Thursday, March 2, 2017

Buttercream Basics A Baker's Dream Book

One of the most fun things about home baking is decorating one's cakes and cupcakes. There's nothing prettier than a shower cake  festooned with roses or  cupcakes livened up with squiggles and swirls. However, this art does have to be learned and luckily there is a brand new book to show us how.

Buttercream Basics: Learn The Art Of Buttercream Decorating (Robert Rose Publishers 2017) , a phenomenal how to was written by Carey Madden and shows how to create amazing decorations for cakes and cupcakes.Ms. Madden is known for her cake decorating books, She has previously written one just for cupcakes and small cakes. I love this book. One of the best things about it is that she  eases novice decorators like myself from the very simple to the very elaborate. The book doesn't start off with elaborate roses and curlicues. That's for later. Another big plus is the pictorial on the different decorating tools and their use. The book also shows the difference between the tips' openings and how to employ them to create lines, leaves, and petals. Another aspect I 'm impressed with is her advice to left handers like myself. So often we just can't decorate properly because the decorations are for righties. Ms. Madden tells us to go counterclockwise when the directions say clockwise. There is also a chapter on how to mix colors and pair them up for the best color schemes along with chapters on not only icing the cake but also filling it too.Home bakers will likely follow her how to have a smooth surface as well as how to clean tips.

Of course, there is the buttercream recipe but it's the Swiss kind made with egg whites and cooked.She does offer the American kind, but it's sweeter , denser and stiffer than the other. The Swiss meringue is not sugary sweet and it's the perfect foil for the triple chocolate  and yellow butter cake recipes that she also includes. All the cakes featured look amazing.  Beginner icers will love recreating the vintage look of coiled rustic or the swoopy homestyle iced cakes. My favorites are the simple swirl and twine decorated ones where only a spatula is needed to create circles on the top and sides.Ms. Madden also has a chapter on adding sashes to cakes, making them look like elegant hats . There's an interesting one on decorating with crystallized fruits such as figs, blueberries, and blackberries. This would be not only perfect for a birthday but also for a wedding too. The more adventurous will undoubtedly like to attempt the dusting technique which involves stenciling. The cupcake section is adorably cute, especially with the caterpillar birthday cake, made with a line of  cupcakes.I love the rosette swirls and definitely will be trying that one soon enough. There's also the bunch of balloons cupcakes that 's just so sweet  and just the right thing for a kid's birthday cake.

Buttercream Basics :Learn The Art of Buttercream Decorating is the best book for home bakers wanting to create professional looking cakes and cupcakes. It's informative and fun. Learning all the techniques and tips is even better than having your cake and eating it too.

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