Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review: Cakes to Dream On by Colette Peters.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Colette peters, the celebrated queen of the confectionary arts, unveils an inspiring resource for serious home bakers, professional chefs, and aficionados of Colette's incredible edible architecture. The ingenious cake decorator - whose miraculous and luscious concoctions have appeared everywhere from White House Christmases to royal weddings - presents a master class in cake design and decoration, alongside an all-new selection of her own cake designs. With Cakes to Dream On, Colette's inspired creations can now be rendered into show-stopping cakes of your own.Cakes to Dream On reveals the secrets to fashioning gorgeous and utterly distinctive cakes for all occasions - whether it's an opulent marriage reception (the majestic Ivory Wedding Cake) or a fanciful children's party (the whimsical Homage to Dr. Seuss). Colette presents designs for cake architecture ranging from the imperial splendor of Dolce de Medici, to the elegant grace of Bride's Vintage Cameo, to the topsy-turvy daydream of Mad Tea Party.

Colette begins with the foundations: she illuminates step by step the process of constructing a multitiered cake, from determining serving sizes and choosing appropriate cake pans to making fillings, and ultimately stacking layers so they don't tumble off the table. Cakes to Dream On also discloses insider tricks of the trade: Colette's easy-to-follow instructions in techniques such as sugarwork, gumpaste, brush embroidery, and piping will help readers recreate the spectacular effects of this singular confectioner's toolbox.

Bakers - and their enthusiastic audiences - will discover that these sensual masterpieces tantalize the palate as much as they do the eye. Colette's cake recipes include the Coco-Loco Cake, an alluring marriage of coconut and coffee; the Meringue Buttercream and its luscious lemon, raspberry, and mocha variants; and the ambrosial caramel-tinged Heavenly White Cake.

As breathtaking as Colette's cake works appear, her clear explanations of technique are meant to stimulate readers' creative instincts and give them ideas for crafting their own distinctive confections. With more than 150 dazzling full-color photographs illustrating both processes and finished presentations, and more detailed instruction than ever before, Cakes to Dream On will inspire readers to create their own mouthwatering masterpieces. Colette's master class is truly a launchpad for cake lovers' own confectionary visions.

My thoughts:

I normally write reviews for fiction, so this one is a little different and new to me.

It needs to be said that I am in no way near being a master at cake decorating. In all honesty, I bought Cakes to Dream on: A Master Class because it was beautiful. The cover, the cakes inside, all of it, it's just amazing! My mom was a cake decorator for years, so for this review I asked her opinion on the book.

The instructions: Very easy to follow. The diagrams and drawings are thorough, as they not only tell you what you need to do, they also show you. I learn from seeing much faster than I do from words alone, so the sketches, patterns, and diagrams are a HUGE plus.

Practicality for the average person: For just the average, everyday person?? Not the most practical. These aren't cakes that you would be making for a kids birthday party. Part of what makes this book so amazing IS the fact that you won't see these cakes anywhere else. They are equal parts unique and amazing!! Being hardbound, if you bought the book at a regular store, it would be a bit pricey at $40. Luckily, I got through Amazon for around $25, and I consider that a steal!

The recipes: These are the same recipes used in bakeries with some bonus variations.

The best feature: While the photography is stunning, the cakes brilliantly unique, what sells me the most are the diagrams, sketches, and patterns. They are definitely the biggest selling point.

Even if I had never planned to do any of the cakes out of here, I would still keep the book on my shelf just as a conversation piece!!