The Cupcake Café Cookbook
is a gem for everyone who loves doughnuts, originally decorated cakes, or off-beat New York City eateries. The actual café is a funky daytime oasis in the still-iffy neighborhood once known as Hell's Kitchen. Ann Warren and her husband, Michael, started the café as a bakery in 1988. They now serve food, too, but their fame comes from the breakfast baked goods and Warren's strikingly creative butter cream-frosted cakes and cupcakes.
You have to smile at Warren suggesting her doughnuts are health food because they're made from scratch with natural ingredients and eaten without butter or cream cheese. You will certainly enjoy every recipe for them and all of the muffins, scones and sticky buns, too. Warren's use of butter cream for decorating cakes with cascades of colorful flowers and other original designs is so magical that even Madonna and Mick Jagger have ordered from her. If you have an ounce of manual dexterity, Warren's detailed guidance on cake decorating will send you into orbit. Photos showing how to make the flower-encrusted cakes for which Cupcake Café is famous also a help. --Dana Jacobi
From Publishers Weekly
Warren, who owns the funky Cupcake Cafe in New York City with her husband Michael, presents an array of goods that have made the bakery a reported favorite of such high-profile sweet tooths as Madonna and Mick Jagger. Some are confections not usually made at home. Recipes for three yeast and five cake doughnuts include even Jelly Doughnuts, filled with a pastry tube. There is a wide selection of muffins, Sticky Buns, Brownies and Fruitcake. Eight pies range from a sturdy Apple to a spicy Mincemeat. The collection's centerpieces, however, are cakes, frosted and decorated with butter cream made in a 10-cup batch with four cups of sugar, six eggs and 2 1/2 pounds of unsalted butter ("enough to decorate one large two-layer cake") and artfully cast in garlands of flowers ranging from roses to hydrangeas. Although Warren and Lilly, who are sisters, offer reassurances, the prospect of dying butter cream in subtly varying hues and then wielding a pastry bag and decorating tips to create complex flower petals and leaves will likely daunt the nonprofessional. Warren suggests that success comes with repeated efforts. Even readers who are not inspired to take pastry bag in hand, will be intrigued by these and other decorating projects, such as drawing pictures on cakes with butter cream and erecting multi-tiered wedding cakes that serve from 20 to 150 people.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.