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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little of this + a little of that = a pretty display!
For those who know cake artist and cake decorator Zoe Clark, this is a compilation of sorts, of all the talent and beauty of her profession, rolled into one. Taking her cake, cookies, and treats, she has written a book that shows you how to display them into one of the latest and most creative way of throwing a party...........the visual display.

While most...
Published on August 5, 2012 by Toni

versus
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars the TRUTH about the CAKE PARLOUR
Zoe Clark and her publishing company have blatantly stolen the ideas in this book from us, her freelancers, with not even so much as a mention of our names. Everything from the graphic work of the cover itself, to the recipes, techniques,and EVEN the equipment and material(used in the photos), belong to freelance artists who've graciously devoted every waking second of...
Published 20 months ago by r m j


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little of this + a little of that = a pretty display!, August 5, 2012
By 
Toni "the bookworm" (Chicago, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: The Cake Parlour Sweet Tables: Beautiful Baking Displays with 40 Themed Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies & More (Paperback)
For those who know cake artist and cake decorator Zoe Clark, this is a compilation of sorts, of all the talent and beauty of her profession, rolled into one. Taking her cake, cookies, and treats, she has written a book that shows you how to display them into one of the latest and most creative way of throwing a party...........the visual display.

While most folks try to set up their tables to show their baking efforts, Zoe Clark has joined the ranks of those who know how to do it for a living. So with some time, effort, and patience, you can be as creative as well as learn some new projects.

The book is 128 pages of ideas and help in making your party treats a gift for the eyes, which immediately will entice your palate, and that is the essence of display tables. The first 87 pages are devoted to the different themes and the remaining 41 pages will show you the how and why. I'd like to also mention that the covers have flaps on both sides so that you can mark/hold a page.

At the same time, should you choose not to be the scratch baker (who makes everything themselves), then this book would still be a great guide in how to set up what you purchased. The idea's were beautiful and the amount of time and money involved in setting up the items, would be your contribution to making your event just as personal.

The book is large and colorful, with really large and close-up photography, and with simple and straightforward descriptions of how to go about setting up your table as she did. Her projects are doable, though for some, you would need to be comfortable in the kitchen. Newbies to the baking world would be wonderfully challenged but with some kindness and patience to self, could learn, perhaps with an extra book or two next to them that would have more basics to refer to when needed.

There are 6 projects in all, and each give you the material and equipment you need to proceed. While each creation does not have step-by-step photos of everything, the projects that need more explanation are given in the back section, Recipes and Techniques, you will find the tutorials needed for the cookies and cupcakes, etc.

Also, the backgrounds for the displays aren't discussed; the photography is there to give you the idea of how you might want to decorate, so this doesn't give you the DIY instructions for the props. But I would think that with this book in hand, if you go to a craft or hobby shop, you could easily recreate the look with minimal effort.

Here is how the book is sectioned:

Projects:

PROJECT ONE: The Candy Collection
A imple 4-tiered plain cake can take on the sweetest of turns with the candies that she used to dress up this Plain Jane. Licorice, lollipops, ribbons, and Skittles make the duckling cake into a swan. Surrounding the cake are min cakes, cookies, and mini cuppies, both square and round, staggered on various heights of display.

PROJECT TWO: A Romance of Ruffles
Oooooooooooooh!!! Loved this! 3 cakes in various layers and tiers are very simply, but elegantly decorated, with only a flower or two to add an ornate touch. Surrounding this trio of lovely ladies are meringues and cookies and cupcakes matched in the colors of taupes, beiges, and pale browns to give a very subdued but extremely lovely aura. A sure winner for a beginner to build their confidence!

PROJECT THREE: A Feast of Roses
This is a knock-out! Wow! Though this is not a difficult project, it is definitely a labor intensive one. Handmade sugar roses, either plain or glittered, in red or crimson red colors, are attached to painted red styrofoam cones. Another cone has pink macaroons and is ever so gently resting on a red rose-covered cake base or dummy cake base. Accompanying the cakes are red heart-shaped chocolate cookies, red petit fours in shiny brown liners, chocolate mini cakes, and truffles. Perhaps for someone who is non-traditional but wants something special in which to celebrate!

