Book review – Giuseppe’s Italian Bakes

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An Italian at the British Bake Off

I do admit, I have watched all series of Bake Off, and despite the intentions, did not stop when BBC sold it off either. It’s fun. It’s inspiring (to bake more stuff of course). And last year, an italian contestant appeared amongst the 12 bakers, slowly but surely becoming a favourite not just of mine, but of the judges. He won!

Giuseppe Dell’Anno did wonderfully. Serious but witty, composed but funny, and extremely skilled at baking and.. measuring as he is an engineer.

A year on, and just as the new 12 contestants pop up on our screens, Giuseppe’s first cook book is out, named Giuseppe’s Italian Bakes.

Book signing in London

Should you buy the book?

Absolutely! If you have a passion for baking and an interest in Italian cuisine, then this book is a must. In fact, my initial thought had been ‘naaa, I don’t need this, surely’. And indeed, a lot of the recipes are well known to me, from mini graffe (‘donuts’) to tiramisu’. Yet, once I started flicking through the pages and the photos, I couldn’t help but feel like I wanted to read it through and bake from it, starting from things I had never baked before. My son was soon fascinated too, and he picked the first item to make, Deliziose – basically a biscuit sandwhich filled with a delectable ricotta cream. Needless to say it was a success! We already have plans for the next two bakes and wish me luck because they are both tricky (minne and sfogliatelle).

Overall Giuseppe’s Italian Bakes is a great book and it’s more than just recipes. It’s a collection of traditions and memories, and will very much please anyone wishing to learn more about our culinary traditions but also those who like me, wish to bring back some ‘home’ feel to our expat life.

Giuseppe and fellow baker Crystelle at the event in London

The photography in the book is great (by Matt Russel), and the recipes are detailed, precisely measured and easy to follow. There are helpful QR codes to load videos of tecniques to support baking as well as a list of suggested tools to have at hand and basic preparations (such as zabaione).

Follow Giuseppe on Instagram for recipe videos and more @giuseppecooks

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