Cookbook Review

Marvellous Muffins by Alison Holst

Is it for you?

This cookbook is perfect for those that are wanting a solid starter or introductory cookbook for muffin making. The recipes in this cookbook are very traditional and easy to make. Cooking your way through this muffin cookbook will really help anyone understand what consistency the batter needs to be for muffins, common methods and base recipes. From here you would easily be able to diversify into more complicated muffin books or recipes, or start designing your own.

This cookbook is a cookbook of our parents generation, originally published in 1994. There have been lots of newer versions of this published but the recipes have remianed the same. You will flick through this recipe book and discover many muffin recipes and combinations that you would have tried over the years at the hands of other bakers. Now you can be one of them.

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Cooking Experience

I had been looking for my own copy of this cookbook for years, so my cooking experience through this book was one of pure enjoyment and reminiscence. I love all the fruit muffin recipes and they have been very well utilised as I always seem to end up with excess fruit no matter how much I buy. The Crunchy Lemon Muffins is a recipe I grew up with, and is one to this day I love making. My mum made them so often she used to freeze lemon juice in the freezer to be able to make these warm, fresh muffins in the winter. With added chocolate these can be some serious comfort eating. The Banana Chocolate Muffins is another of these recipes, and seems to be the basic recipe most people throw together to make these deliciously sweet muffins without even realising it.

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The good thing about this recipe book is that most ingredients used in these recipes you will already have in your pantry. They use staple ingredients, spices and fruit that are easily accessible at any grocery store if you don’t already have them. The recipes are simple, not time consuming and delicious, so it is not a surprise that this cookbook is widely popular across countries and age groups. For myself these muffin recipes give me something to be excited about in my lunchbox during the week and are easy to throw together on the weeknights. There is room for small variations in each of these recipes, with dried fruits, spices or swapping out orange for grapefruit. This makes this cookbook versatile beyond what is actually written within it.

I feel like I am on a constant journey to find the best of each recipe, the best Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffin, the best Herbed Muffin or the best Blueberry Muffin. Once I find this recipe I usually stick with it and not tend to branch out. This may seem boring, but for me it feels like I have found my calling, my tried, tested and true recipe my specialty dish. I can cook or bake with confidence as I know the recipe will turn out well everytime. My favourite Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe and Lemon Muffin recipe are held within the pages of this book. I do have a different favourite Blueberry Muffin recipe that I will share with you once I have some blueberries at hand.

Was it for me?

This recipe book is one my mum has had for years. It is just a small recipe book but it has had a big influence on my life. My mum baked and cooked a lot or recipes by Alison Holst as I was growing up and as a result she is one of my favourite chefs. This cookbook is simple and has some very traditional, tried and true muffin recipes you can always rely on. For this reason this cookbook has been a staple in my muffin making journey. I would recommend this cookbook to absolutely anyone wanting solid muffin recipes. With it only being dedicated to muffins it also makes baking easy if muffins are what you want to bake. Instead of flipping through a cookbook past cakes, biscuits and slices and various sections divided be season, type or strength of flavour or different dish types you can just grab your trusty muffin cookbook, choose either savoury or sweet and you are away.

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I have wanted a copy of this cookbook for some time and did discover that my partners nana had a copy that I was going to borrow and transcribe into my recipe journal. Thanks to my own grandmother though, this cookbook is now something I have inherited from her and can proceed to cook from into another generation of our family.

Recipes I’ve Tried

  • Banana blueberry muffins
  • Double chocolate muffins
  • Chocolate and banana muffins
  • Crunchy lemon muffins
  • Apricot and walnut muffins
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