The lovely people at Quadrillle Press sent me Bill Granger's latest book review and what an interesting read it proved to be. Bill's calm, relaxed nature is completely reflected in his latest book-'Bill's Basics'. The book is packed with a large variety of classic recipes catering for every meal from lazy Sunday breakfast to an elegant supper. There are many recipes that will be familiar to restaurant goers which are adapted for the 'home chef' to include French Onion Soup,Thai Beef Salad, Lamb Shank Tagine with Apricots and Spaghetti Carbonara. Bill admits to having a 'sweet tooth' and he has included 9 dessert recipes which are certainly worthy of their place in the book. They are all traditional desserts with Bill's own special twist!! I made the Baked Lemon Cheesecake which was easy to prepare but the result was delicious. I barely had a slice left to take the photos above and below!! Bill also has a full chapter dedicated to baking where he reassures the inexperience baker that practice is paramount for successful baking.
As a self-taught chef Bill's no- nonsense approach to cooking is enlightening and this shines through in every dish. His recipes are a breeze to follow using easy to source ingredients.
The photography is simple yet beautiful and would encourage even a novice cook to make their way into the kitchen!! This would make a wonderful addition to any keen chefs cookbook collection
Baked Lemon Cheesecake
125g plain sweet biscuits (digestives are best)
50g ground almonds
70g unsalted butter, melted
500g cream cheese, softened
220g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
Grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
400g soured cream/ 250mls double cream, whipped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Icing sugar, to dust
- Preheat the oven to 140°C/gas mark 1 and grease and line the base of a 26cm round springform tin.
- Mix the biscuits to crumbs in a food processor. Mix together the biscuit crumbs, ground almonds and melted butter and press into the bottom of the tin. Put in the fridge while you make the topping.
- Mix the cream cheese and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add the eggs, egg yolk, lemon zest and juice and mix again.
- Add the soured cream and vanilla extract and mix again until completely smooth.
- Pour the filling over the base and bake for 1 hour (the cheesecake will still have a definite wobble in the centre). Turn the oven off and cool inside for 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack to leave the cheesecake to cool completely before covering and refrigerating overnight.
- Run a knife around the inside edge of the tin to loosen the cheesecake, then lift off the side.
- Dust with icing sugar to serve.
The cheesecake benefits from overnight refrigeration as this improves the texture.
If you would like to purchase this book it's available on Amazon UK.