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Return to The Primrose Bakery

October 15, 2011

A few weeks back, prior to the “Big North American Adventure“, I confessed to a huge pile of new baking and cookery books gracing the Cupcake and Bake bookshelves…and promised a schedule of regular reviews of these new titles – all of which have been released in good time for the Christmas present season!

First up?  “The Primrose Bakery Book” by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas.

This is the second book written by the team behind the Primrose Bakery (to be found in Covent Garden and Primrose Hill, London).    Whilst I’ve yet to visit the actual shops, I bought the first book Cupcakes from The Primrose Bakerywhen it was first published and found their recipes to be easy to follow and reliable.

Like the many other small privately owned bakeries that sprung up as a result of the cupcake frenzy of recent years, Primrose started up on the back of the popularity of the cupcake, but have extended their range over the years to include layer cakes, breakfast bakes, pastries, biscuits and loaf cakes and this second book contains many of their most popular offerings from this extended range.

The book is delightful, over 230 pages of bright colourful photographs accompanying a good variety of bakes.  The Primrose team are photographed “reportage” style, following them through their working days.  The recipes themselves all seem to be easy to follow (as in the first book) and the photographs that accompany every recipe (A* for this from me!) are beautifully shot, attractively styled and gives the amateur baker a clear end result to aim for!

For my first review of this book I chose the deceptively simply decorated “Coconut Cake”.    I’d had a good dig around my post holiday cupboard and found some dessicated coconut to use up, so this was the obvious choice.

Coconut Cake

The recipe was very simple to follow, completely clear and understandable and used a relatively small number of ingredients (which means you can use your cupboard staples to “whip up”  this cake).     1.5 hours after popping the cake in a moderately hot oven the cake came out beautifully golden and smelling fantastic.

We cut the cake the same day, having first applied a coating of candy pink buttercream icing, and found the cake to be very tasty with the copious amounts of coconut included in the sponge mix giving a lovely texture to the bake.   Over the next few days this same coconut kept the cake moist and very “eatable” indeed; in fact I think this cake was all the better for keeping a couple of days!

I’ve popped a few photos of my cake in this post; frankly it is not as beautiful as the bake photographed in the book, but I ran out of desiccated coconut which compromised the amount for the final decoration and I was icing the cake about five minutes before it was going to be cut and eaten (!)…but I absolutely can vouch for the utterly wonderful scrumptiousness of this cake. YUM!

So, first bake a success.  More to come very soon….

Have you baked from The Primrose Bakery Book?  Which recipes have you made and what can you recommend??

The book is published by “Square Peg” with an RRP of £17.99, but of course you can find it at a number of different price points at all the popular online booksellers if you have a mooch about.

Denise x

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