Festive wishlist 2020: 10 quirky international recipe books to spice up your cooking this holiday season
The festive season is a time for eating, eating and more eating. Want to impress the family with your festive cooking skills? Or are you looking for the perfect gift for the bakers and makers in your life?
Have a browse of these recently published recipe books for inspiration!
Check out the list:
The Gingerbread Kama Sutra by Patti Paige
Need to spice up your love life? The Gingerbread Kama Sutra is here to help.
With chapters ranging from Easy to Advanced to Expert, there’s a gingerbread position whatever your flavour.
Handy baking templates show you how to make these cookie creations at home, while descriptions from the Kama Sutra mean you can get inventive in the bedroom as well as in the kitchen.
Featuring Patti Paige’s signature and vegan gingerbread and her top tips for baking and decorating, this book is a sure-fire recipe for romance.
Christmas with Kim-Joy
Kim-Joy’s baked creations have charmed fans since she was in the final of the Great British Bake Off 2018.
Following on from her bestselling debut book, Baking with Kim-Joy, she’s turning to everyone’s favourite time of year – Christmas!
Sharing her simple decorating techniques and her delicious flavour combinations, Kim-Joy will delight novice and seasoned bakers with – among many others – her melted snowman cake pops, white chocolate igloos with marshmallow seals, penguin bao buns and incredible inspiration for designing your own magical gingerbread village.
Whether you’re after ideas for edible Christmas gifts or bigger bakes to feed friends and family, you’ll find a treasure trove of adorable recipes here that will melt everyone’s heart.
Joy to the World: 24 festive treats from around the world by Silke Martin and Frauke Antholz
There is nothing as cosy or relaxing as a day spent baking in the festive season. Freshly-baked cookies are very much a part of the advent period – filling your home with the scent of warm, sugary dough is sure to raise a smile before a single bite is taken out of them!
Joy to the World sweetens the lead-up to Christmas with 24 favourite biscuit and cookie recipes from around the world – one for every day before Christmas. Try the famous gingerbread from Sweden, Christmas cantucci from Italy, or millionaire’s shortbread from Scotland. The recipes are simple, fun and festive, and make a tasty gift or indulgent treat.
Beautifully designed with charming photographs throughout, Joy to the World will make your Christmas extra special, and the book itself is a stylish stocking filler for the baker in your life.
Love to Bake by The Bake Off Team
Love to Bake is The Great British Bake Off’s best collection yet – recipes to remind us that baking is the ultimate expression of thanks, togetherness, celebration and love.
Pop round to a friend’s with tea and sympathy in the form of Chai Crackle Cookies; have fun making Paul’s Rainbow-coloured Bagels with your family; snuggle up and take comfort in Sticky Pear & Cinnamon Buns or a Pandowdy Swamp Pie; or liven up a charity cake sale with Mini Lemon & Pistachio Battenbergs or Prue’s stunning Raspberry & Salted Caramel Eclairs.
Impressive occasion cakes and stunning bakes for gatherings are not forgotten – from a novelty frog birthday cake for a children’s party, through a towering croquembouche to wow your guests at the end of dinner, to a gorgeous, but easy-to-make wedding cake that’s worthy of any once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
Throughout the book, judges’ recipes from Paul and Prue will hone your skills, while lifelong favourites from the 2020 bakers offer insight into the journeys that brought the contestants to the Bake Off tent and the reasons why they – like you – love to bake.
Cook, Eat, Repeat by Nigella Lawson
‘More than just a mantra, “cook, eat, repeat” is the story of my life.’
Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes and Stories – a brilliant new book from Nigella Lawson featuring narrative essays about food, over 150 new recipes and 50 beautiful colour photographs.
‘Food, for me, is a constant pleasure: I like to think greedily about it, reflect deeply on it, learn from it; it provides comfort, inspiration, meaning and beauty …’
Cook, Eat, Repeat is a delicious and delightful combination of recipes intertwined with narrative essays about food, all written in Nigella’s engaging and insightful prose.
Whether asking ‘What is a Recipe?’ or declaring death to the Guilty Pleasure, Nigella’s wisdom about food and life comes to the fore, with tasty new recipes that readers will want to return to again and again.
The Artisan Kitchen: Creative Projects for Adventurous Cooks by James Strawbridge
Spark your creativity with a more mindful way of cooking.
Giving a modern twist to age-old techniques, this book shows how to master 25 preserving and cooking processes, from fermenting to cheese making, hot smoking to sourdough baking.
Discover how to brew perfect sweet-sour kombucha, make a fresh-tasting chutney, dry cure bresaola, create your own sourdough starter and slow roast over an open wood fire. Be inspired to experiment with more than 150 recipe ideas.
Each culinary project is explored in three stages to spark your creativity: ‘The Science’ explains the science and technical know-how; ‘The Practice’ gets you started on an enticing recipe, with action shots of tricky techniques; and ‘The Possibilities’ provides further recipe ideas plus the tools and inspiration to devise your own recipes.
