Monday, January 24, 2011

ALL cakes CONSIDERED by Melissa Gray

All Cakes Considered is a wonderful book by Melissa Gray, Who works at National Public Radio's and known as Cake Lady. As the author mentions, even if you love your job still no one likes to work on Monday. So one day, she baked a cake and brought it in on a Monday, She started a tradition of bringing in a different cake every Monday. No repeats and nothing dull. In this books she talks about "How to use this book" , "Equipments you will need" and "Introduction to Cake Baking" starting recipes with The Man Catcher- Sour Cream Pound Cake .She has some delicious cake recipes you would want to make while reading this book such as Key Lime cake, Chocolate Pound Cake, Coffee Spice Cake, Peach cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and many more. She also has recipes of cake from famous personalities like Paula Deen ad Martha Washington and many more. So this book would serve you with recipes from Melissa Gray as well as from known personalities.She also has recipes for cowboy cookies, Peanut Butter finger, Fried pies and so on in a section "'d better believe it happens...The Mistress of Cake Sometime Gets Sick of Cake".
This is a great book for beginner and there is always some tips and tricks and recipes that intermediate and advanced baker's would love to learn and try.

About the author:Melissa Gray is National Public Radio's Cake Lady. Every Monday she brings a cake to the office for her colleagues at NPR to enjoy. Hundreds of Mondays (and cakes) later, Melissa has lots of cake-making tips to share. With more than 50 recipes for the cakes that have been dreamed of and drooled over for a lifetime—including Brown Sugar Pound Cake, Peppermint and Chocolate Rum Marble Cake, Lord and Lady Baltimore Cakes, Dark-Chocolate Red Velvet Cake, and Honey Buttercream and Apricot Jam Cake—All Cakes Considered is an essential addition to every baker's library.
Melissa Gray is a producer for National Public Radio's All Things Considered.

Pro's: Good book with recipes for cakes and cookies from the author and known personalities.
Con's: All cakes do not have pictures.
Overall: Good Book

Books can be purchased at Amazon, B&N and Chronicle Books.
ISBN 9780811867818
ISBN10 0811867811

Picture and author bio copyright of Chronicle books.
Special thanks to chronicle books for review copy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

sky high IRRESISTABLE TRIPLE-LAYER CAKES By Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne.

sky high IRRESISTABLE TRIPLE-LAYER CAKES is written by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne. I totally love this book. There are some amazing recipes for a triple-layer cakes with various kinds of filling and frostings. I would have never dared to try a triple-layer if this book had not motivated me. The recipes have minimal decoration but yet they look amazing which i think is the best part. The book starts with Introduction to triple layer cakes and about fillings and frosting. It also has chapter on baking basics, cake varieties , techniques you need to know and ingredients and equipment's required to make this triple layer cakes. Then the author provides you with delicious combination of recipes for vanilla cakes, chocolate cakes, fruit-flavored cakes, nut and spice cakes, cakes with world of flavor and holiday and special occasion cakes.

This book is a must have in all cake bakers & decorators library. The cake tastes just amazing and the book teaches you various combination that you can explore with easy and straight-forward explanation. The book will amaze you with new and various mixing techniques and much more. Each of this cakes will definitely earn lots of praises from family and friend's.
So next time when you bake cake it is definitely going to be sky high.

About the author:
Alisa Huntsman graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and is the pastry chef at the Loveless Café in Nashville, Tennessee.
Peter Wynne is an author and newspaper journalist. He lives in Pennsylvania.
Photographer : Tina Rupp is a New York-based photographer.
Pro's:  Amazing book
Con's: Not all recipes have photo's but i don't think that matter's.
Overall: Excellent Book
Book's can be purchased at Amazon, Chronicle Books and B&N
ISBN 0811854485
ISBN13 9780811854481

Special Thanks to Chronicle Books for review copy.
Pictures and author's bio copyright of chronicle books.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Free E-tutorial

Hello Friends,

We will be offereing 1 free e-tutorial to our blog followers.All you have to do is follow our blog publically and then email us at sskcraftshop(at)gmail(dot)com the name you follow us with and which free e-tutorial you would like to be sent.If you follow this and my other blog too you can get both the tutorials.

We will send out only by trust that you will follow us and the more the follower's the more giveaway's i will e able to arrange.Which means this will help me to helporganise giveaways which we are not able to buy or cannot afford to buy. This is my attempt to help all the cake-decorators. I believe do Good Karma and help who need it.

Copyright:Thanks to Maria for agreeing to offer this tutorial to my blog follower's which she generally offer's with purchase of her other tutorials. We appreciate her help.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Book review: " A WORLD OF CAKE"

This book written by author Krystina Castrella, offers 150 Recipes.It takes you from 5000 BCE to present in detail explaining history behind each cake recipe and with geographical location.The book not only gives you mouth-watering recipes, it also explains and describes that cakes have cultures and customs and have family tree too. It also has a "Cake Holiday" table with each month showing what cakes should be baked for that month and why.
I love this book for the detailed explanations on all kinds of cakes in categories such as Dense, Creamy , Fluffy, Chewy for e.g. Butter Cakes, Chessecakes, Chiffon cakes, Dumplings, Fritters, Flat cakes, Foam Cakes, Fruit Cakes, Honey Cakes, Ice Cream cakes, Meringues, Pasteries, Torts,Trifles and many more.
The Book has also covered topics from selecting bakeware, mixing, kneading, cooling, steaming and using water bath to double boiler.
Pros: The book is just too good for any level of cake-baker or decorator. This book is a must in every cake lover's library and will be very appealing to all who love baking and cake decorating. This book covers 150 global recipes, history and geography along with beautiful pictures which I personally like because I loved the idea that we can relate and explain the cake history to our present and future generations.
Cons: None

Overall:Outstanding Book

About the author: Krystina Castella is a professor at the Art Center College of Design, where she teaches Materials Explorations and Design Entrepreneurship. She is the founder of the Design Entrepreneur Network and has owned a manufacturing and licensing company that created housewares, toys, and stationary products. Her previous books are Pops!, Crazy About Cupcakes , and Discovering Nature’s Alphabet, and she has been published in Craft magazine. Krystina lives in southern California.

