Monday, July 8, 2013

Alice in Bakingland

 What an absolute stunner of a book, inside and out. Totally gorgeous.

Author - Alice Arndell

Photographer - Murray Lloyd
Cover & internal design - Cheryl Rowe

My hat off to them all, and the publishing team at Harper Collins NZ

Hardback - $49.99
Here is the author's introduction which sums up the book and her aims in writing it:

There is something incredibly meaningful and touching about someone presenting you with something they’ve made with their own hands. Whether it is a simple biscuit or the most elaborate layer cake, everything about home baking and what it means comes down to us showing others how much we care by putting time and effort into something that exists only for a fleeting moment before it’s consumed by eager hands and mouths.

These days bakers come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life — as television programmes like Chelsea New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker show us. Some live in cities with access to an amazing array of ingredients and tools. Others, like me, live in small country towns where only basic supermarket ingredients are to hand. Some are taught by their grandmothers or mothers, others by recipe books and the internet.

With the recent resurgence of home baking I want this book to celebrate what it means to be a home baker. To show you that you don’t need fancy equipment or expensive ingredients to make delicious food. Most of all, I want to show you that anyone can do it, that being self-taught (like I am) isn’t an impediment to baking and that all you need is a little time, patience, practice and the right recipe. And once you’ve mastered the basics, the sky-high pavlova is the limit as you begin to experiment with your own flavour combinations and recipe creations.
Each of the recipes in this book has been developed by a home baker, in a home kitchen — the majority using supermarket-sourced ingredients. No fancy equipment or specialty ingredients in the cupboard; just good old-fashioned home baking at its best.

When I set out to write this book I wanted it to be for someone like me. Someone who bakes for their family and friends. Someone who bakes to fill the tins and satisfy a sweet tooth. Someone who bakes to save a few pennies or make healthier choices. Someone who bakes as a creative outlet or as an outlet for stress relief. Someone who bakes for special occasions, bakes every day or bakes just for the fun of it. Someone who bakes to spread a little happiness and joy. Someone who bakes to share love. In other words, I set out to write this book for a home baker.

I hope you relish filling your home with the smells and tastes of delicious home baking as much as I do.

Enjoy! Alice

The publishers have kindly let me publish a recipe from the book:

Profiteroles with Chocolate Pastry Cream

These are heaven on earth. Crisp choux pastry shells, amazing creamy chocolate custard and rich
chocolate ganache make them my favourite French pastry.

1 recipe choux pastry (see page 122)
1 recipe pastry cream (see page 114)
150 g dark chocolate, chopped
250 g dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup cream
Makes about 30 profiteroles

1 Make choux buns (see page 122) and set aside to cool.
2 Make pastry cream (see page 114) and stir in chopped chocolate at the end of Step 5 (i.e. once cooked but still in the pot). Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
3 Make ganache by heating the chocolate and cream in a microwave in short bursts or in bowl over a pot of simmering water.
4 To assemble, place a 3 mm round piping tip in the bottom of a disposable piping bag and fill with pastry cream. Use the piping tip to poke a small hole in the bottom of each choux bun then fill with pastry cream. Top with ganache and serve.

Simple cream puffs can be made by filling choux buns with sweetened whipped cream and dusting the tops with icing sugar.


Make chocolate éclairs by piping strips of choux pastry 10 cm long with a wide piping tip and baking as per the recipe. Fill with chocolate pastry cream and top with ganache, or fill with plain whipped cream and top with chocolate icing. Makes 20 éclairs.

© Alice in Bakingland by Alice Arndell
Published by HarperCollinsPublishers New Zealand - $49.99

Available from all good bookshops.
Visit Alice online at

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