Most helpful positive review
166 of 173 people found the following review helpful
A Grand Slam right out of the cupcake ballpark!
on April 11, 2008
SUGAR ALERT: I will be fawning and tripping all over in talking about this book!
If you are a closet cake-decorator but you don't feel up in the ranks of Duff or Colette or Martha, then grab this book and hold on to your socks, because Karen Tack and Alan Richardson will take you on a fabulous decorating ride!!
Wow, wow, and WOW! This veritable encyclopedia of "mini-cake" decorating is so fun and easy that there is absolutely no excuse for anyone to lament "they can't". With the use of food items found anywhere, you will be making the cutest, and most impressive cupcake creations you can possibly think of, and Karen and Alan will make you legendary to boot!
This team of talent has come up with extremely amazing and irresistable cupcakes like giraffes, Van Gogh paintings, clowns, aquariums, etc that will all fit on top of a little poof of cake batter.
The book size itself is large with big print which lends itself to the purpose of the photographic detail that is so big, sharp, and clear, there is no doubt or question on sequence or step. Karen Tack is the recipe creator and food stylist and Alan Richardson is the text writer and photographer; both are brilliant and incredibly talented individuals, so as a team, they are a match made in cupcake heaven.
The Acknowledgement page was itself fun and relaxed, not something plodded through; you can tell it was done with real gratitude and thought, which is part of the overall charm of how this book was put together.
There are 8 chapters between the "Introduction" and the "Sources"; got those socks gripped?........
INTRODUCTION: Your text page begins the journey, and right after, you are given an impressive section of pages that visually, and with text, show you how you will make the many creations through the use of candies, cookies, and types of sugars.
CUPCAKING TECHNIQUES: This was invaluable for those who are novice cupcake bakers or wannabe's. Hints and instructions on methods for pouring batter, spreading frosting, making frosting, and melting chocolate for designs, are shown in close detail. They show you how to make "fur" for the lion cupcakes and "leaves" for flowers. This is followed by methods used to draw "bugs", people faces, and hairstyles by using melted chocolate and candies. The next section shows how you will literally build up these creations, like the bowling pin cupcakes, so instruction is shown in simple and fascinating detail. Part of the more complex designs require a grouping of cupcakes, like "corn on the cob", "rabbits in a hole", or the "alligator", and you are given an idea of the schematics involved in getting them just right!
APRIL FOOL'S THEME:
Corn on the Cob
Bagels and Lox
TV Dinner ("peas & carrots", "drumsticks", & "mashed potato" cupcakes!)
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Box of Chocolates
Van Gogh's "Starry Night" in frosting (he'd love it!)
March of the Penguins
Fat Cats (cats with their paws on fishbones!)
Fishbowl (you use those Pepperidge Farm fishies for this one!)
Crazy Horses (this uses candy circus peanuts and wafers)
Pup Cakes (a whole bunch of poochies to choose from!)
Monarchs (what a great Spring party or bridal shower presentation!)
Shark Attack (you'll want to go into these waters!)
Old Swampy the 'Gator
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CUPCAKE!:
When I Grow Up
Party Princess (any little girl will just LOVE these!)
Big Birthday Party
Bowl Me Over (this is soooo darn cute; pins and a bowling ball!!!)
The Big Top (definitely a more time-required, but great, project)
HOSTEST with the MOSTEST:
Sunflowers (a veritable burst of green and yellow and Oreo cookies!)
Black and White Party
Play Pool (no one will mind the 8 ball!)
Petit Fours (very elegant and delicate)
Garden Party ( a "garden" of carrots, peas, radishes, and cabbage)
Rabbit Holes (so unbelievably clever; Karen Tack is a genious!)
Candy Stars and Stripes Forever
Wedding Cake and Monograms
NIGHTMARE BEFORE THANKSGIVING:
Creepy Crawlers (almost good enough for goin' fishin')
What a Hoot
Pumpkin Patch ( absolutely adorable; Alan's photography is superb!)
Autumn Leaves (how did they think of this great project?!)
Larry the Turkey
HOLIDAY ON ICING:
Edible Ornaments (incredible boxed "ornaments"!)
String of Delights
Snow Globes (this was sheer genius by placing the cakes on their side!)
Partridge in a Pear Tree (fantastic!)
Nutcracker Sweet (you'll be dancing!)
Frosting the Snowman (too darn cute!)
White Wreath (Christmas glory in white and red! Awesome!)
CUPCAKES AND FROSTINGS:
(Cake mix recipes): Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate Chunk Surprise, Chocolate Mint, Orange Spice, Banana Chocolate, Gingerbread
(Homemade recipes): Chocolate Cupcakes, Banana Cupcakes, Carrot Cupcakes, Almond Cupcakes, Lemon-Poppy Seed Cupcakes, Vanilla Cupcakes
(Frostings): Next-to-Instant Ganache (melted chocolate), Homemade Ganache, Almost-Homemade Vanilla Buttercream, Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Frosting
OK, OK.................I have gone beyond fawning but if you're a cake decorating fool like myself, you understand the passion. My deep gratitude to Karen and Alan; you guys ROCK!