Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Amanda Rettke . Surprise Inside Cakes

At first glance, this cookbook is pure fun. It's the first cookbook my Preschool aged daughter is drawn to because of the originality, use of color, and festivity. The cakes are beautiful on the outside, and then you open them up and there is a whole new dimension.

Once you start to get into the details of the book, you can quickly tell this cakebook isn't for those who are drawn to simplicity. Each cake requires the baking of at least two or three different cakes and then mixing the cake crumb with icing to sculpt shapes inside the cake. Some use the same batter, just adding food coloring to a part or separate portion of the batter, sometimes baked in a separate pan. 

The first cake I baked from this seemed to be one of the more simple cakes, with a brownie bottom layer and strawberry cake top layer. I spent two days baking, and the cake just ended up tasting mediocre. The crumb was dense, and there seemed to be too much batter for one layer resulting in a pretty huge strawberry cake layer we tasted, then tossed.

It seemed there was more focus on the designs and decorating of the cakes rather than the actual recipes. She does have original decorating ideas, and mentions some useful time saving tips (freezing portions of colored cakes for later use) but I don't make cakes often, and would make cakes of this caliber even less. The cakes are cheery and so fun if you have the time and patience, but I am more drawn to simplicity and focusing on the experience of eating the cake rather than its presentation.


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