Most helpful positive review
84 of 93 people found the following review helpful
The cake decorating pedestal has another person to hold.....
on May 15, 2007
What a lovely book of cake decorating education!! Well done Elisa!! Ms. Strauss is the owner of New York City's "Confetti Cakes". Though she worked in the fashion industry, a playful idea of mixing her love for baking with her eye for fashion brought her to this career, and it seems to suit her well. From her bakery comes this addicting book!!
Having been mesmorized by the feats and skills of such accompished cake decorators, I always look forward with great anticipation, to the latest tomes written on this subject. Ms. Strauss does not disappoint. She has compiled a rather delightful writing of the mastery of cake design and teaches a wide range of baking skills. The cake decorating devotee is given all the information necessary to reproduce what you seen on each wonderful page. This book has the ability for anyone, from novice to professional, to use and create and ooooh and aaaaah!
The instructions run from basic cookies in shapes from onesies outfits (that's the baby's first year everyday garment of basically longjohns) to purses, and cupcakes with beribboned polka-dots to beach sandals to the main event of spectacular cakes that would fool anyone due to their unique appearances, like popcorn bags to a sushi table, replete with "rice" and "California rolls".
The book is sturdy and thick with beautiful and detailed photography of each creation so that any questions can be answered with just a glance of the eye. Her explanations are clear and concise and they are given to you in steps both for the actions required as well as the timetable needed in order to plan your time wisely.
Her book is written in this order:
EQUIPMENT AND TECHNIQUES:
This photographic and written section has what you need to work with as far as equipment and decorating tools, and each piece is numbered with a matching explanation of how you use it. There is a glossary, baking terms, practical matters, how to transport your creations, techniques for the actual decorating, filling cakes, sculpting cakes, covering cakes with fondant, constructing the cakes to hold their weight, piping with frosting and royal icing, brush embroidery, "wood staining" for making candied "tables" and "crates", making sugar bows, and more.
Red velvet cake
Vanilla sugar cookie dough
Chocolate cookie dough
Swiss meringue buttercream
How much fondant
COOKIES: (some templates are included)
Stacked wedding cake cookies
Baby onesie cookies
Birthday cake cookies
Stiletto cookies (so much fun to make!)
Witch's wardrobe cookies
Modern wedding vow cookies
Fruit cookies (they look so real)
Dragon and butterfly cookies
Polka dot cupcakes
Pool ball cupcakes
Flip-flop cupcakes (yep, little tiny sandals!)
Seashell cupcakes (the "seashells" are so easy to make)
Rubber ducky cupcakes
Tomato mini cakes (a tomato sitting in dirt in a pail)
Monogram mini cakes
Party hat mini cakes
Dice mini cakes
Mini present cakes
Retro TV mini cakes (so darn cute!)
Popcorn mini cakes (this is easy and fun and everyone loves them!)
Tote bag mini cakes
Mini wedding cakes
Teacup mini cakes
Bow cake (very simple yet elegant, especially for a first time project)
Baby blocks cake
Baseball hat cake
Chinese takeout box cake (clever; fortune cookie recipe too!)
2-tiered stripes cake
Brush embroidery (another very elegant first time cake)
Appliqued flower cake
Chocolate embroidery wedding cake
The handbag cake (from the from cover of the book)
Wine bottle cake
Sugar stiletto cake and shoebox cake (this put Elisa in the spotlight and you will see why!)
Being prejudiced to all that is baking, I am picky about what really inspires and educates and this book is up there with the other great volumes of true baking eduction. I would highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys this type of culinary conquest; no doubt about it, you'll be happy with this acquisition to your baking library!