If you’re a fan of the Great British Baking Show (and it is such an enjoyable program, it’s hard not to become a fan after seeing just one episode!), then you know about Mary Berry. The popular judge is a well known food writer and is, unfortunately, not returning to the show next season. This is a loss to fans who love the charming judge and, though there are rumors that she might end up with another show on the BBC, it just won’t be the same without her. To keep her in your thoughts until she reappears on TV, you can pick up a copy of Mary Berry 100 Cakes and Bakes, a straightforward cookbook packed with some of her best recipes.
The book is part of a series of My Kitchen Table books, which compiles recipes with well known chefs. Mary’s is focused on desserts, of course. The book is divided into chapters that include everything from Swiss rolls to scones, as well as special occasion cakes when you want to make something that is a little less “everday.” The recipes are straightforward and clearly written, each illustrated with a gorgeous photo of the finished product to inspire you. They also cover a wide range of techniques, from delicate pavlovas to traditional Devonshire scones, though the recipes stay firmly on the friendly side of the scale, meaning that they’re suitable for novice and experienced bakers alike.
Like the recipes, the book is presented in a very informal way, with no introductory chapter to walk you through basic techniques or ingredients before getting into the recipes. It assumes that you have baked at least a few things before. It is also worth noting that the recipes are by weight (both grams and ounces), so you’ll need a kitchen scale to get the best results. Baking pan sizes are also given in both centimeters and inches.