It's taken me over a week to get around to writing this review (in fact, the series may already be on issue three) but I thought I would let you all know what I thought of the new series of collectible recipe books: "30 Best Loved Recipes".
First, a brief description of what the series is all about. Each issue contains one or two books (with issue two containing a case/box to store the books in) and sells at £2.99 per issue (99p for issue one). Every book contains thirty recipes centering around a specific ingredient or theme with the first two books being on Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate and Lyon's Golden Syrup.
Being someone who enjoys both chocolate and golden syrup (as well as someone who finds it hard to turn down an offer like two cookbooks for 99p) I thought I would give the series a go. I think it's safe to say that after just moments I was thoroughly let down. Whilst each book claims to contain thirty recipes, it is debatable as to whether half of them constitute recipes at all! One of the first recipes I came across was for a chili chocolate cake; I thought, "how lovely, I'll give that a go" but wait... It was not a recipe for a chili chocolate cake at all. The recipe basically said: melt some chocolate, add some chill, and pour over a cake of your choice. What!? I can go one further... Crumpets with golden syrup. I bet you're thinking, "I'd love to make some homemade crumpets to slather with golden syrup, I wonder if the recipe is complicated?" The answer is: no, it's not complicated at all... Buy some crumpets, toast them, spread on butter and some golden syrup!
Thirty best loved recipes or thirty best loved assembly instructions? I felt like it was something I'd picked up at that well-known Swedish flat-pack furniture place, not a book full of best loved recipes that my grandmother would bake!
On a less critical point, however, I must say that the books would do well as a first set of cookbooks for a young child. The recipes are uncomplicated and would work well for children who want to get into baking but don't have the experience or knowledge we (home bakers) do. The only other uses I can find for these books are as fuel for the fire or as a wedge to steady the leg on an uneven/wobbly table.
It's rare that I should give such a bad review, it's not in my nature to be wholly critical, but I can find no reason to buy these books if you're not looking for something for a young child (and even then, there are probably better books out there).
Save your money, spend it on a decent book (for instance, I picked up a copy of Gwyneth Paltrow's book, 'Notes from my Kitchen Table', for £2.99 and a copy of a Good Housekeeping baking book for £3.99 in WHSmith the other week. A much better use of money, in my opinion).