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Quick & Easy Wedding Cakes
By Karen Goble
ISBN: 1847734243
Publisher: New Holland
Publication date: Aug. 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Number of recipes: 22 decorated cakes, plus cake, frosting, fondant, recipes
List price: $14.95
Type: Dessert: Wedding Cakes
Sample recipe: Daisy Daisy
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive encyclopedia coffee-table
Meal part: all breakfast/brunch lunch dinner dessert
Competition: outclassed a bit behind in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: airfare required online specialty store supermarket pantry
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose minimal complete educational
Time conscious: not conscious bald lies white lies realistic scout's honor
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant ample generous
Photos/drawings: none drawings b&w photos occasional color all color
Art contribution: disappointing distracting decorative beautiful glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine kind work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging ok clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy delicate years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: hard-to-find spotty sufficient most pages every page
Table of contents: missing frustrating minimal helpful excellent
Index: none confusing adequate nice a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writing history: beginner writer/journalist food writer writing cook personality
Cooking heritage: unknown self-taught teacher chef celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short satisfactory successful exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward good friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: "Quick" and "easy" surely must be relative terms when speaking of wedding cakes. It makes sense, though, if you think about it – surely some must be more quickly and easily made than others. These cakes claim to fall into that category, but you would not necessarily know from looking at the pictures.

The challenge of using a book like this is rounding up all the molds, cake pans, cutters, flowers, candies, ribbons, trim, etc. so that you can replicate these cakes. The value of using a book like this is in gathering ideas so that you can approximate many or most of these cakes, and so that you can come up with some of your own. Almost all of the 22 cakes in this book look beautiful and surely one would be suitable for almost any wedding.

The book is British, but means to be relevant to the English-speaking world. The section on cake decorating suppliers in the back lists sources in Britain, the USA and Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. But, be aware, not every product is available everywhere (the hardener gun tragacanth is very hard to find in the US, for example), and you may have trouble deciphering some of the British words (a posy pick is a plastic tube used to affix flowers to a cake; confectioner's varnish is a gloss, but we have not been able to find a version commercially available in the US.)

The book starts with a section on helpful and necessary equipment. This is followed by a section of cake recipes (light fruit, rich fruit, carrot, chocolate, and a firm sponge), filling and icing recipes, sugarpaste (fondant), marzipan, royal icing, flower and modeling paste, ganache and modeling chocolate recipes, in a wide variety of sizes and volumes. There is a section on assembling and supporting cakes in general, followed by the step-by-step instructions for the 22 cake designs themselves.

You can do the calculations from the recipe section in the front, but it would be useful if every finished cake recipe stated how many portions it produces.

If you're going to bite the bullet and make someone's wedding cake – no matter how quick & easy these cakes turn out to be – charge them extra and make one from start to finish a couple of weeks before the actual event so that you know exactly how long it will take.


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