Ever wondered what to do with the glut of strawberries every summer or that third crop of rhubarb? Well, wonder no longer. Garden writer Holly Farrell has moved into the kitchen to create some mouth-watering recipes from the produce in her garden and shared them in Grow Your Own Cake.
Accompanied by some inspirational photography from Jason Ingram, Holly presents some unusual bakes on her way from the garden or allotment to the plate with her simple Ã¢â‚¬Å“grow it, bake it, eat itÃ¢â‚¬Â philosophy.
As well as the staple carrot and courgette favourites, you’ll find here bakes like Chocolate & Raspberry Bean Cake (the beans being of the borlotti variety), Fennel Cake (covered in dark chocolate), Sweet Potato & Marshmallow Cake, Strawberry & Basil Cupcakes, Lavender Shortbread, Tomato Cupcakes and, my personal saviour, Blackcurrant Mini-Pavlovas. Finally, something other than a cheesecake topping or jam in my house.
The beauty of this cookbook Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and what makes it attractive Ã¢â‚¬â€œ is the wealth of information Ms Farrell imparts, not just about the garden and the kitchen, to which she devotes 35 pages, but also in the snippets of useful information and cross references throughout. These include an introductory page to the main ingredient fruit or veg before each recipe, plus features on herbs and edible flowers, including how to crystallise the latter.
There’s a few showstoppers here too like the towering Fresh Fruit Cake, four tiers of sponge sandwiched together with whipped cream and summer berries; a deep two-tier Rose Cake, made with rose water and decorated with fresh flowers, petals and thyme foliage; and the Shades of Berry Cake, four layers of sponge, each made with a different pureed fruit so that when you cut into it you can’t fail to impress with four different coloured tiers.
Trouble is, deciding which to make first.