This book is in bookstores now
Recently my Japanese sister and I agreed to exchange
cookbooks. It is easy for her to find books on Japanese cuisine to send to me, but it took me a few minutes to think about what I would send her. While I will always struggle to think of meals that define New Zealand cuisine, baking is very much a national strength. The book Alice in Bakingland adds to our tradition of baking by updating many classics and explaining techniques behind newer recipes.
I was thrilled with my first sight of Alice in Bakingland – a beautifully presented book with a range of ‘delicious, decadent and daring’ recipes. The book is well suited to both novice and experienced bakers: for the novice there are tips with each recipe to facilitate success; for the more experienced baker, new approaches to classic recipes are always welcome. The photography and design of this book deserve special mention – the book is beautiful, just a pleasure to sit down with and read. The gorgeous vintage linens and crockery made me wish I had more reason to serve my baking on delicate china, rather than serving in my trusty tupperware container!
I found particular inspiration with the ‘Spiral Vege Tart’ and ‘Matcha Green Tea Sponge Roll.’ The former is a beautifully presented tart and the second inspires with a reminder of the versatility of tea in baking. Between recipes, there is a break for a ‘how to’ section. I thought I had a good technique for making macarons, but definitely learned from this section.
The book is strongly regional, and the author includes recipes from local Martinborough businesses, her relatives and friends. It made the book feel very personal, as you get the sense of how the author connects with her community – both her local community and the foodie one!
Recipes I made:
- Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch sauce: Beautifully spiced and exceptionally popular with guests!
- Cheese scones: mine were not as fluffy looking as those in the book, but I’d had to substitute the buttermilk for soured milk. Tasty, rich scones.
Review by Emma Wong-Ming
Alice in Bakingland. Delicious, decadent and daring.
By Alice Arndell
Published by HarperCollins Publishers (NZ)