Kim-Joy Hewlett was one of the break-out stars of series 9 of The Great British Bake Off, which aired in 2018. Coming joint runner-up with Ruby Bhogal to winner Rahul Mandal, Kim-Joy was well-known throughout the series for her cute bakes, often inspired by and featuring animals. Her quirky personality won viewers off so it’s no surprise that less than a year after the final, Kim-Joy has been snapped up by a publisher to release her first book Baking With Kim-Joy.
You can tell from the cover that the book is going to contain a collection of fun bakes and the subtitle ‘Cute and creative bakes to make you smile’ lets you know that Kim-Joy’s cutesy approach to baking is going to feature heavily. The book is split into five sections – Cakes & Frosting, Cookies & Icing, Breads, Square Cakes and Little Bakes – and there are a wide selection of recipes on offer.
The first section – Cakes & Frosting – takes you through a series of different cakes that you can use as bases before moving on to some very adventurous, and technically tricky, bakes. Kim-Joy encourages you to select your favourite base and use that to construct some truly wonderful looking cakes. As long as you’re not expecting your efforts to look exactly like the ones pictured in the book, at least not on your first go, you should find the recipes and bakes challenging but fun.
Kim-Joy’s creativity shines throughout. Her Halloween Cake with Meringue Ghosts is incredibly eye-catching but also very cut. Little dollops of meringue appear all over the cake and they’ve got little faces painted on to make them look like ghosts. It’s an example of just how creative Kim-Joy is and she brings a really fresh approach to baking. She’s clearly been inspired by the intricate and delicate bakes that come out of Japan but she puts her own twist on them.
The Cookies & Icing section features plenty of beautiful creations including alpaca shaped biscuits and little cookies iced to look like paintings. The latter are definitely not easy to make but if you practice enough, you should be able to get something fairly decent. The detail in this section – and in fact the whole book – is impressive, empowering you to have a go at these wonderful bakes.
Elsewhere in the book Square Cakes puts a different slant on tray bakes, encouraging you to unleash your artistic side and create something truly spectacular. I’d consider myself to be an intermediate baker and these cakes intimidated me. Kim-Joy’s look incredible and it’ll definitely take a few attempts to recreate them. That said, I’m up for the challenge and I’ll be working through them when I get the chance. Breads and Little Bakes weave animals into the bakes in creative ways such as turtle buns of little pig profiteroles in chocolate mud.
Something I liked in the book, and I haven’t seen in other recipe books, is that Kim-Joy often gives you variations so you can turn the bakes vegetarian or vegan. Not only does this provide an extra challenge for bakers it also means that you can bake cakes for your guests regardless of their dietary needs. Vegetarian and vegan baking is something that is really picking up momentum at the moment and the inclusion here is welcome.
If a challenge is what you’re after in the kitchen, then I would heartily recommend Kim-Joy’s book. Some of the bakes are easier than others and it will really push you creatively. The book is beautifully punctuated with colourful pictures of the bakes, showing you what you’re aspiring to make before you begin. I hope this if the first of many books from Kim-Joy and I can’t wait to get my hands on her next collection.
Publisher: Quadrille Release date: 22nd August 2019 Buy Baking With Kim-Joy