The Biscuit: The History of a Very British Indulgence by Lizzie Collingham
Biscuits are as British as fish and chips or the Sunday roast and they have been for centuries. From sustenance for explorers to comfort food for a nation, here is the surprising, wide-ranging, social history of Britain through the biscuit.
‘Fascinating’ – Prue Leith
Bourbons. Custard Creams. Rich Tea. Jammie Dodgers. Chocolate Digestives. Shortbread. Ginger snaps. Which is your favourite?
British people eat more biscuits than any other nation; they are as embedded in the culture as fish and chips or the Sunday roast. But biscuits are not only tasty treats to go with a cup of tea, the sustenance they afford is often emotional, evoking nostalgic memories of childhood.
Lizzie Collingham begins in Roman times when biscuits, literally, ‘twice-baked’ bread, became the staple of the poor; she takes us to the Middle East, where the addition of sugar to the dough created the art of confectionery. Yet it was in Britain that bakers experimented to create the huge variety of biscuits which populate our world today. And when the Industrial Revolution led to their mass production, biscuits became integral to the British diet. We follow the humble biscuit’s transformation from durable staple for sailors, explorers and colonists to sweet luxury for the middling classes to comfort food for an entire nation.
Like an assorted tin of biscuits, this charming and beautifully illustrated book has something to offer for everyone, combining recipes for hardtack and macaroons, Shrewsbury biscuits and Garibaldis, with entertaining and eye-opening vignettes of social history.
The Geometry of Pasta by Jacob Kennedy
The Italians have a secret
There are said to be over 300 shapes of pasta, each of which has a history, a story to tell, and an affinity with particular foods. These shapes have evolved alongside the flavours of local ingredients, and the perfect combination can turn an ordinary dish into something sublime.
With a stunning cover design to celebrate its 10-year anniversary, The Geometry of Pasta pairs over 100 authentic recipes from critically acclaimed chef, Jacob Kenedy, with award-winning designer Caz Hildebrand’s incredible black-and-white designs to reveal the science, history and philosophy behind spectacular pasta dishes from all over Italy.
A striking fusion of design and food, The Geometry of Pasta tells you everything you need to know about cooking and eating pasta like an Italian. Available for preorder now.
‘Beautiful, and an instant classic’ – Nigella Lawson
‘Really delicious, authentic pasta recipes’ – Jamie Oliver
Eat to Save the Planet by Annie Bell
Simple, tempting, eco-friendly recipes that support the environment and don’t make you feel like you’re missing out.
If the way we eat globally continues, the world is at risk of failing to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. From extreme weather patterns to wild fires raging in Australia, it’s little wonder that more of us than ever are worried about the environmental impact of our food decisions.
Enter award-winning recipe writer for Mail on Sunday‘s YOU magazine and registered nutritionist, Annie Bell. The easy, family-friendly recipes in Eat to Save the Planet follow recommendations from the Lancet-EAT commissioned Planetary Health Diet, written by an international group of scientists. This flexitarian reference diet is so simple, easily accessible and tempting that you will hardly believe you’re helping to save the planet as you eat.
The mainstays of the Planetary Health Diet are plant-based foods, but while these ingredients are central to its recommendations, the diet doesn’t go as far as being vegetarian or vegan. So recipes in the book include modest quantities of seafood and poultry, with a small amount of red meat being optional – making this new approach to eating achievable and realistic for everyone.
Whether it’s Spinach, Nut and Goat’s Cheese Pie, Aubergine Stuffed with Lamb and Buckwheat, or Speedy Cauliflower, Lentil and Watercress Risotto, these comforting, filling and delicious dishes will quickly become the day-to-day favourites in your kitchen. Available for preorder now.
‘The best possible cookbook you could buy for 2021 and beyond.’ – The Bookseller
The Book of Difficult Fruit by Kate Lebo
Inspired by twenty-six fruits, essayist, poet and pie lady Kate Lebo expertly blends the culinary, medical and personal.
A is for Aronia, berry member of the apple family, clothes-stainer, superfruit with reputed healing power. D is for Durian, endowed with a dramatic rind and a shifty odour – peaches, old garlic. M is for Medlar, name-checked by Shakespeare for its crude shape, beloved by gardeners for its flowers. Q is for Quince, which, fresh, gives off the scent of ‘roses and citrus and rich women’s perfume’ but if eaten raw is so astringent it wicks the juice from one’s mouth.
In this work of unique invention, these and other difficult fruits serve as the central ingredients of twenty-six lyrical essays (and recipes!) that range from deeply personal to botanical, from culinary to medical, from humorous to philosophical. The entries are associative, often poetic, taking unexpected turns and giving sideways insights into life, relationships, self-care, modern medicine and more. What if the primary way you show love is to bake, but your partner suffers from celiac disease? Why leave in the pits for Willa Cather’s Plum Jam? How can we rely on bodies as fragile as the fruits that nourish them?
Lebo’s unquenchable curiosity leads us to intimate, sensuous, enlightening contemplations. The Book of Difficult Fruit is the very best of food writing: graceful, surprising and ecstatic.
Includes black and white illustrations. Available for preorder now.