John Whaite Bakes at Home
Susan Low road tests the Bake Off winner’s latest tome
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