Mary Berry’s Cookery Course: A Review


Are you looking for some new recipes to try out at university? Want to impress your housemates? Then look no further! After the success of hit BBC television show Great British Bake-Off, the nation can’t help but love Mary Berry, and now she has a new recipe book out! The Wessex Scene got the opportunity to review “Mary Berry’s Cookery Course”. Here’s how it went…

Image by Martha Williams.
Image by Martha Williams.

Being such an avid fan of GBBO, I love Mary Berry as much as any viewer. So when DK Books approached the Wessex Scene with a proposal of reviewing her new cook book, Mary Berry’s Cookery Course (MBCC), I jumped at the chance.

As a student, I find it hard to find recipe books that explain how to make exciting dishes in a simple way. This is where MBCC comes out to play. From it’s charming front cover to the helpful ribbon book mark, I found it to be just what I was looking for.

It starts with a lovely introduction from Mary Berry herself, in which she gives some personal advice to both experienced and novice chefs. This is followed by a helpful section on which tools and equipment to use for different meals, as well as the “Technique Finder” which guides you to the right section of the book for different techniques.

Image by Martha Williams.
Image by Martha Williams.

What really impressed me was the ingenious idea of having “Master Recipe” and “Secrets of Success” sections, where Berry instructs the reader on how to perfectly make staple foods such as a sponge cake, or how to cook the perfect pasta. The egg section certainly ended a long-lasting feud between myself and a friend as to whether you should keep eggs in the fridge (I won, as did the fridge). This is very helpful for those who aren’t as confident in their cooking.

The layout of the recipes themselves is clear and concise, with big A4 pictures to accompany them (very helpful if your final result doesn’t look quite how it’s meant to). Also, for those of us who are concious of our waistlines, each recipe tells you how many calories/fat/sugar there is in the final product, a neat little touch that adds to the overall friendliness of the book.

Herby Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

MeatballsAlthough this sounds like a plain dish, the fact that I had to make the meatballs from scratch caught my eye. Despite losing a quarter of my bodily fluiMeatballs2ds through crying when cutting the onions, this was a success!

With just a hint of Tabasco in the recipe, you can make it as hot as you like. The recipe is so simple that if you wanted to alter it to add some more flavour it wouldn’t complicate things. In addition to the large picture of the final result, the recipe page has a couple of helpful images on how to mould the meatballs and fry them off.

So far so good!

Blueberry Muffins

Muffins2Now. This was a risk of mine. Partly because I have only just started liking blueberries. Partly because I had never baked muffins before. And partly…well…partly because Mary Berry is the Queen of Cakes (and they looked amazing in the picture). My expectations were low, but once they were in the cases things started to look up!

I did question the lemon zest that the recipe called for though. Personally, I am not a fan of anything lemony, so I was fairly hesitant. However, I assumed it was one of these things that ‘brought out’ other flavours, and I didn’t want to deviate, so chucked it in anyway!

Unfortunately, I could still taste the lemon when it was time to try them, although the muffin itself turned out really well. Even so, the recipe is simple enough for you to emit it, so perhaps I will try that next time!

Image courtesy of DK Books.
Image courtesy of DK Books.

Despite the dreaded lemon, I found the recipes extremely easy to follow, and they both turned out how they were meant to (phew).  On the whole, a brilliant cookbook that any student will be crazy not to try. Plus, Mary Berry’s smile on the front cover would win anyone over!

If you would like to purchase this book, head over to now!


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