PROJECT FOUR: Festival of White
So very pretty and dainty for a winter celebration! Creams, whites, and champagne-colored treats that come in square cakes, shiny sugar pops, meringues, and cupcakes! "rnament " cookies delicately hang from a tree along with glass ornaments to welcomes the guests to the winter wonderland of sweet celebration. The highlight of this section, for me at least, was the "bauble beauties" which are round cakes covered and decorated to look like ornaments! Real dazzlers!!!

PROJECT FIVE: Lullaby of Loves
As sweet and precious as the bundle of love coming your way! Pastels welcome everyone in the shape of a 2-tiered round cake with clotheslines of baby clothes made from cutters or that you can make yourself (templates included) that are attached around the cake. Polka dotted square mini cakes, wrapped cake pops, cupcakes, and gently meringues help round out the party!

PROJECT SIX: At the Parlour
Pink and black are given center stage in this different, but very pretty, combination of colors in the form of cupakes, petit fours, macaroons, meringues, mini cakes, and candies. The Victorian silhouette theme continues on the 3-tiered center cake.

Tools and Equipment

Recipes and Techniques: As usual, Zoe never assumes, and again, gives great attention to detail as far as charts with amounts needed to make cakes from round and square and the volumes needed for each shape and size. Fillings, coverings, syrups, layering, filling, prepping are also covered. Then you have the techniques of covering all the shapes, decorating, and assembling. Cookies, meringues, cake pops, and the other goodies she made, are also given due time. I apprciate that she gives both UK and US suppliers.

While this wasn't a very big book, as far as amount of projects, you will get the essence of what she is teaching, and you can adapt different ideas and then play around with them, to get the personalized feeling that you want to put into your party. Colors, fabrics, staging are just waiting in your imagination.

Peace!
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars the TRUTH about the CAKE PARLOUR, May 16, 2013
This review is from: The Cake Parlour Sweet Tables: Beautiful Baking Displays with 40 Themed Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies & More (Paperback)
Zoe Clark and her publishing company have blatantly stolen the ideas in this book from us, her freelancers, with not even so much as a mention of our names. Everything from the graphic work of the cover itself, to the recipes, techniques,and EVEN the equipment and material(used in the photos), belong to freelance artists who've graciously devoted every waking second of their time, happiness and compassion to further Ms. Clark's selfish cause; to simply measure her self-worth despite all repercussions.

After much deliberation, we had decided not to follow through with any legal action regarding this matter. It is simply not worth butting heads with such self-righteous, callous people. To add insult to injury, these reputable sites carry on revering her name falsely when she didn't even know what a sweet table was if it weren't for her freelancers! We've kept to ourselves long enough.

SHAME ON YOU for taking advantage of aspiring artists. Is this how Zoe and her publishers David & Charles encourage budding talent?

Shame indeed.

Ms. Clark and her counterparts are very aware of who we - the artists- are. We are not vengeful people, but hardworking human beings who DO NOT deserve such ill treatment. To think that a simple 'thank you' would have avoided this debacle, putting ASIDE the empty promises of co-authoring this book! We looked up to Zoe, and did all that we could to help her with her work AND personal endeavours. We felt proud to say that we were part of this incredible team...

What a disappointment.

Unbeknownst to them, Amazon and similar sites are wrongly idolizing Ms. Clark. Credit is due to the artists whose countless hours of labour - a lot of which was FREE - and unconditional support made this book possible.

To Zoe and David & Charles: Thank you for demonstrating that our work at the Cake Parlour was truly NOT worth the effort and pain it has caused us and our loved ones. Also, it's shocking that such a well renown publisher who's very OWN employees were witness to our efforts can so easily discard our names from this book. Your behaviour regarding this is outright disgusting.

Pity to anyone who makes the mistake of trusting either these parties.

