Cook from the Book: Classic by Mary Berry

Mary Berry's latest cookbook , Classic, is a Mezza fan's dream come true. Featuring all of Mary's recipes for the kind of classic recipes you've always wanted to know how to make, it will teach you her tips and tricks for mastering everything from the perfect lasagne to showstopping bakes. 

There's nobody The Happy Foodie relies on more to help us master a classic than Mary Berry so we couldn't wait to getting cooking from Classic. Find out how we got on...

Who: Lottie Huckle, Marketing Manager, Ebury

What I made: Chicken Noodle Soup

What I thought: I had big plans for cooking from Classic. I was going to present a whole menu to my family: Mary’s Classic Lasagne followed by her Steamed Syrup Sponge, a dessert my sister and I used to go nuts over when we were kids. Then a dreaded bout of February flu hit and I couldn’t bring myself to crawl out of bed, let alone cook a feast for six. The meal was cancelled and I was sad not to be eating from Classic, a cookbook that is so beautifully presented it almost leads you by the hand to your kitchen, ready to cook.

But enter a dutiful boyfriend, copy of Classic in hand. ‘How about Chicken Noodle Soup instead?’

Oh were those the words to rouse my appetite after a couple of days of toast and tea nibbled and sipped from the confines of my bed.

So, on the Saturday night that should’ve seen my Classic dinner party, we sat together on the sofa (me in several layers and with half closed eyes) slurping generous bowls of Mary Berry’s Chicken Noodle Soup. And with plenty of fluids, sleep and second helpings of soup, I started to feel a little more human again.

I’m not saying that Mary can magically heal ailments, but I am saying that her Classic recipes are just what you need when you feel like you need looking after. Plus they’re simple enough for just about anyone to cook – I didn’t hear a peep from the kitchen, from my tissue-strewn duvet nest.

Who: Sarah Thrift, Senior Digital Marketing Executive

What I made: Slow Roast Duck and Steamed Syrup Sponge

What I thought: As a massive Mary Berry fan, I was keen to see how I could improve on some of my home-cooking favourites with this book. The slow-roast duck makes a perfect Sunday roast, and was a great excuse to stay inside whilst the wind, sleet, rain and snow did its worst. I couldn’t get hold of any frozen cherries, so swapped the port & cherry sauce for the plum sauce Mary uses in her partridge recipe. For hoi-sin lovers, it really fits the bill, and I would definitely make it again. After gorging on roast dinner, I like to take a break before pud, and so began steaming the syrup sponge once our main course was over. It rose perfectly (in a sealed tupperware bowl), and looked really impressive once steamed. It also worked brilliantly the following day as a treat with tea – another winning recipe from Mary.

Who: Julia Pal. Senior Marketing Manager, The Happy Foodie

What I made: Kedgeree

What I thought: I can't believe this is the first time I've ever made (or eaten) kedgeree. What a revelation! The combination of warm smoky fish, fluffy rice scented with curry spices and creamy soft boiled egg in Mary's recipe is both elegant and comforting, and dangerously moreish. It's definitely a weekend dish; the kind of recipe I file under 'a bit of a faff but worth it'. It needs time in the kitchen and, with a number of different elements, demands a bit of organised prep work. It's a dish to make on a quiet Sunday, offering a chance to hide away in the kitchen with just the radio and Mary's inspiring new book for company, before appearing with a bowl full of deliciousness to be enjoyed with the papers or in front of the TV. That's my idea of heaven.

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