This is a terrific cookbook providing a wonderful range of cakes to make throughout the year. Compiled over two years by the South Australian Country Women’s Association with author Fiona Roberts and photographer Jacqui Way, this book celebrates the knowledge of more than 70 new and old members. Combining wisdom from the past with expertise from the present, the cookbook contains tried and true recipes from SACWA members across South Australia.
As well as seasonal recipes for each month of the year readers will also enjoy a detailed introductory chapter ‘A Guide to Perfect Baking’ which covers preparing baking tins, temperatures and timings and valuable information on ingredients including eggs, fats and flours. This information will prove useful for both novices and experienced bakers as there is always room for improvement or something new to learn.
The recipes are all beautifully photographed and easy to follow as they are well set out. To date I have only made one recipe from the book. August’s Mandarin and Olive Oil Cakes submitted by Jean Young of the Lameroo Branch is an easy recipe for a dozen mini cakes. These cakes have a certain piquancy from the mandarin zest and syrup spooned over the still hot cakes, which are delicious warm or cold and even better with a dollop of cream or yoghurt.
Some others definitely on my ‘Must Bake’ list are Banana and Caramel Cake from October, May’s Spiced Chocolate and Pear Cake and if the family are very lucky, I may even make December’s Festive Cherry and Mixed Berry Ice-Cream Cakes for Christmas.
Although this cookbook has been out for some time, it is still available direct from the South Australian Country Women’s Association at 30 Dequetteville Terrace, Kent Town, phone 8332 4166 and by mail.
I can highly recommend it as a wonderful gift and a great addition to any baker’s or cookbook collector’s shelf. Why not treat yourself or someone you love and maybe they’ll bake you one of the delicious cakes.
Reviewed by Jan Kershaw
Rating out of 10: 9