I wrote recently about my acquisition of Bake and decorate by Fiona Cairns. Without a question this has to be the best cake book that I own. Fiona Cairns has years of experience as a cake decorator and supplier (you can find her website here), and the whole book is scattered with helpful advice for the cake baker. The first half of the book is a collection of fantastic cake recipes, such as this carrot, orange and pecan cake with maple sugar and orange buttercream icing, and other wonderful recipes which I am keen to try such as orange drizzle cake and Very lemony crunch cake, in addition to old standards such as a variety of different sorts of sponges and fruit cakes. The second half of the book builds on these recipes and shows you how they can be utilised for a variety of occasions to make truly spectacular occasion cakes. I don't really have many "occasions" to bake for, but I would love to have a go at the gold leaf gilded fridge cake or the chocolate Christmas cake decorated with model sugarpaste Penguins. There is a fantastic recipe for mini tiered cakes made out of cupcakes which is definitely on my "must-bake" list.
I did make these rather gorgeous mini fairy cakes, which enabled me to utilise my new sugarcraft cutters - they use the crunchy lemon cake sponge that I mentioned and are baked in mini petit four cases, so are just little mouthfuls of loveliness! (Although mine aren't quite as beautiful as the ones pictured in the book).
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