I wanted to buy a cookbook on British food before moving to Montreal. I did some research on the internet and flipped through a few cookbooks. Canteen: Great British Food looked ideal. It is an attractively designed book, has excellent reviews on Amazon, and has all the classics. Food includes bubble and squeak, coronation chicken, pies, stews and plenty of classic puddings. Plus I know Canteen, the restaurant the book was based on. It’s always packed out and offers the food I was looking for.
I looked and I’ve made 8 of the recipes out of this book. I think I can say with confidence that I like the food, but don’t love it. British food, despite the mockery it gets, is very good honest hearty food. When done well, it’s superb. In my opinion, the recipes in this book offer good food, but in order to really make it superb you have to use your own judgement and tweak it a bit.
I still haven’t found a British cookbook I am in love with, although I do try and complete my cookbooks before moving on to another in the same genre so you probably won’t see another British cookbook review for a while. I’ll leave you with my adaption of the recipe for Victoria Sponge, one of my favourite cakes and a very British one indeed!
Cookbook Verdict: If you are interested in traditional British food stick it on your gift wish list, but don’t go out of your way to buy it in general.
Victoria Sponge Cake
250g soft butter
250g caster sugar
250g plain white flour
2tsp baking powder
icing sugar for dusting
Jam – I used Bon Maman’s Raspberry jam which was lovely
150ml Double Cream, whipped