Last Friday afternoon me and my daughter raced home with baking in mind having planned it that morning in a spare half hour before school began. The Primrose Bakery Book has become our 'go to' book for those times when you just want a cake that's going to be utterly delicious. We've now baked enough things from it to trust it to be provide exquisite edibles every time.
We adapted the Nutella Cupcakes recipe into 'large cake' quantities and made a sandwich, iced with our own Nutella butter cream icing as we didn't have all the necessary ingredients to make the suggested icing. You can see from the picture above that the cake is marbled with Nutella - somehow so much better than it being fully assimilated into the plain sponge mixture as it allows for the delight of coming across a small, slightly crunchy chunk of Nutella on your fork every now and then.
My mother bought my children some packs of icing for Christmas (to go with a fantastic book that I'll share with you at some point) and my daughter chose to make little rosebuds to decorate the top of the cake. Initially frustrating, trying to create the perfect rose would be far easier if Fimo had been a part of your childhood (it's somehow been omitted in our house though). There was a lot of trial and error and when my little boy came home he too joined in with this impromptu edible play-doh session.
Finally, the perfect bud was created.
I love that my daughter's focus was initially on making a very sophisticated rosebud cake, but that she was spirited away as she played with the icing and ended up seeing fit to add a strutting bird to her creation. Irreverent, lovely and bonkers.
Perhaps because we all do an equal amount of baking and share a strong desire to chase cakerly perfection, as a family, we enthusiastically discuss the merits or pitfalls of any cake without too much need to flatter the baker's ego. In view of this it seems worth saying that this cake was declared the best we'd ever tasted by 3 out of 4 tasters (Hugh's Wholemeal Honey Cake is still up there alongside it, but as an entirely different sort of cake due to it possessing a little more virtue and health). I've failed to do a full review of this book yet, and must put that right at some point, but I can say wholeheartedly that it is my (and my daughter's) favourite baking book and that if I were forced onto a desert island and permitted to take only one book from my cookery book shelves it would be this one. Has anyone got both of the Primrose Bakery books? If so, is their Cupcakes From the Primrose Bakery worth buying also, or does it cover the same ground as this later book?
I'd love to know what your own favourite cookbook or baking book is?