Baking is, thank goodness, enjoying something of a revival. We are reconnecting with some old-fashioned culinary values – the kitchen filled with tempting aromas, a cake on a glass stand, some home-made chocolate treats. But much of the appeal of the candy is the fact that it is also eye-candy. They look beautiful.
Perhaps these days the bar for presentation of desserts and sweets is set a bit higher. We watch cooking programmes and admire those chef creations; and unfortunately the rest of the world is also watching. So how do we create visual stunners without going to culinary school?
Food manufacturers have taken advantage of baking trends and this time they have filled the supermarket shelves with jars of colourful sugar shapes, chocolate strands, jewelled jellies and metallic balls and pearls. All that’s needed to achieve sweet delights is some imagination, and this book, Sprinkles – Recipes and ideas for rainbowlicious desserts, supplies that.
This isn’t just a list of available decorations. You would, after all, only have to take a stroll to your local baking aisle to discover that for yourself. No, this is a comprehensive illustration of how to use those garnishes in unique ways, and there are also full recipes for sweet goods as carriers of those shimmers, glitters, colour-bursts and pastel shades. There are even recipes for making your own sprinkles at home.
I have a few favourites from this volume: Fleur de Sel Caramels allows the home cook to offer these trending toffees for very little money. The scattering of chunky salty crystals elevates these into a sophisticated adult indulgence.
Brazilian Chocolate Truffles are a bit different from the more common chocolate truffle. They use the overlooked condensed milk along with cocoa powder to create the truffle mix, which can be moulded and then covered with all kinds of coloured strands or sugars. These are moreish and an alternative for those who cannot eat quantities of regular chocolate.
Sprinkles – Recipes and ideas for rainbowlicious desserts offers you those imaginative ideas and inspirations for striking presentation of tempting treats, but more importantly decorating cakes and desserts can be a fun introduction to cooking for kids. OK, clean-up might take a while but those memories and photo opportunities will be priceless.
Sprinkles – Recipes and ideas for rainbowlicious desserts
Author: Jackie Alpers
Published by: Quirk Books
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018