No screwdriver required

What do you get if you ask a Swedish flat-pack furniture company to compile a cookbook? The result, Homemade is Best (available only in Swedish), has turned the traditional photography we're used to seeing in a recipe book into what you see in the gallery on the right: a series of tasty yet traditional Swedish bakery recipes, but with their constituent ingredients laid out in precise geometric patterns.

Click the image on the right for the full gallery

"The idea was to separate the individual ingredients the same way that Ikea separates the parts of a piece of furniture," explains the Swedish photographer Carl Kleiner. And so the images he's taken here play with the notion of reducing each traditional treat to its simplest parts – reflecting too, the simple, minimalist style of Ikea itself.

Dishes in the book range from Scharzwald (Black Forest gateau; top row, second left) to Kleiner's childhood favourite, Semla (a bun filled with almond paste and topped with cream; bottom row, second left), all carefully laid out: a pyramid of tightly packed flour, a neat cone of piled sugar and a regimented line of almonds arranged as if "an obsessive person had measured up the ingredients, putting them in a grid before reading what to do with them".

The result is a cookbook with recipes "that anyone can follow and bake for themselves", say Kleiner, who reckons that simplicity is one of the reasons these old recipes are enjoying something of a nostalgic resurgence in Sweden right now. "I was a picky eater as a kid, but I was always a big fan of treats." 1