Cupcakes or Cakes?

With the recent craze over cupcakes—there are now bakeries and boutiques dedicated solely to the art of cupcake-making found the world over—its grander cousin has been left out of the spotlight. However lovely the cupcake is, in all its individual glory, I still look at it like a muffin with…

Fondant: Friend or Foe?

Fondant is a concoction of icing sugar, gelatin, and shortening. It is supremely workable as a covering and takes color very well, better than any other covering. What you trade for ease of use is the taste. It’s quite nice to look at but the taste is somewhere between soggy…

Frosting or buttercream?

This is where the cakes get separated into different camps: frosting or buttercream.  Frosting is composed of butter (a less tasty version is made with shortening) and whipped together with confectioner’s (a.k.a icing) sugar to balance the flavor of the butter. The most popular version includes vanilla flavoring, which tempers…

The Guide to ‘Caking’

I make cakes.  Cakes so good, I’ve gotten proposals over them.  Here’s the 411 on the how and why of making layer cakes (caking?). Following a recipe is one thing, baking a cake is another, whereas making a cake involves some advance planning. It’s essentially a three-step process: Prep; Baking;…

Will the real layer cake please stand up?

A layer cake comes in many forms This is the dessert that has it all, so it’s no wonder it is the standard for celebrating birthdays, weddings, baptisms and all sorts of special occasions the world over. Here in its birthplace of Europe, the layer cake is usually more delicate,…