Martha Stewart's Wedding Cakes
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96 of 104 found the following review helpful:
Spectacular! Jan 03, 2008
I just couldn't wait to get this book! If you love to create cakes, and not just bake them, this will feed your appetite for cake baking and decorating, and you will place this alongside your other prized tomes of cake education. It's a wonderful journey of the wedding cake, aka "a good thing". If you purchased Martha's "WEDDINGS" book, this is the expanded and transformed chapter on cakes into this book.
Martha has outdone herself once more in her passion to give us every possible idea, and instruction, to create the wedding cake of our dreams for the day of our dreams. And to join her in this quest is Wendy Kromer, master baker, who worked for Martha for many years, on both Martha's former TV show and for Martha Stewarts "Weddings" magazine; she now owns and operates her own bakery.
While this book was made to help engaged couples decide on what type of cake they would like for their wedding, it also gives instructions should you wish to bake your own wedding cake. For those established bakers and caterers that are looking for ideas and concepts, this will be certainly be a well-referenced tool. The "Album of Cakes" section offers 111 official photographs of cakes, but if you add all photo's of cakes from other parts of this book, you will have well over 135 delectable wedding delights in which to choose.
Martha and Wendy do not hold back on any instruction and it begins with the incredible photography of each cake, frosting, filling, and detail of these stunning cakes. These cakes come from both Martha's former TV show, Martha's "Weddings" magazines, as well as some new ones from collaboration with other cake artists.
A hallmark of the Martha brand is that she is quite detailed in everything that she wishes to teach, and that is never more seen than here. There are some techniques that will require a professional to do such as the "bubbles" or "pulled sugar ribbon" for some of these cakes, and rightfully, she has not included those instructions in this book because they are labor and equipment intensive, as well as for safety reasons (you are working with intense heat with one, and need specific equipment for the other, let alone the need for specific training).
If at all possible, try to obtain of copy of Martha's VHS tape called "Cake Decorating". It is the visual form of instruction on making some fabulous cakes, from simple 2-layer party cakes to actually assembling a 4-tier wedding cake. They were segments taken from her former TV show in which she, and guests, demonstrated this art of cake decorating. I am hoping that she will consider bringing that out again in DVD form. It is an excellent teaching tool and my copy has been well-worn out!
This is a very big book, coffee table size, so along with excellent photography, the photos are large and show detail such as brush strokes of hand-painted fondant or delicate designs of rubber stamps used to imprint fondant. The use of gumpaste flowers and marzipan helps to complete certain dimensional and visual appearances desired.
The journey begins:
MARTHA AND WENDY'S INTRODUCTION
CHOOSING YOUR CAKE:
Finding Inspiration: What style are you looking for? (modern, rustic, etc). What season? Location? Motif? (fabric, fruit, flowers, etc).
A Cake's Components: Superb index with 14 cake flavors and 18 fillings and frostings along with recipes for each one.
Icings and More: There are all types of ways to cover your cake and here are all of them, along with "special considerations" due to season, temperature, etc.
Presenting the Cake: How do you want th cake to be displayed? Formal, relaxed? What type of bride and groom cake topper? Which cake board in which to rest the cake?
Partnering with a Professional: This section is THE key for any bride and groom to read regarding choosing a qualified baker, along with sidebars of other cake details to keep in mind.
ALBUM OF CAKES: prepare your eyes! :)
Lemon Grove Cake
Daisy Garden Cake
7-Tier Classic Cake
Pink Lusterware Cake Creamware Cake
Bahama Orchid Cake
Sweeping Monograms Cake
7-Tier Coconut Cake
Rose basket Cake
Ladyfinger Charlotte Cake
Drifting Petals cake
Pink Macaroon Cake
Petty Piped Bows Cake
Towers of Truffles Cake
Citrus Celebration Cake
Flower Hat Cake
Pretty Pleats Cake
Pearl and Shell Cake
Primrose Cake (simply stunning)
French Confectionary Box Cake
Homespun Cupcake Tower
Robin's Egg Cake
Meringue Monogram Cake
Dotted Petals Cake
Petite Piped Cakes
White Chocolate Tower Cake
Tuscan Grapes Cake
Chocolate Mint Cake (colorfully stunning)
Woodland Nut Cake
Handcrafted Hellebore Cake
Meringue Mushrooms Cake
Colorful Hydrangea Cake
Perfect Pear Cake
Garlands and Wreaths Cake
Picket Fence Cake
Bubble Cake (the "bubbles" need to be made by sugar professionals)
Pulled-Sugar Ribbon Cake (sugar ribbons are labor intensive)
Sugar Hydrangea Cake
Beribboned Bouquet Cake
Pink Cherry Blossom Cake
Beaded Bouquet Cake
Trio of Shells Cake
Chocolate Chestnut Cake
Royal Icing Reliefs Cake
Megeve Chocolate Cake
Treasures of the Woods Cake
Blushing Dogwood Cake
Faux Bois Cake (chocolate bands made to look like wood grain)
Shimmering Candy Cake
Silk-Cord Accents Cake
Paper Ornament Cake
Meringue Chrysantheum Cake
Patterned Nonpareil Cake (remember those candies as a kid? Wow!)
