What I've been cooking #4: John Whaite Bakes at Home


Another cookbook review. And another baking book. Last time I vowed to use a savoury cookbook but once again got sucked in by the gorgeous cakes in John Waites Bakes at Home. John Whaite won GBBO in 2012 and this is his second cookbook. I follow his Twitter and Instagram so when I spotted this book in a charity shop I picked it up for a couple of quid. It's full of both savoury and sweet bakes and I'd say it was a book for the slightly more adventurous. I'd been stuck in a bit of a rut with only baking simple things like carrot cake, banana loaf and lemon drizzle. All delicious but nothing ground-breaking. I fancied pushing myself a bit and this book was just the ticket.



Mojito cake
I baked this for my mum's birthday and slightly changed the recipe to include both lemons and limes because that was what I had to use it. It tasted exactly like a mojito and was absolutely delicious. At first I was a bit annoyed at the presentation as it didn't quite come out how I wanted it to. But the more I look at at, I actually feel quite proud. It was out of comfort zone and I'd pushed my baking skills quite hard for this cake. I made the lime curd from scratch and made the infused mint & rum filling. I vowed to really try new things this year in baking and feel like this was me keeping my promise. I'd definitely make this again.


Rhubarb, white chocolate and thyme traybake
Rhubarb was a fruit I'd never tried before and traybakes are my jam so this was always going to be made. It was very simple and took hardly any time at all. I loved the contrast of the gooey white chocolate with the tart rhubarb flavour. It went down an absolute treat at work with everyone declaring it was the best bake I'd make yet! Definitely a recipe that I'd rustle up again. It was fun to be a bit more adventurous with ingredients.


Giant jam tart
It always makes me nervous when I attempt a recipe and it doesn't have a picture. I've eaten enough jam tarts in my life to know what one looks like but still no pictures fills me with dread. This was extremely simple and used ready-made pastry - a god-send! It was my first time making jam, I was supposed to use both raspberries and blueberries but alas, my raspberries were rotten. A day before the best before date! I stupidly didn't reduce the sugar so the jam was extremely sweet. Note for the future!


Chocolate and pistachio torte
This was my first time attempting a torte. I'm not a huge chocolate fan but my boyfriend is so I always end up backing a type of chocolate dessert at home. This was a bit more of a faff than I originally thought it would be. But it was simple enough. I'm not sure my version really tastes like a torte but my friend commented that it tasted a bit like a brownie. Which I'll take! After all, who doesn't love a giant brownie? My chocolate drizzling leaves a lot to be desired but that helps to add to the rustic, homemade feel right?


Loaded Mac and cheese
Mac and Cheese is one of my last day on earth meals. If I knew I only had one day left then I would scoff this until I felt sick. So far Jamie Oliver's version is my favourite but I'm always keen to try new  versions of the dish. After skimming through the ingredients list I knew I had to make this. It looked like pure indulgence and perfect for a Sunday dinner. I was right! Three types of cheese made this absolutely heavenly and I adored the added veg of asparagus, mushrooms and spring onions. I think John may have push Mr Oliver from the top spot!

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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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