Top positive review
49 people found this helpful
great bakery - great book
on 21 September 2011
I'm lucky enough to have taken one of Bea's baking classes at her bakery in Bloomsbury so I can testify that not only is Bea a great pastry chef she's also a great teacher - and this really comes across in her book. I can also confidently say that the recipes appear in the book as they are baked in her shop, with no tinkering with quantities or ingredients to protect trade secrets, so if you're not fortunate enough to live anywhere close to her bakeries you can rest assured that you will be able to produce identikit cakes with the aid of this lovely book.
Bea has a thorough knowledge of both the art and science of good baking and she imparts it throughout her recipes in a really low-key and easy to understand way. Now that I know the reaction that happens when eggs hit sugar I ALWAYS mix them well the moment they meet and I'm convinced my cakes are better because of it. And having struggled with recipes for brownies throughout my baking life I now know how to make a perfect batch everytime.
Which brings me on to just how delicious her cakes are. Very. VERY. The aforementioned brownie recipe is almost dangerous it's so good. The Devil's Food Cake manages to be both dark and light and is just on the right side of a bitter chocolate flavour rather than being cloyingly sweet - a chocolate cake for grown-ups.
And the Renee Cake is probably the most delicious cake I've ever eaten. Fact.
Although there are recipes for complete cakes in the book one thing I particularly appreciate about the way it's laid out is that Bea has seperated base cake recipes from filling / frosting recipes, allowing you to 'mix and match' your way to your own creations if you wish. As a fairly regular baker and someone who owns A LOT of baking books I really like this element of 'artistic freedom'.
I really recommend this book. If you're a confident baker there's enough in here to broaden your knowledge and repertoire - and if you're fairly new to baking you'll find that not only are there some really undaunting recipes to try out you're also being guided by an excellent coach.
Great stuff - thanks Bea!