Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Cookbook Review - Twist by Martha Collison

Full disclosure - I'm a huge fan of the Great British Bake Off, which is why I scooped up Martha Collison's Twist right after it was published. I was prepared to like it, just like I was prepared to like the other GBBO books that I've acquired over the years. So far it hasn't let me down.

My favorite nut cookie

Italian plum, pistachio and honey cake
Twist, which is purely a baking book, plays on the idea of taking a basic recipe for say cookies and giving the user ideas for small changes - or twists - that will produce a variety of cookies with completely different feels. I started with the chocolate chip cookie variation of My Favorite Cookie, which had a rich, dense texture, and then moved on to My Favorite Nut Cookie. I followed the book's suggestion to make my own peanut butter, which had delicious results.

In addition to the cookies, I've made two cakes from Twist - the Pistachio and Lime Courgette Cake and the Apricot, Pistachio, and Honey cake (but substituting Italian plums) - and they were both great. One thing that I really like about the recipes is that they're not overly sweet. As I've started baking more, I have less patience for recipes that rely on sugar to be the killer ingredient. This is definitely not the case with Twist.

Ingredients: Mainly standard and easy to source. Use your common sense with substitutions.
Pictures: Many, and they're all beautiful.
Skill level: Definitely good for beginners but the flavor combinations make it fun for more experienced bakers.
Keep or cull: Definitely a keeper.

Pistachio and lime courgette cake