Has anyone purchased the Cake Café Bake Book? I ordered it before Christmas, and to be honest, forgot all about it. I was pretty excited for the book as Michelle Darmody is someone I hugely admire. As the owner of the very kitschy and ver wonderful Cake Café, she is not only an inspiring entrepreneurial success story but an established writer – contributing to the Irish Examiner weekly, sharing her foodie thoughts.
The Cake Café itself is a delight, off the beaten track complete with courtyard, incredibly homely food, sweet treats, mismatched crockery and a hugely important factor for many, palatable coffee. The café serves some gorgeous and honest cakes – carrot, lemon squares, brownies, cupcakes..the list goes on, but they really are special. On the savoury side of things, Darmody has created some of the most delicious baked beans around, with her own little twist, the secret of which I don’t think anyone has quite figured out yet.
The Cake Café Bake Book was written by Michelle, collaborating on the book’s design with Niall Sweeney from graphic design studio Pony. While I’m fully aware that Michelle Darmody wanted a simple straight-forward book with no fuss (just honest home baking) I was a little disappointed with the layout. When I first unwrapped the book, I was impressed with it’s sturdiness. But soon realised that all the recipes are sort of crushed together in the first half of the book. The other 50% of the publication is plain cardboard and pink paper (for taking down notes and personal recipes, I’m sure!) so it’s hard to believe it has quite a substantial amount of recipes inside, as at times, three or four fill a page. Having said that, the book definitely has an original look, which is easily identified on a shelf filled with standard cookie cutter (excuse the pun) cook books.
I would say the book is ideal for someone who loves baking in the sense that they bake confidently, but enjoys twisting and shaking up the classics to make their treats a little different. And if you’re a really poor baker, there is a huge host of rich sauces and perfect icing and butter cream recipes included, to hide the driest or blandest culinary error.
The Cake Café Bake Book is available in bookstores across Dublin, or for order online on The Cake Café website, for €15.95.
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