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Saved by Cake Hardcover – 16 Feb 2012
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About the Author
Marian Keyes is the international bestselling author of Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, Rachel's Holiday, Last Chance Saloon, Sushi for Beginners, Angels, The Other Side of the Story, Anybody Out There, This Charming Man, The Brightest Star in the Sky, The Mystery of Mercy Close and The Woman Who Stole My Life. Her journalism, collected under two titles, Making It Up As I Go Along and Under the Duvet: Deluxe Edition, containing the original publications Under the Duvet and Further Under the Duvet, are also available from Penguin.
Marian lives in Dublin with her husband.
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This book was and is great as it is a refreshingly honest account of going through a difficult time where people don't understand you and the frustration of that, but the ability to control something and create something that both looks and tastes lovely.
The recipes are very easy to follow and her writing style makes it a more personal cookbook that you enjoy and cherish rather than follow and discard.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
They're simply gorgeous, and I can't wait to try the rest of the recipes. I like how there's a mix of classic cakes and more exotic tastes, especially looking forward to the Blokey Snickers Cheescake Loaf and the Chocolate, chilli and cardamom tart. The whole book has gorgeous colour photographs and Marian's style is warm, witty and simply wonderful. It's also made me want to try her novels.
I can't recommend this book highly enough and especially to anyone going through a hard time as baking is so therapeutic and it's nice to know that the lady writing has been through the feelings that you're going through.
Warning though, the recipes do make you want to rush out to Sainsbury's to buy up every single ingredient right away, so may be hazardous to your wallet...
The book touches briefly on some troubling personal problems that the author has experienced during her battle against depression, yet fortunately baking was a particular outlet to help her get through the day. Each day onwards and a little bit stronger and this all came through by a chance discovery after the author, a self-described novice, had decided to make a cake for a friend. It is pleasing that the book can then lead on with a positive story and bring pleasure to many through the medium of the written word and a multitude of delicious cakes.
After a brief overview of the author's story, which acts as a great scene-setter, it is straight into the kitchen with a one-time novice's explanation about basic techniques, equipment needed and a trove of various hints and tips. The inexperienced can take some comfort through this chapter whilst remembering that it was not that long ago that the author was exactly in the same position - and now she has a book of our own recipes published by a top publisher.
The range of cakes presented for your delectation and cooking delight is nice and wide. A number of old favourites and many that might take you by surprise. Split into chapters of Classics; Cupcakes; Cheesecakes; Liquid Cakes; Pastry; Meringues and Macaroons; Biscuits and Cookies; Fruit & Veg and Chocolate, you have plenty of recipes with full-colour photographs to browse through, be inspired by and to try in the comfort and privacy of your own kitchen. Yes, Fruit & Veg is not a typographical error and this reviewer also did an effective double-take when he first read that!
The recipes are spoiled (in a positive way) by a very detailed, almost explicitly over-detailed series of instructions. Yet it is written and presented in such a way as to give comfort to the concerned newbie without being patronising to the more experienced cake baker. The range equally does not shout "beginner!" at you too. This is a pleasing, great balance to make this book capable of being a long-term companion rather than a short time, one-hit wonder. You can go into the kitchen with full confidence. The book does not come with its own timer so you will need to keep an eye on the clock!
In some ways, the casual browser in a bookstore might overlook this book just due to the cover. There is no specific problem or issue but it just doesn't jump into the browser's consciousness as quickly as other books. Unless, of course, you were looking for a self-help style book. But make no mistake, this is a proper, full recipe book in its own right, with great instructions, great background information and a very pleasing scene-setter.
There is really nothing to particularly dislike about this book. Unless, one supposes, you don't like cake.
I'm already a big fan of Marian Keyes. I've read some of her novels but what I've always loved about Marian, mainly from watching her on TV / listening to interviews with her, is her honesty, her incredible perceptiveness (about life and love!) and particularly, her wonderfully witty take on life. It's a bonus then that despite essentially being a book about baking cakes, Marian still manages to stamp her trademark 'style' on it which will keep you smiling throughout.
Having now tried some of the recipes out, albeit some of the simple cupcake recipes, I can happily confirm that they work (nothing 'B-List' about the chocolate cupcakes - they're stunning!). My other half has even attempted the rock cakes and they were lovely. I can't wait to get stuck into some of the others recipes - the Snickers cheesecake HAS to be attempted (and I won't be giving all away to blokes that's for sure!)
I hadn't realised that Marian suffers with depression. I do too and it's a curse. I've found myself getting stuck into her recipes when I've felt a bit rough and you know what? It works for me too.
But at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter whether you fight this little demon off on a regular basis or you don't suffer with depression at all, it's still a wonderful book and you'll turn out some gorgeous cakes.
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Most recent customer reviews
And it is very therapeutic!
Very pleased as I love books