Everyone had a favourite fairy tale. When I was young I used to read fairy tales at my grandparents. They had a big leather bound book which was filled with stories and fairy tales. Accompanying the stories were large illustrated plates which really brought the stories to life. I used to love curling up in a corner and reading, escaping into different worlds. Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, they were all in that book. With evil witches and bad wolves the stories have an element of danger, but good usually defeats evil and everything ends well.
Recently I was sent a lovely recipe book, Fairy Tale Baking. This brings Fairy Stories to life using cakes and biscuits to recreate the stories. With recipes for popular fairy tales like Snow White, Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella there will be a project that appeals. Each fairy tale has three projects, a main showstopper bake and two smaller easy to make creations. The cakes are amazing and would be perfect for a party. Whilst they look hard to make the instructions are clear and the steps are easy to follow. All you need is some time.
All the recipes look stunning and would definitely make a talking point at the tea table. Each section introduces the fairy tale and provides the background for the bake, reminding you of the tales you read in your youth. I spent a happy while turning the pages and just admiring the pictures. With projects like Hansel and Gretel’s gingerbread house, Cinderella’s glass slipper and many more there is much to admire. These wolf pops from Little Red Riding Hood really caught my eye.
I decided to recreate one of the simpler recipes and chose to make some Queen of Hearts Tarts. Alice in Wonderland was one of my favourite stories as a child. I loved the Chesire Cat randomly appearing and fading away to a grin, the caterpillar smoking a hookah on the mushroom and of course playing croquet with flamingos and hedghogs. The Queen of Heats was the ruler in wonderland, everyone was scared of her and she loved to pretend to behead people, although she never actually managed it. That was due to the King who quietly countermanded her orders when she wasn’t looking.
The Queen of Hearts Tarts are simple to make but look stunning and would be a lovely addition to any tea table. They did not take long to make, the only thing that took time was chilling the dough. The recipe does call for two heart shaped cutters, a large one and a small one. I only had a large one and cut out the smaller heart using a knife which seemed to work well. They looked lovely and tasted gorgeous as well.
If you are looking for a recipe book that allows you to make amazing centrepiece cakes that will delight your friends this book is ideal. It is also a lovely book to have on your shelf just to flick though and would make a great gift for a keen baker.
- 200 g 7 oz plain flour
- 50 g 1¾ oz icing sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 100 g 3½ oz unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- Splash cold milk
- Raspberry or strawberry jam
- Sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into a bowl.
- Dice the butter and rub it into the flour mixture until it resembles sand
- Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the egg yolk. Mix until it comes together
- Add the milk 1 tbsp at a time until it forms a dough
- Knead on a floured surface for two minutes then wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Roll out on a floured surface until 5mm thick.
- Cut into heart shapes with a cutter and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.
- Cut smaller hearts from the middle of half the biscuits
- Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 180C, 350 F, Gas Mark 4.
- Place 1 tsp jam in the centre of the whole hearts and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden.
- Allow to cool slightly and place the cut out hearts on top of the whole hearts.
- Leave to cool then dust with icing sugar
For other recipe book git ideas why not have a look at My Family Kitchen by Sophie Thompson, I made this lovely bakewell tart from this book.