This is a story about a scatterbrained woman, who has a love of baking, trying to replicate ALL the recipes in Mary Berry's ‘Baking Bible’.
Mary Berry is one the UK's most respected cookery writers and TV cooks.
She has sold over five million books worldwide!!
Mary Berry summons up the words ‘reliable’, ‘dependable’ and above all else, ‘success’! (In fact, in 2004, Mary was voted in the Top Three by BBC Good Food for the category “Most Reliable Celebrity Cook Books”). To look through one of her many cookery books brings a feeling of warmth and comfort. As a young child I poured over her books, turning each page with eager anticipation! I would look forward to Christmas time and birthdays, as the extended family would be invited and I would start to make cakes and bakes. I spent ages planning what I would make. To see people enjoying something that I had made was a powerful drug! Never one who was particularly academic or skilled with crafts, cooking was something I could do, so I kept on doing it. The problem was that, as with many others, that I found that I had few 'safe' options. I would always turn to Mary Berry's cake books but, out of a book of 50 recipes, I would only make the few easier and safer options, never daring to make something more complicated in case it failed and the enjoyment on people’s faces would disappear. This seems ironic when, as I have said myself, Mary Berry is reliable! Surely I could try any recipe I liked with the confidence that I would easily master whatever I chose to make? Maybe so, but a three tiered maple syrup cake or Danish pastries can look pretty daunting to a young child, and I suppose those feelings have stuck with me.
My sister kindly gave me Mary's Baking Bible several birthdays ago and I am ashamed to say that, although I have spent some time lovingly looking through it, I have yet to try a single recipe! This got me thinking, maybe I should try to move out of my comfort zone and go the whole hog. Why not try every single recipe? Are all the cakes and bakes really foolproof and reliable? Or am I just conjuring up the rose tinted glasses of my youth? I initially planned to bake my way through the whole book in a year. As there are just over 250 recipes this could be achievable. However, by setting myself a deadline, I could well lose the enjoyment of it. Also, I have my own family now. So I will try my hardest to make a couple of things each week (most likely at the weekends). I will be making such things as fruit cake, cheesecake and also a complicated wedding cake. Gulp! When each recipe has been made I will take a picture of the finished result, write up an account of how I got on and post online during the week. If I am the size of a house at the end of this I only have myself to blame!