Gregg's Favourite Puddings by Gregg Wallace
|Gregg's Favourite Puddings by Gregg Wallace|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A recipe for every pudding the sweet-toothed could wish for, although some of the recipes serve so many that you're going to need a lot of friends to help you eat them!|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: August 2010|
Anyone who has watched Gregg Wallace on MasterChef will be aware of his passion (and that is not putting it too strongly) for puddings. He's never lost his sweet tooth and, unlike many men, is not afraid to admit it. He takes a child-like delight in the final course and has been known to go against the professional judge if something particularly appeals to him: he's salvaged the pride of many a contestant with his yummy.
With Gregg's Favourite Puddings you get exactly what it says on the cover. It's a collection of the puddings which he most enjoys. They're not necessarily his own recipes and some of them have previously been published in other books published by Hamlyn, but if you're looking for a selection of puddings which would see you through most occasions and most seasons of the year then you could do a lot worse. As a word of warning though – if you are on a diet you had best look the other way. To do anything else would be far too painful: this book is never going to be recommended by Weight Watchers.
The book is divided up in a simple and unpretentious way. First up are the fruity puddings, beginning with something as simple as blackcurrants and redcurrants in Cointreau (definitely one for the adults, through summer pudding (and its autumn sister) to Eve's Pudding which seems to have been out of favour of late, but Gregg reckons it's worth sinning for. My own favourite is probably the almond-stuffed peaches, but you're sure to find something which will be to your taste.
In 'tarts, flans and cheesecakes' I met with one of my few quibbles about the book. There's a recipe for New York cheesecake and from the picture it's obvious that it's gorgeous. But – the recipe serves ten people and requires a kilo of full-fat soft cheese. There's no indication whether you could freeze part of it or whether you're going to have to have a (large) dinner party as an excuse to make it. There are a couple of other cheesecake recipes – one serves eight, the other six to eight. Sorry, Gregg – I want something as a treat for the family!
On a positive note though there is a brilliant recipe for a Bakewell tart and another for a treacle tart which will stand you in good stead. One of my tests with a book of pudding recipes is whether tarte tatin is included and Gregg ticks this box. Personally I prefer it made with puff pastry, but I liked the fact that the apples were allowed to caramelise before the tarte is baked.
I tried so hard to flick past the section on chocolate, but it was, of all things, a recipe for chocolate bread and butter pudding which stopped me in my tracks. Unfortunately I can tell you that it makes a perfect pudding and one which will need to be repeated at regular intervals to satisfy demand. There's a chocolate fudge cake which I've so far resisted making on the grounds that it serves fourteen to sixteen. I have, though, had to give in over the chocolate pots.
Classic puddings includes all those dishes which you remember from childhood – a proper steamed pudding, bread and butter pudding and old English trifle – as well as some true classics such as crème caramel and crème brulee. I suspect that this will be the section which I will return to time and time again.
In 'ices and mousses' there's a recipe for vanilla ice cream which is very similar to the one I've been using for years. It's something which I always have in the freezer and it's saved my bacon with many an unexpected visitor. For something more unusual you might want to try the Earl Grey sorbet or the lemon granita – delicious served in a tall glass. The final section on 'bites and basics' gives you the know-how on all the odds and ends which a good pudding cook requires, such as sugar syrup, apricot glaze and proper custard.
You'll hear Gregg's voice as you read the book – he's one of those wonderful people who writes without affectation and although he might not say Five minutes. You have exactly five minutes you'll hear it in your imagination.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
We can also recommend Phil Vickery's Puddings and if cupcakes and cookies are your thing then you will not be able to resist Eat Me!: The Stupendous, Self-raising World of Cupcakes and Bakes According to Cookie Girl by Xanthe Milton.
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