A couple of weeks ago I was intrigued to find a new series of cookbooks in my local supermarket. As someone who cannot go to the shop without coming home with a magazine or yet another cookbook, I was delighted to see two little books on special offer for 99p featuring everyday brands that are in everyone’s storecupboards. The books in question were from the brand new series “Best Loved Recipes” which takes one branded product per book and bases 30 recipes around this product.
The publisher of this series is Hachette, who say “With the Best Loved Recipe Collection those kitchen favourites are transformed into delicious dishes you will want to make time and time again,”
Their website also states :
30 superb recipes in each book.
Each issue comes with a hardback pocket size book.
Each recipe is clearly laid out.
The recipes are simple, yet delicious to make.
The first two books in the series which sold for a special introductory price of 99p were incredible value and featured Lyle’s Golden Syrup and Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. The books were wrapped up in packaging so it was very difficult to see what recipes were featured in the books until you had bought them already!
Once I had unpacked my shopping I settled down to look at the books and to be honest I had mixed feelings about it. The book’s title is “30 best loved recipes” but upon looking at the books it was clear that not all 30 recipes were recipes at all, merely serving suggestions. I don’t call Fruity Breakfast Porridge or Crumpets with golden syrup a recipe. In the Dairy Milk book as one of my friends on Twitter pointed out, there was a recipe for Dairy Milk covered pretzels (which you can already buy in packets!)
Having said that, though I was impressed with most of the other recipes and being as I use Dairy Milk and Lyles Golden syrup a lot in my baking, I was glad of some more recipes to add to the repetoire and there were some different and unusual ideas.
Last week I was able to buy the third and fourth titles in the series at the standard price of £2.99 each, which I didn’t think was too bad a price. These were for McVities digestive biscuits and for Cathedral City Cheddar.
However, as a lover of using McVities digestive biscuits broken up in Rocky Road or crushed as a cheesecake base I was delighted to see some more recipe ideas of how to use them in baking. Even so, to call the book “30 Best Loved Recipes” was stretching it a bit thin- a digestive biscuit with a glass of milk or with a piece of cheese is NOT a recipe! I will be trying out the Digestive Cupcakes and the Lemon Slices though. The Cathedral City book was also interesting although I did laugh out loud at the idea of melted cheese on top of chips! I do like the idea of the scones and the cheese stars though.
Will I persevere with the rest of the series? Yes, I would like to see what is coming up next, If it is a product I have in my cupboard then I will buy the book, if not, then no. I believe there will be Bonne Maman Jam , Smarties and Nutella books coming up to name a few. Wonder what the Nutella one will have in it? Nutella on toast perhaps?
Anyway, as I like to try out all the recipe books I buy I had to get down and bake something from one of the Best Loved books that I’d bought so far. I decided on baking the Lyle’s Golden Syrup and Apricot Flapjacks.
The recipe itself was a simple one and ideal for a beginner in the kitchen or something to bake with the kids. I didn’t want anything too taxing as I’d had a busy day and wanted to make something quick that the children could have a piece of when they came in starving from school!
All I had to do was gently melt butter, demerera sugar and the Lyles Golden Syrup in a pan. When this had melted I mixed in some rolled oats, chopped dried apricots, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds altogether until well combined.
Finally the mixture was pressed down into a greased and lined square loose bottomed tin and baked in the oven for about 25 minutes.
Once they had cooled down I marked the flapjacks into 12 pieces and turned them out onto a plate. They went down very well with my children as I didn’t tell them about the extra fruit or seeds in them. It worked, by the following day all the flapjacks had gone!