I loved Frances when she was on the bake off and was waiting with great anticipation for her book to land on the shelves. I was certainly not disappointed. I love this book, to some it may seem quite simple but actually that is one of the things I love about it. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want and Frances talks you through each and every step clearly should you want to push the boat out and make the Woodland cake for example. Equally she gives tips of the simplest but tasty ways of serving your bake. I love the ideas that flow right through the book.
I think the thing that I really love about this book, though, is the lack of fondant icing. Don’t get me wrong I love fondant (actually I really don’t enjoy eating it but I do like putting it on cakes, but I digress…) but the ideas here are achievable and just that little bit different.
The book is broken down into 15 main recipes to choose from:
- Banana Cake
- Carrot Cake
- Coffee & Walnut Cake
- Lemon Cake
- Ginger Spice Cake
- Chocolate Cake
- Fruit Cake
- Butter Biscuits
There are then four or five different ways to use the same recipe. For example under chocolate cake you can find the basic recipe followed by a crunchie cake (sooo good I have made it twice…. in two weeks), chocolate forest cake, hidden bulb cake and heart beet cake. These sub-recipes if you like are all decorated differently and may have some little tweaks to the main recipe.
Overall I really like the way the book is set out. It also includes the usual bits at the beginning about ingredients, equipment and techniques. I actually love the section at the back that talks you through ganache, edible confetti, jam etc and my personal favourite MARZIPAN! May I add that before trying out Frances’ recipe for marzipan I couldn’t stand the stuff, now it takes great willpower not to just make some for fun and eat the whole batch in one go.
These little beauties I made for my brother’s birthday (recipe can be found here). The confetti and bees – decoration ideas from Frances – those little marzipan bees I ate them ALL!
I find the recipes really easy to follow and found that everything is clear and well set out. With each basic recipe there is a table for you to convert the mixture into different sized tine – so useful if you are like me and numbers and you just don’t mix.
I made the chocolate cake first, but it was a tough choice, the bourbon brownies look amazing! The photographs make everything look so tasty and my mouths waters every time I flick through the book. There are no new or ‘out there’ flavours but more basic cakes and how to make them extra special.
Is it worthy of a space on your shelf?
Definitely, if like me you are interested in how Frances achieved some of her bakes on the Bake Off. It is also a great book if you are just starting to dip your toes into the baking world and cake decorating arena. It may seem a little too simple for those who are advanced in the cake decorating game but I still think it is full of new and imaginative ideas great for inspiration if nothing else. Some people may think it too playful or immature but personally I think it is stylish, unique and most of all fun. Let your imagination run wild with this one.
Have you got this book? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.