Features & Stories

Newsletter: The perfect serve for Wimbledon + consuming passions for berries

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 A berry nice start to Wimbledon 2023

It’s that time of year to make a racket about strawberries with Wimbledon gracing our screens this week - our Wimbledon collection absolutely smashes it. As well as the ubiquitous berry, we’ll be serving up the likes of dainty Cucumber Sandwiches, Homemade Ginger Beer and jugs of fruity Summer Cup, a gin-based herbal long drink created in the 1820s by James Pimms at his oyster bar in London.

As for the bright-red, heart-shaped fragrant fruit that is an essential part of summer - not to mention the tennis - strawberries are always winners. Try adding an extra hint of colour with borage flower decorations, whizz up a Strawberry Gelato or try your hand at an elegant Strawberry Tart. The ckbk 12 Ways with Strawberry collection includes the odd wild card too - Strawberry Gazpacho anyone?

Pictured above: Strawberries & Cream Quick Trifle Pots from Lavender & Lovage by Karen Burns-Booth

One potato, two potato, three potato, four

The latest addition to ckbk is Paul Gayler’s spectacular spud-focussed A Passion for Potatoes, which is in great company with other longer-standing ckbk tattie titles, Le Cordon Bleu Home Collection: Potatoes and Lucy Madden's The Potato Year.

Gaylor states that “life without the potato is almost unthinkable” and we could not agree more. The book explores many different varieties of potato and takes us on a culinary journey in all kinds of delicious directions. There are recipes for any time - right now we are finding these ones particularly a-peeling: Rustic Potato, Yorkshire Blue and Walnut Tarts, Sweet Potato Laksa and Chilled Potato and Watercress Soup with Caviar Chantilly.

If you are looking for a weekend potato project, consider these Confit Potatoes from The Quality Chop House cookbook. Their signature potatoes have become the stuff of legend - the only dish that has stayed on the menu since the restaurant opened.

Never to be considered just a chip off the old block, this recipe needs to be prepared over two days, with slicing, layering and overnight-chilling producing the most gorgeous crisp golden nugget.

I should cocoa

For World Chocolate Day this year (Friday 7 July), we have compiled a collection of some of our favorite chocolate books to satisfy any chocolate aficionados’ cravings. Guittard, San Francisco’s oldest continuously family-owned chocolate company has produced the wonderful Guittard Chocolate Cookbook containing recipes that have pleased five generations of chocolate-lovers, while Ewald Notter's The Art of the Chocolatier is also essential reading for the baker looking to perfect their chocolate technique. 

Written by Chantal Coady OBE, a sustainable chocolate expert and now 'Chocolate Detective', Chantal Coady's Real Chocolate is chock-full of tempting goodies. Coady finally solves that dilemma of having to choose between a chocolate pudding or a crème brûlée - enjoy both in her Dark Chocolate Crème Brûlée. Lastly, Chocolates and Confections by Peter Greweling and the Culinary Institute of America will help you produce well-tempered chocs and other tasty treats. Sweet.

Also watch out for Valrhona’s Encyclopedia of Chocolate, edited by patissiere Frédéric Bau, coming to ckbk later this month. To be notified when new books are added, visit the notification settings page.

Consuming passions: blackcurrants

"The blackcurrant is a peculiar fruit, in that it manages to be both very childish and yet very grown-up at the same time" says Elly McCausland, author of The Botanical Kitchen in the latest instalment of our Consuming Passions series. McCausland recalls the childhood origin of her passion for blackcurrants, praising their sourness and complexity in everything from Blackcurrant Vinegar to Summer Pudding to  Petra Paredez's summery Blackcurrant Pie.

McCausland also reminds us that if you are lucky enough to have access to a blackcurrant bush, you can also make use of the leaves in your cooking. She says: “They have the glorious herbaceous tang of the fruit about them, which is particularly pronounced when crushed in your palm after the sun has warmed them on a summer afternoon.” Take a leaf out of Keith Floyd’s book with his recipe for the distinctive Blackcurrant Leaf Sorbet.

Try Eat Your Books free for 30 days

Eat Your Books (EYB), a website launched in 2009, is an incredible resource, indexing the recipes contained in many thousands of cookbooks. The Eat Your Books website doesn’t itself include the full recipe, but if you have a substantial collection of print cookbooks, EYB is extremely helpful..

For cookbook lovers who want to make the most of the print cookbooks in their personal library, while also using ckbk to discover new cookbooks and revisit old favorites online, our ckbk / EYB integration offers the best of both worlds, with your print and online cookbooks all searchable in one place, and direct links straight to the recipe on ckbk!

Eat Your Books is offering ckbk users an extended one month free trial of EYB membership. To take advantage of this offer, just sign up on the Eat Your Books website, click I HAVE A VOUCHER during checkout, and enter the code CKBK23.

Claim Your Free 30 Day EYB Offer

6 of the best blueberry recipes

How will you be celebrating Blueberry Day this Saturday!? Here are six ways to paint the town blue.

Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce

from Gluten-Free Baking by Williams Sonoma

Blueberry Tart

from The French Kitchen: A Cookbook by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

Berry and Coconut Ice Lollies

from The Secret of Spice by Tonia Buxton

Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

from Let's Do Brunch by Brigit Binns

Blueberry Pie Salad

from Well Fed Weeknights by Melissa Joulwan

Blueberry Fizz

from The Mountain Cafe Cookbook by Kirsten Gilmour
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