John Whaite has provided a beautiful recipe book that has recipes for every occasion with almost only 5 ingredients per recipe. The recipes seem suitable for cooks of a wide range of skills. He has, as you would expect, not counted salt, pepper and water as ingredients but, in several instances, has added butter and oils in the Essentials list (something to be aware of as you get yourself ready to cook).
The book itself is divided into sections: Weekend Morning Plates, Hearty Plates, Every Day Plates, Worth the Wait Plates, Posh Plates, Many Plates (for sharing) and Sweet Plates. Illustrations are clear and inviting, depicting both individual serves and full recipes amounts. Most recipes cover a serving range of four to six and are easily increased to suit your needs.
A clear index makes finding a recipe an easy task, however the need to read the entire recipe and do the math as to how much time it is going to take to make each recipe is a definite down side.
It took me two days to decide on the three recipes to trial for this review, reading and rereading the entire list, it became obvious that I would be making many dishes and only sharing a few in the review. This is a recipe book that will have a regular outing in my kitchen.
Banana and Blueberry Toad in the Hole, Weekend Morning Plates, pg 10
This is an easy and tasty breakfast, brunch or even a dessert recipe. As my bananas were not very sweet I added raspberries and blackberries then served mine dusted with icing sugar and some whipped vanilla yogurt.
Mushroom and Sage Gnocchi, Every Day Plates, pg 74
I have used home-made gnocchi, using sweet potato as one of the ingredients, and served with a dollop of sour cream.
Secret Ingredient Chocolate Fudge Cake, Sweet Plates, pg 186
This is an intensely chocolate cake. I think it needs some extra sweetness, so have added a layer of raspberry jam in the middle and would serve it with a dollop of cream. The recipe suggests 10-12 serves, I think it would be more like 16 -20 as it is such a rich, intense cake and servings will be small.
Reviewed by Leanne Caune
Rating out of 10: 8
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Release Date: August 2016
RRP: $39.99 hardcover