68 von 69 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I bought this book about two weeks ago and i think it's a terrific efforts on all counts.
The photographs are not only beautiful but useful. That is, the pictures of the finished product give you a real idea of what you are getting, and the technique pictures are helpful in putting an image to her instructions. Since some of the instructions might be a bit ambiguous without the pictures, the pictures really help.
The book is broken down in a nice way. The front of the book is where she gives the assembly methods for each of the cakes. The back of the book provides the recipes and the basic techniques. I like this for a couple of reasons. First, by separating the "process" from the recipes, you can substitute your own recipes if you like, without having to figure out what portion of the instruction is dedicated to preparation. For cooks who have a trusted repertoire of recipes they like to use and who buy these books for decorating ideas, this is a great format. The other reason it's nice is that the recipes are clearly not depending upon her decorating ideas, so if you have your own thoughts, you can snag her recipe only and run with it.
The cake recipes in the back of the book are really very good and can stand on their own. For instance, her sticky date cake works as well under a fondant covering as it does baked in a bundt pan and dusted with powdered sugar. Since generally I do not expect a decorating book to have good recipes in it, this is a nice perk. Personally, I don't care for her buttercream frosting (it's butter and 10X sugar); I prefer a swiss meringue buttercream, but otherwise, I thought the recipes were pretty darn good.
A couple of comments that may not be apparent from the book's overview. Many (if not most) of the cakes call for a layer of marzipan on the cake before dressing it with fondant. She recommends it to keep in the moisture of a cake and give it smooth finish. I cannot stand marzipan, so I prefer substitute with a thicker layer of buttercream. If you don't like marzipan and can't work with buttercream, then your cakes won't look quite as smooth. You can also put a layer of chocolate plastique on then, the recipe for which she puts in the back of the book, where she professes her own affinity for marzipan.
Second, many of her cakes are only 1 to 2 inches big. On the positive side, this makes them look like little gifts (in fact, for most of the cakes, she affixes actual ribbon to the bottom of them as a finishing touch). Putting 6 or so in a box as a gift or decorating individual plates with them really adds something to the presentation. Also, these are so much more sophisticated than cupcakes, because they have straight sides and are filled, just like a large cake. The downside is that you will have to leave considerably more time to complete them and you'll need to buy square cake pans and various sizes of round cookie cutters to cut out the cakes. The other downside is the waste. While you can use the leftover cake pieces to make little truffle balls or bread pudding, it's tough to use the leftover fondant once it touches frosting. An old Berkeley hippie like me really bristles at having to get rid of so much food, even if it is mostly sugar. Obviously, it has not stopped me from making the cakes in the book (you get addicted to people "OOOOHing" when you walk into a room), but it's something to consider. In some cases, you can simply make a bigger cake, but in others, where you are pouring warm ganache, for instance, you're not going to get as smooth a finish.
From a simplicity level, the cakes are not difficult, but all of them are time-consuming. An average cake requires you to (1) bake the cake; (2) fill the cake with buttercream or ganache; (3) cut out the cakes to make bite-sized pieces (4) cover the cakes with a glaze or buttercream (5) cover the cakes with marzipan (or chocolate plastique); (6) cover the cakes with a layer of fondant; (7) affix ribbon to each of them; (8) decorate the cake with royal icing; (9) embellish the royal icing or cakes with extras (edible metallic luster dust, roses, etc.).
I would buy the book again and I refer to it all the time. I think she did a great job (even if I don't like marzipan).