Leon: Baking & Puddings and Allegra McEvedy’s Bought, Borrowed and Stolen

There are some cookbooks that we love the look of, but then find they contain recipes that are so complicated and require so many ingredients, that we rarely take them off our shelves. These two cookbooks are completely different. Written by the co-founders of the Leon chain (along with Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery), they contain recipes that are easy to cook, use accessible ingredients and result in absolutely delicious food – you’ll use them again and again, we promise. Leon: Baking and Puddings by Claire Ptak and Henry Dimbleby sounds calorific but actually three-quarters of their recipes are sugar, dairy, wheat or gluten free (think along the lines of the delicious flour-free brownies on sale at Leon). The book is divided into two: the first half contains recipes to use everyday: breads and granolas plus a great cooking with kids section. The second half contains recipes for celebrations, from plum ice-cream to one of our favourites: flourless chocolate fudge cake.

The second book, Bought, Borrowed and Stolen by Allegra McEvedy is the result of twenty years of McEvedy’s travels. Along the way, she kept copious notes and diaries of all the food she enjoyed, and for this book she has whittled them down to 123 recipes. They’re sorted into countries from Turkey to Japan, with simple, straightforward instructions so that making lamb and aubergine kebabs becomes as easy as whipping up spaghetti bolognese. If you’ve grown tired of your own recipes, this book will give you the kick start you need into a whole new culinary world.

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