There are a few titles on my wish list that I will eventually buy, but they are not necessarily the trendy ones you'd expect. I'm pretty fussy now in that I no longer buy recipe books full of what I call 'silly' ingredients, that is, a recipe that requires 1/4 teaspoon of something that is hideously expensive and that I will not realistically use again before it reaches its best before date. Give me good, simple recipes using variations on basic ingredients and I'm happy. It also helps me decide what to keep and what to put on Trade Me.
Enter Gran's Sweet Pantry by Natalie Oldfield. I can honestly say that every recipe I have tried (only four so far, but with plans for more) has turned out almost-perfectly first time. Apart from the odd cooking time, or discovering that some of the fillings and toppings easily make twice the quantity needed, this is a book that I can pick up and confidently try a new recipe without needing a practice run.
For example, after a lifelong fear of baking sponges, I successfully managed my first ever hot water sponge cake with both chicken and duck eggs. Last week, I made marshmallow frosting for the first time and declare it a great success - so much so that my 6-year-old nephew, who has recently decided he no longer likes raspberries or marshmallows, declared "that sticky icing was actually really nice". Score!
|Lemon cake with raspberry marshmallow frosting ... well, what was left of it.|