As a nation, over the past ten weeks, we’ve become very attached to this year’s Great British Bake Off contestants. We won’t forget Paul Hollywood eating Val’s (gingerbread) sister, Selasi’s extremely chilled demeanour, or Mel reapplying Candice’s lipstick for her.
In fact, it could be argued that Bake Off contestants have particular staying power compared to stars of other TV competitions, as they often go on to produce quality recipe books that can be used again and again. One previous winner’s book has been issued from Suffolk Libraries an astounding 600 times! If you’ve caught the baking bug, try some of these Bake Off stars’ books.
Edd Kimber (2010 winner) - The Boy Who Bakes
This full-colour book includes easy-to-follow recipes for a whole range of sweet treats from cakes to ice creams. The chocolate, pecan and salted caramel tart, mango pavlova and Nutella and banana bites sound particularly appealing.
Jo Wheatley (2011 winner) - A Passion For Baking and Home Baking
Jo’s books feature foolproof recipes that have been handed down her family. Recipes in Home Baking include Cornish pasties, cheesy tear and share bread and ground cinnamon buns, while A Passion For Baking features such delicacies as cheese and onion chutney scones, halloumi and chilli flatbreads and spiced orange rolls.
John Whaite (2012 winner) - John Whaite Bakes: recipes for every day and every mood, John Whaite Bakes at Home and Perfect Plates in five ingredients
The surprise winner of the 2012 series has published three books to date. John Whaite Bakes categorises recipes according to mood, making it easier to decide which recipe to try. Examples of the recipes that feature are apricot and white chocolate flapjacks, Italian feeding frenzy focaccia and even eight cocktails - heavenly!
John Whaite Bakes at Home features recipes John makes especially for his family and friends, such as butterscotch Chelsea buns, mango and coconut mousse cake and sherbet lemon cake.
In Perfect Plates in five ingredients, John goes beyond baking, sharing simple, affordable recipes for all sorts of occasions. The sweet potato, Gruyere and pecan gratin, mushroom and fried gnocchi with sage, butter and wine, and lime cheesecake sound divine.
James Morton (2012 runner-up) - Brilliant Bread and How Baking Works … and what to do if it doesn’t
In Brilliant Bread, James shares his fascination with the science, taste and making of bread. He provides step-by-step guidance on making basic loaves, flatbreads, sourdoughs, sweet doughs, buns, doughnuts, focaccia and pretzels - something for everyone! How Baking Works aims to help people whose bakes never quite turn out right, with well-explained techniques for producing perfectly light cakes, squidgy brownies, crunchy biscuits and more every time.
Frances Quinn (2013 winner) - Quinntessential Baking
In Quinntessential Baking, Frances provides straightforward master recipes for bakes such as flapjack, shortbread and chocolate sponge, then explains how you can add to them to give them real ‘wow factor’. Once you’ve got the hang of the master recipes and Frances’ additions, you’re encouraged to progress to making your own designs a reality.
Ruby Tandoh (2013 runner-up) - Crumb: the baking book and Flavour: eat what you love
Not sure you have all the right tools for baking? The recipes in Crumb don’t require fancy equipment or a huge amount of workspace. Make chocolate fudge cake, orange and white chocolate loaf cake, grapefruit breakfast muffins and more.
Flavour is structured by ingredient, so you can choose what to make based on what you’re craving or what you have in the fridge. Recipes range from cornbread pancakes to vegan chilli to pretzel peanut butter pie.
Howard Middleton (2013 runner-up) - Delicious Gluten-free Baking: sweet and savoury recipes for everyone to enjoy
If you’re feeling a bit left out by the books we’ve mentioned so far because you can’t tolerate gluten, this is the book for you! If a family member or guest can’t tolerate gluten, the recipes in this book will be loved by everyone you’re baking for, on gluten-free diet or otherwise. Recipes include chorizo straws, carrot cake and even a gingerbread theatre.
Nadiya Hussain (2015 winner) - Nadiya’s Kitchen: over 100 simple and delicious family recipes and Nadiya’s Bake Me A Story
Nadiya has certainly been busy since winning last year’s competition! Nadiya’s Kitchen categorises recipes according to time of day and occasion, such as ‘lazy Sunday mornings’, ‘midnight feasts’ and ‘snacks and sharing’. It features a huge range of recipes, from full English frittata to kofta kebab to meat samosas.
We’ve already raved about Nadiya’s Bake Me A Story on our Bake Off-inspired blog post about baking books for children, but we just think it’s such an original idea to combine recipes with stories and the book is visually stunning. Make gingerbread men, very-berry muffins, bean patties and more.