Jaffa and I are delighted to host today's stop
The Art of Baking Blind Blog Tour
There are many reasons to bake: to feed; to create; to impress; to nourish; to define ourselves; and, sometimes, it has to be said, to perfect. But often we bake to fill a hunger that would be better filled by a simple gesture from a dear one. We bake to love and be loved.
13 August 2015
In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookery writer and wife of a supermarket magnate, published The Art of Baking, her guide to nurturing a family by creating the most exquisite pastries, biscuits and cakes.
Now, five amateur bakers are competing to become the New Mrs Eaden. There's Jenny, facing an empty nest now her family has flown; Claire, who has sacrificed her dreams for her daughter; Mike, trying to parent his two kids after his wife's death; Vicki, who has dropped everything to be at home with her baby boy; and Karen, perfect Karen, who knows what it's like to have nothing and is determined her façade shouldn't slip.
As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest choux bun seems the least of the contestants' problems. For they will learn - as Mrs Eaden did before them - that while perfection is possible in the kitchen, it's very much harder in life.
My review :-
The slither of succulent raisins, the piquant allure of spicy gingerbread and the textured bouquet of fresh vanilla pods, infuse this novel with the scents and aromas of exquisite baking. All five candidates who answer the call to find Britain’s Best Baker are adept at grappling with biscuits, they excel at blind baking and their crème pâtissière is enough to make angels weep and yet, their private lives, when held up to scrutiny leave much to be desired. Even the divine Mrs Eaden, the inspiration and legendary face of the competition, had hidden secrets of her own.
The story takes us through the various stages of the baking competition and introduces us to each of the characters. We get to know them all in intimate detail, their lives unfold before us and we begin to realise just how important winning the competition would be to each of them, and yes, dare I say it, we begin to have favourites. In fact, I had to stop myself from flicking through to the end of the story in order to find out who was the winner, as there was one person, for sure, who I didn’t think was worthy to be the new Mrs Eaden.
The story flows deliciously; it wraps around you and enfolds you in a rosy haze of warmth and as the pages fly by, and believe me they really do fly, you find yourself imagining a culinary feast of the most delicious chocolate fondants, exquisite confections of millefeuille and plump and mischievous Chelsea buns.
And yet, beneath the bravado of baking, The Art of Baking Blind is really a story about people. It's about the minutiae of their lives, about their hopes and dreams and of all the reasons why life has sometimes been unkind to them. It's beautifully descriptive and confidently written and a real joy to read from beginning to end.
I loved it and can't wait to see what this talented author comes up with next.
Now where did I put my recipe for ....Tarte Tatin.
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There are still more stops on the Blog Tour....do visit the other blog hosts to learn more about this delightful novel.
My thanks to Emma at Hodder and Sarah for inviting Jaffareadstoo to be part of this exciting blog tour.