Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Peyton and Byrne British Baking Cookbook Review

This week I've been trying out the Peyton and Byrne British Baking. I've been to Oliver Peyton's restaurant at the National Gallery but I've never eaten in one of his cafes in London so I can't compare the flavour of the cakes but the recipes certainly seem to be a good representative of what is sold the Peyton and Byrne cafes. The recipes are very traditional, I love how all the fairy cakes are never once referred to as cupcakes! They are the sort of recipes that you hope would have been passed down from generation to generation, comforting cakes and pies you might have eaten at your grandparent's house. The design of the book is very simple which works really well with the theme of traditional British baking. The instructions are easy to follow and all the ingredients can be found in the supermarket. I like that dried yeast is used in the dough recipes - certainly makes life easier.

There are photos for most of the recipes which are full-page and I think they're really great. There are nice big close ups and most of the photos are of slices or the whole dessert with a piece taken out so you can really see what the cake/tart/pies etc looks like inside. It's really useful when you're baking to compare your efforts to someone elses. It also makes it looks like everything must be delicious as there is a bit missing with crumbs around the edges of plates!

The book has a short 4 page technique and equipment section at the start which would be very useful for the novice baker. The book is then split into 10 chapters including Biscuits, Fruity Cakes, Breakfast Goods and A Cup of Tea and a Bun! I'm pretty sure everyone would find something to make from each chapter.

I started with the Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe, but instead of making one big cake I made smaller loaves using a tin I'd bought a while back. They were really cute this way and I also think it meant they lasted longer. It would have been way too easy to devour the whole thing. The cake in the book actually looked quite brown and dense but this was the lightest sponge I'd ever made. The instructions were super simple to follow, I just reduced the cooking time and kept an eye on them in the oven. I halved the quantities so it made 3 smaller loaves but I still used a whole juiced lemon for the glaze as I love lots of lemon. They were just incredibly delicious, even if I do say so myself!! Every mouthful I was just going "oh my god this is yummy, mmmm, wow..."! I will definitely be keeping this recipe to hand whenever I want a pick-me-up cake. Amazing.

Then I thought I'd attempt the Black Forest Gateau. I'm not the biggest lover of chocolate cake, I think I've grown out of it a little. Don't get me wrong, I'd never turn down a piece of chocolate fudge cake but it would have to be warm with a considerable amount of cream poured over! But, add some cherries into the mix and I'm all for it. I made the cake a little differently, the cake in the book has been made as one whole sponge and then cut into 3 layers, but I won £15o of Lakeland vouchers a couple of weeks ago (woo-hoo!!) and bought myself the surprise cake tin they've been advertising in most cookery magazines. I thought this cake would work really well with the cream and cherries hidden in the middle.

Again, the recipe was easy to follow and everything turned out as it should. The cake obviously didn't take as long to cook but came out just as rich and dense. I had a little issue with the cake breaking up, even after leaving it to cool in the tin, but the one in the book was all cracked too so that was fine by me! That's what the cream on the top was for!! I used the Cake Release from Lakeland too which I will now have to make sure I have forever as it really works. I loved finding all that cream and loads of cherries in the centre and the syrup and liqueur mixture poured into the sponge added a lovely flavour. It wasn't too sickly as there was enough cream to balance the dark chocolate. I was proud of myself with this one, it was the first time I'd made a full cake, what my cake stand has been crying out for! But now I think I need to step away from the flour, eggs and sugar for a few weeks! Been eating way too much cake lately!!

As for the book, I can really recommend it if you're looking some traditional baking recipes that will turn out perfectly every time. I initially thought it would be too traditional for me but there are some great biscuit recipes and all the icings and frostings sound lovely, I think nearer Christmas the clementine icing will be used on something. I want to try out the pastry recipes too as I feel like anything I make from this book will be a success - fingers crossed!

Finally I just wanted to share the purple potato rapees La Mama made. Loved the dark colour though they didn't taste any different to normal ones!

I like the idea of having goth versions of food! When I can eventually have my own garden I'm going to try and grow lots of dark plants!

1 comment:

  1. That Black Forest Gateau is chunky! Love it! I like how you have just added in all that huge laer of cream and not worrying about the waist line!