Cupcakes From the Primrose Bakery Hardcover – Illustrated, 17 Sep 2009
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'I defy anyone to find a better cupcake.' --Jude Law
'This is an utterly enchanting book.' --Nigella Lawson
'There is no better place in London to get cupcakes.' --Evening Standard. 'Contentment is a cupcake away. The best ideas and instructions are in this lovely fingerlicking book.' --Fay Maschler
About the Author
Martha and Lisa founded Primrose Bakery in 2004 and started out supplying to their local deli Melrose & Morgan. The business grew to meet the rising demand and they now supply Selfridges food hall, Fortnum and Mason, Tom's deli in Notting Hill and Fresh and Wild, as well as an ever-expanding private client list, which has included Paul Smith, Kate Moss and Elton John. In autumn 08 they opened a Primrose Bakery in Covent Garden.www.primrosebakery.org.uk
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Examples of treats to try include :- raspberry cupcakes with a jammy centre and white chocolate butter cream, festive brandy butter topped chocolate cupcakes, and white amaretto cupcakes with amaretto cream. There are also some traditional full sized cakes such as lemon layer and coffee and walnut. I tried the vanilla cupcakes with vanilla butter cream first, in the mini sizes. The cake batter went further than the recipe suggested - I got more than 40 mini cakes, and very nice they were too. Not overly sweet, with a nice texture and slightly crispy golden top. The icing seemed slightly looser than the butter creams I've made before, though that did make it easier to spread.
Ideas for presentation include the use of whole flowers, blueberries dusted with icing sugar, coffee beans, and peppermint candies.
Great xmas gift, especially if paired with a mini muffin tin and some foil cake cases.
The recipes are all easy to follow, though some of them are a bit more complicated than what I've used before for cupcakes but the results are well worth the extra effort. A note about the recipes though, I followed them to the letter and got slightly different results than what the book leads you to expect (the chocolate cupcake recipe explains that the mix may resemble batter and might be easier to pour into cases from a jug rather than spoon, I found it to be very stiff actually and more like a chocolate mousse!)The result was THE BEST EVER chocolate cupcake though so I'm not worrying! Also estimations on the ammount the recipe makes varies quite a bit but generally you get more than you were expecting so who can complain! The chocolate cupcake recipe states 16 standard cakes but I got 16 very generously filled large muffin cases. The same with the banana and chocolate muffins, states 12 standard, I got 16 large muffin size.
All in all an EXCELLENT book and well worth the money. Order it now, you will not be disappointed!
I read previous reviews about dense or heavy sponge and to a certain extent I agree. There seems to be a bit of a battle between The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and this one. I own both books and as far as I can see the main difference between them is that the Primrose Bakery book uses the creaming method (and no baking powder) to make the mixture rise whereas the Hummingbird bakery favour the all in one method (using baking powder). I think the omission of baking powder is the reason the primrose Bakery's cakes are slightly heavy, so all I do is add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to the mix and the cakes are perfect. I bake, on average, 2 batches of cupcakes from this book every fortnight to take into work and have always had favourable reports and they certainly disappear very quickly.
Another tip I would give is that the icing amounts are very generous so if you are just spreading the icing with a knife you will probably have enough if you halve the mixture. I ice the buttercream with an icing bag and nozzle for a more professional finish. This uses more buttercream but even so I still have some buttercream left over. I have found that the more you use this book, the more comfortable you become with the recipes and you can tweak them to your own tastes. All in all, this is one book I reach for time and again in the kitchen.
This book is only good for decorating ideas.
Also - the page numbering is a joke - I thought the page numbers had been omitted until I eventually spotted where they had been hidden. Page numbers are an aid to finding a place in the book so should be easily seen at the edges of the page. It was absolutely infuriating.
I am still receiving therapy after being subjected to this book - all my friends laugh when I start to twitch at the word 'cupcake'. This book should have a health warning.
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