Three pounds fatter and rather frustrated, I'm ending the Whimsical Bakehouse interlude. But before I do my breakdown of the recipes, a few words of appreciation.
It's a fun book to flip through, as the cakes are colorful, playful, unpretentious. The introduction by Meredith Vieira -- who randomly wandered into Liv and Kaye Hansen's Ardsley, New York bakery to buy a princess cake for her daughter -- is sweetly gushing: "You'll know you're there by the tinkle of the bell, the wave of warmth, and Kaye's smile. . ."
Okay, it's a little much, but sometimes nice is nice.
The tone of the book is encouraging and relaxed, as opposed to, say, Rose Levy Berenbaum's unforgiving Cake Bible, which implies you need a PhD to bake a butter cake.
Having said all this, Whimsical Bakehouse isn't precise enough for the amateur. I've detailed those lapses in my posts, and they're reflected below in my assessment of the "recipes" for finished cakes.
On the other hand, almost all the recipes for the components of said cakes (chocolate glaze excepted) are excellent.
Over the last week I made 9 recipes from the Whimsical Bakehouse:
Worth the Price of the Book: 1
Flat-out bad: 2
A solid, middle-of the road performance.
I'm going to finish up Arabesque this week. Isabel has posted a poll on the right side of the page, so if you have an opinion, please vote.