Saturday, 8 September 2012
Boutique Baking by Peggy Porschen
Peggy Porschen is one of the most prominent and pioneering names in contemporary cake design. Renowned for her exquisite craftsmanship combined with a love of baking, her passion is for creating delectable works of art that taste as good as they look. This new book captures the essence of Peggy's technical skill and inspired use of colour while also ensuring that each cake is both achievable and delicious to eat. Boutique Baking has an unrivalled range of recipes that combines traditional baking with chic, simple finishing touches. The first chapter, Sweet Treats, features all-time favourites such as Meringue kisses and Macaroons as well as Peggy's take on Cake pops. In Beautiful Biscuits there are recipes inspired by her German origins including Gingerbread Men and Mulled Wine Stars. The third chapter focuses on the most desirable cake phenomenon of the decade - the cup cake, and Peggy gives away the secret of her incredibly scrumptious repertoire of gourmet cup cakes. The Luscious Layer Cake chapter provides stunning ideas for sophisticated occasions while Classic Cakes & Bakes shows how to revive traditional recipes, creating gorgeous looking and delicious cakes, such as Neapolitan marble cake and Chocolate Battenberg. Last but certainly not least the book closes with a chapter on fabulous finishing touches, basic recipes for frostings and fillings, and delicious ideas for home-made drinks that perfectly accompany the cakes. Seductive and indulgent, this is Peggy's most accessible book to date.
I love everything about this book - the front cover is beautiful, chic and expensive looking. The inside of the book does not disappoint either, full of gorgeous sounding and in many cases, looking recipes. The photographs are mostly just the food, however there are a few boutique shop look photos too, but these are in-keeping with the whole book's theme and style.
The book would be a great inspiration for a posh, chic birthday party for a sweet 16 or 18th feminine birthday party. There are seven chapters entitled: Sweet Treats; Beautiful Biscuits; Cupcake Heaven; Luscious Layer Cakes; Classic Cakes and Bakes; Delicious Drinks; and The Icing on the Cake.
Compared to many recipe books I have reviewed lately, this one does not contain a introductory chapter which includes basic store room ingredients and equipment, and general hints, tips and tricks of the trade from the authors themselves. I am unsure whether this book is incomplete without it or breaking the recent trend. I think that with books like this, where it is a vital element or not. However, when looking through the recipes I have found that some of this 'missing' section is included with the recipes. Each recipe has a number of sections: there is the usual ingredients list, which, helpfully has been split into each section of the process (i.e. frosting, cake mix and decorating), a separate equipment list and then the method, which is also split into sections.
The last chapter of the book, 'The Icing on the Cake' does include a number of step by step photograph sequences which give ideas and guidance on some of the techniques used to produce the cakes included in the book.
There are photographs of all the projects/recipes included in the book - each recipe has it's own photograph and some recipes have step by step sequences to accompany the written instructions.
The range of recipes makes this book a very useful inclusion into any kitchen library or book shelf. It includes traditional recipes, batten-burg, cupcakes and fruit cakes, but they are all given a modern twist. The book is an inspirational book for presentation of the finished cakes - there are some beautiful ideas.
I would like to thank the publishers, Quadrille Publishing for sending me the book to review.