Baking and dessert cookbooks
Perfect your cupcakes and pastries with the best baking cookbooks
Tea with Bea
Bea Vo, Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99
Any Londoner with an interest in taking tea will have heard of Bea’s of Bloomsbury. The cake shop and café opened at the height of the (now thankfully waning) craze for cupcakes in 2008, and was quick to win fans. Its continued emphasis on using quality, seasonal ingredients, as well as its creative, largely US style of baking has helped it remain a London favourite and expand beyond Bloomsbury with new outlets in the One New Change mall in the City and in Chelsea.
In ‘Tea With Bea’, pastry chef Bea Vo hopes to encourage fans to replicate the Bea’s of Bloomsbury’s baking style, sidestepping her cafe's limited lunch menu to focus solely on afternoon tea.
Seven chapters feature more than 60 recipes broken down by bake type, from scones and tarts to cake bases and fillings. Among the collection, there’s a grown-up nutty lemon biscotti and US classics such as key lime pie, as well as ridiculously elaborate ‘special’ cakes including a decadent vanilla coconut cake with lemon curd and cheesecake filling.
Instructions are streamlined, easy to follow and the recipes we tried resulted in success. However, be warned: almost all of the recipes are for dedicated bakers with plenty of time and patience. Still, if effort is equal to reward, this book promises some wonderful treats for the willing.