The Busy Girls Guide to Cake Decorating. Its a bit different to the run of the mill cake decorating books as this is an everyday guide for home based bakers who want to be able to decorate cakes easily and to a fairly good standard, and haven't a great deal of time to do it in. The book is set out in the style of a note pad and has lovely endearing pictures of Sindy dolls trying out some of the cake decorating steps. It's colourful, different and the layout with hints and tips posted in most pages really appeals. There are lots and lots of photographs and a fair few of Ruth herself in full cake decorating mode as she demonstrates some of the techniques in step by step fashion.
The book isn't just about larger projects suitable for cakes for birthdays or special events its also has some smaller bakes and cake and biscuit decorating ideas...I'm sure the iced lollies on sticks (which are really iced and decorated biscuits) are going to be a really popular choice from this book, especially with children...and all you need for these is the recipe and the right biscuit shape to go at. Some projects require a few bits of cake decorating kit, for others you will need not much more than the right template and things you will have in your kitchen already, (some of these templates are accessible and in the back of the book).
In between a busy schedule including book signings and appearances in various locations, cake international in London no less (thats not me its Ruth!!) I've been lucky enough to be able to catch a few minutes of Ruth's time and ask some questions about The Busy Girls Guide to Cake Decorating...(move over Jeremy Paxman I'm coming in!)
Q: Why did you decide to write a book about cake decorating specifically?
A: Cake decorating is a real hobby of mine, something I really enjoy doing for friends and family. It doesn't feature much on the blog so it may seem a surprising choice! For a long time cake decorating was quite specialist and equipment was expensive and quite hard to get hold of but that's all changed and now everyone can easily have a go.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about putting the book together?
A: I enjoyed coming up with the ideas for the projects and spending endless afternoons up to my elbows in icing sugar and getting to call it work too! I didn't like the deadlines though and quite often had to write and edit on trains,I once had to decamp to a local cafe to use their wifi when my Internet connection went down at home- I spent all day there!!
Q: Did you test all the recipes and designs yourself?
A: Yes, all tested by me. Every project, every recipe all of it was made by me, I'm too much of a control freak to let a home economist step in!
Q: If someone wanted a quick and easy cake to make and decorate for an event (like a child's birthday) which one of your recipes would you recommend they try?
A: I'd recommend a chocolate cake recipe from the book it's top of my list and very forgiving too.
The star decorations from 'Seeing Stars' is always a winner and dead easy to do.
Q: You seem to have some really good ideas on your blog and now your book as both are brimming with inspiration; what or who inspires you when thinking up designs for cakes?
A: Thank you! All sorts of things inspire me and it tends to come from the most random of places - paper craft magazines on my Mum's coffee table, the print on a tea towel etc some things just randomly pop into my head and I have no idea where they've come from (does that make me sound like a nutter?!)
Q: Is there anything you learned from appearing in the GBBO that appears in your book?
A: I don't think there's anything in the book I learnt from GBBO but it is completely down to the fact that I took part in the programme. Without that I'd still be pottering along doing bits of stuff instead I've just published a book! Hooray!
Q: Where can we find out where you will be signing your new book?
A: I'll keep posting the details on my news page as events are arranged www.thepinkwhisk.co.uk/news
If you like to try your hand at cake decorating at home or want to improve your skills then I think you really will enjoy this book, more so if you like the fun element of trying out cake decorating. I have tried my hand at cake decorating in the past but have never really been taught how to do it. I'm quite sure if I'd had this book in my collection earlier on I would have been better prepared and equipped to decorate some of the cakes I have made in the past.
You can have the chance to win a copy of Ruth's book The Busy Girls Guide to Cake Decorating by leaving a comment below...
Just tell me in the comments box below...what would you like to challenge yourself to make from this book if you won a copy? (remember to make it clear how I can contact you if you win)
You can only enter once...you must live in the UK to take part and the closing date for entries is midnight on 26th May 2012. There are two copies of the book to win by two people who will be chosen at random by me. RUCraft will send out the copies to the two winners once I pass on your details.
Good luck and happy cake decorating!
N.B. RUCraft sent me my copy to review honestly, and with no recompense or expectations for this review. The photographs in this post are used with the permission of RUCraft and are taken from the book for illustrative purposes.