What’s better than heading over to your favourite bakery to grab a warm crumbly chocolate chip cookie or a moist cupcake on a cold winter’s day? Well, bringing the bakery home, of course! And to help you do just that is a book of recipes written by none other than Lal Majid of Lal’s patisserie fame.
I consider myself something of a dessert connoisseur, and I often find myself (oddly enough) fantasising about the way a cake rises in an oven, or about mixing ingredients at various stages.
Having said that, I’ve never been a huge fan of Lal’s desserts, and I always felt there was something ‘off’ about them. This book, however, is full of marvellous and simple recipes. Personally, I believe that if something tastes good, it should be easy to make; nothing too complicated has ever tasted good to me, especially when it comes to dessert. What I loved about this book was the honesty with which the recipes were written, the simple methods and the convenient ingredients. What did turn me off a little were the pictures — no normal person can make a cupcake look that beautiful, or cinnamon rolls that perfect. I prefer pictures that can take you through the various stages of baking, like a picture of the batter at some stage for instance. But the truth is that presentation sells and our ‘yummy’ hormone kicks in at the sight of sumptuous-looking deserts.
Another thing that stands out is the way in which the book has been published: it’s no less in quality than any foreign recipe book. From the layout to the pictures, the font and finally the colour, it can easily be compared with a Martha Stewart or BBC Food cookbook.
So if you find this book on a shelf, do not hesitate to pick it up. I guarantee that it’s a great way for a beginner to learn the basics of baking.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, February 10th, 2013.
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