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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cakes & Decorating
Womens Weekly has been around forever!i think this book is pure magic,i love baking and do cakes over the year for different occasions,when you open this book it is pure class from the outset layed out into 3 chapters, the first being the easy chapter where little or no experience is needed to the second chapter where some skill may be needed to the third where you need...
Published on 25 Nov. 2012 by C. I. Smith

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Book
This book is lovely; hardback with good quality images throughout. It is full of beautiful ideas and step-by-step photographs to help you recreate them. It is separated into three sections, that take the reader through cake decoration from easy to difficult levels. In all honesty, the majority of readers would need to stay with the first two sections for quite some time...
Published 22 months ago by H. Pierce


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cakes & Decorating, 25 Nov. 2012
By 
C. I. Smith "c i c smith" (Kent,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decorating Cakes: Cake decorating for every occasion: from simple to elaborate and weddings to special birthdays (The Australian Women's Weekly) (Hardcover)
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Womens Weekly has been around forever!i think this book is pure magic,i love baking and do cakes over the year for different occasions,when you open this book it is pure class from the outset layed out into 3 chapters, the first being the easy chapter where little or no experience is needed to the second chapter where some skill may be needed to the third where you need some skills and/or will need to practice to gain that set of skills.
The book has great pictures showing you the tools and how to use them with clear easy to use instructions,it also shows you some ideas on how to present your cakes or cookies!Cup cakes seem to be all the rage at the moment! there are wonderfull show stopping lace decorated cupcakes & Hydrangea cupcakes on that page it shows you how to make the small flowers that make the ball of the Hydrangea so as to give the appearance of the real plant,any one of those would look good on your party table.This book would be handy for anyone who does cake baking or decorating of cakes,it shows alot of different ideas that you could use, I am sure you would be able to obtain all of the equiptment or templates that are used in this country,Great Book with some great ideas.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Book, 24 April 2013
By 
H. Pierce (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decorating Cakes: Cake decorating for every occasion: from simple to elaborate and weddings to special birthdays (The Australian Women's Weekly) (Hardcover)
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This book is lovely; hardback with good quality images throughout. It is full of beautiful ideas and step-by-step photographs to help you recreate them. It is separated into three sections, that take the reader through cake decoration from easy to difficult levels. In all honesty, the majority of readers would need to stay with the first two sections for quite some time unless they have a lot of previous experience.

The book gives the reader great ideas of how to decorate cakes for many different occasions. The only real flaw, in my opinion, is that it calls for many different types of cake decorating tools to be used. I was hoping that the beginner section would have focussed more on what you can make from scratch - without specialist equipment.

There is a section of the book dedicated to recipes - some for cakes, and others for toppings. The measurements are written in cups, but this is more than made up for by the fact that the measurements and cooking times are adjusted for different size cake tins! This is the first time I have seen a cake book do this, so forgive my excitement. I think that this is such a wonderfully thoughtful tool to refer to!

Overall, I do think that this is a very lovely book. It is perhaps less of a book for total beginners, and more for those who have a fair amount of experience under their belts already.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful book for decorating but recipes less successful, 13 Feb. 2013
By 
Mr Gumby "DH" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decorating Cakes: Cake decorating for every occasion: from simple to elaborate and weddings to special birthdays (The Australian Women's Weekly) (Hardcover)
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Another excellent book from Woman's Weekly - whilst they're not really showing anything unique, it's hard to find much fault. With clear photos of the finished projects and step-by-step shots for particular skills, the book will have appeal for a wide range of abilities. There is a good range of styles, from very pretty to quite sculptural, but only a few that really made me think "Wow"!

The focus of the book is on centrepiece cakes, but there are other projects too, including a macaroon tower, cupcakes and cookies. The thorough appendix has instructions for some of the basic techniques required in the book. There is an extensive breakdown of quantities for different size cakes, but unfortunately the recipes use cup measurements which are much less accurate and consistent than weights, especially given that cup measures differ around the world and this book is from Australia. Also, using cups instead of simply weighing into the mixing bowl creates extra washing up. Use of cup measurements would normally stop me buying a book but, in this case, the focus is on decorating, not baking, and I have other tried-and-tested recipes for making the cakes themselves.

