Allyson Gofton has been cooking for New Zealanders for nearly 30 years. She is known for her recipes and columns in magazines, her television appearances, radio slots and many personal appearances in the name of charity. She has also written more than 20 cookbooks, including her best-selling series of books Bake, Cook and Slow, as well as the popular Country Calendar Cookbook with Allyson Gofton and Country Calendar Homestead Baking. Allyson also wrote about her year in a small town in the south-west of France, in Recipes from My French Kitchen.
Butter, sugar, eggs and flour. How hard can it be? Baking - as anyone who has ever attempted to make a cake after work but before falling asleep in front of the late news knows - is fraught. Enter Allyson Gofton, your knightess in a shining apron. Her newest book contains more than 100 recipes for biscuits and pies, brownies and bread and anything, actually, that requires a spatula. Don't have a spatula? This may be the first baking bible ever to condone using a clean hand in emergencies (ditto a glazing brush simply dip your three middle fingers and dab gently). Experts can skip straight to the recipes but if you're still figuring your jaggery from your demerara and your buckwheat from your sorghum, then spend some time on the technical section, which also includes a list of ideas for what to do with baking that hasn't quite worked. Recipes range from my worst nightmare - a Dutch spice cake which must be cooked under the grill layer by layer - to the pineapple hog , a no cook, chocolate-packed and pineapple-lump-studded slice you could practically make in a late news ad break --NZ Weekend Herald Baking, as culinary queen Allyson Gofton points out, is more akin to chemistry than any other area of cooking. We rarely learn the skills from our grandmas and mums as we once did. Through this book Allyson is our friendly guiding voice at the kitchen bench. Especially hand the Problem Solver section, with substitutes for missing ingredients and equipment, and 'don't panic' tips for when things go awry. The recipes are what we've come to expect from 'Food in a Minute' favorite Allyson. French Yoghurt Pot Pear Cake, Carrot and Pistachio Nut Cake, Persian Rosewater Cookies. There's really no excuse for not filling those tins. --Dish Kiwi icon Allyson Gofton has poured generations of love and home baking into her newest book The Baker's Companion. Over 30 years of accumulated know-how is contained in the recipes in this treasurer trove --NZME Regionals