Book Review ~ Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook 200 Christmas Recipes

A Cute and Complete Collection of Culinary Christmas Ideas

This arrived too late for me post my review before Christmas, but I am still enjoying the book in the New Year. 

The book is only small in size, but don’t let that put you off, as there 200 festive, (and not so festive) recipes to choose from and some wonderfully original ideas for biscuits and cakes. The photos and layout of the book is appealing and very practical ~ the photos are especially helpful in giving ideas for serving suggestions. The introduction is a mini chapter in its own right with all sorts of practical ideas for festive ingredients, some basic cake and icing recipes and a turkey cooking guide.


In addition to the introduction, there are a further five chapters and an index.

The main chapters comprise:


Christmas Fare ~ which covers roast turkey, stuffing, sauces, beef, salmon, goose, lamb, ham, salads, pies, at least three imaginative vegetarian options, desserts, beverages, Christmas puddings as well as some wonderful vegetable accompaniment ideas.


Centrepiece Cakes ~ covers the basic Christmas fruit cake recipe with some amazing and creative icing/decorating ideas, as well as buche de Noel, gingerbread house, stollen, panforte and other European cake recipes.


Small Cakes and Cookies ~ this wonderful chapter covers all small bakes and cakes from mince pies to some adorable little mini Christmas cakes, along with biscuits, pies, tree decorations, fairy cakes and meringues. all with a festive feel and all quite charming.


Edible Gifts ~ this chapter has some imaginative and lovely ideas for edible gifts to include relish, chutney, liqueurs, sweets, chocolates, fudge, mincemeat and many other preserves such as fruit curd and marmalade.


Leftover Turkey Ideas ~ this chapter certainly goes beyond the “turkey curry” idea and suggests some original and tasty leftover ideas for your turkey such as soups, pasta dishes, gratins, salads, stir-fries, pies and sandwiches. I found some lovely ideas there for my post-turkey table.


The index is easy to follow and I found the highlighted words in bold for each letter of the alphabet useful for recipe searching.


This little book had some exciting recipe ideas in it and I used it several times throughout the festive period, mainly for the leftovers recipes and vegetable accompaniments as well as a cocktail or two! We particularly liked the roast vegetable and bread salad, Camembert leeks and the onions stuffed with apple and Stilton. On Christmas Eve we all enjoyed a Strawberry Champagne Cup, several times!


I have given this 5 stars based on the fact that we are not vegetarians; my parents and sister are vegetarians and they found the book a little limited, as many of the recipes are meat based with a complete chapter devoted to turkey leftovers. However, the book was sent to me to review and I was very pleased with the variety and contents. This book would make a lovely little stocking filler gift as it is competitively priced at £4.99 from Hamlyn and only £2.59 on Amazon, which makes it a bargain for such a comprehensive book.


Overall impressions are a cute and complete collection of Christmas recipes to include some amazing edible gift ideas and some stunning cakes; the vegetable accompaniments are also innovative and original, as well as easy to make. You would be hard pressed to buy a take away meal for £4.99 now, so this wee book is a bargain!

as part of their book review scheme for bloggers.)