In conclusion, I felt the book was very competent but somehow lacked some of the personality of other decorating books I have, for example by Peggy Porschens or Zoe Clark.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My wife and teenage daughter are competent cake makers - and they really like this book, 20 April 2013
By 
Keith_Joseph (West Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decorating Cakes: Cake decorating for every occasion: from simple to elaborate and weddings to special birthdays (The Australian Women's Weekly) (Hardcover)
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We have a few of the Women's weekly Australian paperback magazine style cookbooks that offer excellent home-cooking recipes with plenty of nice colour pictures printed on quality paper, e.g. Slow-Cooker, Potato, and Cakes & Slices.

This Australian Women's Weekly 'Decorating Cakes' book is a bit different as it's a large heavy hard bound book and is clearly serious about making cakes for special occasions, e.g. Weddings, Christenings, Anniversaries and Christmas. My wife and teenage daughter are competent cake makers, be it a sponge, fruit cake or soft iced birthday cake, and they really rate this book very highly. They say it has loads of lovely pictures, it is filled with good ideas, and the techniques are easy to understand and follow. And although they doubt they would get the final finish to look quite as good as the illustrations, they thought they would be able make a good attempt at these stylish celebration cakes. The books cake designs are split into easy, experienced and expert sections, and they offer both large elegant tiered cakes and cute individual sized cakes of many shapes and colours. And as it says on the cover, all the cake recipes are 'triple tested for your success'. The cake finishes and techniques aren't extremely complicated like some of the fantastic icing flowers and chocolate creations you see on professional chefs cakes, they are more designed for mum or perhaps older kids to make in the family home.

The book has the making and decorating of the cakes at the front, and if it say, asks for almond paste (marzipan), a ganash or a frosted fluffy icing, a page number will be given for the rear of the book, where the details are given on how to make this yourself (including illustrations). There's also two double pages of pictures of all the cake decoration tools used with a key of their name and use, plus loads of other cake related information. The recipe measurements are in both pounds/ounces and metric, with 'cups/spoons' for volume (an Australian cup is 250ml). This beautifully bound book has 239 quality pages and is 22 x 27 x 3cm. If you know someone in the family who enjoys making cakes, then this is the ideal gift for them. 5*.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, 22 Feb. 2013
By 
Angela - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decorating Cakes: Cake decorating for every occasion: from simple to elaborate and weddings to special birthdays (The Australian Women's Weekly) (Hardcover)
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This is a very clear and comprehensive guide to sugarcraft cakes for those starting out up to the serious hobbyist - the book is divided into sections for different levels; easy, experienced and expert. I've mainly dipped into the easy section, which does require some equipment for most of the cakes from cutters, embossing mats to piping bags. Most casual bakers probably could find something to make with whatever equipment they already have - it's higher on bigger formal cakes than on cupcakes, there are also a few interesting and bang up to date ideas such as wedding cake and baby rattle pops.

If you have used Women's Weekly books before you should be used to the Australian slant - all recipes are by cup measurement (1 cup = 250 ml) and there is some use of ingredients that are more readily available and no doubt cheaper in the other hemisphere - the mini mango rose cheesecakes being a case in point. I was a little bewildered to find the instructions for a lovely polka dot coloured cake involving buying a packet mix of all things, which is probably not available here ( I guess I could improvise. I had more success with some of the other recipes like the sugar confetti cup cakes. The instructions are so clear and well illustrated with good photos that no doubt I will venture into experienced soon, and the expert pages are great eye candy!

The book is really for someone who wants to make a cake for a special occasion, I've found it useful as a source of inspiration, adapting some of the ideas on the pages; recently I managed to make a lovely cake for my mum's special birthday and this book has helped move me on from the decorating rut I was in. Recommended but only if you are wanting to invest time and probably money in producing a cake that is a little bit more advanced than a basic cake.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of interesting cake decorating ideas, 8 Dec. 2012
By 
Sue H "Sunshine Suzzy" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decorating Cakes: Cake decorating for every occasion: from simple to elaborate and weddings to special birthdays (The Australian Women's Weekly) (Hardcover)
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This a glossy hard back with many ideas for decorating cakes. The 230 page book is divided into sections Easy, Experienced, Expert and Mechanics. (Details below) The cakes whilst not all formal are certainly mostly adult style. This is not the book to buy if you want to create novelty or children's cakes like pirate islands, or themed cakes in the shape of cars, trains animals, birds etc. There is a mix of very delicate intricate cakes in pale shades of cream and pink, to more chunky designs, and cakes in greens, blues and yellows. The book is well illustrated with colour photos of the finished product and certain stages of the preparation.

