The Complete Photo Guide to Cake Decorating

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9781589236691: The Complete Photo Guide to Cake Decorating

This book is a comprehensive how-to book about all of the most popular cake decorating techniques, including piped frosting, fondant, and hand modeled figures. For each technique, there is an overview of the tools and materials used and complete instructions with photos. The organization provides easy access to information with step-by-step directions and 600 full-color photos for clear understanding. Easy projects allow the reader to try the techniques in each section. Galleries of decorated cakes offer the reader examples and inspiration to pursue the hobby for themselves.

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About the Author:

Autumn Carpenter is a nationally known confectionary artist, author, and demonstrator. She has published several books, including the best selling cake book: The Complete Photo Guide to Cake Decorating and The Complete Photo Guide to Cookie Decorating, and Decorating Cakes, Cupcake, and Cookies with Kids. Autumn book Let's Bake Angry Birds Cakes will be published in October 2014. She demonstrates annually at the I.C.E.S. (International Cake Exploration Societé ) and travels across the United States, sharing the craft of cake decorating and other confectionary arts. Autumn is co-owner of Country Kitchen SweetArt, a retail cake and candy supply store that has been in her family for over 45 years. The business caters to walk-in store sales, catalog sales, and an online store, has developed her own line of useful tools and equipment for cake decorating and cookie decorating, and sells them online and in many cake and candy supply stores throughout the United States and in several other countries. Her cakes and products have been featured in numerous publications and magazines including American Cake Decorating and Cake Central. Visit her website, and her blog,

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Ganache is made by mixing heavy cream with chocolate to make a glaze that is satiny and rich. Ganache can be poured over a cake or whipped to spread on a cake. It also makes a delicious filling. This recipe calls for dark chocolate, but ganache can also be made with white, milk, semi-sweet, or bittersweet chocolate. White chocolate is not technically chocolate because it lacks cocoa powder, but the presence of cocoa butter allows it to work similarly to milk, semi-sweet, or bittersweet chocolate. White chocolate can be colored. Use an oil-based coloring to color white chocolate. The cocoa butter content in the chocolate will affect the thickness of the ganache. A couverture chocolate, or a chocolate with a high amount of cocoa butter, is best for ganache recipes. If using a chocolate with a lower cocoa butter content, the amount of cream can be increased. For the richest, best ganache, use real chocolate with cocoa butter, not candy coating, which has various oils. Candy coating is an affordable alternative and may be used, although the quality of the ganache will not be as good.

Ganache Recipe

- 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter

- 1/3 cup (80 g) whipping cream

- 8 ounces (227 g) dark chocolate

In a heavy duty saucepan, combine cream and butter. Cook on medium heat until it boils. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate and stir until almost all the chocolate is melted. Whisk the ganache until it is thoroughly melted and the icing is glossy. If chocolate has not completely melted, place the saucepan back on the stove. Heat on warm or very low until the chocolate is melted. Pour or spoon over cake.

Yields: 1 1/2 cups (375 mL)

Quality Counts: Chocolate will differ tremendously in flavor, texture, and thickness. The taste and quality of the ganache will depend on the chocolate used. Choose chocolate that is delicious and melts in your mouth when eaten out of the package, and it will make a fantastic ganache.

Storing Ganache

A cake covered in ganache can be kept at room temperature for one to two days. Unused ganache should be kept in the refrigerator. Ganache can be reheated by placing the ganache in the top pan of a double boiler over warm water. If a whipped ganache is desired, allow ganache to come to room temperature before whipping. Ganache may be reheated in the microwave for 5–10 seconds. Stir, then heat again if necessary, until ganache is desired thickness.

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