Books, Food, Reading, Review
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Book Review – ‘The Violet Bakery Cookbook’ by Claire Ptak

TheVioletBakeryTitle: The Violet Bakery Cookbook
Author: Claire Ptak
Genre: Cooking
Rating: ★★★★★

I think my favourite thing about NetGalley is the wide variety of books to choose from and review. If you’ve seen some of my previous posts (like this one and this one), you would know that I quite enjoy baking (cooking in general actually), and the eating that results from said baking. So I was pretty excited when I saw that I could get advanced copies of cookbooks as well as novels. The first cookbook (hopefully of many) I’ve decided to review for NetGalley is Claire Ptak’s The Violet Bakery Cookbook. The bakery itself is located in London, and this book is a collection of recipes of food that is actually made and sold there.
I decided that in order to give the most honest review possible, I should pick some of the recipes and cook them myself. You know, just to make sure they were easy to follow and everything tasted alright (apologies for the terrible photos).

Overall this is probably one of the nicest cookbooks I’ve seen in a long time. Every single recipe has an accompanying photograph, which I especially loved – there’s nothing that irritates me more than cooking a recipe and not having any guidance as to what the final product should look like. I enjoyed reading the introduction as well, which runs through the Violet Bakery from it’s very beginning as a market stall, to finally becoming a business of a slightly larger scale.
I tried four recipes, which were as follows:

Chewy gingersnaps
 Raspberry and star anise crumble muffins
Lemon drizzle loaf
 Chocolate sunken soufflé cake

Of the four, I had success with three. The only one that didn’t work was the chocolate cake –  it came out more sunken than it should have and was basically a big fail. It was nothing to do with the recipe though, it was more a case of my own impatience. But I’ll be trying the recipe again as I can pinpoint exactly where I went wrong, and what I tasted of it was delicious. All of the recipes (even the one that didn’t work) were simple, easy to follow, and surprisingly quick to put together. The most time consuming were the muffins, but even those I had mixed together and in the oven in about half an hour (along with icing the lemon drizzle loaf at the same time).
The lemon drizzle loaf was definitely my favourite of the recipes I tried. I rarely have luck with cakes turning out (see above chocolate cake fail), so I was pleasantly surprised that this worked. I probably could have taken it out of the oven a little earlier as the outside was a bit crunchier than I’d have liked, but the inside was perfect. The sour of the lemon was balanced with just the right amount of sweet, and I LOVED the lemon icing – it tasted like sherbet.

If you enjoy baking, you should definitely consider getting yourself a copy of this book. There is such a wide range of recipes inside that I can guarantee you’ll find something you like. From toasted sandwiches, to biscuits, cakes, and ice creams, there is something to suit everyone’s taste and skill level. It’s safe to say I’ll definitely be visiting the bakery when I’m in London later this year – I’m sure I could sit in there all day.

Many thanks to Ten Speed Press and NetGalley for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review!



    • They were amazing – and so quick and easy to make. And the recipe said they’d be good for two weeks in an airtight container and they actually were, which I was quite impressed with.


  1. Oh my goodness. I need that lemon cake in my life right now. Is NetGalley as simple as signing up, or do you apply? I’m getting very interested in this idea from your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s super easy – you just sign up and include a link to your blog. You can request any books you like (although some are limited to regions) and then download them to your eReader. They do have a recommended review to approval ratio of 80%, and some publishers will look at that to determine whether to approve you for a title, but as long as you review most of what you read then it shouldn’t be a problem.


      • Awesome! So you can just choose how many you want to read? You don’t have to read a certain amount per month, just so long you actually read and review what you do read? This sounds like a great way for me to discover some new stuff without totally breaking the bank. 🙂


        • Yep – as many as you want. I went crazy at first and requested so many books. I think some of the publishers like to see the reviews posted within a decent amount of time, so I’ve eased back a bit. I think I’m just going to pick one a month from now on, as I have so many other books to read already. But there’s such a diverse range of books to choose from that it’s hard to pick one!

          Liked by 1 person

    • That’s my excuse for the less than great photos – I wanted to eat everything so bad. I had that damn lemon cake sitting around for an hour before I could cut into it. It nearly killed me.


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