|The Messy Baker by Charmian Christie|
The Messy Baker is a recipe book that focuses not on the aesthetically pleasing, but on what should be the primary focus for baking: flavour. It promises to carry recipes from and for a 'real' kitchen.
I don't know what sort of oversize house Christie lives in, but her list of 'Can't Do Without Items' would fill my kitchen to overflowing. I'd have no space for food or anything to eat it with. But that aside, her introduction serves as an encyclopaedia of all things baking, and I learned a lot about utensils and ingredients by reading through it. The style is unthreatening, accessible, perfect for a complete amateur like me.
The recipes are grouped by different taste sensations: flaky, crumbly, sloppy, smudgy etc. Which does make the book a little tricky to navigate, but each section has a mix of savoury and sweets that can be mixed and matched across the sections for the perfect culinary experience.
Full of good advice and good recipes, I might have to add this to my physical collection - if there's ever a British version. Because despite the loveliness of the presentation and the food, I couldn't get used to converting cups and Fahrenheit. It would be too much of a hassle to be constantly looking up the conversions. When you make mistakes as easily and as often as I do, any distraction is dangerous!