News

Toppings, Bath

June 16th, 2017

We’re very proud to be a Bath-based company, and love working alongside local bookshops. This year we’ve already seen Tom Kerridge and Scott Hallsworth at Toppings bookshop in Bath, and later this month we’ll be welcoming Vivek Singh to our home-town to do a tasting evening at the bookshop.

 

Tickets are on sale now, so do get yours in advance…

https://www.toppingbooks.co.uk/events/bath/vivek-singh/

New for 2017

December 20th, 2016

We’re delighted to have confirmed our publishing list for the first part of 2017. It kicks off in January with Tom Kerridge’s Dopamine Diet and Reiko Hashimoto’s Cook Japan, Stay Slim, Live Longer; great titles to get you back into shape after an indulgent Christmas.

February sees a beautiful revised edition of Valentina Harris’ seminal work, Risotto! Risotto!, with some brand new recipes and new photography throughout.

Rob Kirby shows us how to make and give edible presents in the delightful Delicious Gifts, with a great selection of recipes to inspire readers alongside his top tips for presentation. This book is perfectly-timed for those wanting to make Easter treats, with publication due in March.

Also in March we have our newest MasterChef offering. This time MasterChef: Street Food of the World looks at an incredible variety of iconic street food dishes from across the globe, from po’boys to pad Thai and beyond.

In April we have the hotly-anticipated Junk Food Japan from Scott Hallsworth, an exciting look at the alternative side of Japanese eating, with recipes from his hit London-restaurants, Kurobuta.

Atul Kochhar’s new book, 30 Minute Curries, is released in May, with a range of ideas for how to transform weeknight dinners, packed full of flavours and with his trademark mix of using the best and freshest British produce with his modern Indian twist.

We’ll be releasing details of the rest of our 2017 titles over the next couple of months so stay tuned…

Tom Kerridge’s new series on BBC

January 26th, 2015

Tom K portrait

Recipes from Tom’s excellent new book, Best Ever Dishes, burst onto our television screens with an episode focusing on incredible, crowd-pleasing recipes. In future episodes Tom will also show us how to make incredible takeaway dishes, weekend specials, old school favourites, lush lunches and tasty dinners.

This series is set to be a great success for Tom, who is also poised to be the new face of BBC 2’s Food and Drink programme in the new year.

Continuing our winning ways in 2015

January 26th, 2015

2015 has got off to a bang with two of our titles winning the UK categories of the prestigious World Gourmand Cookbook Awards:

Spice at Home was the winner of the Best Easy Recipes book

Social Suppers was awarded the Best Innovative Cookbook

Both of these titles will now go through to compete in the World category against other national winners. These awards will be announced in June.

The IPG 2014 Specialist Consumer Publisher Of The Year

February 28th, 2014


It was an unexpected thrill for all of us at Absolute Press to win the Independent Publisher Guild’s ‘Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year’ award last night. A seamlessly well-organised and glamorous gala award dinner celebrated all that is special and singular about independent publishing, highlighting the many inspirational independent presses shortlisted in the 12 different categories, topped off with the main Award for Independent Publisher of the Year going to the legendary Peter Usborne and Usborne Publishing. A great night for all those who publish with passion!

You can read the judges’ comments at the IPG website here.

Winning ways

February 10th, 2014

It’s been an incredible start to 2014. Absolute Press has been shortlisted for the Independent Publishing Awards ‘Worldwide Specialist Consumer Publisher Of The Year’ – an achievement which we are hugely proud of.

Absolute Press books were also winning awards in five separate UK categories of the prestigious World Gourmand Cookbook Awards:

‘Best UK Chef Cookbook’ awarded to Roast by Marcus Verberne

‘Best UK Wine Book of the Year’ awarded to Christie’s Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine by Tom Stevenson and Essi Avellan

‘Best UK TV Chef Cookbook’ awarded to Atul’s Curries of the World by Atul Kochhar

‘Best UK Food Photography’ awarded to Beyond Essence by David Everitt-Matthias (photography by Lisa Barber)

And last but not least…

‘Best UK Culinary Travel’ awarded to Proper Pub Food by Tom Kerridge.

