Saved by Cake - Marian Keyes This is some of the most entertaining food porn I've ever read, which considering it was written by someone struggling with severe depression is quite an achievement. (Incidentally, I don't eat sweets, so this really is food porn for me.) Keyes took to baking as a way to get her mind off the Unbearable Meaninglessness of It All, so although some of these recipes get quite gourmet and complicated, she's coming at it from the ordinary person perspective, and explains all the little fiddly bits so that you know what to expect. And she's just fun to read."1 vanilla pod. **Or if that's a bit too exotic and scary, a teaspoon of vanilla extract. But preferably not imitation vanilla, which is just a load of chemicals. Unless you're really stuck, and then work away. God knows, what harm can it do? I mean, they used to give babies gripe water, which is basically alchohol, and the human race has survived thus far."Keyes gives you a great sense of what each recipe is like. For example, her Orange and Fennel Tuiles are described as melt-in-the-mouth, sort of like orange-and-fennel-flavored-air. The recipe ends: "Serve to people who don't really believe in eating." At the other extreme is the "Black Hole" Chocolate Cheesecake: "so called because it's so dense it seems to collapse under the weight of its own fabulousness. Eating a slice of this is like being punched in the stomach with a chocolate-flavored fist." Each recipe includes a color photograph and most fit on one page. (A few scarier ones go over.) The edition I read uses standard U.S. measurements, but some of the ingredients are a little less common here. Substitutions are often given though (molasses for treacle) and probably everything can be ordered on the Internet. I'm kind of thinking of ordering some edible blue glitter to try the Blueberry Mess -- "I say optional, but to me it's vital."