Sunday, 9 October 2011

New books, new cakes...& an old favourite too!

I baked this good old Coffee & Walnut Cake last week...baking usually cheers me up no end...but I  was feeling especially blue. You can read why here, on my other blog...
As most women will agree, a little retail therapy in these situations works wonders. But I'm not really a shoe-&-handbag type of gal. It's cookbooks that do it for me...and I succumbed to a bit of an indulgent splurge!

Dan Lepard is a bit of a star in the food writing world, & my kind of baker. Innovative and verging on the healthy, his recipes are inspirational. I made the delightfully named Marrakesh Express loaf cake (although I called it Middle Eastern Date Cake for The Coffee Tree...and mine wasn't a loaf cake!) which tasted absolutely gorgeous...and also created these Sour Cream Cupcakes with Banana Caramel -

which were received very well and are a hybrid of several different recipes in the book! I shall be using 'Short & Sweet' a lot!
Jamie is Jamie...a national (& becoming international) institution. He writes a book, I buy it. I always will. Love him!
Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey (not absolutely enthralled by the title...) by Jill O' Connor jumped out at me, partly because it's published by one of my very favourite US publishers, Chronicle Books (their publications are just so beautiful...) and the recipes are really good and interesting too. I made (but forgot to photograph, doh) the Chewy Lemon-Pistachio Financiers last week...gorgeous! Another one I'll be using a lot, I know.
Australian Women's Weekly (confusingly published monthly...!) is to Australia what Good Housekeeping is here in the UK. You know that the recipes will work as they're all triple-tested and totally reliable. And this book, The Cake Stall, has some great also looks beautiful and is no-nonesense, which can be really useful when I just need a quick jolt of inspiration for the next day.
So, that was my cheer-up...and it worked!
I produced these creations of my own too...

Blackberry, Apple & Cinnamon Muffins....perfect for the autumn weather we're now having...and a new recipe I devised for my forthcoming baking book (I don't talk a lot about it - too scared! - but it's on it's way...more soon!)

Fresh Rhubarb Macaroon Cake...with a chewy toasty top. Delish!
Now time to plan next week's orders...
I hope you're having a wonderful weekend....x


  1. crikey. what a fabulous glut of cakes! You have made me hungry and I've only just scoffed an entire pizza all by myself!

    love coffee and walnut, I feel the need to bake something along those lines soon. mmm.

    I have just got my grimy paws on Peggy Porschen's Favourite cakes & cookies books. Oh to be able to create cakes like that. But I settle with enjoying to look at them instead. I have total respect for bakers like you and her, who can make the most delectable goodies.


  2. Love the cake books, will be getting Jamie's for sure! I will have the macaroon and rhubarb please, such an unusual combination! xxxxxxx

  3. I don't like coffee much, but I love coffee and walnut cake for some reason. I once bought to my wife a chocolate cakes recipe book from Australian Women's Weekly.

  4. Dan't book is brilliant, I'm loving reading all his creative ideas. I've only made his whoopie pies so far, but as you say, I think I'll be using this one a lot. The Australian Woman't Weekly sounds interesting - might try that one next time I'm in need of a little retail therapy!

  5. Thank you so much for the reviews of all these books, Rachel. And it is so great to hear and to see your takes on the recipes in the books!
    My goodness, there goes dinner as my mouth is watering and I need to go straight to dessert! Oh, that coffee/walnut cake would be lovely and does your market have fresh rubarb this season?? Here's to some retail therapy!! : ) Hugs, Sherry xxxx

  6. Oh, Rachel, what a delicious collection of cook books! I can see how they helped in cheering you up. That old classic coffee and walnut cake does look tempting! I can see why it's a favourite with the customers.
    I am so excited for your cook book! You are always creating something new and different! It is going to be wonderful seeing all the delicious baked goodies you've come up with! Sending my love and hugs! Have a wonderful baking week, sweetie! xoxo

  7. Yum, these creations would cheer me up too. I love Jamie Oliver. Did you know he is trying his very best to help the school cafeterias in the USA the way he did in Britain? He needs great help with that as the food suppliers of processed foods make such a lot of money that he is being met with great resistance.
    A new cookbook! How exciting! Will you become famous like The Pioneer Woman has become over here? Hope so!

  8. I'm so lookign forward to flicking through Jamies GB, but more than that I have to say your creations are all warming my heart.


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