My fingers can't type fast enough to write about this wonderful new presentation from Elisa Strauss, of Confetti Cakes, her happy bakery in New York.
This latest gift of cake-baking delight is simply a wild ride of color and fun. Even when you first receive this book, the bright and neon colors of its packaging, will pull your curiosity.
Yes, there are many wonderful cake-decorating and cake-baking books out there, and as this particular art form has exploded in design and whimsy, the backbone of a good cake book is how it instructs. Through attention to true decorating education, as well as having excellent photography to explain it visually, once again, Elisa's book does it all. It is within the first three chapters of Cake Basics, Techniques, and Basic Recipes, that you will really learn. Some of the cakes are quite simple, so a first time baker will not be intimidated, but for those who want a bit of a challenge, you'll find a couple that will indulge your desires, in particular the cake section.
This was so well written. On one page is a large color photograph of all possible equipment and tools needed, with each one numbered, along with its sister page of explanation. Everything and anything you need to paint, mold, shape, and mix is listed for your understanding.
Baking Terms (all the types of icings and syrups you will use).
Basic Decorating and Cookie Techniques (with step-by-step photos of piping, drop-in flooding, overpiping, and how to make templates, with all templates needed located throughout the book).
Cupcake Techniques (creating a dome of filling and covering cupcakes w/fondant).
Cake and Mini-Cake Techniques (great step-by-step photography of how to split cakes, fill cakes, sculpt cakes, crumbcoating, covering a cake w/fondant especially those with odd shapes, dowling and securing sculpted cakes).
Decorating Techniques for Fondant, Gum Paste, and Marzipan (deciding which type of covering, how to store the different coverings, how to dye them, painting with gels, the use of a pasta machine for them, making loop bows, using egg whites/water as "glue").
Practical Techniques (planning your creations and transporting them).
Vanilla sugar cookies, chocolate cookies, gingerbread cookies, chocolate brownies, chocolate cake, yellow cake, apple cinnamon cake, gingerbread cake, carrot cake, lemon cake.
Vanilla buttercream, peanut butter buttercream (something different to try), lemon curd buttercream, lemon curd, brown sugar buttercream, cupcake frosting (your standard, basic frosting), milk chocolate ganache, royal icing, simple syrup, rolled fondant, fondant/marzipan, gumpaste chart to determine amount.
Star cookies, lollipop cookies, farm animal cookies, hula kids gingerbread cookies, Easter cookies, pajama cookies (these are adorable!).
Ice cream cupcakes, garden mini cupcakes (chocolate mounds with little flowers and "insects"), counting cupcakes (numbered cupcakes w/ matching fishes ala Dr. Seuss!), burgers and fries cupcakes, ornament cupcakes, beach pail cupcakes (these are soooo cute!).
Slice of cake brownies (the use of brightly colored mismatched frostings and fondant were perfect!), mini heart cakes, mini spring cakes (little, brightly decorated "boxes" with bows and such), pumpkin minicakes (these are so whimsical with the exaggerated "faces" placed on them!), MP3 cakes.
"Gift box" with safari animals/theme (this is just precious and a bit more time consuming but totally worth it!), candy factory cake (with all kinds of childhood candies to use), Quinceanera cake (brush embroidery and delicate piping is taught; very glamorous for any special occasion), toy train cake, sock monkey cake, monster cake (from the front cover; absolutely perfect for anyone with a wild imagination), backpack cake.
While some of the creations are industry standards, there are some very creative ideas that I haven't seen in other books. But my main reason for liking this so much is that it is a wonderful instructional book that would be an excellent teaching tool for a beginner, and for those who appreciate a good visual guide for learning. Thank you Elisa!