The Messy Baker offers food made and enjoyed in a kitchen not unlike your own. Charmian Christie has worked in many professional kitchens, perfecting baked goods, but prefers the realities of a home setting to a stainless steel "test" kitchen every time. It just makes things taste better! There is nothing trendy or artful about real baking; it's honest, sticky, humble and moreish. The Messy Baker is an antidote to the precious perfectionism of today's baking where every cookie on the plate is just like the next, each layer of cake is exactly the same height, and impeccably scalloped pie crusts dare you to cut into them. To the uninitiated, all this fastidious, spotless baking is intimidating. The rest of us, out here in the real world, cook and bake in space-challenged kitchens where floors aren't always waxed and there's cat hair to consider. Lopsided cookies and interestingly shaped pies are the norm, and in The Messy Baker they are celebrated. Recipes here are down to earth, incredibly delicious, and often rather pretty. In chapters such as "Smudgy", "Crumbly", "Flaky" and "Drippy", The Messy Baker redefines perfection, on achievable terms.