Cooking Books -> Cakes
Cakewalk: Adventures with Sugar
Bacon, Quentin (Photographer)
Published: September 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Margaret Braun is a sugar craft master, for whom a cake is a work of fine art. In this exquisitely photographed and beautifully presented book, she explains how to re-create 15 of her amazing, labor-intensive signature designs,
like the three-tier Saint Ursula cake with blue and green icing and a sugar chalice resting on top. This is more than a simple instruction book, though: Braun explains the historic inspiration behind each cake. For example, she invented the Afternoon
with Frederick after a visit to Sans Souci Palace in Potsdam, Germany, and a four-tiered cake covered in tiny tiles mimics a mosaic in Ravenna, Italy. Not all of Braun's designs are so highbrow, however. The loopy Decal Recall is decorated with flowers
inspired by bathtub no-slip decals. In any case, these cakes are ambitious projects, and Braun goes over ingredients and basic recipes, as well as tools and techniques for creating motifs such as scallop shells and polka dots. Braun (whose work has been
displayed on numerous TV shows and movies, including Meet Joe Black) is charming, conveying her love for her work in an introduction in which she compares a finished cake to a musical score. Still, only the most experienced cooks won't be daunted by the
recipes. Beautifully photographed by Quentin Bacon.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Food & Wine, September 2001
. . . as armchair adventures go, it's hard to beat.
Cakewalk showcases and
makes available for the first time the superbly decorated cakes that have earned cake decorator and sugar artist extraordinaire Margaret Braun her stellar reputation.
This book contains easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions for constructing
fifteen of Braun's greatest creations. In addition to offering the tools and a foolproof decorating method for each featured cake, Braun also provides the creative and culinary background on each of her confections. Each sugar masterpiece is the result
of many influences-all of which are conveyed through Braun's own words and an elegant blend of imagery that includes her diverse visual references, magnificently drawn and hand-lettered schematic cake plans, illustrations done in food coloring, and
especially commissioned photography by renowned photographer Quentin Bacon.
Braun also reveals her secrets for beautiful cakes, such as achieving the perfect consistency for fillings and icings, mixing colors to get the right hue, and combining
colors and motifs successfully. A visual glossary covers every decorative motif featured in the book, describing its creation through clear visuals and easy-to-follow text. The volume also includes Braun's favorite recipes, including basic cakes, an
array of icings and ganaches, rolled fondant, pastillage, marzipan, and family recipes like Braun's mother's flourless chocolate cake. Finally, a detailed listing and description of the necessary cake-decorating tools and a sources section rounds out
this definitive work.
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