Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Baking Magic (and a bevy of biscuits)

One of my latest baking book acquisitions is the recently published Baking Magic which I got from The Book People at an incredibly reasonable price. I hadn't seen it in any shops, but was sold on the title and the rather pretty cover (the book itself is covered in a lovely textured fabric hardcover). It is apparently a combination of three books - Cake Magic, Cookie Magic and Cupcake Magic, and the book falls into three sections dealing with Cakes, Cupcakes and Cookies; there are lovely photographs throughout (although sadly not for every recipe - I never understand why people wouldn't want to tempt you with how good each recipe looks).

The best part of the book is definitely the section on cookies. Cupcakes are something I'm not actually hugely interested in for some reason, despite owning several books about them, and cakes are something that I already have a lot of good recipes for. But I wanted to make almost every other recipe from this section. One of the best bits are the recipes for shop-biscuits - the digestive biscuit, the fig roll, the custard cream. And so it was to these that I turned first; here are my very own chocolate bourbons:
(with some Viennese style biscuits to use up the buttercream)

And my own party rings! So much fun.

if I'm honest, both types were quite a bit of a faff. The author claimed that the dough of the bourbons is a "dream to work with" but I thought it was one of the worst doughs I have ever used as it was incredibly brittle and virtually impossible to get to stick together long enough to roll out. And the party rings were quite fiddly using two colours of icing...

And while I'm on the topic of biscuits, I also baked these Jewelled Cookies at the weekend - they were from the Marks and Spencer's Cookie book which a friend gave me for Christmas. I was rather impressed with how they came out - they use strawberry and apricot jam.

Let's just hope that the French Air Traffic control strike ends soon and my OH can get home to eat them before they're all spoilt (but that is another story...)


  1. So sorry about your OH being stuck overseas.
    The Book People came to our work today. I rushed over to look at their cookery books but our selection was dull. Now if Baking Magic had been there I may very well have been tempted...

  2. You are amazing, Verity! Would it be very piggish of me to want to try one of each?

    Another strike...my goodness but it's a risky thing to book a flight these days!

  3. Mercy, European flights just do not want to be friends this year. But your snacks look delicious!

    Why are you not interested in cupcakes? Not fun enough during the baking process? (I don't bake and have no set opinions about the various fun levels of different desserts.)

  4. What a lovely book, party rings are one of my favourites, I may have to get a copy of this!

  5. Joan - we don't get the Book People at work, sadly, though that's probably a good thing. I get their catalogues through the post, but as delivery is expensive, I rarely buy anything - this was in combination with a free delivery offer!

    Darlene - I am sure Ken will be having several of each. His flight took off an hour ago, so I'm keeping everything crossed that he might be back in Oxford for lunchtime.

    Jenny - I think if I want to go anywhere, it will be by car! I find cupcakes disappointing - a mouthful of oversweet boring sponge and too much icing. Very pretty, and Ken likes them from time to time, but we generally prefer a slab of a nice homemade cake, usually with some sort of fruit in. A bit healthier too without the buttercream!

    Dot - I LOVED party rings, until I found out that they weren't vegetarian - eek!


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