John Whaite Bakes at Home

Susan Low road tests the Bake Off winner’s latest tome

John Whaite Bakes at Home

John Whaite is known to Bake Off fans as the one who nearly lost a finger to the food processor in the 2012 series. Disaster averted, the former law student from Manchester claimed the crown. Now, with a Cordon Bleu patisserie qualification under his belt, he’s well on his way to a successful baking career.

Our reviewer’s verdict… This is John’s second cookbook and, as the title suggests, the focus is on relaxed baking. I tried the Japanese cotton cheesecake recipe – partly because I love cheesecake but also because they can be a total pain to get right. To make matters trickier, John’s version is wrapped in foil and cooked in a water bath – soggy bottom alert!

The cheesecake emerged from the oven with a burnished, uncracked complexion. My heart sank as I unwrapped the first layer of foil from the cooled cake and water trickled out. Happily, when I removed the second layer and sprang the cheesecake loose, its bottom was dry. It was moist, light and a pleasure to eat. Next I made lahmajun: Turkish-style pizzas. I liked John’s use of ready-made houmous and pomegranate molasses. The finished pizzas looked impressive and got the thumbs-up.

Quality of the recipes Excellent – it was clear they’d been tested thoroughly. I get the feeling John has perfected all the recipes himself (which isn’t always the case with cookbooks).
Photography Beautiful. Plenty of appealing images with a few step-by-steps, too.
Suitable for Beginners through to confident intermediate cooks. The kitchen tips at the beginning give sensible explanations about baking terms and techniques.
Star rating 4/5

 

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