All of the five individual UK-winning books above now go through to compete in the World category, against other national winners, in May.

An outstanding contribution to British food

October 24th, 2013

When Le Champignon Sauvage picked up the Outstanding Contribution award at last week’s 2013 Observer Food Monthly awards, there could have been no more deserving a winner than a restaurant that had shown such consistent excellence as the one run for 26 years by David Everitt-Matthias and his wife, Helen. Here, we pay our own tribute to David, to Helen, to his team and their work…

Sometimes, it requires time to be able to reflect on something properly. It was in November of 2011 that we tasted the first dishes that would make it into the third book of recipes from David Everitt-Matthias. Back then, we had discussed, via a few conversations, the kind of recipes that might feature, and how these might differ from his first book, Essence (2006) and its follow-up, Dessert (2009). Essence won the World Gourmand Cookbook Award for the UK’s ‘Most Innovative Cookbook’. Dessert won the World Gourmand Cookbook Award for the UK’s ‘Best Cookbook’, and took second place in the overall world rankings. These books so richly deserved their rewards: they were fantastic books which looked good and featured recipes that worked. What more could you want from a recipe book? What they also did, though, was to bring the remarkable skill and creativity of a chef, awarded and highly praised within his own industry, to the masses; to those who hadn’t eaten at his restaurant. To the initiated, David’s first two books showed off the trademarks of his food: exciting combinations of flavour and a use of ‘wild’ ingredients, which reflected a love and knowledge of foraging. They also showcased the talents of Lisa Barber, whose elegant images captured the variety and beauty of David’s food.

In 2011, when the first ideas were fizzing around for this third book, Beyond Essence, David had just reintroduced a tasting menu at Le Champignon Sauvage. It was the perfect way to reacquaint ourselves with his food. But it was less a reacquaintance with a food we thought we knew and more a revelation: a realisation that the bar had been raised even higher. Things that were so moved on from our first meal there some six years previously. All of the incredible dishes we tasted that day made it into the book, from the sweet, smoky, salty flavours of his Witchill Potatoes, Caramelised Onion Purée, Buffalo Milk and Turkey Prosciutto, to the Tartare of Dexter Beef, Homemade Beef and Wasabi Mayonnaise. These were amazingly memorable things to taste.

When Beyond Essence was published at the beginning of this year, it seemed a pertinent title on more than one level. It is a second mixed collection of both savoury and sweet recipes. But this is a collection that shows just how much David’s food has evolved over those years, onwards and upwards from where his food was. Always remaining true to its foundations, but always trying new things, daring to go further, do more.

Go to Le Champignon Sauvage and eat David’s food: ignore the Michelin stars and the reviews and all the other accolades, and just focus on what you’re engaged with: you would have to conclude that you were eating some of the best food you had ever tasted and would be doing so very affordably indeed. You would have to rethink flavours, because they are presented to you tasting more of themselves than you will ever have noticed before. You would find such harmony in the way that ingredients and elements are brought together in a dish. In short, you would appreciate all of the craft and learning that one man can put into a dish.

Cook from David’s books and you will find something of this magic across every recipe. He is one of the finest chefs of his generation in the world. He just so happens to be one of its finest teachers too, and these books bear testament.

Author photograph © Lisa Barber

More National Chocolate Week!

October 17th, 2013

Earlier this week, we gave you a recipe from our lovely boutique chocolate book, Melt. Today, since we’re obviously all still gorging on chocolate, we’re sharing a recipe from the amazing Divine recipe book, written by one of the doyennes of the food writing world, Linda Collister.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rather than using the usual supermarket chocolate drops, these cookies are made with proper chunks of lovely dark chocolate, plus extra cocoa and crunchy nuts.

Makes 18 large cookies

1 x 100g (3 and a half oz) bar Divine dark chocolate
100g (1 cup) walnut or pecan pieces
125g (9 tablespoons) unsalted butter, soft
100g (half cup) caster sugar
100g (two thirds cup) light muscovado sugar
1 large free range egg
220g (1 and two thirds cup) plain flour
3 tablespoons Divine cocoa powder
half teaspoon baking powder
half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 non-stick baking trays, ungreased

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Break up the chocolate into squares and mix with the nuts. Set aside until needed.

