Food

The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, Tarek Malouf

The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, Tarek Malouf

Austerity-chic may be the height of fashion in some circles, but for most of us economic gloom brings an urgent need for escapism. And fantasies don’t come much more indulgent than those cavorting across the glossy pages of the first cookbook from London’s Hummingbird Bakery.

This is naked food porn, no doubt about it. The photography is a delight, the camera lingering in loving close-up on food that’s begging to be eaten – cakes are sliced into, forks are laden with frosting, plates are covered in crumbs. It’s a no-holds-barred, unapologetic romp of sugar and butter and chocolate.

Decadent? Yes, but there’s something childlike too in the gleeful abandon of these affordable extravagances, urging the reader to damn the diet and bake their way to a happier place. That place is the 1950s, though the book harks back to America rather than a Britain still constricted by rationing.

It’s a cornucopia of sweet and sticky pleasure: lavish layer cakes, cute cupcakes – over-the-top cakes of all kinds, topped with swirls of candy-coloured buttercream – cookies, brownies and pies, the ultimate diner treat. Who can resist the lure of such adorable confections?

Not me. I say give in to the desire to conjure up the sugary spirit of Doris Day. Don a frilly apron and get baking.

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