Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
A lovely book
on 1 May 2014
This is a lovely book, it's clear, it's simple, the pictures are gorgeous, the projects are workable. Skills are shown via projects, the cake recipes have storage guides (why does not every book do this!) and there are suggestions for fillings. Because it's called the Art of Sugarcraft I expected there to besome pages of skills explained not related to a specific project and whilst the skills shown cover the full breadth and are transferable they are maybe not quite as transferable as a generic page or two would have been. In particular I would of liked a clear page or 2 with details on the sugars, how to store them, how long they last, how to rescue them etc. That said every page has detailed skills that extensively cover the project and the skills needed. In addition to the above I would also have liked some guide on how to make the different sugars from scratch, they suggest using ready made and in particular their own (which is very good), I suppose this is what many professionals do to save time and create consistency. However, I would have liked to know how to knock up a batch of what I need at the drop of a pin if the correct ready made was not available.
I gave it 5 stars because it deserves it and in my opinion it's nearly perfect.. they have taken 25 years to bring this concept to fruition and it shows. There are however a few moments where I'm thinking I would of liked that explained, described or a fuller generic description. For this reason I think you would need to be, at the least, a fairly competent novice (which is where I sit) to get the most out of it. Any more skilled baker and decorator I'm sure would fully get the benefits of this lovely book.
The pictures are very good and they do build up nicely, visually showing you one stage to the next. It really is a quite beautiful book and reflects the Squires image well. I'm lucky to live close to Squires and have been considering their courses. For me at the level I'm at this book will not replace taking a course but will help me build skills until then and accompany and refresh them later. Another reviewer said it is heavy (true), but I like this, it's like an encyclopedia of sugarcraft and I appreciate sitting down with it with a cup of tea and when I'm working I'm usually at the table anyway. I think it will prove itself quite practical too on the kitchen counters because the pages do stay open.
Finally it is expensive but I got mine from a seller who had high feedback and I paid just over half the cost for the book. It arrived brand spanking new, well packaged and in perfect condition. Definitely a fab buy and I would still recommend it even at full price.