You know we’re heading into autumn and the inevitable run up to Christmas when ‘The Great British Bake Off’ returns to Channel 4 for a new series. This year’s crop of bakers have been winning the hearts of the nation as they try their best to conquer the various challenges set and wow with their showstoppers. If I were to hazard a guess at this point, I’d say the final three is looking pretty good for Sandro, Janusz and Maxy but anything can happen between now the final! While we patiently wait for the next instalment, there’s a welcome distraction in the form of the latest ‘Bake Off’ book ‘Favourite Flavours’.
As has become customary, each series spawns an accompanying book that features recipes from the bakers along with contributions from the judges – Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith – who also provide an introduction at the start of the book. A hefty tome, this instalment contains 80 recipes spanning sweet and savoury bakes split into six different categories – ‘Spicy & Aromatic’, ‘Tart & Tangy’, ‘Fresh & Fruity’, ‘Sweet & Sticky’, ‘Nutty & Earthy’, and ‘Rich & Creamy’. To be honest, the titles of those sections alone is enough to have my salivating and that’s before I even dived into the recipes.
Those who’ve been glued to their TVs during the latest series, will find plenty of familiar bakes among the recipes here. The technical challenges, including Paul’s Spicy Beef Tacos and Prue’s Lemon Meringue Pie, are here so if you fancy putting yourself to the test you can do. If you want to put yourself in the bakers’ shoes, you might want to ignore the step-by-step instructions and see how far you get. If you really want a challenge, the recipe for Janusz’s Fish & Chip Shop Smörgåstårta is just the ticket – although personally, I’m not sure I’d want to eat it!
Other than those familiar recipes, the book is full of a wide variety of different bakes. If it’s layer cakes you’re after, then you’re in luck with bakes such as the Coffee & Ginger Layer Cake, or the Praline & Apricot cake. Syabira, who is the baker most likely to deliver something new on this series, contributes her delicious recipe for Swirled Curry Puffs, which are every bit as scrumptious as they sound. For the more adventurous baker, you can try your hand at the Chocolate & Hazelnut Entremets, which are a bit more effort than many of the recipes here but will be a great centrepiece for your dinner party.
One of the things I always love at the ‘Bake Off’ books is they introduce you to things you’ve probably never heard of. In this book, I was drawn to the tantalising ‘Wild Garlic & Goat’s Cheese Gözleme’ (stuffed Turkish flat bread) and the intriguing Indian treat Gulab Jamun (deep-fried milk dough in syrup). The recipe I can’t wait to try though is the Italian Maritozzi, a bun with a tang of honey and orange zest filled with vanilla cream.
Alongside the six sections, there is information about all of this year’s bakers along with a guide to the essential tools and tips you need in the kitchen. Towards the end of the book, there’s conversion tables and cook’s notes, which are invaluable, along with tips on making bread and baking in general.
‘The Great British Bake Off: Favourite Flavours’ is a must-have for fans of the show. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the much-loved series and it’ll keep amateur bakers, like myself, busy until the next series comes around. Packed with wonderful ideas, and sure to challenge any home baker, the book should help you liven up your next dinner party or social occasion, and it’ll definitely ensure that you impress with your future bakes.
Publisher: Sphere Release date: 29th September 2022 Buy ‘The Great British Bake Off: Favourite Flavours’ now