Put the soft butter and the sugars into the bowl of a food mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until soft and fluffy. Scrape down the sides then beat in the egg.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl. Mix well then stir in the chocolate squares and nuts.

Using a heaped tablespoon of mixture for each cookie, roll the mixture into balls then arrange them on the baking trays, flatten slightly with your fingers, spacing the cookies well apart to allow for spreading. Bake in the heated oven for about 12–15 minutes or until just firm, and then remove the trays from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container and eat within 5 days or freeze for up to a month.

Recipe taken from The Divine Chocolate Cookbook by Linda Collister. Photography © Lisa Babrber.

National Chocolate Week

October 15th, 2013

A fortnight that includes National Curry Week followed by National Chocolate Week sounds like too heavenly a combination to miss out on! We’ve decided to spoil you with a couple of recipes this week from two of our most decadently sweet books from recent years. On Thursday, we’ll share a recipe from the amazing Divine recipe book. But for today, we have this exquisite macaroon recipe from the magical book of chocolate recipes from Louise Nason’s incredible Notting Hill chocolate boutique, Melt.

Chocolate Macaroons

 

Shop-bought macaroons have a tendency to be far too sweet and powdery. However, since we make ours in a small kitchen with a domestic oven, as you would at home, and not on an industrial scale, we think Melt macaroons have more depth. We fill them with a really thick layer of ganache, which is utterly delectable.

Makes about 80

250g ground almonds
250g icing sugar
45g good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
210g organic egg whites
250g caster sugar
75g water

For the ganache
290g dark chocolate (66 per cent cocoa solids), finely chopped
250g double cream
70g milk
60g liquid glucose
70g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Put the ground almonds, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor and whizz until fine and lump free. Transfer to a large bowl.

Measure out 105g of the egg whites, add to the ground almond mixture and stir until you have a paste. Set aside. Put the remaining 105g egg whites in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

Put the caster sugar and water in a small, heavy-based pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil, without stirring, until it reaches 118°C on a sugar thermometer. Shortly before it reaches this temperature, start whisking the egg whites on medium speed, just to aerate them. Slowly pour in the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl, whisking all the time. After the sugar syrup has all been added, continue to whisk on medium speed until the mixture forms stiff peaks; it should be at body temperature.

Add about half the meringue to the ground almond mixture and fold in roughly to loosen it. Quickly mix in the remaining meringue until just combined; be careful not to overwork it or it will become too loose.

Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with an 8mm nozzle. Pipe it into 2.5cm rounds on to baking sheets lined with baking parchment or silicone baking mats. Lightly tap each baking sheet on the work surface a few times to smooth the top of the macaroons. Leave to stand for 30 minutes, until slightly dry to the touch. Preheat the oven to 130˚C/Gas Mark three-quarters.

Bake the macaroons for 10–15 minutes – lift one off the paper to check if they’re done; it should come off with only a little resistance. If your macaroons have succeeded perfectly, each one will have a little frilly section at the base – this is known as the ‘foot’. Remove the baking parchment or silicone mats from the trays, complete with macaroons, and leave on a work surface to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the ganache. Put the chocolate in a bowl. Place the cream, milk and glucose in a small pan and heat to boiling point, then pour on to the chocolate. Stir from the middle to emulsify. Check on a digital thermometer that the temperature is no higher than 45°C, then gently mix in the butter. Leave in a cool place until firm enough to pipe.

Carefully peel the macaroons off the paper. Match them up into pairs of equal size. Put the ganache in a piping bag fitted with an 8mm nozzle and pipe on to the flat side of half the macaroons, then sandwich them together with their matching halves. They are best left in the fridge overnight before serving, but bring them to room temperature before you eat them.

Recipe taken from Melt: A Book of Chocolate by Louise Nason and Chika Watanabe. Photography © Jean Cazals.

