Monday, 25 July 2016

Twist by Martha Collison - A Recipe Book Review

Twist Recipe Book by Martha Collison - A Cook Book Review

There's something almost irresistible about picking up recipe books in the supermarket for a quick flick through.

I've probably said it before, but I love growing my recipe book collection. Sure, the internet is excellent when you've got something specific in mind, but you can't beat a beautiful cookbook for a little foodie-inspiration.

My latest addition is this - Twist by Martha Collison of Great British Bake Off fame. Yes. I did need another baking book. One minute I'm buying dog treats in Waitrose, the next this beautiful book has somehow fallen into my basket... (Actually. I'm not sure I was even carrying a basket.)

Recipe from Twist by Martha Collison - A cook book review

My thoughts

What made me purchase Twist is that it really appeals to my principles of baking. I like a classic, but I like thinking about how I can change it, update it or add a little something extra. 

And this is exactly what Martha's proposing in her recipes. This isn't another book rolling out the same old standard cakes. She gives a few basic recipes, then follows them up with all kinds of inventive, yet oh-so-appealing variations.

I like a good brownie, but how about salted caramel and pretzel for a little added sweet 'n' salty loveliness?

Or how about playing with a lemon drizzle? I personally love the sound of Grapefruit Drizzle Cake but my mum and sister reacted with 'yuck' - so guess who won't be getting a slice?!

Twist by Martha Collison - A Recipe Book Review


What I also really like about this book is that the majority of the recipes are the kind of things I can bake at home on any old rainy afternoon. It's not all showstopper cakes that are best suited to a fancy dinner, or huge cakes that only survive a matter of hours before they are past their best. The recipes are all the kinds of thing I can pop in a cake tin and let my family munch through over a few days, no special event required.

On a similar note, I haven't spotted a single ingredient I don't recognise. Which is not so much a sign of my incredible baking knowledge, but more that these are basic, everyday items that can be found in any supermarket. No ordering off Amazon for these bakes! 

Twist by Martha Collison - A Recipe book review

What it doesn't have is loads of explanation behind the methods, ingredients and techniques, or stories behind the recipes. Which is fine - it's not what I'm looking for and it keeps the book simple and to the point, but this isn't one of those recipe books you can sit and read with a hot drink. And that's not to say there's no explanation either - even with the briefest of flick throughs I've learned about the role of gluten and how to manage it in everything from biscuits to choux pastry!

Twist by Martha Collison Great British Bake Off


 Test run

Eager to get some use from the book, I was straight into the kitchen and whipping up 'Millionaire's Flapjacks' - now that's a good baking combination! Crunchy flapjack topped with caramel and a crisp layer of chocolate - delicious.

Millionaires Flapjacks - Recipe from Martha Collison Twist

I followed the recipe exactly in order to give the book a good testing. The instructions were clear and unambiguous, meaning I could easily follow them and snapchat at the same time. (This is the kind of fun you'll find if you follow me!) The flavours were spot on and although the flapjack layer was a little too crisp for my liking, we'll blame the oven rather than the recipe.

Millionaire's Flapjack - By Recipe from Twist by Martha Collison
Millionaire's Flapjacks - Reviewing Twist by Martha Collison

 

What I want to try next


Honestly, I could try out nearly any of these recipes - there's nothing that looks overly complicated, ludicrously expensive or questionably flavoured.

But high on my 'to-bake' list are:
  • Raspberry and Pistachio Friands
  • Breakfast Muffins
  • Apricot, Pistachio and Honey Upside-Down Cake
  • Mojito Macarons
  • Turkish Delight Profiteroles

In conclusion?

Whether you've got wall-to-wall cookbooks or are looking to start your collection with a solid baking all-rounder, Twist would be high on my recommendations!

What twists do you like to put on a classic recipe?

Jennifer 
xXx

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22 comments

  1. All of these things look delicious! I agree I really hate it when a recipe has some really obscure ingredient that you can't get hold of anywhere!
    Ellie xxx

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    1. It's really frustrating! It's definitely something I look out for now when buying recipe books

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  2. oh my, looks like this book is full of delicious things! great review! xx

    xo
    http://itsevelina.com

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    1. It's a great book! Glad you liked the review :) x

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  3. This looks so cute! Martha was one of my favorite GBBO bakers.

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    Replies
    1. They pretty much all are my favourites by the end - I admire their skills! But yes, Martha was really good :)

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  4. Those flapjacks turned out so well - they look delicious!

    Jane / deluminators

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    1. I surprised even myself at how they turned out!

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  5. I loved Martha on GBBO! And this book looks right up my street - interesting yet simple recipes. Those flapjacks look amazing too!

    Georgie xo
    www.georgienicks.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. That's what I like about the book, it's all interesting but not too difficult!

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  6. The flapjacks look amazing and the book looks like quite a buy! I too have a growing recipe book collection though - just not enough time to cook!

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    Replies
    1. Haha yes, I'm really good at buying books and picking up recipes cards - less good at actually doing the cooking!

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  7. I loved her on Bake Off! I might just have to get this, it's nice to have something a bit different.

    eloue.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. Seriously, that shortbread looks amazing! I'm so tempted by the book, though a huge part of me is scared to buy a book by someone so much younger (ha!) - guess I'll be putting it on the Christmas list after reading your review! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

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    1. It photographed rather well! At one stage I thought it was just turning into a giant mess! Yes, it did make feel old though buying her book and then realising she's so much younger, yet so much more talented than me :D x

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  9. These look amazing!! Yours look perfect haha I wish my cakes came out looking this good ;)

    sophee.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Haha, well they're not quite perfect - it's good camera work ;)

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  10. The waitrose part made me giggle, as that's literally what happened to us!! My mum even said "oh god it's that snobby girl from Bake Off" at the start of the shop... by the end it was in the shopping trolly! :P I want to try the mojito macarons :)

    Bumble and Be

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  11. Oh my, you're an amazing baker! The presentation is just amazing! Oft, love the sound of this recipe book, although we can't say we own any baking one, so this would be a great action to our cook books! Thanks for sharing!

    Jessica & James
    Foodandbaker.co.uk

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  12. These actually look amazing and this has made me want this book so much! Can't get over how good the drizzle looks as well :) xxx

    Sam // What I Know Now

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  13. I have lots of cookbooks, but one can't have too many. I baked along the Bake Off last year, so I would like to try Martha's recipes. It's nice she uses simple ingredients that are easy to get from the supermarket.

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