Kate Doran was nicknamed the ‘little loaf’ as a toddler because her appetite for bread was apparently bigger than she was. Many years later when looking for a name for her baking blog, the moniker seemed perfect and she has been writing about her adventures in home baking at thelittleloaf.com ever since. The blog is personal, charming and visually delightful which is why Kate has gathered such a loyal following, hungry for her common sense advice and indulgent recipes. Now she has made the leap from blog to book, as many bloggers do, but Homemade Memories doesn’t feel like a recap of the last four years of experimentation, instead it’s an homage to her childhood and the snacks, puddings, cakes and drinks that gave her her love of sweet things. The book is full of funny stories and happy memories together with the recipes they have inspired – ice creams from Italian holidays, chocolate fridge cake from children’s birthday parties, iced buns that remind her of half time in netball matches at school, her granny’s rock cakes etc. Her childhood sounds lovely, as does Kate, and her book is a most pleasant place to spend time.
What sets Homemade Memories apart from other baking books is the collection of homemade versions of classic childhood treats like Jaffa Cakes, Jammie Dodgers, Milky Ways, Sherbert Fountains and even Ferrero Rocher. While I am sadly not the sort of woman who makes her own After Eights, I do believe Kate when she says they’re worth the effort. As she says, you not only know that there are no nasties in what you are eating, you also get the added extras that come with making things from scratch – the smells, the anticipation, the satisfaction and the opportunity to lick the bowl . . .