Here is a list of some of the top cookery books on offer this Christmas. They make great gifts…
The Sweet Roasting Tin – by Rukmini lyer
From sticky date gingerbread and chocolate passionfruit brownies to chilli-spiked halloumi and courgette muffins and the ultimate bread and butter pudding, simply pop your ingredients in a tin and let the oven (or for minimum-effort bakes, the fridge!) do the work. Keeping with her ethos of ‘minimum effort, maximum flavour’, Rukmini Iyer’s one-tin bakes are simple to prep, but still offer great-tasting results.
From easy bakes to showstopping sensations, this book is for anyone who wants to bake using everyday ingredients and store cupboard staples. From £8
The Pastry Chef’s Guide: The secret to successful baking every time by Ravneet Gill
‘Pastry is an art but it is also food so remember to stay in touch with your ingredients, reflect the seasons in your food and, for the love of God, don’t use strawberries in December.’ – Ravneet Gill.
This is a book aimed at chefs and home bakers alike who FEAR baking.The message: pastry is easy. Written by pastry chef extraordinaire, Observer Food Monthly 50 and Code Hospitality 30 Under 30, Ravneet Gill, this is a straight-talking no-nonsense manual designed to become THE baking reference book on any cookery shelf. This is the written embodiment of Ravneet’s very special expertise as a patisserie chef filled with the natural flair and razor-sharp wit that gives her such enormous appeal.
Starting with a manifesto for pastry chefs, Ravneet then swiftly moves onto The Basics where she explains the principles of patisserie, which of ingredients you just need to know (gelatine, fresh and dried yeast, flours, sugar, chocolate, cream and butter), how to line your tins, understanding fat content, what equipment you really need, oven temperatures and variables to watch out for. This section alone will give the reader enough knowledge of baking to avoid the pitfalls so many of us take when baking. Chapters are then organised by type of patisserie: Sugar, Custards, Chocolate, Pastry, Biscuits, Cakes and Puddings.
So whether you want to make a lighter-than-air birthday cake, flaky breakfast pastries, smooth and rich ice creams (or parfaits ‘because parfaits are for when you’re in the shit’), macarons or meringues, Ravneet will offer just the right advice to make it all seem easy. From £8.73
One Tin Bakes Easy: Foolproof cakes, traybakes, bars and bites from gluten-free to vegan and beyond by Edd Kimber
One tin, 70 bakes, whether you want cookies or cakes, pastries or desserts, something fruity, chocolatey or nutty, baking just got even easier. Every bake can be made in the 23 x 33 cm (9 x 13″) tin used in Edd Kimber’s previous book.
You only need minimal skills to whip up something special with ideas for bakes made on one bowl or with 5 ingredients, as well as popular options for vegan, gluten free and no bake treats. One Tin Bakes Easy is full of versatile, achievable and indulgent recipes to wow your friends and family. From £9.96
Motherland: A Jamaican Cookbook by Melissa Thompson
Motherland is a cookbook that charts the history of the people, influences and ingredients that uniquely united to create the wonderful patchwork cuisine that is Jamaican food today.
There are recipes for the classics, like saltfish fritters, curry goat and patties, as well as Melissa’s own twists and family favourites, such as:
Oxtail nuggets with pepper sauce mayo
Ginger beer prawns
Smoky aubergine rundown
Sticky rum and tamarind wings
Grapefruit cassava cake
Guinness punch pie.
Running through the recipes are essays charting the origins and evolution of Jamaica’s famous dishes, from the contribution of indigenous Jamaicans, the Redware and Taíno peoples; the impact of the Spanish and British colonisation; the inspiration and cooking techniques brought from West and Central Africa by enslaved men and women; and the influence of Indian and Chinese indentured workers who came to the island.
Motherland does not shy away from the brutality of the colonial periods, but takes us on a journey through more than 500 years of history to give context to the beloved island and its cuisine. From £18.99
River Cottage Good Comfort: Best-Loved Favourites Made Better for You by Hugh Fearnley
A stunning collection of 100+ heart-warming recipes that also happen to be packed with things that are good for you
The perception that the food we love can’t also be good for us is swept away by this stunning collection of delicious, heart-warming recipes that also happen to be packed with good things that help keep us healthy.
And Good Comfort is in every way generous, as Hugh makes our favourite foods healthier not by taking stuff out of them, but by putting more in: the best whole ingredients, celebrated in all their colourful and seasonal diversity.
We can relish a hearty winter stew that is deeply beefy, but also heaving with healthy veg. We can tuck into a pie knowing that the pastry is awesome and the filling wholesome. Much maligned greens come out to play in moreish gratins and leafy curries. And we can put tea time treats on the table knowing they will bring our family and friends – and kids in particular – goodness as well as happiness.
Indulge your taste buds and boost your health at the same time with these delicious new recipes, including:
– Spicy squash and lentil soup
– Squeak and bubble
– Oaty dunking cookies
Ultimately, Hugh leads us on a journey to tweak our taste buds and pamper our palates so that we can take as much pleasure – and ultimately more – from dishes that we know will do us good. From £12.56
Usborne First Cookbook for 3 -5 year olds by Angela Wilkes and Stephen Cartwright
A fresh new edition of the hugely popular Usborne First Cookbook. Introduces beginner cooks to the basic techniques of cooking through a selection of favourite recipes, including spaghetti bolognese, chocolate brownies, sausage rolls and pancakes. Each recipe contains clear and simple instructions in both word and picture form, illustrated by Stephen Cartwright’s busy team of little cooks. With concealed spiral binding to make the book practical and easy to use in the kitchen. From £10.95
Children’s First Cookbook: Have Fun in the Kitchen by Annabel Karmel
A fantastic children’s cookbook featuring Annabel Karmel’s delicious recipes, this is the perfect guide to helping young cooks and their parents make food that’s incredibly tasty and good for you too.
With step-by-step instructions, Children’s First Cookbook is the perfect starting point for any budding young chef. From scrummy scrambled eggs and funny face pizzas to a cupcake farm, and a selection of baking classics – Annabel Karmel’s simple recipes make this the perfect cookbook for kids who want to have fun in the kitchen. From £5.80
My First Cook Book: Bake, Make and Learn to Cook by David Atherton and Rachel Stubbs
Get inspired and get cooking with this first collection of fun recipes to make together by the 2019 winner of The Great British Bake Off.
From speedy suppers to delicious bakes, this classic collection contains a wealth of imaginative recipes that will inspire readers to tie their aprons and get going on their first food adventure! Packed with beautifully warm illustrations, fun and healthy recipes and easy-to-follow steps to help readers master basic cookery techniques and get inspired about food, this first cook book is an essential introduction to cookery that will be treasured by generations to come.From £8.50