We review the book for you and interview the author.
By April Carter (Hardie Grant, £12.99) Photography: Danielle Wood
April Carter’s new book is a delight, full of delicious yummy products to make to give away as presents. Divided into Cakes, Bakes, Biscuits and Cookies, SAVOURY TrEATs and SWEET trEATs. The book is beautifully designed and all the projects are enticingly presented. Original takes on old favourites include items such as Pecan Nut chocolate Shards with the unusual addition of salty bacon.
Salts are flavoured and presented in pretty jars include paprika, garlic and rosemary. There are jellies and flavoured Vodka, puddings in jars and teacup cakes.
Particularly good are the projects for special occasions such as the pale green and gold Rose & Leaf topped cake pops that April originally made for a friend’s wedding.
The gingerbread bats with their black icing and white eyes are perfect for Halloween. For next month and Valentine’s day, there are liberty print inspired chocolate hearts.
Published by Hardie Grant at £12.99 this is a book you will constantly refer to when stuck for present ideas .
April Carter’s blog is www.rhubarbandrose.com
Hardie Grant publishers www.hardiegrant.co.uk/
Author interview with April Carter
1. How and why did you first become interested in cooking?
I always liked baking when I was growing up but I started to get really interested in cooking when I was planning my wedding. DIY weddings were becoming popular and I was inspired by the beautifully photographed dessert tables that featured on the American blogs that I followed. I decided to make my own wedding cake and it went from there.
2. What is your background? Did you train as a cook or chef? Is anyone else in your family in the business?
After uni I worked as a project manager for the BBC and apart from a cake decorating class or two, I was self taught. I recently enrolled on the Leiths School of Food and Wine diploma though which I’m absolutely loving. My grandmother was a cook. She was known for her Christmas trifles and fruit cake.
3.I see this is your second book, how did you get into writing books?
I was very lucky to work with Hardie Grant on a cake pops book. They were looking for an author for ‘Top of the Cake Pops’ and I had lots of cake pops on my blog at the time.
4. The book is beautifully styled, Do you do all your own styling? If so how did you get into this?
Thank you! Danielle Wood did the beautiful photography for trEATs and I worked with her on the styling. Her studio has a big kitchen so it was really fun preparing the food on site and getting involved in setting up the shots and choosing the props.
5. How long did it take to write?
I started writing the recipes around Christmas time and we shot everything in the Spring. Probably 6 months from start to finish but with other work fitted in too. It was so exciting to have the finished book in my hands at the end of the process.
6. Were they all recipes you developed, for the book or had you developed some of them before you sat down to write?
Some of the recipes are versions of old family favourites like the Current Scones and Cheese Straws with Caraway Seeds. Other recipes I developed with the edible gifts theme in mind. The Oatcakes with Pink Peppercorn are really simple but the flecks of pink pretty them up to make a nice present as well as giving them a bit of heat.
7. What else do you do besides writing cookery books? Do you run classes? Do demo’s? Do you sell directly to the public?
I love doing a bit of everything at the moment. I’ve run cake decorating classes in the past and have demo’ed at the Cake & Bake Show. I also do one off commissions. In the future, I’d like to do more food styling. I’m also working on a new book with Hardie Grant at the moment which is due out later this year.
8. What advice would you give to aspiring cookery authors?
Definitely try writing your own blog. It really helps you to discover what you like writing about and it’s a great way to connect with other writers and bloggers.
Thank you very much and we look forward to reading and using your next book.