Cook Book Reviews

The Cardamom Trail Chetan Makan April 2016, published by Mitchell Beasley

CCC Founder, Lynn says – “I found this an exciting and colourful book to read, with wonderful styling and photography. Among the many recipes are chapters on the history of Indian herbs and spices, with inspirational ideas on flavour matches and other uses.

I immediately made the Lychee Cake, resulting in a very moist sponge which was as light as a feather. The caramel sauce was also divine.

It’s fair to say that you will immediately want to fill up your store cupboards with aromatic spices after reading this. I’m really looking forward to making more of Chetna’s recipes.”

The Spice Companion – Lior Lev Sercarz“A stunning and definitive spice guide by the country’s most sought-after expert”

Coming in November 2016, published by Clarkson Potter

With beautiful illustrations and wonderful insight, the spice companion is an excellent addition to the shelf of any serious home baker or cook.

The book starts with a detailed insight into Lior’s background as a chef in New York City and the ethos behind his use of spices. This is followed by an encyclopaedic style guide to individual spices and how to use them.

We particularly love the fact that, alongside guidance on traditional uses and recommended flavour pairings, Lior has included recipes for simple blends and guidance on how to formulate your own.

 Sirocco: Fabulous Flavours from the East – Sabrina Ghayour
“The eagerly awaited follow-up to top 10 bestseller Persiana.”
May 2016, Mitchell Beazley
Sirocco, meaning “east wind”, is undoubtedly another great success for Sabrina Ghayour. Much like Persiana, it is full of Middle Eastern inspired bright and bold recipes, complimented by equally colourful and enticing imagery.
The recipe collection here is split into several sections, including breakfast, light bites, main dishes and sweet treats. This is quite useful for anyone planning on making a single recipe for a self-contained occasion.
One gets the impression however that Sabrina has imagined everything in Sirocco within the context of one massive dinner party as most dishes could well be served with a multitude of others from the book. This pick and mix approach lends itself well to anyone who likes to experiment with creating full menus.
Like all of other books highlighted in these pages, the recipes here are well thought out and easy to follow. Some of the ingredients may be slightly hard to source, however substitutions are suggested for anything particularly unusual.
Our stand out recipe from the book has to be the Cardamom Doughnut Brioche French Toasts – the perfect naughty breakfast treat.

Bake To Impress -Christian Hümbs
“Perfect for hobby bakers seeking new challenges or anyone looking for baking inspiration”

Showstoppers are at their very heart, extremely visual creations. It is therefore quite useful to understand the final aesthetic you are aiming for with such recipes. One of the really useful aspects of this book is the fact that every single recipe has a corresponding picture, meaning that you are never left with the question “is it supposed to look like that?”
Alongside the pictures, the instructions are also extremely informative and easy to follow.
One small criticism may be that many of the recipes in this collection are quite run of the mill. For example, madeleines may require some technical skill, but perhaps do not quite fall into the “showstopper” mould.
On the other hand, the latter section of the book does deliver on adventure and wow factor, including a recipe for the now ubiquitous cronut. We were also enticed by the sound of the Yuzu Tart with green tea and white chocolate.

Mamushka: Recipes from Ukraine & beyond, Olia Hercules

“A celebration of the food and flavours of Ukraine and the “Wild East””
June 2016, Octopus Books
As the debut cookbook from the Observer’s Rising Star in Food Award, 2015, Mamshuka certainly does not disappoint.
In order to create this celebratory collection of recipes, Orla has drawn upon her experiences growing up in 1980/90s Ukraine where she was surrounded by a family filled with passionate and resourceful cooks.
Despite links with the limited larder of the former Soviet Union, Orla has stuffed Mamshuka full of rich ingredients and exciting flavours. Butter, cream and cheese is in abundance throughout the collection, resulting in hearty fare which is perfect for hungry families wanting to try something new.
The desserts section of any cookbook is always particularly of interest to everyone here at Sucre Kitchen Magazine, so we are also very pleased to report back that Mamshuka has a particularly expansive sweet selection.
Our stand out recipe choices includes the moreish Poppy Seed Roll, along with the perfectly autumnal Moldovan Pumpkin Breads.

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