Meg Rivers Home Baking is an excellent baking cookbook for beginners all the way up. There are not too many speciality pieces of equipment or fancy ingredients but simple recipes used around the Meg Rivers bakery. The sections of the book are sensibly divided into really user-friendly areas that make it a joy to cook from.
The photography and styling is beautiful with a traditional, homely feel to it. As ever with Ryland Peters and Small you get at least one, often two pictures of every recipe. The book is easy to read and use with good ingredients sections. The notes at the start of the recipes are interesting but brief, they don't serve one purpose and act as a brief introduction to the cake either with background information or some extra details.
There are a couple of more original takes on some of the recipes here but they are mostly just good versions of traditional cakes. People will be familiar with most of the items - this is a cookbook full of very good versions of cakes you know rather than ground-breaking new ideas. It would be a great starter baking book because all the favourites are covered nicely.
There's a lot of choice and a great balance of quick, easy recipes and more involved ones. There is likely to be something to suit every sort of occasion but nothing overly fussy or showy.
The Family Cakes and Biscuits are fantastic sections and my least favourite part was the Small Cakes. It was very hard to choose top recipes but the ones that really stand out are the Hazelnut and Chocolate Cake, the Panforte, the Apricot and Orange Traybake and the Macadamia Nut Biscuits.
This is a lovely cookbook that as an interesting range of traditional cakes and biscuits. It isn't revolutionary but well selected to suit a home kitchen and will become an often used favourite for me.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Stevie Parle's Dock Kitchen Cookbook from Ryland Peters and Small.
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