Following on from the whoopie pie experience in my last post, I’m delighted to announce that I have three copies of Short & Sweet to give away to my readers. Yes, that’s right, the publishers, Fourth Estate, have been very generous and are offering not one but three copies.
As already stated in my previous post, I’m very excited about this book. Dan Lepard’s renowned book The Handmade Loaf, together with his excellent baking forum and weekly baking column in the Guardian have established him as one of the best bakers in the UK. I ordered the book back in April and had to wait six long months before it finally arrived through my letterbox.
First off, this is a nice hefty book with over 550 pages and a distinctive tricolour cover. It’s bound in such a way that the page stays open at pretty much any point, most unusual and very welcome.
In true Dan Lepard style, the recipes are inspirational. I leapt straight to the chapter on cakes of course, but the book starts with the real staff of life – bread. Other sections include biscuits, desserts, savoury pies, yeasted sweet bakes and even a chapter on making your own sweets. Each chapter starts with a few pages of techniques; tips are scattered throughout the book. On reading the tips and techniques section of the cake chapter, I noted several things I was unaware of. I’m an inveterate forgetter of remembering to turn the oven on in time. I was particularly pleased therefore to discover that it doesn’t matter too much if you don’t place the finished cake mixture immediately in the oven. If you transfer it very gently, the “rise” should not be affected.
Dan uses some unusual ingredients in his cake recipes including rye and hemp flours, ground porridge oats and condensed milk. That and some unusual techniques make for an intriguing baking experience. Apart from the chocolate ones (of course), some of the cakes I’m looking forward to making include: cherry beet cake, sticky lemon & poppy seed cake, coconut milk layer cake and saffron peach cake.
Although I like to think of myself as a serious cook, I do find I like to have photographs in my cookbooks. It’s always nice to have an idea of what your aiming for and sometimes it’s the picture alone that seals the deal on whether you bake a particular recipe. This was my one disappointment with Short & Sweet, there are photographs and very enticing ones too, but they don’t cover every bake. A book mark ribbon would also be a welcome addition, but I guess I can live without that.
You can watch a 50 second video of Dan talking about his book here.
As regular readers will know I always give my own views on any items I review. In this case I bought the book for myself so you can be doubly sure that I do indeed think it’s a classic and will make an excellent addition to any baking library.
So, to the giveaway and your chance to win one of the three copies. You must leave a comment on this post answering the question below. You have until midnight on Friday 21st October when the giveaway closes. The winners will be randomly selected after this date. Apologies to oversees visitors, but this is only open to those with a UK or Ireland postal address.
What cake recipe do you consider to be indispensable in a cookbook?
Additional entries can also be made by (but you must answer the question above for these to be eligible):
- Following my blog via Google Friend Connect – leave a separate comment here telling me you have done so.
- Following me on Twitter – leave a separate comment here telling me you have done so with your Twitter id.
- Tweeting this message “win a copy of @dan_lepard Short & Sweet from Chocolate Log Blog @Choclette8 – bit.ly/pE6ARV” – leave a separate comment here telling me you have done so
- Liking this post on Facebook – leave a separate comment here telling me you have done so.
- 78 – Nursey
- 53 – Janice
- 37 – Dom