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
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!