Darcy and Andy's Cake (the editoral director of "Weddings" magazine)
Button-Topped Boxes Cake
Trio of Freesia Cakes (so, so pretty)
Chocolate Petal Cake
Candy Sampler Cake
Playful Paper Flower Cake
Mini Cupcake Tower
Stately Springerle Cake
Chocolate and Geranium Cake
Charming Calico Cake (the joy of gumpaste)
Devil's Food Finale Cake
Rose Garden Cake
Garden of Sweet Delights Cake
Lemon and Latticework Cake
Delightful Daisies Cake
Candy Straw Cake
Pink Madeleine Cake
Wedding Band Cake
Rustic Roses Cake
Sweets and Sentiments Cake (small cakes w/ tuille cookie messages)
Farmstand Fruit and Buttercream Cake
Ivory Dots Cake
Parrot-Tulip Quartet of Cakes
Blooming Branches Cake (so very delicate)
Cascading Orchid's Cake
Chocolate Charlotte Cake
Ruffly Rose-Petal Garland Cake
Lovely Licorice Cake
Chocolate Kumquat Cake
Citrus Basket Cake (beautiful basic basket weave example)
Cherry Almond Cake
Ribbons and Bows Cake
Red Velvet Ccake
Damask Cake (the scrollwork is not as hard as it seems)
Vintage Monogram Cake
Pin Tucks and Ruffles Cake
Snow-Flecked Pinecones Cake
Showered in White Cake
Bamboo Wave Cake
Tower of Roses Cake
Rustic Basketweave Cake
Scalloped Bands and Bows Cake
Rich Brownie Cakes (individual brownie wedding cakes)
MAKING A WEDDING CAKE:
Baking the Cake Layers
Decorating and Assembling the Cake
Transporting the Cake
Working with Fondant
Piping 101: monograms, glossary, piping tips w/ photo's and examples, piping a rose, piping basketweave patterns, piping scrollwork w/ examples
Working with Fresh Flowers
Working with Gumpaste: flowers, blossoms
Working with Marzipan
Working with Chocolate: transfer sheets, chocolate bands, dark & white chocolate leaves, wood grain (faux bois)
Additional Techniques: mushrooms, icing damask, monograms
Recipes: every flavor and taste for batters, icings, fillings, croquembouche, tuilles, spun sugar
Bakers Guidleines: An EXCELLENT guide to determine the amount of batter needed to fill specific size pans as well as the time needed to bake each one PLUS the amount of frostings and fillings needed for each size pan
I realize that I am a Martha-groupie but even so, just perusing through this book, a novice can see that every aspect of wedding cake (or any party cake creation) has been thoughtfully considered and explained. You will be placing this along side a very few select cake books that are as complete, well-presented, and detailed as this one. Thank you Martha and Wendy!
21 of 22 found the following review helpful:
Great creative guide Feb 18, 2008
By Happy & Retired
As a caterer, I found this book to be a good guide for those who create cakes for special occasions. Many of the cakes in this book are ones that have previously been in "Martha Stewart's Weddings" magazine, and I have made several of them over the years, but it is nice to have the collection all in one source. For the inexperienced, some of the instructions may seem a bit vague, but that is the martha Stewart way, as mostly she assumes that everyone knows how to do the basics. If you've never done this type of baking/creating before, this book is not for you. I do recommend it for those who do this professionally or as an advanced hobby.
18 of 19 found the following review helpful:
A Decorating Resource Jan 20, 2008
By Cookbook Gal
I cannot add much to Toni "the bookworm's review." The book is gorgeous -coffee table quality. It is loaded with full color photographs, including numerous examples of different piping patterns. The decorating style is very Martha Stewart: classically elegant. The book does not provide pictures of whimsical cakes - there are other books on the market for that.
While I did not buy the book for cake recipes (so I can't judge the quality and flavor of the ones provided), I did buy the book to complement a wedding cake decorating class that I am taking. If you are a baker who is very interested in cake decorating, or need instruction on how to prepare large, multi-layered cakes, "Wedding Cakes" is very helpful. If you are willing to put the considerable amount of time needed to perfect these techniques, (and believe me, it takes a lot of practice), this book is a wonderful resource. You will, however, have to be patient; your cakes will not look like Martha's the first dozen times you try!
11 of 11 found the following review helpful:
Intermediate Cake Decorators Feb 08, 2008
By V. Jones
Im an intermediate cake decorator. I bought this book for inspiration and hoping for a few tips here and there. This is a great book. There are lots of really nice pictures, there are quite a few recipes and also quite a few "how to's". If you are a beginner and are looking for a book to learn from, this is probably not the book for you, as it's not very instructional in my opinion. The authors do not show decorating processes from start to finish but assume you have some previous knowledge. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in it. Also the price on Amazon beats the bookstore price . I almost bought it in a big retail bookstore but decided to look here first. I saved more than $20.00
6 of 7 found the following review helpful:
martha stewart's wedding cakes Aug 09, 2008
By J. Cattanach
I have bought a lot of cake decorating books but if you are looking for a guide to decorating cakes I thouroughly recommend buying a collette peteres or peggy porschen. Even though this book has a lot of photo's it provides some information not much and honestly for the price I would prefer to buy a wedding cake magazine. This book was a dissapointment not very helpful or useful really.
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