Book Reviews,  Cookbooks

Book Review: Mary Berry’s Baking Bible: Revised and Updated

Mary Berry's Baking Bible: Revised and Updated: With Over 250 New and Classic RecipesMary Berry’s Baking Bible: Revised and Updated: With Over 250 New and Classic Recipes by Mary Berry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From the promo blurb: “Baking legend Mary Berry, longtime judge of The Great British Baking Show, presents this revised and updated edition of her seminal baking book, featuring 250 recipes, including 20 all-new bakes, updated photography, and Americanized measurements.”

This is a revised and updated edition of Mary Berry’s 2010 cookbook. I have not used her first edition, so my review is based solely on the contents of this edition. As an American cook, I was pleased to see the American measurements included alongside European ones. That’s going to save me a lot of math – I don’t really like math.

The first recipe I want to try is a Battenberg cake, I have wanted to make that since the day I first saw one in a Seattle bakery, decades ago. Maybe it’s finally time. Hopefully, Mary can help me check off this challenge from my bucket list. And since the cake gets trimmed before being fully wrapped in marzipan, I believe there will be no worries about it developing a soggy bottom! I’m happy that this recipe included a beautiful photograph so I have an ideal to strive for.

I also want to try making her Dorchester Crackers. With only six ingredients and simple instructions, what could possibly go wrong? Thank goodness, their photograph is included too.

And this recipe has my curiosity both piqued and frustrated, due to Mary’s comment. Regarding the recipe for Gateau Moka Aux Amandes she says, “This is one of my favorite coffee cakes, and it looks spectacular, too.” Such a tease, when we have no photograph to go by.

Why am I focusing so much on the photography? Well, I’ll tell you. While the pictures we have are delightful, there’s one thing wrong with them. They are too scarce. Many of the recipes aren’t represented with an accompanying picture. To be honest, I’d like to see each and every one of them in its final form. I want to be able to live up to Mary’s exceptional baking standards. The book is helpful enough to include descriptions of all the baking equipment, terminology, glossaries, conversion charts, and advice about ingredients. Why stop a few steps short of the finish line? Photograph every recipe!

My thanks to Mary Berry, Clarkson Potter, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a digital advance review copy of this book. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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