Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
The Art of Sugarcraft by Squires Kitchen. Hardback copy (2016 reprint)
on 20 March 2017
First of all, the Pro's: The book is just stunning, with lots of gorgeous photos, and it's very well written. It basically covers everything I ever wanted or needed to know about sugarcraft, entremets, chocolate work etc, etc. It also contains recipes (which I haven't tried out yet, so I cannot comment on how well they work or not) for basic cakes (such as Madeira, Chocolate, Vanilla and Fruit cake etc), mousses (orange, caramel and chocolate)and various fillings, including Boiled Buttercream/ Swiss Buttercream (I'd never heard Boiled buttercream before, so it's now on my to-do list, along with Macarons, which Squires Kitchen have also got a book just for those). It's also got a very handy table for scaling up and down for various tin sizes and mixes; and several different projects to attempt, such as a 3 tiered cake, made with Joconde sponge/biscuit, and with entremets to match.
Cons: This book is a lot heavier than I thought it would be, and I don't think that this would be easy to place in a small kitchen. Although the main photos are beautiful, the other ones (in a step-by-step way) are ok, but for ease of use, they should have been numbered; I had to keep going back over them to try and link them to the text. The book itself seems to be aimed at the more professional (or more proficient) home baker (& I am neither), who has both the time to spare and also the money for all the kit that these projects require. As this comes from Squires Kitchen, I was expecting some of the ingredients and kit to come from there, but for me, it would have been better to give other, more supermarket-friendly options as well; because the total cost of buying all of the items required would price many home bakers out. So, in some respects, you would have to source your own, hopefully similar ingredients and bakeware. Even then, some of these things are not practical and affordable for many, for example an airbrush machine and the colours that you want/need to use. My final gripe is the cost of the book itself; at the publisher's price of £50. At the time of my purchase, it was £10 off at Amazon and this was the most that I would pay...I had to weigh up whether this book would be worth it or not because I am only a novice baker, and as I've already said, the costs of everything needed were rather too much.
This isn't a Pro, nor a Con, but I don't think that this adds to the book, in various sections, they include a mini biography of several of the Tutors at Squires Kitchen.
Conclusion: This is a wonderful-to-look-at book and if you are buying this for someone who is either training in this field, or is a serious baker/patissier, then they will probably love it,as it's incredibly comprehensive but if you want a more basic (and with less fancy ingredients/kit) book, then there are hundreds out there which would probably be cheaper too.