Cookbook Review: Mary Berry Foolproof Cooking

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Who doesn’t love a bit of Mary Berry huh? I have a couple of well-thumbed Mary Berry books in my extensive cookbook collection – both vintage and modern – so I was keen to see another of her most recent books. Foolproof Cooking was published earlier this year to accompany her TV series of the same name.

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I’m sure that Mary Berry needs no introduction whatsoever so I am not going to insult my readers intelligence however I will tell you, in case you didn’t know, that another of her recent books, Mary Berry Cooks, was the fastest-selling hardback non-fiction title in 6 years and was the Number 1 food and drink title in 2014. Her popularity is certainly not waning.

As you would expect with Mary, the recipes contained in the book are straightforward and simple and for the most part quick, though some do take a little more prep than others. Generally all recipes would be suitable for a novice cook or someone less confident in the kitchen.

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The book is split into several sections as follows; Sharing Platters & Nibbles, Breads Soups & Starters, Fish, Poultry & Game, Pork Beef & Lamb, Pasta & Rice, Salads & Vegetables, Desserts & Puddings, Sweet Pies & Tarts, Cakes & Biscuits and The Foolproof Kitchen.  Each section contains foolproof no-fuss advice and tips.

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I really liked the Foolproof Kitchen section at the back of the book. In it Mary takes you through the essentials for a well-stocked store cupboard – splitting this between the basics and extras to enhance your cooking. She also talks about what you can and can’t freeze and how to prepare food for the freezer and there is a really helpful section on foolproof family food. These pages give you some tips on preparing tasty, nutritious family food when you’re short on time and on a budget – most of us know what a challenge that can be!

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My only bugbear with the book is that there is not a colour photo accompanying each recipe. It’s not a huge deal but it is something I like to see in a cookbook. I am won over by a nice picture and always more inclined to cook something if I have seen it first – I’m quite a visual person.

Recipes I have put on my “to try” list include;

Tomato & Basil Salad with Whipped Goat’s Cheese and Parma Ham
Spiced Blackened Salmon
All-in-One Fish Gratin
Chicken & Bacon Lattice Pie
Mexican Tortilla Bake
Passion Fruit Pots
Creme Caramel
Apple Frangipane Tart
Apple & Apricot Pie

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Can’t wait to give a few of these ago, and of course when I do I will be telling you all about how they went on this here blog!

Mary Berry Foolproof Cooking is published by BBC Books and is available to buy from Amazon with a current selling price of £9.99 (RRP £25).

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