I love to bake at any time of the year but now there’s a bit of a nip in the air, it’s even more pleasing to indulge in some serious pie, cake and biscuit making. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen devising and concocting but I love to see what other food writers are up to and a couple of beautiful new baking books have arrived on my desk recently.
For fans of traditional cooking, National Trust Simply Baking by Sybil Kapoor shows how key seasonal ingredients have influenced our baking over the centuries. Rather than dividing chapters into techniques or styles, it covers the dairy, the mill, the kitchen garden, orchard, hedgerow and larder in turn. It contains just enough historical snippets to place the recipes in context without going into too much detail, alongside a selection of mouthwatering recipes from rustic Bacon Soda bread and Damson Roly Poly to an elegant Cardamom Pear Tart Tatin.
Nordic drama, furniture, fiction and now food are in vogue. Scandilicious Baking by Norwegian food writer Signe Johansen is a feast of Scandinavian treats. Beautifully photographed by Tara Fisher (who also shot A Country Cook’s Kitchen - ahem, available from all good book shops), it contains tempting recipes such as Danish layercake, Cinnamon Bun Cake and Pumpkin and Sage Muffins. Is it time for cinnamon buns to be the new cup cakes..?
And if you’re in the mood for some seasonal baking, turn to the October issue of Country Living magazine to find my recipes for Sweet Pumpkin Pie and Fruity Tea Loaf