Happy Friday readers! How are you doing today?
Today I’m going to talk EVEN MORE about my obsession with the GBBO! I’ve already chronicalled the first three episodes of season three for you (apologies non UK readers that you don’t get to see it!) and now I’m going to talk about the new cookbook and the new iPhone app that have just been released to coincide with the latest series. The Great British Bake Off is more successful than ever with over 4m viewers tuning in to the latest episode and its even being credited with the resurgance of home baking (one factor in many and the resurgance started quite a while before GBBO in my opinion!).
The new book is The Great British Bake Off: How to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers. Featuring over 100 recipes from the new season of the show, including all the technical bakes and challenges, the new book is also packed full of lots of other recipes for showstopping bakes – from breads, puddings and patisserie to cakes, cookies and pies.
The new cookbook is positioned as being a skill level above the first GBBO cookbook – How to Bake. Where the first book taught basic skills such as how to master the Victoria Sponge, this new book takes those skills to the ‘showstopping’ level.
Good points –
While certain of the recipes in the book require a little more skill and patience than your basic cake recipe, the creations are all clearly marked to say where they sit in terms of skill level, and there are still plenty of recipes that a relative beginner at baking would have no problem knocking out. Two of the recipes that especially caught my eye were the cinnamon mocha swirl cake and the heart inside champagne cake which look just gorgeous, and though ambitious, hopefully not beyond my skills!
One aspect of the book that I think is fantastic is the tutorial sections which teach you, step by step and with pictures, how to do various baking techniques, such as stacking a multi-layer cake, or decorating sugar biscuits with royal icing. As someone who’s thought repeatedly about doing both but never been quite sure how to go about it, I find these sections really helpful (and there are many more in the book).
Less good points –
There were a couple of things about the book that I was less keen on – the main one being the lack of photo’s of the recipes. Around half of the recipes don’t have a picture of the finished product, but there was still room to include photo’s of all the contestants, random (very pretty!) shelves and jars of flour etc…
The book is currently for sale at £8.86 on Amazon (bargain!) with free delivery. Despite the points I mentioned above, I still think that £8.66 is fantastic value for such an in-depth cookbook, wouldn’t hesitate to buy it as a gift for an aspiring baker or GBBO super-fan!
The GBBO App!
The team behind the Bake-Off have also released a new iPhone app to celebrate the new series and get people at home baking along too. The app costs £2.99 from the app store and features 50 recipes from Paul and Mary, including some from the new series, and some much – loved classics like Mary’s Battenburg and Victoria Sponge and Paul’s iced fingers and focaccia bread from last season.
The app has some interesting features – if you like the look of a recipe you can add the ingredients to an in-app shopping list or even email them to yourself. Once you’ve made your treats, you can share a picture of them via Twitter or Facebook through the app. There’s also functionality (which didn’t work on my phone but I’m guessing its because I have a 3GS) to move from step to step of the recipe without touching your iPhone – no more butter on the screen!
Overall, the app is very pretty and easy to use and contains some great classic recipes from this and previous series. However, at £2.99 and with all the recipes available for free online, I’m not sure I would spend my hard-earned pennies on this.
You can download the app here.
Thanks to Shinyred PR for providing a review copy of the book and app to me.
Are you a massive GBBO fan or can’t see what the fuss is about? Are you interested in picking up the new cookbook or the app? Let me know in the comments!