The mechanics section is especially useful giving cake recipes scaled up from 10cm/4" round/square to 35cm/12" round/square for butter cake (looks like a victoria sponge to me), Raspberry Hazelnut, Devils food chocolate cake, coconut cake, carrot cake, dark and white chocolate mud cake, and fruit cake. Although the book is written in English it has certain Australianisms e.g. units- cup sizes instead of g or ml and ingredient names e.g. finely grated citrus rind which as its in a fruitcake I guess is candied peel? There's info on cake pans, boards, tiers and recipes for ganache, butter cream, fluffy frosting, royal icing. How to use almond paste (marzipan) and ready roll (fondant) icing, piping bags and tubes, and modelling paste (flower paste).

I've been making and decorating cakes for a number of years, I'd say I was average standard. I'd not necessarily agree with the categorisation of each of the cakes; some of the easy ones look tricky to me, and some of the advanced not so hard. It probably depends what you find easy. Basic piping with a medium nozel and a good mixture not too stiff not too runny is ok. Piping writing out of a fine nozel even with a perfect mixture is for me a challenge! Making passable flowers from sugar paste is not too hard after some one who knows what they are doing has shown you how. The point being to use the difficulty classification as a guide. If you have some experience in decoration and have some skills your perception will be different than a complete beginner looking to learn the skills only from a book.

I'm very happy to have this book as part of my cake decorating collection reference material.

Easy section contains instructions for quilted wedding cake cookies, cup cakes: confetti and mongrammed, embossed lace, lemon meringue , chocolate box cake, mini brownie and blond wedding cakes, tower of macaroons, jelly bean cakes, mango rose cheese cakes, etc.

Experienced section contains hydrangea cup cakes, autumn leaves cupcakes (uses real leaves) chocolate and ivory hearts cake, baby rattles, cherry blossoms in spring, pleats and bows ribbon cake, 21st celebration cake, cascade of butterflies, broderie anglaise etc.

Expert includes bowtie mini cakes, wedding cake pops, dusky rose cake, traditional wedding cake, croquembouche, silhouette spectacular, kitchen tea biscuits. etc
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressed, 4 Dec. 2012
By 
Marand - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decorating Cakes: Cake decorating for every occasion: from simple to elaborate and weddings to special birthdays (The Australian Women's Weekly) (Hardcover)
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I am really impressed with this book, not just because of the cake decoration but because of the cake recipes included at the back of the book each of which provides ingredient listings for a myriad of cake sizes and depths. The back section of the book is also full of clear instructions for preparing cakes for icing, how to do the icing, preparing ganache, using almond paste & modelling paste, etc. This frees up the earlier part of the book for the decorating itself which is split across three chapters - easy, experienced & expert - which are filled with stunning cakes and which provides lots of inspiration for your own ideas.

I haven't attempted anything beyond the easy chapter but even so, there are some fantastic looking designs in that chapter which deliver impressive results. In part this is because the book reveals tricks which I didn't even know about such as chocolate transfer sheets and textured mats to produce very professional looking results even from the complete amateur. The opening chapter, Easy, is stated to require no previous knowledge or skills at cake decorating - I think this is true although I have seen comments in some reviews that suggest otherwise. It includes both celebration cakes and fancy cupcakes - I can vouch for the cupcakes - lemon meringue, sugar confetti, and embossed lace cupcakes. I suspect the last two were intended as wedding day cakes but they went down well at a charity cake sale! There is also a chocolate box cake which looks extremely smart but, whilst requiring some care, doesn't involve complex techniques. The cake has sides formed of melted chocolate which you spread over baking parchment until the chocolate sets and these panels are then attached to the cake with a simple to make chocolate ganache. You need to be careful as the chocolate panels are quite thin and delicate but it isn't complicated. Similarly, the coconut ruffle cake (actually a five tier cake but it would be very easy to cut down the quantities) looks spectacular and would make a good alternative Christmas cake - the cake is covered with a white chocolate ganache into which flaked coconut is pressed so it looks quite Christmassy but again no fancy techniques required.

