I first met Edd Kimber shortly after he won the first ever series of Great British Bake Off in 2010 (which I loved), and have really enjoyed seeing his career in food writing, food photography and recipe development grow and grow and grow. By any measure, he’s established a hugely successful career during the last decade, contributing regular columns for well-known, respected publications, making appearances on TV and at big food shows and events, and releasing four well-received cookbooks.
His first three titles were The Boy Who Bakes (named for the blog he was already writing when he did Bake Off), Say it with Cake, and Patisserie Made Simple. His latest cookbook One Tin Bakes released this June to great acclaim.
Edd has a passion for developing and sharing delicious baking and dessert recipes, and he’s known for his focus on helping cooks to achieve great results whatever their level of experience. One Tin Bakes takes Edd’s desire to reduce the amount of equipment you need to create fantastic bakes one step farther by restricting every recipe in the book to just one tin for the baking.
Edd uses this one 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking tin (sometimes referred to as a brownie tin) to make a wide range of recipes in One Tin Bakes. The five chapters of the book cover ‘Cakes’; ‘Bars & Cookies’; ‘Pasties, Pies & Tarts’; ‘Desserts & No-Bakes’; and ‘Buns & Breads’, so you can see from first glance how much is possible using the one tin. Each new chapter page provides a list of the recipes within (and page numbers); this is supplemented by a decent Index which allows you to search by ingredient as well as type of dish (such as cheesecake, pies, and shortbread).
By the way, Edd shares his preferred brand for the “one tin” in an Equipment page towards the end of the book, reassuring readers that any correctly sized baking tin will do the job, though he recommends an uncoated aluminium type for best results. Aside from the baking tin, Edd suggests that a stand mixer, a baking stone or steel, and an oven thermometer as key items to help bakers. I’d add to these the kitchen basics of a mixing bowl and whisk, a flat surface and rolling pin, and a knife and chopping board.
In a similar vein, there’s a helpful page on resources – offering suggestions for where you can purchase some of the equipment and ingredients you need. And speaking of ingredients, Edd talks in depth about ten key ingredients used throughout the book in another handy section at the back.
Looking at the recipes themselves, the first thing to point out is that all the food photography for this book has been taken by Edd himself; not a common thing in the world of cookery books, and a real pleasure to see here. And Edd’s photography is absolutely perfect for showcasing the essence of each recipe. If you’re worried that every bake is shown in that one tin, you needn’t be – though some recipes are indeed photographed in the tin, many are showcased portioned into bowls or cut and plated, and all share a light, bright and modern styling.
As soon as the book arrived in the post, I did my customary first read through with a pad of tiny sticky-notes to hand to bookmark everything I wanted to bake. [Correction: everything I wanted Pete to bake, since I’m rarely welcome in ‘his’ kitchen, and he’s clearly the master baker in our household!]
There are so many recipes that call out to me: ‘Coffee’ Coffee Cake, Matcha Roll Cake, Blueberry Cornmeal Buckle, Upside-Down Banana and Buckwheat Cake, Olive Oil Cherry Snack Cake, Peanut Butter Brookies, Peppermint Chocolate Slices, Raspberry Cheesecake Streusel Squares, Berry Almond Frangipane Tart, Giant Portuguese Custard Tart, Vanilla Slices, Slab Cherry Pie, Whiskey and Rye Peach Pie, Whole Lemon Buttermilkl Chess Pie, Mixed Berry Dutch Baby, Flourless Chocolate Meringue Cake, Espresso Chocoflan, Burnt Basque Cheesecake, Laminated Nectarine and Raspberry Buckwheat Scones, Almost Doughnuts, and Raspberry and Rose Cheesecake Buns, to list just some that I’m drawn to!
With so much that appeals, it’s hard to know where to start, but start we did!
Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars were a huge hit, not only with those of us who ate them (warm out of the oven, and over the next couple of days) but with Pete who made them, appreciative of the speed of making cookies in a slab that is quick to cut and portion once baked; it’s much faster than shaping individual cookies and laying them out on baking trays. These cookies are wonderful with a little gooeyness at their core, so take care not to overbake even by a minute or two. In terms of flavour, the tahini is quite subtle, though it adds a hint of nuttiness that is certainly delicious. I’d happily have a stronger tahini hit, and may ask Pete to experiment.
The Apple Fritter Monkey Bread recipe was interesting for two reasons – first because it’s the first monkey bread recipe we’ve made, and secondly for the sudden burst of swearing when Pete realised somewhat belatedly that the instructions run onto a second page, where there’s a glaze icing step he’d not noticed. In the interests of speed and reduced swearing, I suggested switching the vanilla and icing sugar glaze for pearl sugar, sprinkled over before baking. Pete made this bake when we had friends visiting (for an outdoor afternoon tea, of sorts), once again serving it still warm from the oven. Everyone enjoyed it, and we all ate a surprisingly large serving given that we’d just had a big lunch!. I think I was alone in wanting the caramelised apples to be a little sweeter. The pearl sugar substitute worked well and looked as pretty, I think, as the dribbled glaze icing.
When I tell you that our third recipe chosen from the book was Chocolate Tahini Babka Buns, you may detect a bit of a theme when it comes to our favourite flavours! I love both chocolate and tahini, as does Edd – indeed he says in the recipe summary that he could happily create “a cookbook entirely devoted to tahini recipes“, and I must tell you that I totally want that cookbook! If you imagine classic cinnamon rolls, but with the cinnamon and sugar filling replaced with dark chocolate, tahini, butter and sugar, you’re there. As you can probably tell from the image, we discovered too late that our yeast was dead, so we’ll be remaking this one soon, now we’ve replaced the yeast with some fresh.
Recipes are provided with metric measurements first, but cups and ounces are also listed. Instructions are clear, with helpful notes on what texture to expect along the way. Additional step-by-step photos are provided in two recipes – apple fritter monkey bread and raspberry and rose cheesecake buns – where they make it easier to understand what is expected.
This is very much in line with what Edd is known and celebrated for – recipes that are both delicious, and absolutely achievable for a home cook, experienced or otherwise. This is the kind of baking book that is destined to be much used; no doubt it’ll spend as much time propped open on the kitchen table as it will tidied away onto the bookshelf.
Recipes from One Tin Bakes
We have permission from Kyle Books to share some recipes with you from the book:
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Kavey Eats received a review copy of One Tin Bakes by Edd Kimber from publisher Kyle Books (Octopus Group). Book cover provided by Kyle Books, all other images by Kavey Eats.