National Curry Week

October 10th, 2013

Yes, National Curry Week and we’re rather spoilt for choice when it comes to sharing a few recipes from our books over the years. Most recently, there’s been Atul Kochhar’s masterful Curries Of The World. You can get a great glimpse of that book here, courtesy of our friends at Bloomsbury. For this page though, we thought we’d treat you to a couple of recipes from Vivek Singh’s wonderful 2008 book, Curry: Classic and Contemporary. Something very simple and something a little more adventurous for you. Enjoy!

 

Home-style Curry of Potatoes and Cauliflower

(Aloo Gobhi)

This is probably the most common and basic vegetable curry you will find anywhere in India. Cooked pretty much nine months of the year, it is one of those recipes that sparks an intense debate over authenticity. One of the disadvantages of its universal appeal is that there is no such thing as a universal recipe!

Serves 4

3 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
4 green chillies, slit open lengthwise
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm (1-inch) dice
1 cauliflower, divided into florets
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons salt
2 tomatoes, chopped
half a teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
5cm (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, cut into fine strips
juice of half a lime

Heat the oil in a wide, shallow pan and add the cumin seeds, followed by the onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft, then add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a few seconds longer. Add the green chillies and potatoes and sauté over a high heat for a couple of minutes. Tip in the cauliflower, turmeric and salt, mix well, then reduce the heat. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Add the tomatoes and garam masala and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are completely tender. Sprinkle in the chopped coriander and the ginger, squeeze over the lime juice and serve – either with chapattis or as a side dish.

Cook’s notes
* If you cut the cauliflower florets slightly bigger than the potatoes, they will cook in roughly the same time, rather than overcooking and disintegrating before the potatoes are done.
* It’s important to use a wide, shallow pan for this dish. If you use a deep pan or a wok instead, don’t overcrowd it with the vegetables or they will start to disintegrate.

Modern Raan


Traditionally, raan is braised, but I find that if the meat is good quality it can be roasted instead and works just as well, if not better. I’ve added a step of tunnel-boning the leg (you could ask your butcher to do this) to create a pocket, which can be filled with paneer cheese and dried fruits. This makes it truly special, just as a raan should be! Also, roasting this way keeps the meat moist compared to braising, where the meat is cooked through and therefore can be dry.

Serves 4

1 leg of young lamb, weighing about
1.5 kg (3-and-one-quarter lb)

For the marinade
250g (1 cup) Greek-style yoghurt
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
2 tablespoons fried onion paste
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
half a teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
1-and-a-half teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil

For the filling
60g (half a cup) khoya (reduced milk cakes, available in Indian stores), grated
75g (half a cup) paneer, grated
60g (half a cup) Cheddar cheese, grated
2 onions, sliced and fried until crisp
4 dried figs, cut into 5mm (quarter-inch) dice
4 dried apricots, cut into 5mm (quarter-inch) dice
1 tablespoon raisins
2 tablespoons cashew nuts, fried in a little oil until golden
5cm (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, chopped
4 green chillies, chopped
half a teaspoon royal (black) cumin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lime

For the onion salad
2 red onions, thinly sliced
half a cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
1 tomato, deseeded and thinly sliced
half a teaspoon salt
half a teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted in a dry frying pan and then crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
juice of half a lime

Trim the excess fat off the lamb and, if your butcher hasn’t tunnel-boned it for you, remove the thighbone by cutting around it carefully with a carving knife to leave a cavity. Prick the leg on the outside with a fork.

Combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Rub the marinade over the leg of lamb, both outside and inside the cavity, and leave for 15 minutes.

To make the filling, combine all the ingredients and then use to stuff the lamb leg. Truss the leg using a butcher’s needle and twine to close the open part completely. Transfer to a roasting tray and place in an oven preheated to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7. Roast for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and cook for a further 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the onion salad. Put all the cut vegetables except the tomato in a bowl of ice-cold water for 10 minutes to crisp them up. Strain and sprinkle with the salt, cumin and fresh coriander. Squeeze the lime juice over.

Cut the meat into slices 1cm (half an inch) thick and serve with the onion salad.

Cook’s note
* For something like this to be enjoyed at it’s best, it is very important to rest the meat before serving. This makes it more tender and you won’t lose the juices when you slice it.

Recipes taken from ‘Curry: Classic and Contemporary’ by Vivek Singh. Photography © Cristian Barnett.