Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Jan Harris
Deputy Group Editor
1:02 AM 18th November 2023

The Thrifty Baker: Shop, Bake & Eat On A Budget

Deputy Group Editor Jan Harris has been using Hermine Dossou's book to cook up some superb and fantastic baking for the editorial team.

Where do I begin? The two dedicatees of  Hermine Dossou's wonderful cookbook, her son Steven and mum,  are lucky people.

The Bake-Off semi-finalist has a wealth of fantastic recipes, of which the added benefit is that they are suitable for anyone baking on a budget.

As Doosou points out, baking need not be expensive, as he proves throughout this book. Thrifty people exist at every level of society, and she writes that buying an ingredient is like making an investment; we should aim to get as big a return on it as we can.

Doosou had to learn to budget as a single mother and make her income stretch. The lovely presented book covers bread making, cakes for tea, biscuits and cookies, pastries and tarts, desserts for special occasions, and those needing a quick and convenient recipe.

Her style is easy to read and chimes with the audience. The introduction consists of explaining about equipment, piping, ingredients, using up leftovers, and baking techniques. The explanations, photos, and diagrams are clear, akin to having Doosou by your side.

The cinnamon rolls are a delight and outperform the ones I buy from a local bakery. As for the blueberry and custard brioche buns, they are easy to make and heavenly to taste. I am still to make the butternut squash and curry buns, for which I am being pestered constantly to produce.

In the cakes and biscuits section, there is a mix of things you might expect to be expensive: chocolate Anzac biscuits, Palets Bretons, and Palmiers.

Anyone thinking this book was going to be basic because it was for those on a budget should seriously think again. The joy of this book is the different types of mouth-watering examples on offer. Fancy a carrot cake, which impressed my family. As Dossou says, it's the carrot jam that makes it special. Hear! Hear!

In the quick and convenient section, the different types of mug cakes will go down a treat.

To aid the baker, there are lots of +tips to help and +thrifty  tricks.

In this book, it was Dossou's intention to show us that when things are tough financially, we can save considerable sums. We can, as The Thrifty Baker demonstrates, eat flavourful, nutritious food without spending a fortune on ingredients and energy.

It's a manual that I have not yet finished flicking through, and judging by the number of sticky labels poking out the top of the book, it's going to be a fabulous Christmas. Writing about Christmas would make an excellent present.

As to the success... The editorial team has devoured everything, leaving only a few crumbs. That's what I like to see, and every baker cooking on a tight budget will also relish the sight of it.

The Thrifty Baker Shop, Bake & Eat on a Budget by Hermine Dossou is published by White Lion Publishing in hardback and eBook £18.99
ISBN 978-0711287488

Although I made my first cake on my eighth birthday, it wasn't until I became a single mother that my passion for baking blossomed. Money was tight, but I was not going to let that stop me. While saving money lies at the heart of this book, I want to demonstrate that, when it comes to baking, necessity can be the mother of invention. You really can produce exciting and impressive meals, treats and celebratory bakes with limited means. Hermine Dossou