Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

The Pink Whisk Guide to Cake Making – Review and Giveaway #28

I’m sure most of you will know Ruth Clemens as the highly accomplished finalist in the first series of The Great British Bake Off on BBC television three years ago. I expect most of you will be familiar with her engaging and informative blog The Pink Whisk. But did you know that she has published not one, but two print books as well as several e-books? The Busy Girl’s Guide to Cake Decorating which I have to confess I have not seen, came first. I was, however, recently sent a copy of her second book, The Pink Whisk Guide to Cake Making to review. Published by David & Charles it is priced at Ā£12.99 and is available in most book shops as well as from The Pink Whisk’s very own online shop.

I have been following The Pink Whisk blog since its inception back in 2010 and have found it interesting, thorough and informative. I’ve tried a few of Ruth’s recipes in the past and they have worked really well every time; she is not a ‘fling it all together and hope for the best’ type of girl. She has her readers very much in mind when writing and delivers well researched, practised and reliable recipes. This approach carries through to her book. In the introduction Ruth explains how she made 25 versions of her golden syrup cake before she was satisfied enough to include this recipe in her book – see what I mean about thorough?

Aimed primarily at the novice or unconfident baker, this 127 page step-by-step guide leads the reader gently but smartly through the art of making cakes. There is a guide to equipment, a comprehensive guide to basic ingredients and a few pages of techniques such as how to tell when a cake is properly baked, how to line a tin and how to rescue your cake when it looks as though it’s gone wrong. The main part of the book contains the recipes and is divided between the three main methods of creation: creaming, whisking and melting. Top tips are given throughout and whilst the reader is given explicit technical instructions to follow, they are also encouraged to be adventurous and play with different flavours. Although there are only 28 recipes in total, they are by no means standard fare. Ruth has come up with a diversity of types and flavours and there are bakes here to interest the more experienced cook as well as the beginner. The rhubarb and custard bombe sounds particularly fun and quite a technical challenge as well – it’s rhubarb season at the moment …..

As you’d expect from the pink whisk, pink is the dominant colour of the book with either text or pages in pink with flourishes of pastel blue which gives a bit of contrast. There are plenty of pictures to give an idea of what the final bake should look like, something that is lacking in most cookbooks these days. Many of the recipes have photos to accompany the step-by-step instructions. These recipes are then followed by something similar, so the same method can be used – a nifty way of providing interest without having to photograph every step again. Once a Victoria sponge has been mastered, for example, a whole world of combinations is opened up.

The banana and cardamom chocolate brownie cake grabbed my attention and I fully intended to make it. But when I was ready to start baking, I realised I didn’t have any bananas. I did, however have some fudge made by my aunt and given to me at Christmas, so I rapidly changed track and turned my hand to Ruth’s choc chip and fudge Madeira cake. I made a few adjustments of course – I just can’t help myself (sorry Ruth!). For a start, I decided to make this as a traybake rather than a loaf cake.

This is how I made

Choc Chip and Fudge Madeira Squares

  • Creamed 150g unsalted butter with 150g vanilla sugar (caster) until very light & fluffy.
  • Beat in 2 duck eggs.
  • Sifted in 180g flour (half wholemeal spelt, half white) and 3/4 tsp baking powder.
  • Added 60g dark chocolate buttons and 50g chopped fudge.
  • Spooned into an 8″ (20 cm) sq cake mould and baked at 180C for 25 minutes, when it was risen, golden and an inserted skewer came out clean.
  • Melted 25g dark chocolate and drizzled it very inelegantly over the top of the cake.
  • Scattered 25g chopped fudge over the top.
  • Allowed to cool then cut into 12 rectangles.

I had complete confidence in Ruth and knew this cake would turn out well and it did. It rose well, cut well, looked good and tasted good. It was not as sweet as I thought it might be, which I take to be a bonus. It’s a real crowd pleaser that I suspect would go down well at any cake sale. That banana and cardamom chocolate brownie cake is definitely on my radar.

Giveaway

David & Charles have kindly offered a copy of this excellent book to two lucky Chocolate Log Blog readers.
To be in with a chance of winning one of the books, please fill in the Rafflecopter below. You will need to leave a comment on this post which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random from the entries received. Please give me some way of identifying you in the comment section as I will be verifying the validity of entries and will always check back to the comments to ensure that part has been done. Any automated entries will be disqualified. This giveaway is only open to those with a UK postal address. You need to be 18 or over to enter. Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted. Failure to do this may result in another winner being picked.
Prizes are offered and provided by David & Charles and Chocolate Log Blog accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of said third party.
If you need some help using Rafflecopter, here’s a quick clip to show you how.
Closing date is Saturday 8 June 2013
You might also want to take a look at my giveaway page to see if there is anything else you would like to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    belleau kitchen
    11th May 2013

    well I already have a rainbow coloured whisk so that would be mine… C, those cakes look so incredible… my mouth is simply watering like crazy!… nice giveaway, thank you x

  2. Leave a Reply

    Rachel A
    11th May 2013

    I’d love a red whisk, it would add much excitement o my baking! Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Jean
    11th May 2013

    Pink or purple would be my choice of whisk – very girly!!

