A beautiful cookbook: Peyton & Byrne

Peyton and Byrne

It seems like it’s been a while since I’ve posted any baked goods on here. But it’s not that I haven’t been baking, I’ve just been trying out a few recipes from the crazy amount of baking books I’ve had sitting on my shelf for a while!

I’ll be honest, I think Mary Berry’s Baking Bible is AWFUL. I have tried several recipes from it and none of them have been up to scratch. I’m not talking about the method, that’s fine. I’m talking about the ingredients. Her carrot cake recipes calls for more banana than carrot and as a result tastes like, well, banana. Her Battenburg recipe has ground rice in the sponge. That makes it crunchy, and horrid. If it wasn’t for the fact it was the first book given to me by Mr LTT and being lovingly inscribed, I would’ve got rid of it by now.

Enough Berry bashing anyway. The whole point of the pre-story was to let you know I’ve moved on. I have fallen in love with a new baking book, one that has shared with me gorgeous recipes laid out beautifully. Actually, I’ve had it for quite a while now and have been meaning to write about it. I have to admit, the only reason that I bought this book was because it was set in one of my favourite typefaces: Gill Sans (used by the BBC, John Lewis). If you follow me on Twitter you’ll probably hear me jabber on a fair bit about typefaces, it’s become a bit of an obsession. I’ve just spent a fortune on typefaces for the site redesign too. It’s coming along (hurrah!).

Peyton and Byrne Carrot Cake with book

I’m doing it again! Sorry, back on track. We’re talking about the Peyton & Byrne’s British Baking book. Aside from the fact it’s got a lovely typeface, it’s well laid out and the instructions are clear. And the recipes ain’t half bad. I’ve made a few things from the book and they’ve been supertasty but my favourite so far has been the carrot cake. I made it because my desk buddy and colleague Danielle specifically requested it. I gave it a trial run as a “normal cake” and then I made a boat cake like the pirate cake I made, except it was a yacht – the cream cheese frosting worked perfectly.

Cake cake slice with cake behind

By the way, our Swedish friends told us that cake laid on its side or falls onto its side is bad luck and means you won’t get married! So what do you do when you want a really small slice?!


  1. says

    I’ve made a couple of things from the Mary Berry book but for the most part I’ve taken the techniques as a starting point and then gone a bit off piste in terms of the ingredients.  I’ve seen the Peyton & Byrne book in the shops but haven’t got round to picking it up yet.  If this cake is anything to go by though, it’s a good ‘un!

  2. Maria says

    If you want a small slice don’t put it on a plate, just straight into your mouth. Saves on washing up too! Oh, and your cake looks just like the picture, good job!

  3. Lester Fontayne says

    I keep meaning to check out this particular book mainly on the strength that the seriously talented Roger Pizey helped to establish P&B and much of these are probably his recipes… well, the ones that work, anyway. ;o)

  4. says

    Hi Becs, I too have this book and I’ve made the Lemon Swiss Roll from it. Although the batter itself was rather firm before I added the whipped egg whites into it, it did make a really nice very light Swiss Roll, a recipe I use quite often and would recommend giving it a try. 
    The suggestion as to how they roll the swiss spongy bit before you fill it is a revaluation for me and really works.

    I also paid their shop a visit in London last year. Very nice.
    Lynn x

  5. Rachael says

    Love this book – the jammy dodgers are great as are the brownies, millionaires shortbread, soda bread…in fact, made the marble cake from it this morning.

    Also, totally agree re Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. I want to like it, but some of the ingredients are, as you say, totally off. Have you seen how much sugar is in her brownie recipe? Mine turned out like molten good. Tasted nice, but nothing near brownie consistency!

  6. says

    I’ve been wondering whether to buy that book so thanks for this review! That carrot cake does look ridiculously delicious.

    As for Mary Berry, I’m over her. Did you see she has her name on packet cake mixes with some pretty dubious ingredients now? I think there are far better bakers out there! :-)

  7. says

    Ah yes, I fell in for this book because it just looked nice. I’ve only made three recipes from it so far though, two worked really well and the other didn’t – looking forward to trying more though. Interesting to hear about Mary Berry’s book – it’s not one I’ve been inspired to acquire.

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