Saturday, 16 July 2011

'I love to bake' by Tana Ramsey- book review

This is the fourth or fifth cookery (or recipe) book from Tana Ramsey, its called 'I love to bake', and the picture above is one of the recipes we made from the book this week.
The title is a bit deceptive, as from first look you might think this is a book about baking cakes and the like but its not. 'I love to bake', covers a range and number of different savoury and sweet dishes and things to bake that essentially need oven cooking, hence the title. So here you might have savoury dishes and stews like 'baked tomatoes' and 'lamb shanks and white beans', alongside tarts and flans, of both the savoury and sweet kind. In fact some of the savoury dishes, like the meat, fish and vegetable based recipes (such as the 'lamb and lentil casserole', 'fish lasagne', 'stuffed aubergines' and 'mushroom and taleggio tart') seem the most tempting and appealing to make.

The photographs in this book probably do not do all the dishes the justice they deserve, some are better (the 'nectarine pavlova' and 'baked peaches') than others and some of the photographs are quite dull and could have been better presented. Positively, some of these recipes do appear to have been made by children as the pictures depict.

The basics are covered in that there is a section of bread recipes, muffins, cakes and biscuits. A short chapter at the end of the book covers festive ideas for Christmas and Halloween (cakes, savouries and biscuits). The book is dotted with photographs of Tana and her four children.

If you are an experienced cook or baker and looking for new, exciting and challenging dishes to make, then I would say this book would not suit your needs. But if you like to follow easy and fail safe family type recipes, that most people will enjoy, then you will get a lot out of this book.

Most families would really enjoy these recipes and they would suit both everyday menus and other occasions, like cakes and biscuits needed for baking events at school fetes etc.

Tana has said in her introduction that she has set out to deliver "simple and real" family recipes and she does just that.

We (that's my good self and the hired help) tried out Tana's recipe for white chocolate, cranberry and coconut cookies. I have to say we were very pleasantly surprised with the result. The recipe produced quite a light sponge textured, buttery, crumbly biscuit that was packed with flavour. We loved them and would make them again, they were given a 10 out of 10 by the tasters here.

With thanks to Octopus Books who sent me this book to review.

The recipe in action.

 The finished cookies.


  1. As the official 'taster' I can verify that these are some of the nicest cookies I've had in a long while! Highly recommended. W.

  2. Thank you for being chief 'taster' and my helper in the kitchen. x

  3. Very valuable service in testing these recipes. I bought Tana's first book and it was soon on the clear out pile. The recipes were inaccurate in many cases and some were just so lack lustre and disappointing. The reviews on Amazon were glowing and it was evident that they had been wooed by Gordon's missus without actually venturing into the kitchen!

  4. Thanks for your comments.
    Yes I'd seen the other reviews on her books and some were quite critical, and that's part of the reason why I wanted to make something from the book. I didn't choose these to make (the picture of them did not look that nice TBH) these were my tasters choice. Tonight we are trying the lamb shank recipe for dinner, it is mid July after all!!


Please leave a comment...if you have tried one of my recipes I'd love feedback, and thank you for taking time to pop by to read my blog.

Susan x