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4.0 out of 5 stars
Peggy's Favourite Cakes & Cookies
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2011
I think the product description should make much clearer that this is a rehash of her previous books and doesn't contain any new material at all.

If you're completely new to Peggy Porschen's work then this would be a great book, the cake and cookie designs are lovely, the projects clearly explained and the photography is excellent. However, if you're already familiar with Peggy's cakes or you've read any of her previous books then you'd be wasting your money on this. It's a straight forward cut and paste job with selected projects from previous books compiled to make a new one. Bit lazy I feel.....
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Peggy's Favourite Cakes & Cookies is a paperback compilation of Peggy's favourite designs previously featured in her first two hardback books, Pretty Party Cakes and Romantic Cakes.

This isn't therefore new material but for those readers who first discovered Peggy through her popular book, Cake Chic, it's an opportunity to see the best of her work from the earlier books without needing to buy both of them.

Although cakes and cookies are mentioned in the title, the book also features more specifically a lot of cupcakes and fondant fancies, all decorated in Peggy's distinctive feminine style.

The first chapter covers cookies; the flower basket design opening the book with six colours of icing and detailed piping work is probably the most difficult cookie featured. Further on in the chapter are designs that beginners could manage without feeling intimidated; the mini heart cookies for wedding favours are very simple as are the butterflies. In between there are "brides" and "grooms" and heart shaped place cards to mark your guest's seat at the dinner table with a cookie showing their name.

The core part of Peggy's business is wedding related and that is reflected in the contents of this book. Alongside a dozen or so large cakes suitable for weddings, there are also towers of miniature cakes and various cookie designs themed for wedding favours or hen parties.

Most of the cupcakes and fancies feature quite ornate flowers and piping, the easiest to replicate at home would be the dipped cupcakes with sugar paste roses although most others are at a medium to advanced level.

The mini cakes chapter is my favourite, from miniature candy striped cakes to little hearts that look like they've come out of a chocolate box. White spring posies cake in this chapter is simple but creative looking like a small bouquet of snowdrops. Peggy admits they are time consuming to make in proportion to their size but they look less tricky than others.

My personal show stoppers in the large cakes chapter are the black and white striped "My Fair Lady Cake" and chintz flowered "Homage to Cath Kidston" which was inspired by the fabric and home ware designer's fabrics and wallpapers.

Peggy's speciality is highly realistic looking flowers; from the lilac blossoms with piped swags seen on the cover above to pansies in little sugar pots, delicate fondant daisies, snowdrops, hand piped daffodils and of course, the show stopping roses that adorn so many of her larger wedding cakes.

Also unique to Peggy's piping work is are her signature designs used to edge cakes, cookies and fondant shapes on larger cakes. Like handwriting, perfectly spaced little swags and dots punctuate her work. Pink and brown are a favourite colour scheme seen through her range from monogrammed cookies, the Neapolitan cake (similar to those above) and also merchandise in her shop.

Probably only the most experienced of cake decorators will attempt to replicate much of what is seen here. Although techniques are broken down and depicted with detailed how to guides, designs are labour intensive and not the sort of thing you knock up on a Sunday afternoon at home.

The real pleasure from this book comes from admiring Peggy's designs and technique, in the way one might with haute couture dresses in Vogue. We can all get a needle and thread out but few of us can make it look like Dior. This is not a book for complete beginners but there is a huge amount of inspiration to be had.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2011
It is very disappointing when popular cookery authors publish a book which is re hash of previous material. Whilst the cakes are lovely there is nothing new. The write up does not make this obvious so I would not recommend any Peggy Porschen fan to buy this as you already have it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2011
I was very disappointed when I opened this book and realised that it is just a rehash of her other 2 publications, which I loved. When I read the description of what the book was about it did not refer to the fact that its not new work. I bought this book when it was published and I had no idea that I would only see repeats. If you don't have any of her books already then buy this one, but otherwise its not worth it!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2011
Very disappointed and agree with the other reviewer. Its is same as her other books and I think that is very misleading - nothing new or challenging. I was so looking forward to trying some new ideas from Peggy. Don't waste your money if you already own her other books.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2011
I wish that amazon had Look Inside on this book or I had read Emma S' review before I purchased. Money for old rope would be the best way to describe it. I feel very let down and think that Ms Porschen is cashing in on her current popularity with this book. Do not purchase if you have any of her previous books as you will already have 95% of the content!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 2011
Baking is one of my passions and because of this I own several, well more than that actually, books on the subject. However it was clear upon its arrival that Peggy Porschen's latest publication is a little bit special.

The front cover gives some indication of the style and quality that is held within, although these beautiful cup cakes are just the tip of the iceberg, as there are some real works of art in this book. I have to admit that the artistic touch, that goes into producing these edible masterpieces is beyond my ability, by some distance, but I will certainly be attempting several of these designs in the coming months. I'll be taking my photographs from a lot further away though in an attempt to disguise my lack of artistic talent.

The book itself starts with cookies and works its way up gorgeous large cakes with in depth explanations of techniques along the way. It also covers a variety of celebration themes including weddings, valentines and baby showers, so there really is something here for every keen cake maker. To be fair it is probably aimed at those who are well practised and confident of their baking skills, although I have never let that put me off when attempting a recipe beyond my capability. In fact I would say that it is a good policy to aspire towards producing these kind of results, whatever level of cook you are.

There is also a chapter containing basic techniques ranging from cake preparation to icing, which is again comprehensive, well written and accompanied by plenty of good quality photography.

Overall this is a fine book, possibly not for the absolute beginner, although I see no reason not to start with big ideas. For the experienced cake maker there are plenty of ideas here to expand your repertoire and push the limits of your ability. An additional benefit is that the removal of the 'n' from Peggy's name makes it Porsche, which appeals to my sense of dadness no end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2011
Im a Huge fan of Peggy Porschen, however slightly dissapointed when it arrived as its just basically a re-mash of her previous books, lovely pictures and would probably be ideal as a 1st book to introduce you to her work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2012
This book has got so many great cakes in there you just want to make them all. Found the instructions easy to follow, really like the basics section at the back of the book, where Peggy breaks things down with pictures and detailed instrcutions for example on how to layer or ice a cake. Made a couple of the cakes so far (the decorations on the Valentines Heart cake in particular are easier then they look, and make even a simple square cake look great) and looking forward to making more in the future.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2011
No doubt this is book full of beautiful pictures ,but the writer peggy she doesnot really tell you everything about each cake how to decorate. the most important techiques she doesnot maintain it at all. i think everyone paid for her skills of how to decorating the cake,not just pictures and few words .
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