The launch party for Home Sweet Home, the latest Hummingbird Bakery book by founder Tarek Malouf, took place last Wednesday.

Home Sweet HomeThe event was lively and amiable  with a mix of people squeezed into the cosy Spitalfields branch. Champagne was poured and there was a steady supply of mini cupcake samples;  I took only water but shamelessly snaffled one of each from all five flavours (red velvet, Eton mess, salted caramel, Oreo, and key lime). Each could be eaten in one bite, all were delicious.

Home Sweet Home has 100 recipes which would appeal to any keen home baker.  You don’t necessarily need to be a Hummingbird devotee to find this book enjoyable and useful: I found myself flicking through the pages and deciding that I would make basically everything.

…impressive layer cakes, cheesecakes, pies, cobblers, roulades, and little savoury nibbles…

Oreo CupcakeThe book opens with a chapter on their signature cupcakes and continues to tempt you to the very end with impressive layer cakes, cheesecakes, pies, cobblers, roulades, and little savoury nibbles. I was particularly tickled by the fact that there are recipes for cupcakes which evoke (and are topped with) classic British biscuits, like custard creams and Jammie Dodgers. The finished goods are all represented in beautifully styled photographs which evoke an idealised 1950s home where people lounge around with pretty home-baked cakes.

As Australian vlogger Natalie Tran said, ‘I don’t even consider making a recipe if I don’t see a fake picture of what it’ll never look like,’ but I also think that the styling is natural enough—slightly cracked roulades, crumbs everywhere, uneven frosting—that I might be able to turn out relatively pretty cakes in my own home. 

…step-by-step photos to help illustrate trickier parts…

It’s not just all pretty pictures, though: the recipes in the Hummingbird bakery books are used at the actual shop, where cakes are freshly baked on-site throughout the day. After the first edition of a previous Hummingbird Bakery book was released, the company thoughtfully issued a sheet of baking tips to guide and soothe frustrated home bakers. Home Sweet Home contains a section on baking essentials in the back, but the recipes themselves are also very clearly laid out and written in fine detail, sometimes with step-by-step photos to help illustrate trickier parts.

I am, in short, very much looking forward to baking recipes from this book, but the trouble is choosing which one…

About The Author

History of Art graduate from SOAS (jointly with UCL). I cook, eat, and observe the world. Then I write about it and share it with you. This is a unilateral decision.

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