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Library Notes // Cake Techniques and Design

By Sara Medlicott,
ICC Librarian

Chef Cynthia Peithman is a regular in the ICC library. Not only is she a Chef Instructor here, she is also a student herself, pursuing a Masters Degree in Food Studies. Chef Cynthia uses the library to prepare for her class instruction here and research her assignments for school. Her capstone project at the end of last semester focused on – what else? Sugar! For her project she created a unique and beautiful cake themed around sugar cane fields in the Dominican Republic. The cake was inspired by her reading and is full of hidden details which tell the history of the fields and sugar production.

Would you like to learn how to sugar sculpt Fidel Castro? Sugar craft a sugar cane? Learn from Chef Cynthia herself in our upcoming Cake Techniques and Design Program! In the meantime, check out some of her top picks for cake books.

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How Baking Works by Paula Figoni

Take the guess work out of your baking with Paula Figoni’s How Baking Works. This text delves into the science of baking so you can understand how batter temperature impacts texture and why different sweeteners change the quality of cake. The book takes complex subjects and distills them so they are accessible to the average person. It also includes questions, exercises and experiments at the end of each chapter in case you need more practice with any particular topic.

Stylish Cakes: The Extraordinary Confections of the Fashion Chef by Charlotte Neuville

Stylish Cakes is a recent release from ICC alum Charlotte Neuville also known as the Fashion Chef. It features a wide range of her intricate and chic cakes for all different occasions from birthdays to fundraisers to weddings, each with a unique spin on client requests. Chef Cynthia has worked with Charlotte and you will even find one of her special touches pictured within – see if you can guess which cake she contributed to.

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Debbie Brown’s Enchanted Cakes for Children

If you are looking for a bit more instruction, we have several books by Debbie Brown here in the library. In each of her cake books she provides detailed, step by step instructions for anything you may want to create, in this case, mystical fantasy cakes for children. From mermaids to dragons to sunken treasure, you can find a cake to match almost any theme included within. Brown even includes templates and recommended suppliers in the back of the book.

The Art of Royal Icing by Eddie Spence

Eddie Spence covers both recipes and technique in depth with detailed step by step instruction, process photos and templates throughout. The book concludes with design ideas for full cakes representing a multitude of occasions and skill levels. Each cake includes a helpful list of all techniques used as well as the pages where you can find those instructions in the book so you can go back and review if need be. For classic beautiful cakes look no further.

We have these and many many more cake books in the library, so stop by and take a look!