Looking for the perfect gift and have no idea what to buy? How about a cookbook? From Gino D’Acampo to The Hairy Bikers, we’ve rounded up our favorite cookbooks of 2012
Cookbooks are a great gift and keepsake that will decorate someone’s kitchen shelves for years to come. It’s always great to receive a cookbook as a present – you never know when you’re going to need some inspiration in the kitchen. Cookbooks can be passed down from generation to generation and you’ll always have your favourites that you just can’t get enough of.
Whether you’re treating yourself or buying one for someone special, there are plenty of great cookbooks out this year that are sure to tick all the boxes. Gordon Ramsay and Lorraine Pascale are just a few of the celeb cookbooks in our collection.
And if you love baking we’ve got plenty of great baking cookbooks to choose from including two very special books from top TV show The Great British Bake Off – which we can’t wait to get our hands on.
And if that’s not enough, there are also plenty of savoury cookbooks to choose from for rustling up quick, mid-week dishes, dinners for the kids or a posh slap-up meal for that special someone. If you love spending time in the kitchen or you know someone who does – buy one of these amazing cookbooks to make the New Year that little bit tastier.
Why we love it: Lorraine Pascale‘s Fast, Fresh and Easy is packed with 100 easy-to-make recipes. Lorraine’s mission with this book was to show how easy it is to create fresh meals at home. From simple cakes to impressive canapes, this book is full of great recipes, that look good but take no time at all to make. What more could you ask for?
Perfect for? Beginners and those in need of dinner inspiration.
Publisher and price: HarperCollins; £7.99.
Why we love it: Jamie Oliver has done it again with this super quick and tasty cookbook. Halving the time from his popular 30 Minute Meals, this book promises delicious dinners in next to no time. Alright, you may need a food processor and a few gadgets to make them as quickly as Jamie does, but there’s no denying the genius in his lovely-looking, yet simple to make dishes. And we find it really fun to see how fast we can do them – trust us, you will too!
Perfect for? Busy mums who want to spend less time in the kitchen.
Publisher and price: Michael Joseph; £11.99.
Why we love it? If you’re a novice in the kitchen, this book will give you a huge confidence boost. Gordon Ramsay‘s Ultimate Cookery Course is a step-by-step cookbook full of everyday recipes that are both simple and delicious. It’s one of the cheapest cookery courses around!
Perfect for? Beginners and those who want to improve their cooking skills and techniques.
Publisher and price: Hodder & Stoughton; £12.
Why we love it? We’re massive fans of The Great British Bake Off so this book is right at the top of our Christmas list. Packed with simple recipes that both children and adults will love, it teaches you how to make giant cookies, bonfire brownies and many many more baking lovelies.
Perfect for? Bake Off fans who have been bitten by the baking bug.
Publisher and price: BBC Books; £9.49.
Why we love it? We loved them as The Hairy Bikers but we have to admit, their recipes weren’t always the healthiest ones out there. It seems like the boys thought the same, and after some tough words from their doctors, Si and Dave took the challenge of turning their much-loved comfort food classics into healthier dishes. And the results? Delicious! You’ll never guess how healthy the meals are with their clever swaps.
Perfect for? Calorie counters, healthy eaters and anyone who wants to shift some pounds – so pretty much everyone in January, then!
Publisher and price: W&N; £7.39.
Why we love it? Any time Nigella has a book out we get excited but we were really looking forward to this one. Italian classics with a Nigella twist – what’s not to love? Simple yet luxurious pastas, pizzas and more, Nigellissima is a must for those who can’t resist a little Italian treat.
Perfect for? For pasta lovers and those who want to explore the delights of Italy.
Publisher and price: Chatto & Windus; £12.
Why we love it? Who knew Gok was such a whizz in the kitchen? The fashion guru has taken tips from his chef father to give us some classic Chinese dishes. This cookbook is full of simple and quick classics like prawn Wonton noodle soup and Dim Sum. The perfect Saturday night takeway alternative.
Perfect for? Those who love Chinese food – it’s not as hard to make as you might think.
Publisher and price: Michael Joseph; £8.86.
Why we love it? We’re a little bit in love with Gino, so why wouldn’t we want his face on our book shelf? Packed with cheap, quick and easy Italian dishes, Fantastico will make your mealtimes a whole lot tastier. With 100 recipes and tons of tips, there’s more than enough to keep you entertained.
