On Valentine’s Day I did not receive a huge bouquet of red roses, I did not scoff my way through a huge box of luxurious champagne truffles. In fact I can’t be doing with Valentine’s Day and all the nonsense that goes with it. I bake my family a cake and fulfill orders for those who want sweet treats but otherwise I can take it or leave it. I think you need to show your loved ones how much you love them EVERY DAY, not just on 14th February. My hubby did offer to make me a special dinner which we enjoyed on the Saturday as a Thursday is always too rushed with all the daily commitments that don’t stop for St. Valentine!
So, on the afternoon of 14th February I was astounded to see a courier on my doorstep brandishing two packages from Amazon. One was the fantastic Clandestine Cake Club book which I had preordered and had actually been published today. I have blogged a review about it which you can read about here. The other book was non other than the latest Hummingbird Bakery cook book “Home Sweet Home” This is another book I have been on about getting for a while so it was a brilliant surprise to see it turning up on Valentine’s Day.
Upon first glance the book looked stylish and the cover complimented the Hummingbird Bakery’s brand colours, the pink and the dark brown. The other two earlier books are dark brown and pink respectively so this third book would slot well alongside them on my bookshelf. The front cover looked very contemporary, yet had a nostalgic look about it as well.
Inside the front cover, the blurb reads: this book “celebrates classic homebaking with inspirational recipes and fail-safe advice on how to achieve baking perfection in the comfort of your own kitchen,” The last sentence also reads “ The Hummingbird Bakery’s beautiful and practical new book offers delicious reasons to get into the kitchen and enjoy your homemade treats,” So I was hoping, would their advice help me to perfect their signature cupcake swirls, something I’ve always struggled with in the past!
The book is split into different chapters, firstly starting with a lengthy section on cupcakes, followed by Cakes, Cheesecakes and Roulades, Cookies and Biscuits, Pies and Cobblers, Traybakes, Sweet Treats and Classic Puds, not to mention a whole section devoted to Savouries. I was intrigued to see the final chapter as I hadn’t seen savoury recipes associated with the Hummingbird Bakery before. There is also a useful section entitled Baking Essentials at the back of the book.
The photographs are of a very high standard and make the bakes look gorgeous and tempting to eat. I was pleased to see a photograph for each recipe, some even have step-by step photos. Some recipes go over onto a second page but that is not confusing as there are matching photos. The recipes themselves are clearly laid out with the ingredients clearly marked and where you need ingredients for separate components of a cake such as a filling, these are clearly identified as well.
So what do I think of the recipes themselves? Most recipes I absolutely loved, some I wasn’t so keen on and others I thought looked good but looked too fiddly to make from scratch if I was pushed for time. I think I will try most of the Cookie recipes and some of the less sweet and sickly looking cupcake recipes. I don’t think I will be using it as a cookbook for every day bakes but would be ideal if you are needing something for a dinner party or another special occasion.
Would I recommend this book to others? The answer is yes if you like American style baking and you love visiting the Hummingbird Bakery. Sadly I have not yet had chance to go there. Every time I go down to London my hubby says “I am not spending my afternoon looking at bloody cupcakes!”
In my next blog post I will be writing about making the Jaffa Cake Cupcakes as my son spotted them when I was looking through the book and has asked me to make them. Let’s see if I can have a go at the famous Hummingbird Icing Technique.
Watch this space!
Love Sam xx