I have been a fan of Sam Linsell for the longest time… her photography is out of this world and she manages to add a twist or a tweak to a plate of food and suddenly it is a work of art… really. Her food photography so often leaves you with that “have you ever…” feeling, more than once I left a comment on her instagram account to say I wish we were neighbours. Anyway, I was lucky enough to get a copy of her latest book, published by Penguin Random House South Africa, to review. And I was so excited to see if we could vaguely get her recipes to come close to her photographs…
This book is packed with treats and delights. Everything in moderation and all that… these recipes transform a normal cup of tea into something special. The chapters are: Vanilla, Caramel, Chocolate, Fruit and More Sweet… and the recipes range from bakes and cakes to ice-creams and granita, hot desserts and summer coolers, plenty of drinks to concoct… If you are looking for a little something… be it a teatime treat or a dinner party dessert, you will definitely find a recipe that you can create within the covers of this well thought out cook book.
Se7en + 1 Reasons to Love This Book
- A book with an entire chapter on caramel… should I go on…
- I was surprised at how easy her recipes were to recreate. They look so fabulous that, honestly, I thought they would be difficult… I couldn’t have been more wrong, in fact some of the recipes my kids dived in and went ahead… what’s not love a book about a kid grabbing your cookbook and baking away.
- I thought the recipes would have exotic ingredients… but no… easy to find and ready at hand. Ingredients like flour, sugar, butter… really ingredients you have. Occasionally there will be a special seasonal ingredient… for example in the fruit section, but typically all goodies that are readily available.
- I love recipe books with just one recipe on a page… and a photograph of what you are aiming for, and this is exactly that.
- The Conversion tables at the back of the book are actually useful… including ingredient specific conversions… how useful is this fact: how many grams of chocolate chips in a cup? or nuts, or oats…
- It has a useful index – you have no idea how useful it is to find a recipe book with an actually useful index… there is nothing worse than a cookbook that has recipes like: granny’s favourite cupcakes in the index… when those cupcakes are mini apple pies.
- This book is packed with potential gifts and recipes to turn a regular cup of tea into a sweet banquet.
- This book has been made with love and written by someone who loves her craft… it shines through on every page.
Se7en + 1 Fabulous Recipes We Tried
- Vanilla French doughnuts with a lemony glaze: Firstly these don’t last… they are designed to be eaten instantly. Just give them a few seconds to cool down and they will be gone. I have to say – had I known how easy it was to make donuts then I would have probably been making these for years… the lemon glaze on top is just the perfect touch.
- The very best shortbread ever: Shortbread, honestly, is not my favourite recipe to make – because it very often turns into a massive crumbly mess… but when a recipe claims to be the very best shortbread recipe in the world I had to give it a try. She’s right this is very VERY good shortbread and tucked into a tin it looks so pretty… this could well be my “go to gift” of the future.
- Salted caramel sauce: Another case of “had I known how how easy it was to make this…” not to mention that you most likely have the ingredients for it in your house as I speak… I knew that I needn’t bother to put this into a jar. Straight into a bowl and pass folk a teaspoon… Obviously you are meant to use this as a topping on just about anything, but we didn’t get anywhere near there!!!
- Churros with Baileys chocolate sauce: This recipe is very similar to the doughnut recipe above, but the first wet wintry day we have had all year and they were just perfect. They are pretty quick and easy to make and my kids are going to love these over the winter. Ours of course look noting like the beautiful ones in the cook book… but this is not the recipe to worry about appearances, it is the yummy taste that wins the day.
- All-white chocolate rocky road: Oh so easy… and the coconut just took this rocky road to the very next level of yummy. Here is a really quick treat that my kids were very keen to create and have ready in a flash for a quick snack. So easy, so quick and so delicious.
- Limoncello tiramisu: If you teach your children nothing else in the kitchen, may I suggest that you teach them how to make tiramisu… for the simple reason that it is really easy, really impressive and you can make it well ahead of time. Not to mention the left overs, should there be any are simply heaven.
- Banana and cinnamon crumpets: These have an unusual ingredient, which makes them fluffy and light… I have to say that I don’t often treat my kids to pancakes… because trust me, even multiple batches are never ever enough. Interestingly the child, who really can’t abide bananas, probably ate the most of them… the vanilla and cinnamon may well have been enough to disguise them.
- Rooibos iced tea with ginger, lime and litchi: We have been looking for a good iced-tea recipe for the longest time and this one covered all the bases… Most iced-tea recipes contain buckets of sugar, but this recipe adds fresh fruit juice and squeezed juice from a couple of citrus fruits to sweeten the flavour. It was a great summer afternoon treat…
This book has so many more recipes that we still want to try and I fully intend to leave it lying around in the hopes that our children will pick it up and make something in it to surprise us, in the best possible way..
We really want to thank Penguin Random House South Africa for the copy of the book for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post and all opinions expressed are as always entirely our own.