Professional Cake Decorating
Cake decorating fundamentals from a pro
Reviewed by Virginia B. Wood, Fri., Feb. 24, 2012
Professional Cake Decoratingby Toba Garrett
Wiley, 416 pp., $65
This season's most eagerly anticipated instructional volume on the craft and artistry of cake decorating is from award-winning author and culinary instructor Toba Garrett. The master cake designer offers a series of step-by-step tutorials that can assist professionals hone and refresh skills while providing the novice decorator clear and easy-to-follow guidance to learn new techniques. Garrett offers some fascinating cake history in her introduction and firmly establishes decorating fundamentals in the opening chapter. Subsequent chapters offer lessons on piping, writing and painting, royal icing design, hand modeling with fondant, pastillage construction, gum-paste flowers, and more, allowing the reader to build a logical progression of skills with the expert assistance of line drawings and full-color photos as clear visual references of each new technique. The book also includes basic recipes for cakes, fillings, and icings, as well as an appendix with templates and lettering fonts to assist decorators in re-creating designs from the book.
Garrett is willing and able to share her skill, knowledge, and inspiration with others, and this book provides readers an ongoing educational relationship with one of the country's most successful cake artists. While Professional Cake Decorating is as attractive as any coffee-table volume, it's a worthwhile teaching tool that's meant to be used. Although the book is large and somewhat unwieldy, just whip out that protective cookbook stand and get to work!