Published by Hardie Grant Hardback £20 eBook £10
With the book world going bonkers about The Great British Bake Off everyone is talking, eating and dreaming cake, so it is a good time to review a book by the Queen of the Cakewalk and founder of the popular baking boutique Fancy Nancy, Juliet Sear.
The book opens with a description of the essential tool kit followed by a warning, ‘do not start the projects before reading this.’ The body of the book is essentially about cake decorating and obviously before starting you need a cake to decorate. Juliet advises making large sponge cakes a day or two in advance and chilling to make them easier to work on and with. The final chapter gives the invaluable insiders knowledge with Juliet’s tried and tested recipes.
Juliet has chosen her publisher well, Hardie Grant are known for stylish beautiful cookery books and this is no exception. It is always very satisfying when a publisher bothers to style the pictures enticingly, even on the tools and materials pages.
Spoilt for choice with such a diverse range of cakes featured, it is very hard to pick one favourite. I love the ‘day of the dead’ inspired black skull cake decorated with bright patterns, flowers and symbols. Juliet is a cake artist specialising in hand painting, the three-tiered bird cake is beautiful. Other favourites are the Wedgewood inspired vase of flowers cake with fresh flower decorations and the cupcake bouquet that features a real vase with very gorgeous life like cup cake flowers. Even though this is a cake book, biscuits are included, there are adorable Dalmatians and kitschy acid coloured wooly jumpers and even love heart biscuits.
With over 20 recipes, easy to follow instructions and clear diagrams for a great number of techniques along with lovely photographs, this book takes you beyond the basics of baking into the realm where cake design merges with the world of arts and crafts.