Saturday, October 23, 2010

These are a few of my favourite things

I love cookbooks and have shelves groaning from the weight of the many I have collected over the years. Most of my cookbooks are specifically baking and decorating and like everyone I have some favorites, and if I use a recipe exactly as it has been written in a cookbook I don't copy it into the blog so I thought I would share a couple of my fav Baking books (that is books I use specifically for baking not decorating tips).

Whimsical Bakehouse: Fun-to-make Cakes That Taste as Good as They Look

Whimsical Bakehouse: Fun-to-make Cakes That Taste as Good as They Look

My number 1 fav is The Whimsical Bakehouse - "fun to make cakes that taste as good as they look" by mother and daughter team Kaye and Liv Hansen

This is one book that actually lives up to it's promise. I admit I haven't tried every recipe in this book but the ones I have work every time and are completely delicious.



My favourite chocolate buttercake which I also use for cupcakes,



creamiest Italian Meringue Buttercream,



the chocolate chip pound cake for my son's recent birthday cake



and the golden buttercake I used for the Wizard of Oz rainbow cake.

I love every recipe I have tried. There are lots of colour pictures and detailed explanations on their decorating technique. Be warned however that this book does not use fondant decorations so if your looking for a book dedicated to that type of decorating grab something else.

The book is from the US so if you are Australian like me you'll need to do some converting, but I promise it's completely worth it. Just remember a stick of butter is 4oz or 114g, a US tablespoon is equal to 3 Australian teaspoons and buy a pyrex measuring cup and you should be pretty good to go.

Book I can't live without #2 is More from Magnolia "recipes from the World Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey's Home Kitchen"

More from Magnolia: Recipes from the World Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey's Home Kitchen

More from Magnolia: Recipes from the World Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey's Home Kitchen

Yup these are the cupcakes famously featured in Sex and the City and they are simply delicious. Best vanilla cupcake and simple frosting * recipe ever....need I say more. (this is my own opinion and I know everyone has different tastes, please don't send me any hate mail, although if think you have a better recipe I would be happy for you to send me that).

OK I will say more, simple is the key to these recipes they are plain old fashioned baking, no fancy decorating tricks to deceive you, so the focus is on the taste. Other favourites from this book include black bottom cupcakes  and the Cream Cheese Crumb Buns which are a little fiddly but soooo soooo worth it.


Black bottom cupcake - chocolate cupcake with choc chip cheesecake baked on the top, I know......YUM, The pic above is modified with an Oreo on the bottom.

It also has a handy conversion table in the back for temperature and weights which is super handy for us Aussies. I only wish it had more pictures, I love pictures in cookbooks and this book only has a few colour pictures included.

Example of magnolia frosting.....

and here is a coffee version.......Mmmmmmm 

These books do sometimes use baking items that may not be easily found in your local grocery store, sometimes they use graham crakers or butterscotch chips etc, however you can just substitute a more easily accessible item. But all the recipes I have specified above and lots lots more that I use all the time are totally grocery store friendly.


*note when I make the frosting for the magnolia vanilla buttercream I reduce the milk to around 100m which seems to suit the Australian climate a little better.

15 comments:

  1. I am a big fan of Magnolia's recipes as well. they are my go to cupcake recipes. And Linda, I cannot see enough pix of that fabulous Wizard of Oz cake. It's just fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely post! A feast for the eyes as well as the book shelf lol

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you love the Magnolia Bakery you should try the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. (http://hummingbirdbakery.com/more/the-cookbook/) I've eaten cupcakes from both and The Hummingbird Bakery definitely wins. I used to live down the road from them in London. Now I live half a world a way in Sydney :(

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Jess - I do have The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook it is soooooo pretty, but haven't tried out the recipes so I was just recommending books where I know the recipes work well everytime. Thanks for the tip I will try some of the Hummingbird ones soon.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I actually have the Whimsical Bakehouse book, but I haven't opened it in a long time(too many cookbooks)! I think I will look through it tonight:) All your baked goods look wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  6. That rainbow cake is FANTASTIC! And thank you for clarifying what a "stick of butter" is as I had no idea, I have just been guessing it might be about 8 tablespoons which isn't 114g's but now I know! YAY. :)
    MODELmumma

    ReplyDelete
  7. You have a lovely blog! I love your favourite things too...especially the rainbow cake.

    ReplyDelete
  8. BIG BIG BIG fan of Magnolia cookbooks! I'm hearing you on the cupcakes, they are pretty good. I must admit though, that for cupcakes I use the Nigella food processor option. But for people who dont have a food processor and for when I am making my layer cakes, I use the Magnolia one.

    Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yum! I will have to check those out!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the Magnolia buttercream recipe. I know it uses so much sugar but it sets it just so nicely! :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. One big question, i keep seeing those amazing butterfly chocolates everywhere in your blog, but i've been everywhere and can't get moulds similiar.. Where do you get them?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Those butterfly chocolates are the PME butterfly plunger set if you do a Google search you should find them and I'm sure I have seen them on Ebay. There is a little tutorial on how I made the chocolate ones here http://bubbleandsweet.blogspot.com/2010/06/chocolate-modeling-paste-and-making.html

    ReplyDelete
  13. can somebody post the magnolia buttercream recipe, please?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi I only post my own recipes but if you check out this link it has the Magnolia http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/saras-secrets/magnolias-vanilla-cupcake-recipe/index.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have all the books from the Whimsical Bakehouse. I absolutely love their recipes and the chocolate method for creating decorations. If you want everything to be edible and delicious, this is the book to go to. You can checkout their website for sample recipes and more ideas at www.whimsicalbakehouse.com

    ReplyDelete