After reading Jo's books, blog, and following her on other social media sites I can't help but love her down-to-earth personality and family style baking. Following her progress from her win on the GBBO it's hard not to feel like I know her personally as she lets us into her life and kitchen.
I would particularly recommend Home Baking to anyone who may feel a bit unsure about baking in general. Jo's approach is so reassuring and comforting as she assures us that anyone can bake! Saying that there is plenty here for the experienced baker as well.
The book is broken down into ten chapters starting with Biscuits, Bars, and Cookies; Bread and Scones; Cakes; Baking with Children; Crumbles, Tarts, and Pithiviers; Quiches, Pasties, Pies and Savoury Puddings; Quick and Simple Special Occasions; Supper Bakes; and Teatime Treats!
Here is a list of the recipes I can't wait to try:
Blueberry Brioche Rolls
Cheesy Tear and Share
Parmesan and Pesto Fantail Loaf
Banana, Pecan, and Butterscotch Cake
Lime and Coconut Tray Bake
Lemon, White Chocolate, and Macadamia Bombs
Cheesy Mini Ketchup Scones
Chicken and Mango Empanadas
Rocky Road (recipe below)
Fruit and Nut Brownies
Tempura Mustard Sausages
Valentine's Salted Caramel Chocolate Pots
Mince Bakewell Tart
Banoffee Eclairs (pictured)
The list above is massive, but I was looking for something quick and simple for our bank holiday weekend and the Rocky Road was just what we needed. It's such a versatile recipe here is how I made it with Jo's guidance...
handful of mini marshmallows
3 broken biscuits; digestives or anything you have hanging round
handful of Rice Krispies
Other fillings: *what I used
Chocolate Bars: Mars, Snickers etc...
Rolos, *Galaxy Caramel bites, Munchies. Revels
Dried Fruits: apricos, *cranberries, mango, sour cherries, blueberries
Line a 23cm/8in deep, square baking tin before melting the chocolate in your preferred method. In a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water or carefully in the microwave in 10-second bursts. Stir until smooth and leave to cool slightly.
In a big bowl, if your melting bowl isn't big enough, place your marshmallows, broken biscuits, Rice Krispies, and chosen fillings (chop into bite-sized pieces if they aren't already). Carefully pour the chocolate over the fillings and gently stir until coated. Spoon mixture into prepared tin and chill until solid. Cut into squares with a knife warmed in hot water.
notes: like last time Home Baking is only available at Sainsbury's (£8, RRP £16.99) in store or online! For recipes and competitions follow Jo on Facebook and her site Jo's Blue Aga! She's also on Twitter (@JoanneWheatley) and if you tweet her a picture of anything you bake from her books, she is very likely to re-tweet or reply (this is from my own experience). A Passion for Baking, Jo's first book is also a great addition to any book shelf, last time I was in Sainsbury's they had a great price on it! It is now also available (in a sparkling new cover!) in all good bookshops! My review on A Passion for Baking!