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Christmas Gift Guide – the perfect books for bakers

Christmas will soon be on us and we’re hoping to help take the stress out of choosing the right present.

Many of us have bakers in our circle of friends and family, and with so many books on the market it’s hard to know which ones are the best. I’ve collected together five books that have seriously impressed me this year that I think will be perfect for any bakers you know.

From The Hairy Bikers through to 2018 ‘The Great British Bake Off’ winner Rahul Mandal, there’s something here for every skill level…

The Hairy Bikers – ‘Brilliant Bakes’

The Hairy Bikers - Brilliant Bakes
Credit: Seven Dials

The Hairy Bikers are without a doubt legends in the baking world and there’s a very good reason for that – you can always trust the duo to give you incredible recipes that you can make at home! Their latest book ‘Brilliant Bakes’ is their best yet and I can safely say I’ve never baked so many things out of one book in my life! Si and Dave cover all the bases offering a collection of savoury, sweet and gluten-free bakes. These are the kind of recipes that you can impress the family with and a lot of them will last for more than one meal. My particular favourite is the savoury bakes as there are loads of delicious pies in there – mac & cheese pie, curried chicken pie, corned beef has galette, to mention just three. For bread enthusiasts there are more technical bakes like babka and focaccia or simpler bakes like Hoikkado (Japanese Milk Bread) and sesame seed bagels. There’s also plenty of dessert ideas such as the mouth-watering gin key lime pie and a whole bunch of canapés including the eye-watering vindaloo sausage rolls.

Buy The Hairy Bikes – ‘Brilliant Bakes’ now

Cupcake Jemma – ‘Crumbs & Doilies’

Cupcake Jemma - Crumbs and Doilies
Credit: Michael Joseph

Cupcake Jemma aka Jemma Wilson is an internet sensation thanks to her regular videos showing amateur bakers how to master key baking techniques and make delicious bakes. Co-owner of the London store ‘Crumbs & Doilies’, this book of the same name is her first release and it features more than 90 recipes. Offering a range of beautiful cakes, bakes, cookies and brownies, this is the perfect book for those with a super sweet tooth who like their bakes bright, colourful and fun.

Buy Cupcake Jemma – ‘Crumbs & Doilies’ now

Jane Dunn – ‘Jane’s Patisserie Celebrate!’

Jane's Patisserie: Celebrate!
Credit: Ebury Press

Jane Dunn is the woman behind the online blog ‘Jane’s Patisserie’, which has catapulted her to baking stardom. This year saw Dunn release ‘Jane’s Patisserie Celebrate!’, her second number one best-selling book. What makes Dunn so special is that she’s made baking accessible to everyone. She specialises in fusing well-known chocolate bar brands with innovative bakes, and her recipes are super simple meaning that beginners can have a go at them. Dunn’s recipes are all about the flavours and they’re the kind of naughty treats you can’t resist.

Buy Jane Dunn – ‘Jane’s Patisserie Celebrate!’ now

The Great British Bake-Off – ‘Favourite Flavours’

The Great British Bake Off: Favourite Flavours
Credit: Sphere

The latest series of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ has just finished on Channel 4 but the tie-in book should keep any would-be baker occupied until the next series. Packed with recipes from Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and the bakers, ‘Favourite Flavours’ is all about exploring the different ways to use flavour to create satisfying and enjoyable bakes. Fans of the show can recreate some of the iconic bakes from this year’s series, including plenty of the technical challenges, and there are so many recipes packed in that it should keep any baker busy for months!

Buy The Great British Bake-Off – ‘Favourite Flavours’ now

Rahul Mandal – ‘Showstopping Cakes’

Rahul Mandal - Showstopping Cakes
Credit: Kyle Books

Everyone’s favourite winner of ‘The Great British Bake Off’, Rahul Mandal combines science and baking for a collection of truly jaw-dropping bakes. If a challenge is what you’re after, beyond the more basic recipe books out there, then ‘Showstopping Bakes’ is the perfect choice. Half of the book is dedicated to helping you master and understand the basics in terms of frosting, fillings and decoration, then Rahul digs deep into his library to share incredible, and challenging, bakes.

Buy Rahul Mandal – ‘Showstopping Cakes’ now

Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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