For any chefs looking to practice their pastry during lockdown, Everyday Bakes to Showstopper Cakes offers 80 recipes that crank up the aesthetics of cakes to stunning works of art.
The book is by Mich Turner, consultant, former Harvey Nichols bakery and pâtisserie buyer, and founder of bespoke luxury cake business Little Venice Cake Company. Turner has also previously penned the likes of Spectacular Cakes (winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards ‘Best Dessert Book' 2006) and Have Your Cake and Eat It.
Everyday Bakes to Showstopper Cakes is an easy-to-follow guide on how to accessorise your bakes for special occasions or seasons using nut brittle, fondant icing, marshmallows, flowers, fruit, macarons, sweets and sprinkles, as well as various icing techniques.
Chapters are separated into cupcakes; loaf cakes, traybakes and meringues; layer cakes; and celebration cakes. The latter two are really something special, with Venetian Easter eggs decorated with gold leaves and fondant roses, a unicorn piñata cake with ombre icing swirls, and a red velvet cake with a bright red white chocolate mirror glaze, and many wouldn't look out of place at a wedding. Helpful templates are included at the back of the book.
Many of the recipes allow and suggest mixing and matching recipes and decorating or ‘graduating' from the simple to the more lavish. Uncomplicated marbled cupcakes, for instance, can be jazzed up with fondant puppy dogs or made into a single cake drizzled with chocolate. And the carrot cupcakes Turner made for the wedding of Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith can either be topped with a simple citrus drizzle or orange cream cheese frosting and caramelised walnut praline.
There is a satisfying variety on offer in Everyday Bakes to Showstopper Cakes, even for those of us that shy away from an abundance of icing and fondant. It offers enough recipes that are elegant and show-stopping in their simplicity, alongside challenging masterpieces for those who wish to push the boat out.
Everyday Bakes to Showstopper Cakes , by Mich Turner (White Lion Publishing, £20)
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