We invite you to come to us with any response. You are fully aware that EVERYTHING mentioned above is the complete and utter truth.

Enough is enough,
rmj
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad at all, December 17, 2012
This review is from: The Cake Parlour Sweet Tables: Beautiful Baking Displays with 40 Themed Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies & More (Paperback)
It would be a criminal shame to disturb and eat the cakes shown in this book, they are just too beautiful for words.

Here is a book of sheer cake pornography, in explicit full-colour photographic goodness, with 40 stemmedcakes, cupcakes, cookies and more. At first glance you would be forgiven for thinking this is another artistic photographic book - that is a given, it meets that requirement without missing a beat. Yet with this book you get to do it yourself.

The book naturally assumes a certain proficiency in the kitchen, so the actual hand-holding and recipes are kept at a minimum. Instead the book focuses on the actual display or layout of the various cakes and it does this to a great, stunning, superb effect.

Looking through the book, you could easily find a display to suit all purposes. And part of the delight of the art is that you can easily use the displays as a template, change a cake type here and there, replace a colour and suchlike. At the rear of the book there are even basic recipes and a brief overview of the key techniques involved so it could be an "all-in-one" book if required, although to be fair it is probably not aimed at the total new beginner but it is not necessarily out of reach either with a lot of focus and dedication.

Clearly, if you are already a bit of a dab hand in the kitchen, this book could take you to the next stage with its great, clean, classic designs that can fit into almost every situation asked of it. It is amazing how so much has been squashed into this quite slim book without it feeling overly-compressed either.

If you are in doubt as to the possible use of this book, take a look first in the bookstore. If you are more than an occasional cake baker at home, or a baking professional, you perhaps should begin to acquaint yourself with this book. The price tag is not off-putting and if you only find inspiration from one display, you are still going to come out with a bargain.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Table Review, September 12, 2012
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This review is from: The Cake Parlour Sweet Tables: Beautiful Baking Displays with 40 Themed Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies & More (Paperback)
I was looking for ideas to decorate my booth at tradeshows and this book gave me some great ideas. I would recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it !, March 5, 2013
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This review is from: The Cake Parlour Sweet Tables: Beautiful Baking Displays with 40 Themed Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies & More (Paperback)
This book is a sweet buy. Fully colored pages, recipes, examples, ideas, on how to bake, decorate and make any event a success !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great gift idea, January 1, 2013
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This review is from: The Cake Parlour Sweet Tables: Beautiful Baking Displays with 40 Themed Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies & More (Paperback)
Great book with super party and dessert tables ideas. And good baking tips!
Will provide readers a lot of inspiration for planning and giving parties.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book, August 25, 2012
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This review is from: The Cake Parlour Sweet Tables: Beautiful Baking Displays with 40 Themed Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies & More (Paperback)
Love the clear photos, all the tables showing in this book are amazing. I have all her books all are great. All the designs are simple beautiful an ELEGANT
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3.0 out of 5 stars Book is OK, March 15, 2014
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This review is from: The Cake Parlour Sweet Tables: Beautiful Baking Displays with 40 Themed Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies & More (Paperback)
I got this book a couple of months ago and I just didn't find anything that thrilled me. It does have some good information and it is a good book to have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended! Love it (:, November 29, 2013
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This review is from: The Cake Parlour Sweet Tables: Beautiful Baking Displays with 40 Themed Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies & More (Paperback)
Simply love collecting all baking and decorating book. This book show tips on almost all basic needs, even recipes. Thumbs up! Recommended.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet eye candy, August 8, 2012
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This review is from: The Cake Parlour Sweet Tables: Beautiful Baking Displays with 40 Themed Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies & More (Paperback)
This book is wonderful eye candy and showcases 6 sweet tables. This book gives you quality photographs of each completed table and then breaks it down by each sweet telling you how to reproduce it. It also gives you basic baking tips and cake recipes at the end of the book. All the tables are beautifully executed, I only wish there was more! Great book on the ever popular dessert table.
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