My First Baking Book / Kids Can Cook Vegetarian

My First Baking Book
David Atherton, illustrated by Harry Woodgate
Walker Books

Great British Bake Off winner David Atherton has a new cookery book for young cooks and it’s bursting with exciting recipes, each with a healthy twist. It’s divided into five sections – breads, cakes, sweet biscuits and bites, pastries and finally, some extra special ‘showstoppers’ but first of all David offers users some helpful tips, ‘tricks’, a few facts and an equipment list.

I’ve certainly never thought of baking a loaf in a flowerpot but this is one of the ideas in the bread section and it was interesting to find chocolate chip buns in the same section – a recipe to try when I have young relations staying; that’s if I can tempt them way from all the alluring cakes in this book. The chocolate garden cups remind me of when we visit Udaipur, Rajasthan where the owner of our favourite cafe would quickly rustle up chocolate cup cakes (sans gummy worms) for us when they’d run out of the pre-baked ones. I think those were cooked actually in the cups rather than a baking tin like they are in David’s recipe.

My very favourite idea is the show stopping focaccia sunflower picture. This is actually a flatbread that looks like a work of art in Harry Woodgate’s illustrations. It’s the perfect thing to offer any Ukranian guests you might be hosting, or to bake with a primary school class where there are Ukranian children.

As with his previous books David puts exciting, creative twists on baked goodies that might otherwise seem relatively ordinary and there are plenty of those in this book, each one clearly and alluringly illustrated by Harry Woodgate.

Kids Can Cook Vegetarian
illustrated by Esther Coombs
Button Books

Comprising an introduction giving information on safety, equipment and basic techniques and more than thirty recipes divided into three sections, this is for a vegan like myself, a very welcome addition to the Kids Can cooking series.

First come the ‘snacks and sides’ – savoury treats and three dips. Main meals is the largest part and includes breakfast burritos, falafels – my mouth is already watering at the prospect of making these, a yummy sounding roasted vegetable bowl, bean burgers and carrot hot dogs – now there’s another great idea. 

For those with a penchant for pasta, several of the recipes in this section include some kind of pasta, though I rather like the thought of courgetti, which looks like a noodle dish but uses long thin strips of courgette. This is definitely going on my list to try.

There are six ‘sweet treats’, two of which are for pancakes (blueberry and banana) but the recipe that is top of my must make treat list is the courgette brownies.

With easy to follow, step by step instructions for each recipe, illustrated by Esther Coombs, this book offers hours of fun in the kitchen (under the watchful eye of an adult) and an assortment of goodies to look forward to consuming. Wash those hands, put on your apron and off you go.

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