I think that teeny, tiny desserts are a fantastic way to end a meal. Such sweetness and delicate flavours all tied up in a cute little package to present to your dinner companion(s). I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a book of mini desserts for a while now…and finally I found one.
The mother-and-daughter team who wrote the amazing baking book, “The Whimsical Bakehouse” are now tempting us with plenty of wonderful new recipes for tiny cakes, cupcakes, tiered cakes, cheesecakes, pound cakes and muffins – and ingenious ways to decorate them (think mini cakes that look like bowls of popcorn, ice cream cones, hats, and even baskets of flowers).
“Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse” (by Kaye and Liv Hansen) also offers up loads of great tips and tricks for the at-home cake decorator (which you can also use when decorating regular-sized confections!). Lots of information on making and using different kinds of icing, glazing, and making chocolate decorations are trickled throughout the book. It also has some really handy guidelines on the various kitchen paraphernalia you need in order to get started, and there is also a cake pan chart that tells you batter capacity and size of various pans for reference. And invaluable to most at-home-bakers – two pages of tips that are good to remind yourself of just before you start any baking recipe.
I was quite impressed with the various recipes for icing flavors and cake/icing flavour combinations in this book (something I loved from the original “Whimsical Bakehouse” book, which I still reference when I’m at the beginning of any cake-baking endeavor). Dulce de Leche Buttercream, Eggnog Whipped Cream and Chopped Cherry Whipped Cream all sound amazing. But wait, they go one step further: Spicy Chocolate Cakes with Cinnamon-Chocolate Whipped Cream, Pistachio Ganache Truffles with Caramel Sauce and Peanut Butter Brownie Cakes. You’ll think you’ve died and gone straight to miniature heaven.
This book is an excellent reference for anyone wanting to indulge on a miniature scale. And if you feel like you’re not quite ready for some of the more complicated decorations, Little Cakes also has a few very easy presentation ideas to make even the simplest miniature cake look impressive.