Aspiring Sylvia Weinstock types take note. It's almost wedding season. Your triple-tier, rosebud appliqué red velvet-white chocolate ganache (oh gawd, please no) cake is the next lady-in-desperate-wedding-planning waiting. Toba Garrett's new Wedding Cake Art and Design cake decorating guidebook, available this week, to the rescue.
Garrett, the top tier chef at the Department of Decorating and Design at New York's Institute of Culinary Education, offers perky lemon yellow cakes covered in daisies and Martha Stewart-approved rust colored marzipan fruit-topped cakes for that dreamy fall affair (for Goth design tips, you'll need to contact Noelle Carter over at the LA Times Test Kitchen). There's even a tuxedo shirt and vest design for buttoned up groom's cake types.
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The 250+ page hardcover is a sweet $50. But it does come with step-by-step forget-me-not instructions and two-dozen traceable wedding cake designs (who knew drawing a heart in decorator's icing was so difficult?). Still, it's hard to imagine the book price is anything more than a relative bargain. When you're talking about a couple of sweet bites that are likely to cost thousands of dollars from a professional cake designer, coughing up a Ulysses S. Grant to give your own designs a whirl is hardly a bad exchange. Do note, however, that this book is more for the classic cake design types. An abstract icing-free Momofuko banana cream-hazelnut crunch tower is not what this book is about. Only those with ganache boutonniere and fondant carnation friends need buy.