The Art of Cupcakes: More Than 40 Festive Recipes (Anglais) Broché – 2 septembre 2010
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As a beginner, I selected the "Baby face" design and it was (literally!) an all-day project for me to make the 36 cupcakes--even though this looked like the easiest baby project in the whole book. (Although there are several more generic designs that anyone can breeze through). I didn't have to buy anything extra for the baby faces other than the fondant and a small ball tool.
I found it awkward that the ingredient list is given for one (1) cupcake. It's iffy enough to triple the ingredients for three dozen, but to figure out how much I should have for 36 is awful. The instructions are easy to follow (once you get past figuring out how much you need, which isn't easy--I overbought to be safe). I don't recommend that your first try at fondant decorations be for a real event (with a deadline), or that you tackle more than one or two at a time.
The last cupcake was a lot more professional-looking than the first. I had seen a friend work with fondant and handled it myself previously, but this was my first solo attempt. After a few eye misplacements (which required starting over!) I found that it helped to make a template for eye/nose/mouth placement so my babies would look cute and consistent. (Although other templates are provided in the back pages, this one wasn't). I wish I'd been able to mix the skin color for all 36 at once. As it was, some had a deeper tan than others but, on the whole, I enjoyed myself, got many compliments, and had a great time.
From now on, each time I make cupcakes, I'm going to set one or two aside to practice on without pressure, and I hope to work my way up to the animal faces eventually.
There are fun projects for "Family" cupcakes, with ideas for a whole family including the puppy!. Next is wedding and love cupcakes, including one with a tiny wedding cake atop the cupcake. After that, Noga shows us how to make garden cupcakes, you can see an example in the picture above of the darling flower ones. She also has a section on monsters, which has several options to make different funny monsters, great for a children's birthday party. She has a little menagerie of cute animals next in the book, you could make a mini zoo! In the "Baby" section there are several cupcakes which would be perfect for a baby shower, including a super sweet baby with a tiny pacifier! So cute! The "Happy Birthday" area has cupcakes with clowns and also with tiny presents. In the "Fun in the Sun" chapter, there's several beach themed cupcakes; I really liked the beach with umbrella.
Noga includes recipes for cake and frosting, including royal frosting. Her main decorating medium is fondant and fondant modeling paste, and she includes recipes and tips for both. If you enjoy using fondant or want to learn, this is a great book for beginners, as well as having great ideas for more advanced decorators as well.