It's not often I look at a cookery book and think 'that's genius'. I mean sure, I'm impressed by people who have been able to start a whole new cookery craze or style of eating like Deliciously Ella, but for me to actually flick through the book and smile at each and every recipe is quite unusual.
Bake In Black - Music Inspired Baking. Eve and David O'Sullivan are a food writer and musician who decided to combine their two loves, taking a song or album by a band they love and creating a recipe inspired by it. It's not just a play on words on the title (though the name of the book itself references Amy Winehouse) but they soak up what the music is about and infuse that into the food.
That results in recipes including:
Sex Pistols: God save the cream (angel cake with minted whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries)
Guns 'n' Roses: Sweet tooth o'mine (three-tier honey, molasses and maple cake with cream cheese icing)
Megadeath: Megadeath by Chocolate (chocolate and meringue layer cake)
Deep Purple: Smoke on the Rosewater (gluten free chocolate, almond and beetroot cakes with rosewater icing)
Meatloaf: Battenberg out of hell (chocolate and raspberry Battenberg)
Led Zeppelin: Glazed and confused (lavender-infused ring doughnuts with milk chocolate glaze)
and so on, and so on.
I hadn't heard of a lot of the songs or even some of the bands - this book has more of a heavy metal than a pop slant (but maybe there's an idea for a follow-up).
The book is really well presented with colour pictures for every recipe, and some interesting props in the photos, such as doughnuts resting on a guitar. The instructions are carefully thought through and easy to follow and I think this book would make a great gift for someone who loves music and baking.
I made a recipe from it called Faith No S'More - based on Faith No More of course, but also s'mores which are an American campfire snack. They have given me permission to reproduce the recipe here.
375g sweet shortcrust pastry
flour for rolling
200g dark chocolate, chopped
100g milk chocolate, chopped
300ml double cream
pinch of salt
small bag of marshmallows
Preheat oven to 180C/375F/Gas 4. Roll out the pastry to 1/2 cm thickness and use to line a 23cm pastry case [I used a loose-bottomed cake tin]. Chill while you make the filling.
Whisk the eggs into the dark chocolate, then pour into the pastry case. Add blobs of the milk chocolate mixture to the tin, then swirl gently to achieve a marbled effect [I found this quite difficult and ended up just pouring most of the milk chocolate on top of the dark chocolate].
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden an the mixture is almost firm. Allow to cool a little then chill in the fridge until set.
To make the topping, heat the grill to high, then top the pie with marshmallows so they cover the surface evenly. Put small pieces of foil around the pastry edges to stop them burning then put the pie under the grill and cook until the marshmallows are scorched, campfire style, around 2 minutes [from the picture in the book I thought the marshmallows were supposed to melt which they didn't really do, so I left them under the grill too long and the tops burnt! I managed to lift the burnt parts off and then it did look much better].
This was a gorgeous dessert, really indulgent and the melted marshmallow on top really took it to another level. I think it might actually have been nicer with a biscuit base rather than pastry but my other half very much enjoyed it, helping himself to two slices!
Now that I've whetted your appetite you can enter to win a copy of the book for yourself from Musicroom! UK addresses only though please.
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