Book reviews: Best of the season’s new cook books to whip up a storm in the kitchen | Books | Entertainment



Mary Berry Fast Cakes: Easy Bakes In Minutes by Mary Berry

Headline Home, £26

National treasure Mary Berry offers up a mouth-watering selection of cakes from basic sponges and buns to biscuits, fruit loaves and flapjacks.

There is a chapter on cakes to make with children and she also offers helpful general tips such as a checklist to reveal where you went wrong if your cake is not quite up to scratch. But she adds: “Frankly, I don’t think anything should go wrong.” You have been warned.

Joe’s 30-minute meals: 100 Quick And Healthy Recipes by Joe Wicks

Bluebird, £20

The Body Coach bestseller Joe Wicks has devised a range of healthy recipes and, while carb-lovers might look elsewhere, Wicks’ choices aren’t overly virtuous or unmanageable.

He offers flavoursome twists on familiar staples.

Choose from bang bang chicken stir fry, sambal sea bass or one-pan steak with devilled mushrooms, all inspired by his discovery of “what a massive difference fuelling myself with fresh, home-cooked food made to my energy levels and mood”.

Ottolenghi simple by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ebury Press, £25

Yotam Ottolenghi is legendary for his recipes’ interminable lists of obscure ingredients so it’s a delight to find his imaginative approach distilled for amateur chefs.

He promises recipes that take less than 30 minutes to cook using 10 ingredients or less so take your pick from lamb and feta meatballs, pork with ginger, spring onion and aubergine, or spinach and gorgonzola-stuffed jacket potatoes plus a dizzying array of creative vegetable side dishes.

Deliciously Ella: The Plant-Based Cookbook by Ella Mills

Yellow Kite, £20

This is probably a controversial view but I always think vegan recipes would be greatly improved by the addition of some meat or dairy.

But muster the motivation for the reams of ingredients required to make vegan food tasty and you can rustle up a yellow thai curry, a sweet potato and courgette stew, various falafels and soups or choose from some really delicious vegan cake recipes.

The Borough Market cookbook by Borough Market with Ed Smith

Hodder & Stoughton, £25

Ed Smith is a former trader at Borough Market, London’s gastronomic paradise, and he celebrates the market’s 1,000-yearold heritage with a collection of recipes inspired by the market and its wares.

These are ambitious, upmarket meals for special occasions, broken down into seasons for optimum freshness and collected in a book so stylish that it would make a luxurious gift for any food lover.

Jamie Cooks Italy by Jamie Oliver

Michael Joseph, £26

Jamie Oliver has spent two years travelling around Italy soaking up recipes from “nonnas and mammas, many of whom have been cooking for over 50 years”. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.

And we can reap the rewards of Jamie’s hard slog with this irresistible collection of classic Italian recipes, trusty old favourites like carbonara and ragu sitting alongside more inventive dishes including baked tiella rice with mussels or turbot al forno.

An essential purchase for any fan of Italian cuisine.


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