From Stanley Tucci’s Italian feasts and Yotam Ottolenghi’s sweet-and-sour plums, to Anja Dunk’s wonderful German bakes – this year’s most mouth-watering titles

My favourite cookbooks look like DayGlo hedgehogs – bristling with Post-it notes next to all the recipes I want to try. One of the most neon-edged books in the house is Ruby Tandoh’s new Cook As You Are (Serpent’s Tail). It is thoughtfully written, keeping in mind readers who are less confident in the kitchen, and Tandoh has also produced a large-print easy-read version, including step-by-step photographs for those who aren’t able to use a traditionally formatted cookbook. The recipes themselves are brilliant, with plenty to excite more experienced cooks: I particularly like the chips with chaat masala, pickled onions and pomegranate, the cheesy kimchi cornbread muffins and the pea, mint and chilli toast with crispy paneer.

I love the idea of heading into December with the kitchen full of home-baked cakes and biscuits, so for a spot of calming seasonal baking inspiration, my top tip is Anja Dunk’s Advent (Quadrille), packed with wonderful German Christmas baking recipes. I loved reading about how festive guests in Germany are offered bunter teller, a plate of beautiful assorted biscuits and confectionery, which you can easily recreate with the recipes in the book. Look out for the recipe for lebkuchen, which look exactly like the walls of the gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel. The book is a beautiful object, too, with elegant lino cuts and photography by the author.

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