Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Vanilla Table and Great British Cooking, Review & Giveaway.

I've had couple of cook books sent to me in the last couple of months and I've been meaning to get round to posting this review post, but for one reason or another I have not got round to doing this until now. Vanilla Table: The essence of exquisite cooking from the world's best chefs by Natasha MacAller and Great British Cooking by Carolyn Caldicott are two cookery books that I have been sent to review by the lovely people at Jacqui Small Publishing and Frances Lincoln Publishing.

First up to review is Vanilla Table: The essence of exquisite cooking from the world's best chefs by Natasha MacAller. This cookery book is a beautiful collection of Vanilla recipes from around the world, inspired by world renowned chefs and enlightens the reader the diversity that vanilla has to offer. Many of us, in particular me, use vanilla when baking, but this wonderful ingredient can be in-cooperated in so much more than a cake as Vanilla Table demonstrates. I found this cookery book, insightful and educating, alongside inspiring particularly to the more experienced cook. The photographs are also beautiful and mouthwatering.
Vanilla Table is divided into a number of chapters, firstly starting with a comprehensive view on the history of Vanilla.

  • Starter Plates - recipes to try include Smoked Trout Johnnycake Stacks, Caramelised Garlic and Ricotta Custard and Fennel Flan with Orange Gele.
  •  Main Plates - Stand out recipes include Lobster, Pineapple Marinated Fish and New Zealand Cassoulet.
  • Blue Plates and Brunch Plates -Mouthwatering recipes to try include Monte Cristo Tropicana, Crunchy Cornflake Chicken and Roasted Stone Fruit.
  • Sharing Plates - Stand out recipes include The Tonga Trifle, Rum and Vanilla Cured Salmon and Saturn Peach, Onion and Blue Cheese.
  • Dessert Plates - Recipes to try include Mayan Chocolate Mouse, Creamy Butterscotch Pudding with Tash's English Toffee and The Anna Pavlova.
  • Cake Plates - Perhaps my favourite chapter, stand out recipes include Vanilla, Vanilla, Vanilla!, Two-Tone Chocolate Malt Cake and Bittersweet Chocolate Torte.
  • The Cookie Plate - Mouthwatering recipes to try include Chocoalte Sticky Bits, Espresso Brownie Bits and Ginger Fruit Squares.
  • Bevvies & Bar Snacks - recipes to try include Toasty Coconut Chips and Nuts, Vanilla Passion Martini and Spiced Lime Smoothie. 
Spiced Lime Smoothie.

Overall a wonderful book to have on your cookery shelf: get lost in the world of vanilla.

Great British Cooking by Carolyn Caldicott explores British cooking, with some traditional recipes being given a modern twist. This is the third book that I have from Carolyn Caldicott after Bombay Lunchbox and Comfort and I must say this is probably my least favourite. Great British Cooking is not a bad recipe book, but because I am comparing this to her previous works where, in my opinion, the food was more exotic, adventurous, colourful and vibrant. Perhaps I am a British food snob or overlook traditional British foods, but only a handful of foods popped out to me such as Game Pie, Roast Lamb and Apricot Stuffing and Gingery Treacle Tart. There are recipes which I do not think need a recipe and I would presume everyone would know how to make, such as a Bacon Butty and a Full English.
On a more positive note, there is a thorough Introduction and history of English Cooking which helped to set the tone of how we have loved the recipes that we eat on a regular basis. The photographs are beautiful and the recipes appear easy to make. The chapters are split into the following:

  • The Full English, recipes of interest include Cornish Potato Cakes, Marmalade and Coddled Eggs.
  • The Pub Lunch, stand out recipes include Game Pie, Bedfordshire Clanger and Oysters and Stout.
  • The Sunday Roast, The Roast Lamb, Apricot Stuffing and Mint Sauce was the stand out recipe for me.
  • The Nations Favourites, mouthwatering recipes include Oyster and Mushroom Stew, Chicken and Mushroom Pie and Fish and Chips.
  • The Queen of Pudding, recipes I would try include Gingery Treacle Tart, Queen of Pudding and Lemony Syllabub.
Lamb with apricot stuffing pre bake. 

Overall, I think this cookery book would appeal to the beginner cook or for those who adore British cooking.

The lovely people at Jacqui Small Publishing and Frances Lincoln are offering 1 copy of each book to giveaway. To be in with a chance to win a copy of these books follow the instructions below:

  • Follow the instructions on the rafflecopter.
  • Leave a comment on the blog (THIS IS AN ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT)
  • For additional entries join the blog (using Google Friend Connector), follow me on Instragram, follow me on Twitter, follow me on Facebook, add me on Google Circles and tweet about the giveaway.
  • All entries will be checked and verified.
  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random. 
  • The competition will run from 22.04.15 - 22.05.15
  • Winners will need to respond within 7 working days.
  • Jacqui Small Publishing and Frances Lincoln will post the cookery books.
  • This competition is open to UK residents only.

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