Perfect for? Those who want to cook traditional Italian food the easy way.
Publisher and price: Kyle Cathie; £10.49.
Why we love it? We just can’t get enough of the pie-loving duo and when they turned their hands toward baking we just knew we’d love it. Their Bakation through Europe created some treats: warm Rye bread, savory pies and almond cookies are only a few of the scrumptious treats in this book – we can’t wait to get our hands on it.
Perfect for? Hairy Bikers‘ fans, baking addicts and those who want to bake some tasty classics.
Publisher and price: W&N; £10.34.
Why we love it? Cake! Cake! Cake! We just love Rachel Allen and her cake baking skills. Her fail-safe recipes with easy to follow methods, helpful tips and advice make a great combo in this shiny new cookbook. If you’re looking to get bitten by the baking bug, fall head first into the world of cake – this is the book for you.
Perfect for? Those who want to up their cake making and decorating skills.
Publisher and price: Collins; £12.
Why we love it? This beautiful, fully illustrated book by Pippa Middleton is bursting with recipes, crafts and inspirational ideas. From melt-in-the-mouth Madeleines to an impressive roast ham, this book is a fancy guide for throwing a rather royal party for all the family.
Perfect for? Those who want to be a little bit fancy and push the boat out.
Publisher and price: Michael Joseph; £12.
Why we love it? We just loved The Little Paris Kitchen series on the BBC. French chef Rachel Khoo teaches us how to make a delicious range of French cuisine in the comfort of our own kitchen. This simple cookbook takes some of the French classics and turns them into quick and easy everyday dishes that we can’t wait to get making.
Perfect for? Those who love French food but don’t want to spend hours making it.
Publisher and price: Michael Joseph; £10.86.
Why we love it? This humorous children’s cookbook by CBBC presenter and food writer Stefan Gates is full of fun, scientific food ideas that the kids will love. It’s packed full of mad recipes, food science projects and weird food stories – it makes cooking fun for all ages.
Perfect for? Kids who want to get creative in the kitchen.
Publisher and price: Walker; £6.99.
Why we love it? This colourful, bright birthday cake book from royal cake baker Fiona Cairns is a must-have this year. It makes us want to pick up a whisk and get beating! From simple cakes to stunning masterpieces, this book is a work of art.
Perfect for? Those who want to improve their cake decorating skills and take their cake passion to the next level.
Publisher and price: Quadrille Publishing Ltd; £12.15.
Why we love it? Traveling with fellow cook Ching-He Huang, Ken Hom‘s Exploring China took him on a journey like no other, discovering delicious, classic Chinese recipes on his way. He now wants to share all his tasty secrets with us. This book is a keeper, full of traditional Chinese dishes that will make Saturday night takeaways a distant memory. We can’t wait to get cooking with Ken!
Perfect for? Chinese food lovers.
Publisher and price: BBC Books; £12.86.
Why we love it? Mary Berry, Lorraine Pascale, Delia Smith, Paul Hollywood all under one roof – now that sounds like a party we want to go to! Celebrity Bake Book is a delicious book full of mouth-watering baking recipes from some of the top celebrity bakers of 2012. It’s not only top chefs sharing their favourite recipes, it’s also celebrities and politicans too – all in support of The Ben Kinsella Trust.
Perfect for? Those looking for a baking bible that will last.
Publisher and price: Accent Press Ltd; £8.76.
Why we love it? If you loved The Great British Bake Off series and wish you could have been on the show, this book will be right up your street. Recreate all the techincal challenges and test your skills by attempting some of the contestant’s show-stoppers – go on, give it a go, make Paul and Mary proud.
Perfect for? GBBO addicts.
Publisher and price: BBC Books; £8.86.
Why we love it? Calling all chocoholics, have you seen the new Gu Chocolate cookbook? This book is packed full of sweet treats that are irresistible. From chilli chocolate mousse to warm chocolate brownies, this cookbook is chocolate heaven.
Perfect for? All chocolate lovers out there.
Publisher and price: Collins; £7.
Why we love it? Keep it simple with Hugh’s Three Good Things. If you’ve seen his show, you’ll know all about Hugh’s theory of three: all you need is 3 good ingredients to make a delicious dish. Rounding up more than 175 of Hugh’s top recipes, this cookbook includes classic such as scones, jam and cream, fish, chips and mushy peas – good things really do come in threes.
