I am a little bit glad that Netflix now runs the most current Great British Baking Show because I don’t have to worry as much about spoilers and cookbooks. A few seasons/years ago, I had to be out of town for about two weeks in the middle of when a season was airing, ended up in a bookstore in London, and found out that Nadiya had won the season because she had a new cookbook out on display. This past season I also got spoiler-ed but that was some social media accounts I follow that are UK based, and Netflix had a delay of a few days after the episode released in the UK before airing it here. I do kind of miss the PBS connection though, especially since finding out via cookbook is far more forgivable than social media spoilers.
Anyways, when the most recent season ended I went online to see if a companion cookbooks was coming out since that’s the way it’s been the past few seasons. I pre-ordered The Big Book of Amazing Cakes about 2 days before I could have picked it up in the store, so I guess that really wasn’t time saving but oh well.
This book does do some things differently. You expect that there are a combination of recipes by contestants and recipes by the book writer. This book has recipes by the bakers, but only the current season; it’s actually a mix of nearly all the past seasons which was kind of cool although I didn’t remember who several people were. I feel like I should remember Rob from Season 2 but I don’t; his raspberry chocolate cake look really tasty though, and mostly do-able except for some of the fiddly decorations, something I’m not great at and usually skip. It’s the same thing for Jo’s Chocolate and Orange cupcakes; I love the sound of the recipe, but I do not remember who she was (also Season 2). There are also recipes from most of the most recent season’s (I was happy to see Jamie’s Licorice Sponge cake, even though Jamie himself annoyed me a little, this is totally something I’d like). There’s also a few recipes by Prue and Paul, and I don’t remember the judges contributing to the series book before. The thing is though that while the baker recipes are easy to spot because they come with pictures of the baker, Prue’s and Paul’s are not. I found one of Prue’s (Angle Cake Slices), but not Paul. The index is cued to ingredients, so searching by baker/author is not an option. One of the notable new features is that the main book uses US measurements as opposed to having to convert to UK. There also seems to have been a real effort to include vegan and gluten free options as well, which I know reflects the more recent seasons but I don’t remember noticing that in the cookbook before this one as much.
The only real complaint I have is that I don’t have much opportunity to have real reason to bake a bunch of cakes, and this book, unlike most of the past ones, only focuses on cake. Not only are the pictures pretty, but a lot of the recipes are things a reasonably competent home baker like me could pull off, and I really want to, but then what do I do with all that cake?