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The Caterer

Book review – Mark Hix on Baking

30 November 2012 by
Book review – Mark Hix on Baking

Mark Hix on Baking
By Mark Hix
Quadrille, £20
ISBN 978-1849491242

One of the UK's most prolific food writers, chef-restaurateur Mark Hix has penned nine cookbooks as well as countless recipes in his weekly column in The Independent.

The book starts off with a chapter entitled Snacks. Here recipes for Moroccan cigars, grissini bread sticks, dhal puffs and baked bone marrow with oysters make up an eclectic international list. This worldly theme continues in the subsequent chapter on breads, which brings together a diverse selection ranging from fougasse to sourdough, Turkish lahmacun flatbread and pizza bianco.

But chapters on Fish and Meat, and Vegetables list perhaps the least expected recipes for a book on baking. Here you'll find roast lobster with white port and ginger next to salt-baked sea bass; chicken baked in the pot with garlic; honey-baked ham; and veal baked in hay. Vegetable dishes range from unusual recipes like Armenian tomato and aubergine salad or tomato freekeh to classics such as pommes Anna or root vegetable gratin.

Meanwhile, subsequent chapters on Savoury and Sweet Pies, Tarts, Etc bring together a delicious array of recipes with highlights including a hefty ham hock, snail and wild garlic pie; oyster and chorizo pies baked in the shell; and sweet treats such as galette au fenouil or a sweet beetroot tart.

Final chapters on Biscuits, and Puddings and Cakes will inspire even the keenest bakers, with biscuits ranging from shortbread and garibaldi to baklava and Australian Anzac biscuits. The delightful selection of cakes includes a wheat-free chocolate and Guinness cake, baked Alaska and Somerset apple cake.

Mark Hix on Baking offers the reader a varied selection of savoury and sweet dishes from around the world, some of which are exceptionally simple and quick, while others take a little more time and effort.

"Any oven, whether wood-fired or fan-assisted, can give great results - concentrating flavours, transforming textures and delivering exceptional food," Hix concludes. His book proves this.

By Kerstin KÁ¼hn

If you like this, you might like these:
•Bouchon Bakery
Thomas Keller
•Pastry: Savoury and Sweet
Michel Roux
•Short and Sweet
Dan Lepard

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