Thursday, 26 April 2012

A rosebud cake


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?

Florence x

24 comments:

  1. I have the primrose bakery cupcake book and since getting it I have not used another for cakes, it is fab, although I don't have the other book so can't say whether it is similar!

    Your cake looks yum!
    Alison
    x

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    1. I'm so pleased you are similarly taken with it - which has been your favourite recipe in it so far?

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  2. I love this book! The granola and the corn muffins are favourites and the lime meringue cupcakes are gorgeous.

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    1. Yes, I agree, we've made the lemon meringue cake and it was glorious. I'd somehow missed the granola muffins though...they must be in the small healthy section that I'd omitted to look at! x

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  3. Love cake, I am pregnant at the mo and don't usually eat much in the way of cake but cannot resist cake, I have already had a lemon cupcake this morning and if you were closer may have insisted in popping by as your rosy cake looks pretty good too. My favourite baking books are, a very old the best of sainsburys baking (look on amazon and ebay its very good), the great british bake off and bake by rachel allen. I have recently received lorraine pascals baking made easy and her double choc cookies are the best we've ever had.

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    1. Oooh, I will have to look into the Lorraine Pascal book then as we are still searching for the perfect cookie recipe. I loved the bake-off book too - it's wonderfully illustrated for the technical challenges, isn't it.

      Pregancy is such a good time for self-indulgence! Enjoy. x

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  4. I too love the Primose Bakery book - I still haven't made it to one of their cake shops in London though. Have you tried the chocolate cupcakes? They are delish!!!! Last year my husband got me the Hummingbird Bakery book - I have to say I was skeptical as the Primrose Bakery is so good - but I've found every recipe that I've made from it delicious and they also feel a bit more virtuous as the ratio of milk to butter is a bit higher!!!!! Sorry, that turned into a bit of an essay but I do like my baking :) Off to make some flapjacks now! x

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    1. I have the Hummingbird Bakery book too - I've had some hits and some misses from it, which makes me a little more hestitant about using it. I think I have blocked out any health comparison...oh dear. And yes, the chocolate cupcakes are fantastic. x

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  5. It looks delicious but I do not possess enough self restraint to make it and then not eat it all immediately. I shall admire your pictures instead.

    And the bird is a perfect touch :-)

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    1. I love that you think I do - this cake was gone by Saturday afternoon! x

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  6. I bought 'Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache' on your recommendation, Florence, and it's a hit. Not 100% convinced by the author's health claims (still a lot of sugar in there!) but the veg seems to give a better texture to gluten-free cakes than any of those weird and expensive ingredients that other books suggest. The beetroot brownies are shockingly good.

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    1. I'm so pleased you love that book - I go in and out of phases of using it depending upon how health conscious I'm feeling. But it's still one of my favourites too. x

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  7. Replies
    1. I do too. She got to eat it (which was something of a relief - the icings were flavoured and Ian and I felt the cake flavour was better without the rosebuds, even though they do make it look adorable).

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  8. We bought our daughter the Cupcake Book and she & Daddy have baked masses from it with much success. Not one has turned out not to be utterly delicious.

    Pretty rosebud cake too x

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  9. Wot, no Fimo?! Poor, deprived kids! In honour of my blog post for mother's day back in March, picturing the tea cosy and teapot stand I'd lovingly crafted this year, my dad sent some current photos of my childhood makes, including several Fimo creations still in their posession o.O

    Anyway, I'm trying not to look too closely at the cake as the waistband of my work trousers has been feeling a bit tighter of later, and I refuse to buy a size 14!

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  11. I only have the primrose bakery book. (I haven't yet baked anything of it yet, my husband's midlife crisis is manifesting itself in the form of a neverending diet so no baking, sigh...) I decided to buy just one, since many of the comments on amazon seemed to think that the cupcake book was very similar.

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  12. Hi Florence
    I have both books and used the cup cake one extensively last summer when baking for a strawberry tea party fundraising event. The recipes worked every time and the earl grey cup cakes with lemon butter cream icing and gorgeous crystalized violets were an absolute sell out.
    I have not used the second one much up to now but love leafing through them both and drooling over the pictures. x

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  13. As a cakeaholic, I must try this book. Well done to the children for the beautiful roses.

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  14. The bonkers bird has made my day!

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  15. I love Hugh's wholemeal honey cake too - and the carrot one from the same book :)
    My absolute fave cookbooks at the moment are Ottolenghi's Plenty and Ottolenghi. I've never made such delicious food in my life - they are awesome!!!
    Persuasive enough?!

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  16. Hmmm - I may have to buy this book! Your cake looks delicious! And you've reminded me that I still have to try Hugh's honey cake - maybe this weekend. I really like 'Bake and Decorate' by Fiona Cairns. I have to confess that I've done a lot more of the baking than decorating, but all the recipes that I've tried so far (about 8 of them I think) have been fabulous. I bought it specifically for the cherry and marzipan cake, but the pistachio and orange cake is also a favourite now. Good for special occasions!

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  17. This looks so yummy. I love the Primrose Bakery book, I got quite excited about getting to actually visit the store last year when I was in London too :)

    I also love the roses, I wish I had the patience for such things! Lx

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x