I apply the same rule to good cookbooks as Christmas decorations: one can never have too many. (Provided, I must add, you have room to store them where they are easily accessible).
This particular book is the latest addition to my collection – and what a welcome one it is. My friend Anne gave it to me for Christmas and she couldn’t have chosen a better present. One of a number of books written almost 20 years ago by Gabriel Gate, Melbourne resident and chef, and published in this city by the wonderful Anne O’Donovan, this book is a brilliant collection of French inspired dessert recipes. My cousin Michelle first introduced me to it. She was ‘borrowing’ her mother’s copy of the book as she had been unable to find another copy. Knowing my love for cookbooks she lent me ‘her’ copy and I was hooked. The range of classic cakes, pastries, desserts, puddings and biscuits and easy-to-follow, reliable recipes make it a winner – and a must have. So, I set out to find copies for myself and her – and her brother – and found she was right: it’s hard to find. I spent the better part of this year looking for it, following up internet leads and contacting booksellers. Little did I know that Anne would take ‘it can’t be done’ as a challenge she could meet. She said she found it (through persistence) in an online shop in Victoria – so copies are out there! My advice – it’s worth the wait.
Gate, Gabriel. Great Cakes and Desserts (Anne O’Donovan Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 1993- reprinted in 1999)