Perfect for? Those who love a challenge.
Publisher and price: Bloomsbury Publishing; £11.99.
Why we love it? She impressed us on The Great British Bake Off, now the 2011 winner has turned pro and released a lovely book of baking favourites. From sticky toffee pudding to cinnamon swirl loaf, Jo Wheatley‘s recipes aren’t too tricky to master but the results are simply delicious – what every home-baker wants.
Perfect for? Bakers and beginners.
Publisher and price: Constable; £14.99.
Why we love it? Love Indian food? Love the firey spicy of a classic masala? So do we! Our favourite Indian chef, Madhur Jaffrey shares some of her favourite Indian dishes from her travels across Britain, where she visited local Indian and South Asian communities. Learn how to get all the delicious flavours into your curries without resorting to pastes or sauces – once you know how, you’ll never go back.
Perfect for? Curry lovers.
Publisher and price: Ebury Press; £11.20.
Why we love it? Celebrity MasterChef winner, Lisa Faulkner shares some classic family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation including favourites like roast dinner, Christmas cake and many more. It’s also full of some professional dishes too like pan-fried scallops with pea and mint – fun for all the family.
Perfect for? Busy mum and families who love to cook together.
Publisher and price: Simon & Schuster UK; £12.26.
Why we love it? We think cake really does say a lot, that’s why we love Edd Kimber’s new cookbook Say It With Cake. This impressive book from the first Great British Bake Off winner has over 80 showstoppers that are guaranteed to impress your friends and family. So if you’re the cake maker in the family, it’s time to take those skills to the next level with this delicious and creative cake guide – the perfect stocking filler this year.
Perfect for? Cake lovers and master bakers-to-be.
Publisher and price: Kyle Books; £10.06.
Why we love it? What makes this cookbook better than the rest? Nigel Slater of course! This book is full of classic recipes as well as lots of lovely stories and anecdotes from the man himself.
Perfect for? Food lovers everywhere.
Publisher and price: Fourth Estate; £12.
Why we love it? As we all know from The Great British Bake Off, Paul is a perfectionist. If you want perfect bakes at home, all you need to do is follow his recipes. He’s got the lot here, including breads, pastries, cakes and biscuits. Get baking and imagine Paul is in the kitchen with you (we’re sure he’ll be pleased with your bakes!)
Perfect for? Fans of The Hollywood and GBBO.
Publisher and price: Bloomsbury Publishing; £8.86.
Why we love it? And you thought she was just an amazing baker! Mary Berry‘s Complete Cookbook covers mains, starters puds and of course bakes. With easy to follow instructions and simple recipes, this book has an exiciting collection including low-fat dishes and family faves.
Perfect for? Everyone – Mary’s recipes are so easy to follow.
Publisher and price: Dorling Kindersley; £10.
Why we love it? Learn all about the history of English food in this classic cookbook from Clarissa Dickson Wright, who takes you on a historical journey of traditional feasts from previous ages. From an eighteenth-century labourer’s breakfast to a twelve-course Victorian banquet, this book is oozing with food history.
Perfect for? History buffs and food appreciators.
Publisher and price: Random House Books; £17.50.
Why we love it? If you love tarts as much as we do, you’ll love this simple book from celeb chef Eric Lanlard. This brilliant book is packed with mouth-watering sweet and savoury pies, tarts and more. Perfect your baking skills with this beauty.
Perfect for? Tart lovers and bakers looking for the next challenge.
Publisher and price: Mitchell Beazley; £8.33.
Why we love it? Saturday Kitchen fan? Love James Martin? This book is sure to be right up your street. If you want to keep warm this winter, James Martin knows how – with slow-cooked recipes, of course. From hearty soups to tasty casseroles, if you’re looking for some dinner inspiration this winter, this book is for you.
Perfect for? Cold winter days, slow-cooker users and those who want to get more flavour out of their ingredients.
Publisher and price: Quadrille Publishing Ltd; £9.99.
Why we love it? Miranda Gore Browne was a finalist in The Great British Bake Off a few years ago and has created this impressive and wonderful book full of sweet and delicious biscuit recipes that are sure to make your mouth water. A hard crunch or a crumbly bite, this Miranda has a recipe for them all!
Perfect for? Biscuit lovers and family bakers.
Publisher and price: Ebury Press; £8.87.