Publisher: Storey Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60342-576-6
Book available at Barnes and Noble. Amazon and at Storey Direct.
Picture and some text Copyright: Storey Publishing

Special Thanks to Storey Publishing for providing the review copy of the book.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Have you checked" Make your Cakes"

Have you checked "Make your Cakes" yet. My friend MAria Victoria Pomponi a known sugar artist has a website and Fb page where you can check out some amazing cake work.Pls visit her FB page and join in to have a look at some of her amazing work.She also has e-tutorial avaiable in english and spanish that you may want to buy.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Vasiloptia Cake Recipe by Krystina Castella from the book" A world of Cake"

Hello Friends,
Today in the mail i received 3 books for review and 1 of the books among them is " A world of Cake by Krystina Castella". I have just started the book and it is just amazing, just want to bake and make all of them( proper review will come soon).
Dear Krystina allowed me to share the recipe from her book on our blog .

Vasiloptia as she mentions"Best served at a big family breakfast, this coffee cake rings in the first morning of the new year in Greece. You can easily recognize the cake by its tiered shape, with a small round cake set on top of a large round cake. The tradition is to serve the cake to the youngest first, then the next-to-youngest, and so on, and the person who finds the hidden coin or trinkets will have good luck for the year.  In some areas, while the cake is cut a pomegranate is thrown to the ground to scatter the seeds for a fruitful year."
Recipe for Vasiloptia as follows:
{3/4} cup blanched, slivered almonds
 {1/3} cup light brown sugar
 1 tablespoon honey
 3 cups all-purpose flour
 2 teaspoons baking powder
 {1/2} teaspoon baking soda
 1 teaspoon mahlab or 1 tablespoon anise seed
 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
 2 cups sugar
 6 eggs
 2 teaspoons lemon juice
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 cup milk
 A coin or hard candy

 Makes 1 cake (serves 8 to 10)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and a 4-inch round cake pan.


Combine the almonds, brown sugar, and honey in a small bowl, and set aside. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and mahlab in a medium bowl, and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, and mix well.


Divide one-third of the nut mixture between the two prepared pans, scattering it in an even layer over their bottoms. Fill the smaller (4-inch) pan two-thirds full of batter, then pour half of the remaining batter into the larger (9-inch) pan. Bake both layers for 20 minutes, until the cakes become a bit firm. Sprinkle half of the remaining almond mixture in an even layer over both cakes, and lay the coin on top of one of the partly baked cakes. Pour half of the remaining batter on top of each cake. Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of each comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in their pans for 10 minutes.


Remove the cakes from their pans, and place the smaller one on top of the larger. Top with the remaining almond mixture, and serve warm.

Bulgarian Raspberry-Yogurt Vasilopita
Replace the milk with yogurt. Add 1 cup fresh raspberries to the center of the cakes, along with the almond mixture and coin, during the baking.

Hazelnut–Anise–Chocolate Chip Vasilopita
Replace the almonds with chopped hazelnuts and the mahlab with anise seed. Add {1/2} cup chocolate chips to the nut mixture.

Seed Wedding Cake
In Greece everyone is required to eat seeds at weddings to wish the happy couple a fertile life. Replace the nuts with {3/4} cup sunflower seeds or poppyseeds and serve the cake at a wedding brunch.

You can also find this recipe at the link below on her book page:

If you want to get updates on new recipes, tips, review  or giveaway of cake books, join us by following our blog.Let's we cake-decorator's enjoy on this blog. I am trying to get some more guest cake-decorators to share their knowledge with us and that is only possible if you follow us and we get requests on topics you would love information on.
Copyright: The recipe and the picture is copyright of Krystina Castrella from her book(A world of Cake). Pls do not copy and paste this anywhere else without the author's permission

Thanks: Thank you so much Dear Krystina for allowing me to share this recipe with my blog readers.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Are we ready for 2011!!!

Dear Friends,

I am very happy that my 2011 has me many things to look forward to already..I have myself and some publisher's themselves have approached me to review and do giveaways for some of the Cake Books  and i am really excited about it. I would like to thank all the publishing companies who gave me the opportunity to review  their books and give my honest opinion on my blog for my blog readers, students.
New year means new projects to learn , to teach and to share here on my blog.

Special Thanks to the Guests and Publishing companies for giving me the opportunity to review your books and do the giveaways and for agreeing to do some projects to share with the blog followers/readers and for all the Cake Decorators!!!

I am trying my best to get as many tutorials as possible by approaching some known and famous designer's so they can share some of their knowledge with us.I would really appreciate if you can appreciate my effort by following my blog.

Stay tuned alot to come in 2011!!!!!!