Friday, 25 November 2011

Book Review: Peggy Favourite Cakes and Cookies

By guest blogger Victoria of blog

You may not have heard of Peggy Porschen unless you are interested in cake decorating like me.  Peggy is an expert in decorating cakes in a beautiful girly way.  Peggy has released several books full of gorgeous cakey projects. 

Peggy’s Favourite Cakes and Cookies is Peggy’s latest book.
 This is a lovely book packed with beautifully decorated cakes and some simple recipes.  The victoria sponge recipe is the best I have come across, lovely and moist and full of flavour.  The best tip being the sugar syrup you brush on after baking which locks in moisture and adds flavour. 
The book has instructions for cupcakes, wedding cakes, cookies and fondant fancies.  I made the fondant fancies, they tasted delicious and looked pretty. 

I have also made sugar cookies from Peggy’s recipe for a hen party, I decorated them in sugarpaste, everyone loved them. 

Peggy is obviously a practised and expert cake decorator and therefore she makes everything look easy.  For those of us who aren’t experts some of these projects can be quite technical and time consuming.    

This usability of the book could be improved by the recipes being printed and laminated and being separate to the projects.  It was very time consuming keep flicking through the pages for the cake recipe, buttercream, royal icing and then back to the project.  I love keeping my books looking immaculate and that’s quite difficult when you’re covered in sticky icing!  I also wish publishers would spiral bind recipe books so they sit open properly. 

If you do already have some of Peggy’s books you should be aware that this is an amalgamation of her other books.  If you are new to Peggy’s books this is the perfect one for you. 

I would give this book 5/5 for girly prettiness and 3/5 for ease of use.

Peggy’s website Peggy Porschen

Last month we had a blogger’s outing to Peggy’s Parlour in Belgravia, the cakes were divine and the parlour is so pretty.  Peggy has also opened an academy that is running a diploma in cake decorating, how I’d love to do that!

I was lucky enough to be able to ask Peggy some questions:
When did you decide you wanted to be a professional cake decorator?
I was always given a fabulous cake every year on my birthday as a child growing up in Germany which is a nation that loves cake! The cake was always the highlight for me and even then I was incredibly passionate about both the taste and the look.

When I was 14 yrs. old I decided to make my own and it really just started from there. I moved from home in Germany to London in 1998 to study at the internationally renowned cookery school Le Cordon Bleu. After successfully completing ‘The Grand Diploma of Cuisine & Patisserie’, I worked as a pastry chef at London's Lanesborough Hotel and celebrated caterer Rhubarb Food Design, followed by a position as cake decorator for German master-baker Gerhard Jenne, proprietor of Konditor & Cook. I set up my
business in 2003 from my home in Battersea.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’m a really typical girl! I love anything pretty, dainty or feminine. Anything can inspire me from fashion to vintage tea cups or stationary – just whatever catches my eye.

What is your favourite type of cake to make?
It would be absolutely beautiful, elegant and incredibly pretty, intricate without being over the top, the classic and traditional softened with a satin bow perhaps and plenty of my signature sugar flowers.

What is your top cake decorating tip?
My tip would be to attend my academy and take a 3 day professional wedding cake class which I run regularly. My students not only go away with a cake made under my supervision, but also with the skills and techniques to recreate for friends and family again and again in future.

What is your favourite recipe?
My cravings change with the seasons but at the moment I am obsessing over my sticky toffee cupcakes which are sold in the Parlour, they are incredibly comforting, with a gooey toffee centre and nutty sponge - I just can’t resist.
Everyone Loved Peggy's Cakes....

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