I have been doing lots of baking this week, in fact I do a lot of baking. At work I’m known for my gingerbread (and muffins, tea bread and ginger biscuits) as they these are what I make whenever we have a “call out for cakes!”. I have a friend who introduces me to her friends as the “chocolate cake” lady after I made a chocolate cake for a BBQ and everyone, apparently, loved it after I’d had to leave early.
Anyway, lots of people ask me where my recipes come from and I have 3 answers:
1. It is a handed down recipe from my grandma or great-grandma (tea bread, parkin, lemon meringue pie);
2. It is from the Be-Ro book (chocolate cake, gingerbread, Welsh griddle cakes); or
3. It is from my muffin recipe book
A lot of the time when I say something came from the Be-Ro book, I get blank looks. “What’s the Be-Ro book?” The Be-Ro book is a small paperback recipe book which was first published in 1923 when Bells and Royal (Be-Ro) introduced self-raising flour. It was originally only 19 pages long. It is now on its 41st edition, 86 pages long (in the 40th edition) and costs £2.50. You can order a copy from them, the details are on their website.
I’m not sure why I keep going back to the Be-Ro book, but I do. The recipes haven’t been changed since the copy of the book which my mum got back in the 70s. I’m guessing that the only differences in each edition is the addition of new recipes with any existing recipes staying the same. I have had my 39th edition since the early 90s and can find the recipes I use most often very easily, the pages stick together! I have had other cookbooks but never used them for the basic baking recipes as I know that any recipe I try from Be-Ro works.
You can also find the recipes on the Be-Ro website so you don’t have to buy the book if you only want a couple of cake recipes. My recommendations? Gingerbread, obviously. You may also like to try Victoria Sandwich, either plain or as a chocolate cake or add currants to the mixture and make Queen cakes. When we were kids, my sister and I used to make the Welsh Griddle Cakes and Rock Buns quite a lot.
Do you have a “go to” recipe book which you use more often than any other? Has the internet taken over from recipe books?