Although the later chapters do involve more complex techniques e.g. creating rose leaves, etc and clearly require skill, experience and probably a fair bit of practice, they provide inspiration so that even if the particular suggestion is beyond your skill level, you can try something else.

It is fair to say that the majority of the cake designs are intended for occasion cakes and even the simple ones will require time and concentration. The more complex designs can involve a formidable array of equipment/tools as well as an eye for detail allied with manual dexterity. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow and, for me at least, I am encouraged to try more rather than being intimidated.

As a final comment, for those like me who have used Australian Women's Weekly cookery publications before, this isn't one of those floppy softback books, but instead a handsome, hard-back with excellent photography.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rolls Royce of Cake Making, 1 Feb. 2013
By 
Brett H "pentangle" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Decorating Cakes: Cake decorating for every occasion: from simple to elaborate and weddings to special birthdays (The Australian Women's Weekly) (Hardcover)
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This is a beautiful book. The superb illustrations really get your mouth watering. Primarily these are quite sophisticated recipes and are better suited for the more experienced cake maker in the main, although everyone can probably tackle something out of the Easy section.

The book is divided into three sections - Easy, Experienced and Expert. The theory being that once you have mastered the Easy section you are ready to move on to the Experienced and so on. There is also a very helpful section entitled `Mechanics' which deals with issues such as cake pans, piping techniques, flower glue, using modelling paste and much much more.

The recipes each have their ingredients clearly set out and the methods are very clearly explained - often with encouraging pictures of the methodology. However, even some elements of the Easy section were a little challenging. It is good that some of the recipes in the Experienced section do have some helpful hints if you feel that some of it is beyond your skills - for example purchasing a few fresh flowers is a good substitute if you feel that piping icing to make flowers is beyond you.

If you are a keen and preferably experienced cake maker and are eager to learn more this may well be the book for you. There is certainly plenty here to aspire to. Anyway we can all enjoy the beautiful pictures and dream that we could, one day, be able to make them!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Beautiful and Inspiring Book', 24 Nov. 2012
By 
Chris Morse "faraway_pictures" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decorating Cakes: Cake decorating for every occasion: from simple to elaborate and weddings to special birthdays (The Australian Women's Weekly) (Hardcover)
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I would have to say that first look at this book I just thought it was so beautiful! This is a hardback book, with a ribbon bookmark, looks very feminine, and very inspiring to those of us who would like to have a go at producing a beautiful cake!

I love the way that there are full size coloured pictures, demonstrating how to decorate the cake and what the finished item should look like.

The cakes look very professional, but my 13 year old daughter looked through the book and found it quite easy how to follow the instructions, so we can all have a go at being an impressive cake decorator.

Ingredients and equipment needed are simple and not too extensive, and there is a cake for every occasion.

The book is split into three chapters:
Little or no cake decorating experience needed
Some skills are required
Some skills are either a must have or have to be practiced and learned

Other section include:
Cake Pans
Cake recipe charts
Preparing cakes for covering
Different types of icing
Cake patterns
Equipment

This is a truly lovely book, ideal as a treat for the bidding cake maker, or even as a lovely present!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably aimed more at the serious cake decorator, 17 May 2013
By 
Bobsta (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decorating Cakes: Cake decorating for every occasion: from simple to elaborate and weddings to special birthdays (The Australian Women's Weekly) (Hardcover)
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Passed this book to my wife to review as my baking skills begin and end at toast!

This book is full of beautiful cakes. If you are looking for a book to further your decorating skills especially for the larger cake for functions (wedding cakes etc) then this is the book for you. An awful lot of the cakes require specialised cake decorating equipment such as textured mats or monogrammed edible images, it really rather disappointed me. I was expecting something aimed more at the home baker but it patently isnt. If you make a lot or large tiered cakes and are looking for more inspiration or help with techniques then this could be the book for you but if you want to make some more family sized cakes or cupcakes then to be honest there are books better suited.
The best bit of the book is without a doubt the section at the end of basic techniques such as piping, covering cakes so the look completely smooth, different recipes in different sizes for different amount of people. This bit should be at the beginning or be a separate book, id pay for this bit, its very useful but im just not inspired at all by the rest of the book.
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