheit), weight (in metric and imperial) and volume (in metric and imperial). 

The recipes in the book are laid out in a really easy to use format with each dish on a double page spread. Each double page consists of a large photograph of what the finished dish should look like on one side (this is a vital part of any cookery book for me, I am such a visual person, and if I can't see the finished product then I won't feel overly confident making it, I want to have an idea of how it should look before I start). The second part of each double page spread is the full recipe and ingredients list, along with how many people it serves. 

The book is divided up into eight sections:
1. The Big Breakfast - with recipes such as Kedgeree, Bacon Butties and Potato Cakes.
2. Light Bites - with recipes such as Leek & Potato Soup, Welsh Rarebit and Cornish Pasties.
3. Classic Pub Grub - with recipes such as Steak & Kidney Pie, Fisherman's Pie and Irish Stew. 
4. Something Special - with recipes such as Beef Wellington, Garlic and Herb Dublin Bay Prawns and Mixed Nut Roast with Cranberry & Red Wine Sauce. 
5. Weekend Wonders - with recipes such as Chicken, Mushroom and Tarragon Pie, Fish & Chips and Star Gazy Pie. 
6. Vegetables and Sides - with recipes such as Perfect Roast Potatoes, Honeyed Parsnips, and Bubble & Squeak.
7. Teatime Treats - with recipes such as Date & Walnut Tea Bread, Crumpets and Lemon Curd. 
8. Puddings - with recipes such as Jam Roly Poly, Spotted Dick & Custard and Classic Sherry Trifle. 

There is genuinely so many recipes I want to have a go at in this book, and I've compiled a list of my 'MUST BAKE' recipes from this book to add to next years monthly baking challenge list on the blog these include:

Jam Roly Poly
Tea Cakes
Bread and Butter Pudding
Mixed Nut Roast with Cranberry & Red Wine Sauce
Fish & Chips
Orange Marmalade

I can't wait to give them a try. 

I could not give this book a proper road test without trying out one of the recipes straight away - so I chose to make Treacle Tart for my lovely in laws who came over for dinner last night, and I used the recipe from this book. 

Treacle Tart

The recipe was genuinely spot on - I followed it word for word and the treacle tart came out perfectly, and looked just like the one in the photograph in the book (always a relief!) The recipe was really straightforward, and not too taxing at all. I was pleasantly surprised by its simplicity and how tasty it turned out - we had clean bowls all round, so I think it was definitely a winner in The bishop household. 

Getting all my ingredients assembled

Tart case line with my pastry and ready for the filling...

All ready for the oven...

Golden delight - cooling slightly before we tuck in...

A gooey slice of heaven

Oozy treacle tart goodness

The only thing this book is missing for me is the approximate calorie information for each recipe: as a calorie counter for my weight loss I always find it extremely helpful to have a guideline to what the calories for each dish is. As it happens, I regularly use the My Fitness Pal app to work out any recipes I don't have the calorie information on, so it wasn't too much of a hardship to work this one out, but obviously having the information to hand without any calculating would be much easier. 

(For those who would like to know, this treacle tart served 8 and worked out at 367 calories per slice)

This book will definitely become a regular favourite in this house, and I know confidently I will come back to Great British Cooking for all my British staples!

What is your favourite British classic?

Mrs B 


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Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of 'Great British Cooking' for the purpose of this review - all opinions are, as always, my own.