I love recipe books. Even if I’m not making anything I love to look through them and get ideas for another day. I love pretty recipe books even more, those books where you can flick through and admire all the lovely photos. In Australia I took a trip to ‘Books for Cooks’ in Melbourne. It is an amazing shop, wall upon wall upon wall of cook books, every cook book you can ever imagine from the old to the new. I could have spent all day in there. If you are in Melbourne it is worth a visit, you will be amazed and find yourself lost in there. I came across a lovely little book called ‘The Ritz London Book of Afternoon Tea, The Art and Pleasure of Taking Tea, published in 1986. It opens with a quote from 1708, Colley Cibber, The Lady’s Last Stake, “Tea! Thou soft, thou sober, sage, and venerable liquid, thou female tongue-running, smile-soothing, heart-opening, wink-tipping cordial, to whose glorious insipidity I owe the happiest moment of my life, let me fall prostrate.” While that does sound rather strangely enthusiastic about tea, I am too tea lover, be that English Breakfast or a lovely fruity tea, and a fan of afternoon tea too. The book is lovely, it tells of the history of tea at the Ritz, how to make proper cucumber sandwiches and has some lovely afternoon tea recipes.However, despite my love of recipe books sometimes it is nice to have recipes instantly, maybe you are out and about and fancy whipping something up later, with a recipe app you can get some ideas instantly and buy the ingredients while you are out.
I recently purchased The Primrose Bakery App, for just a fraction of the cost of a recipe book you can have 70 Primrose Bakery recipes instantly on your iPhone. The app has 70 recipes, divided into cupcakes, layer cakes, loaves and slices, biscuits and icings, with recipes including banoffee pie cupcakes, strawberry cake and coconut and raspberry slice. Each recipes has an overview giving you the time to make and difficulty, a list of ingredients and the steps to follow. It is also full of some lovely looking pictures, has the option to create shopping lists and has tips section with videos on how to ice a cupcake and how to make a piping bag. A lovely little purchase I think. Now I can read recipes on the train too! And as an added bonus, when you are baking you don’t even need to worry about getting your screen dirty because you don’t even need to touch it, the touch free option means you can just wave your hand over the screen to change page! To test out the app I opted to make the Apple and Blueberry Cake, a recipe which can also be found in The Primrose Bakery Book.
To make this cake you will need:
225g self raising flour
pinch of salt
175g caster sugar
2 apples (I found I needed 3) – peeled and thinly sliced
2tbsp apricot jam
Preheat the oven to 190C and grease and line a loaf tin. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and add the butter (the app tells you to sift the flour, salt and butter into a bowl….not quite sure how you are supposed to sift butter!). In a food processor or using your fingers mix until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and eggs and mix again. Pour half of the batter into the tin. Scatter half the sliced apples and half the blueberries over the batter and top with the remaining cake mix. Arrange the remaining apple slices and blueberries on the top of the cake. Bake in the oven for about 1 hours. When the cake is ready to come out gently heat the arpicot jam and when you take the loaf out brush the jam over the top of the cake. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack. Enjoy warm or cold.
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