Skip to main content

Review: Love Baking Magazine

I have a confession ... one of my other (probably many) vices is an addiction to magazines. Sometimes, the glossier and shinier the better. I first saw 'Love Baking' in store a just after Christmas and, clocking the £7.99 cover price, immediately put it back on the shelf. My logic was telling me that you can get 'proper' baking books for less than that on Amazon, and in comparison it just didn't seem worth it. I guess I can be quite cynical about things, too, and suspected it may be a bit of a rip off.


I was then out and about a few weekends ago, and saw it again. This time I decided to take the plunge and fork out what is a not inconsiderable sum to feed my curiosity.

Having had a look at the curent edition, which focusses on Valentines Day, I then also saw the first edition still available in Hobbycraft, and bought that too, in order to get a better feel for the magazine and whether it is overall worth getting.

It is bi-monthly, so evening out the cost it works out about £4 a month - the same as many other home/food glossies. Both the Christmas and Valentines magazines appear to run to 64 pages, so whether that's actually good value in comparison, I'm not sure. They each came with a 'free' gift. The Valentine's edition is touted as being worth 'over' £12.50 - for that you got two plastic heart shaped cutters, a cookie gift box, 12 cupcake wrappers and a large cupcake gift box. Looking at these I think £12.50 is probably over inflated for them. Still, I'm a sucker for a free gift.

What about the content? There are a number of articles and the usual page of giveaways and another of product reviews. There is a feature on six cupcakeries from around the country, which was nice to see. There is also a page looking at cakes taken from home baking blogs, including some of my favourites such as the Caked Crusader, the more than occasional baker, and American Cupcake in London. The Valentines edition contains 25 recipes, 19 of which are taken from 12 various books (mini reviews of some of the books then form the content for the 'Baker's Bookshelf' feature - which seems a bit repetitive to me). They included a few of the 'Bake Me I'm Yours ...' series, Love Bakery book, Pop Bakery book and Gwyneth Paltrow's 'Notes from my Kitchen Table'. A number of them I already owned, so nothing new there. The six other recipes appeared to be formulated by the magazine, and seemed things I may want to try, so that was good. 

I was interested to see how much the recipes would be the same as the version in the relevant book, so I checked one taken from 'Step-by-Step Baking' by Caroline Bretherton, the Vanilla Cupcakes 'masterclass'. It's basically a direct repeat.

Looking back then at the Christmas edition, it was essentially the same format and some of the featured books were the same, with the obvious emphasis on festive baking.

I suppose the big question is whether I would buy it again. I guess I would, as there is enough there, and structured in a themed way (eg Christmas, Valentines, and the next one is Easter) in collecting recipes together to hold my interest. There are also some helpful hints and tips. However, I think if you were in the position of already owning a lot of the books they draw recipes from, you may feel that it's a bit of a waste of money. 

If you've tried it yourself, let me know what you think. The next edition, featuring Easter recipes, is out on 22 February.

Susie

Comments

  1. Thanks for the mention! Lovely, balanced honest review. I have to say I was debating if I should get the next edition or not. I am also a sucker for a freebie but haven't had a chance to use these yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem as I do love your blog - don't know how you find the time to bake all those goodies! I used the heart cutters from the Valentine's issue on the Cranberry Shortbreads. They were OK, but not very deep, and with the ridge around them, I couldn't get nice, deep shortbreads. Still, didn't affect the taste :-)

      Delete

Post a Comment

Your comments are very much appreciated.

Popular posts from this blog

Dark Indulgent Chocolate and Walnut Brownies for the Weekly Bake Off

It's been a great couple of weeks in the Bake Off , as Amy has chosen some fantastic chocolate recipes from Mary Berry's 100 Cakes and Bakes . Although I made last week's American Chocolate Ripple Cheesecake, I didn't enter it. Not because it was a disaster (it was incredibly delicious though very rich - Josh has been able to eek it out all week as he only needs a little piece to get his daily chocolate fix!), but I simply ran out of time. So this week, I decided to get my skates on and make the bake early. Particularly as it's brownies. Yes. Brownies. Those dark, fudgey, chocolatey little bites of heaven. But for me, this week was an experiment. You see, I already have a fantastic brownie recipe . It's been made countless times and been played around with to give an endless variety of treats. (Have I ever mentioned Maya Gold in brownies? Yes? Well I'll have to post about them someday soon because they are amazing - like some sort of out of body exp

Not Viennese, but Swiss Cakes for the Weekly Bake Off

One of my strongest childhood memories is the ritual of our family's Sunday Tea, which always took a certain form. My nan would put the kettle on at just before 4pm, and a pot of steaming hot tea would soon be brewed. There were sandwiches, and always, always some form of cake. Quite often, if nan and mum had had a busy weekend, it would be provided by Mr Kipling. My brother and I looked forward to this with some enthusiasm, as there were quite often French Fancies and Vienniese Whirls, which were our hands-down favourites. We could leave the Battenburg Slices, and the jam tarts were often a bit too dry  for us (definitely not as good as homemade). But the soft sweet inside of an iced French Fancy (my favourite being the lemon yellow ones), and the moistness of the Viennese Whirls were something to savour. Of course, you can still buy these. But they just don't seem to taste the same somehow. So when Amy announced this week's Bake Off challenge as the Apricot Swiss

Farmhouse Orange Victoria Sandwich for the Weekly Bake Off

I was really pleased with Amy's selection for this week's Bake Off - Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book was the first Baking book I bought, back in 1995 (it was first published in 1994 and by the time I bought a copy it was already on its eighth reprint). The very first recipe I did was her small all in one Victoria Sandwich, and consequently the very first cake tins I purchased were Silverwood 7" sandwich tins. They have seen many, many outings over the years, by way of this cake and the Sunday Best Chocolate Fudge Cake, also from the same book. I still have them and used them for this recipe. Interestingly, in flicking through 'Ultimate Cake Book', I caught sight of an Orange Victoria Sandwich, which is practically the same recipe as this one (size aside), with the exception of the filling, where Mary instructed that it should be 'about 4 tablespoons of orange mamalade and a little caster sugar'. Hmm, not sure about that one. I certainly loved the