Monday, 13 August 2012

Book Review: Sweet Bitesize Bakes

As I desperately try to start preparing myself for a year long healthy eating (ish) stint on the run up to my wedding, it felt a bit like a test of willpower when this cute little book landed in my lap. I should probably pop it into a drawer and not allow myself to look at it until I'm allowed to bake again, but it is all too tempting for my eyeballs and I'm already 'window eating' and drooling (just a little bit). 

There is no denying that this title is aimed at us lady bakers, featuring lots of pretty pastel shades and girly decorative trims. It's quite small, a 17.5 cm square, but the compact nature is useful if, like me, kitchen work top space is a challenge. 
Don't let the cute design mislead you into thinking that the content is fluffy and basic, it covers a wide range of recipes and techniques. Following an initial introduction and a list of baking and decorating equipment that you might need, the book is divided into four main sections, 'Recipes', 'Fillings and Toppings', 'Techniques' and 'Projects'. 
A selection of recipes are provided that can be used for a variety of projects including a basic vanilla sponge, red velvet cake and cookies, as well as slightly more adventurous recipes like banana whoopi pies, french macarons and choux pastry. 

The following section 'Fillings and Toppings' offers another wide selection of choices, starting with vanilla buttercream and ending with marshmallow fluff, creme pattisiere and lemon curd.
All of the instructions are written clearly in short, numbered paragraphs and the 'Techniques' chapter also makes use of supporting demonstrative photographs. They direct you with tasks such as piping, flooding cookies with royal icing, covering cakes and making fondant flowers. 
The final chapter 'Projects' is where all the previous instructions pull together, you are shown full page colour photographs for each dinky finished treat, alongside the final instructions for construction. It is worth pointing out that this really isn't just a recipe book as decoration features just as highly. Edible delights to feast your eyes upon include fondant fancies, cupcakes, cookies, filled french macarons, green tea madeleines and mini eclairs. 
The structure of the book can seem a little frustrating if you simply want to read through a recipe in its entirety, as you jump to different sections for different stages of the bake. This however is also quite efficient, as none of the instructions are unnecessarily repeated for every single project. In fact each project, as a result, is broken down into manageable, less intimidating parts, just as baking is broken down into parts, after all you don't bake and decorate all at the same time. 
After some page flicking and 'window eating' I'd love to make some Sweet Bitesize Bakes, the only question is when will I allow myself to to whip out the apron and the wooden spoon? 

If you are interested in 'Sweet Bitesize Bakes', it is written by Sarah Trivuncic and is part of the "Bake Me I'm Yours...' series published by F&W Media, available from as well as most other book retailers.

RRP £9.99

Please note that I wasn't paid to write this review but I was given a copy of the book. 

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