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Cake Decorating Books - Advice please?

Cookbook Dessert

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7 replies to this topic

#1 Ylee

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 04:12 PM

I'm looking to get some cake decorating books off the internet, but need some advice because I can't flip through the books, obviously, so don't know if they will suit me or not. These are the books I'm thinking of getting, and I was hoping someone might already have them and can say if they're worth it. I'm looking for books that are inspirational and have enough information in them for you to actually recreate the cakes (I've been told a lot of books leave important steps out).

1) Cales to Dream On, by Colette Peters
2) The Whimsical Bakehouse, by Kaye Hansen
3) Confetti Cakes, by Elissa Strauss

Thanks in advance to anyone who might be able to help! :smile:

#2 AnnaC

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 04:37 PM

Hey, Ylee -

I like the Whimsical Bakehouse a lot - they have some good practical information about cake construction (layers, tilting, etc) and fun decorating ideas.
Colette Peter's books are amazing looking, but the instructions are definitely wordy - if you are a visual learner, they take a little thought.
I've seen the Confetti Cakes book, but not for long enough to form a useful opinion.
The one name I don't see on your list that I think is very useful instructionally is Toba Garrett - she's written books about cake / cookie decoration and is a well respected instructor. Her books aren't glamorous, but I've found them to be very practical and extremely educational. Take a look at The Well-Decorated Cake if you have a chance.

#3 chiantiglace

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 01:02 AM

A couple of the instructors at CIA will be releasing their cake assembly and decorating book soon, look forward to that.
Dean Anthony Anderson
"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This
Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

#4 Ylee

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 01:50 AM

Thanks guys! I'll keep an eye out for that CIA book. Meanwhile, I might look into acquiring the Well Decorated Cake as recommended by AnnaC, as it doesn't seem too expensive.

#5 Tepee

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 11:06 PM

I second Toba's book...her cake recipes are very good. Her style is elegant and more understated. For creativity, I'd definitely get at least one Colette Peters. I've the whole range except Cakes to Dream On which got lost in transit. :sad:
Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

#6 SundaySous

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 01:18 AM

Never underestimate the power of google. Google videos more commonly referred to as you tube that is. A search for cake+decorating returns 179 hits.

I should probably add these guys as well.

Edited by SundaySous, 16 August 2007 - 01:20 AM.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

#7 Kayakado

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 10:07 AM

I am waiting for Roland Mesnier's cake book due out this fall (Basic to Beautiful Cakes). He was the white house chef for many years. I have high hopes for it. His dessert university is good but a little light on decorating, although he covers chocolate clay and blown sugar work.

The best books to get started with actual decorating are the Wilton books when it comes to piping techniques, equipment, and applications. Their ready made edible products suck and their recipes aren't much better, but they do give good basic instruction for buttercream, fondant, and gumpaste application techniques.

Rose Levy Berenbaum's Cake Bible has the best clear and concise information that tells you about cakes, icing, fondant, frosting, recipes, decorating, and baking. I would get her book if I could only get one! I only wish she had more pictures.

I like Colette's books, but they leave out a lot of information, maybe too much for a beginner. I have all of her books except for her the Christmas one. It is out of print. I use them mostly for inspiration. If you are into more formal wedding type cakes these books would be good.

I like Lindy Smith and Debbie Brown for kids cakes that are more 3-D and fun.

I wasn't impressed by the Whimiscal Bakehouse book.

Margaret Braun's Cake Walk is expensive but she really was the first to do Faberge style cakes.

All these cake artists have websites, if you google their name and go to their website you can see cakes and sometimes excerpts from their books.

#8 Morgan_Weber

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 06:00 AM

My wife absolutely loves Confetti Cakes

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