Cookbook road test: Mary Berry’s Absolute Favourites

She’s had over 1.7 million book sales but nothing will stop her – Mary Berry is going strong and her brand new cookbook is no exception. At the launch of Absolute Favourites she said: “Why would you hang up your clogs when life is so fun and exciting?”


By delicious. marketing executive Hannah Sherwood

Cookbook road test: Mary Berry’s Absolute Favourites

That motto echoes through her book with the fun and carefree lifestyle shots that complement the collection of tried-and-tested crowd pleasers.

What about the recipes?
The 100+ recipes are all fuss-free and reminiscent of relaxed entertaining or feeding a hungry family. There are plenty of good one-pots like a roasted sausage and potato supper, fresh twists on old classics such as fish pie with a soufflé crouton topping and, of course, plenty of enticing sweet treats.

The recipe test…
Talking of enticing treats, Mary Berry (in my eyes) is the queen of baking; she’s famed for her simple but delicious cake recipes so I was in no doubt the mammoth-looking chocolate Malteser cake would be anything less than a chocolate-lover’s delight.

The recipe is straightforward – there’s no creaming of butter and sugar – it’s a bung-it-all-in-and-beat-until-smooth method. The malted chocolate powder (I used Ovaltine) gave a lovely creaminess to the sponge… I wiped the bowl clean!

There’s melted chocolate and more malted chocolate powder in the icing and the quantities were spot on – so many cake recipes have huge quantities for icing that is often not needed, unless you like icing two inches deep, but Mary’s was just right.

Everyone’s ovens vary – I had to bake the cake for a further five minutes to ensure the skewer came out clean but the end result was a lovely light, fluffy sponge with a deliciously creamy butter icing. Tea please!

You can find Mary Berry’s Malteser cake recipe here.

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