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For the bake-off wannabe

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

A photo of a cake.
Courtesy of Amazon

By Mark Haskell

For those who adore “The Great British Baking Show” (GBBS) and baking altogether, this is the book for you. “A Good Day to Bake” is full of 70 sweet and savory recipes for any day of the week that you want to bake, accompanied by flavor.

Having watched the GBBS for a number of years, it presented me with a want and desire to learn how to bake. What I baked, because of the show, was a spin on an upside down cake.

My version used different ingredients such as blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. Other

ingredients included strawberry Icelandic Skyr, muscovado sugar, and other ingredients I had in the cabinets.

A fact that you, the readers, may not know is that Benjamina Ebuehi was a 2016 contestant on the GBBS, and she was a quarter finalist on that season. In this book, Ebuehi writes so positively about cakes and her recipes speak to a more natural, seasonal, and down to earth way of baking.

The chapters in the book are titled “herbs & tea,” “stone fruit & berries,” “vegetables,” “best of beige,” “spice cupboard,” and “chocolate.”

An example of a recipe that was fantastic to make were the rosemary and honey scones from the “herbs & tea” section.

These scones are a go-to for treats when you are short on time and already have all the ingredients on hand. These scones are delicious and such a delight for satisfying the munchies.

What makes the scones so special are being made with honey and rosemary and a glaze made with the two ingredients. The other special element to these scones are the addition of butter or clotted cream and an extra drizzling of honey to the top of these scrumptious scones.

Another recipe, within the “herbs & tea” section, that looked amazing and tasted fantastic, are the tarragon blondies. Do you imagine tarragon being in dessert?

I most certainly did not imagine that, but they are nonetheless delicious. Tarragon, as it is, is not a commonly used or popular herb and, likewise, blondies are outshined by their popular sibling, the brownie.

Because these two foods are outcasts, they will be right at home together and create something very unexpected and delicious.

The special components of a recipe such as this are tarragon sprigs, five to be exact, vanilla bean paste, clove, white chocolate, and macadamia nuts.

Despite all the unusual ingredients, it was a lovely treat to create for my family and to share with friends, family, and neighbors.

A recipe that I would love to try and create is Ebuehi’s malted milk caramel cake. I will fully admit to the reader that this cake is very unfamiliar to me because I have never heard of malted milk or malt extract.

The recipe says the cake provides a double dose of malt – the powder in the sponge and dark, sticky malt extract in the caramel that brings the cake a rich and almost fruity flavor. This cake, if made, will be a hit for me and my family because it is so atypical for us to create.

As a baker and a fan of the GBBS, this cookbook and any other that I have read and made recipes from have brought me a sense of enjoyment by measuring ingredients, doing the prep work, and waiting for the final product. Slicing up cake is a wonderful thing that deserves to be enjoyed all year round no matter what.

If I was to give this book a rating, I would present it with an A because this is a cookbook that embraces the simplicity and mindfulness of baking. This book is a tome for bakers everywhere

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