  4. Leave a Reply

    Jane Willis
    11th May 2013

    I ought to say terracotta, to match the kitchen, but actually I think a bright red one to make me whisk aggressively would be a great idea

  5. Leave a Reply

    Kim Dillon
    11th May 2013

    Bright cerise pink – wouldn’t go with anything, but I’d LOVE using it šŸ™‚

  6. Leave a Reply

    dark1988
    11th May 2013

    Might have to look into this book then. I’ve been put off more than one buying a recipe book due to no photos. I like to have some idea of what I’m cooking/baking, especially if I’ve never tried the recipe before! So this one having photos is a huge selling point for me šŸ™‚

  7. Leave a Reply

    Janice Pattie
    11th May 2013

    How very delicious that bake looks. I follow The Pink Whisk, but don’t have either of these books will need to remedy that!

  8. Leave a Reply

    Lynn
    11th May 2013

    purple, definately purple, i love all things purple

  9. Leave a Reply

    Emily Phipps
    12th May 2013

    Red – would match my kitchen! Also whisking with something the colour of love might make my cakes taste yummy!

  10. Leave a Reply

    Emma Walters
    12th May 2013

    i’m trying to go for greens when i get my new kitchen so i would go for a green whisk šŸ™‚

  11. Leave a Reply

    saurus
    12th May 2013

    Green – it’s an uplifting colour! But probably should be black to match the colour of how my baking usually pans out!

  12. Leave a Reply

    Frances Fox
    12th May 2013

    I’d have a lovely red one.

  13. Leave a Reply

    Mary Heatley
    12th May 2013

    These recipes look so tasty. Not the best for a diet but I’m sure I will get over that.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    12th May 2013

    I’d love to have a silver whisk to go with the kitchen

  15. Leave a Reply

    Gary Topley
    12th May 2013

    Silver would be great x

  16. Leave a Reply

    Caroline
    12th May 2013

    My boyfriend’s last name is Cowe so I want one of those whisks with a cow on top!

  17. Leave a Reply

    carol810
    12th May 2013

    It seems lots of us have red kitchens. I would love a red one too but the one I have at the moment is grey.

  18. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    12th May 2013

    Blue or green – I have a bit of a Mediterranean vibe going on

  19. Leave a Reply

    Nikki
    12th May 2013

    a whisket a tasket a green and yellow basket? oops! not the right song! um,,,,,, let’s see- i think orange would go nicely in my sunny wee kitchen, thanks!

  20. Leave a Reply

    vohnmcg.com
    12th May 2013

    I inherited my grandmother’s vintage Kenwood mixer, which has a sky blue trim. I am gradually adding blue accessories to my kitchen to match it, so would choose a blue whisk. It can be difficult to get the correct shade of blue, so I am just going for any blues which is turning out very nice as it gives a more modern look. Vohn x

  21. Leave a Reply

    Brigitte Leprince
    12th May 2013

    I would have a lilac whisk !

  22. Leave a Reply

    Joan
    12th May 2013

    Green, it’s my favorite color or red to match my kitchen counters. Decisions, decisions!

  23. Leave a Reply

    victoria
    12th May 2013

    baby pink or baby blue whisk to match my kitchen šŸ˜€

  24. Leave a Reply

    caroline
    12th May 2013

    I’d just loooove a pink whisk @mscazzingtons on twitter

  25. Leave a Reply

    Zoe Warren
    12th May 2013

    Yellow, nice and bright!

  26. Leave a Reply

    Sarah Walford
    12th May 2013

    Purple to match in with my toaster and Kettle

  27. Leave a Reply

    Vikkii
    13th May 2013

    I’d have a green whisk in my kitchen especially for my boyfriend!

  28. Leave a Reply

    Robyn Loughlin
    14th May 2013

    I already have a multi-coloured whisk. Its great. Though if I was to buy a new one, it would have to be red, to match my other kitchen gadgets!

  29. Leave a Reply

    sarah rees
    14th May 2013

    red, my favourite colour

    @sarahrees151286

  30. Leave a Reply

    anna
    14th May 2013

    turqouise to match with my other kitchen accessories

  31. Leave a Reply

    Mardylady
    17th May 2013

    The recipes look amazing. I love cooking and baking, especially for the kids and my hubby. Tray bakes are such a joy for the kids, they can get involved with the decorating but I am sure I am not alone with the bit they enjoy the most…..licking the bowl!!!! as for whisks as the comments seem to be??? I have many metals ones they work well but I would love a purple one think it is the colour a la mode! the book looks fab xx

  32. Leave a Reply

    Cheryll
    4th June 2013

    Something bright and funky – lime green or bright orange šŸ™‚

  33. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    4th June 2013

    Pink definitely, as it’s for my daughter!

  34. Leave a Reply

    maddogs
    5th June 2013

    Bright purple. I’m forever putting it down to do something else then losing it so hopefully a bright colour should stand out.

  35. Leave a Reply

    Phyllis Ellett
    5th June 2013

    Nice and bright, fed up with all the brushed aluminium etc in kitchens nowadays, so Pink would stand out.

  36. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    6th June 2013

    purple šŸ™‚ claire gray

  37. Leave a Reply

    Jenny Rogers
    7th June 2013

    Purple would be my choice.

  38. Leave a Reply

    Katherine Penny
    7th June 2013

    I would choose red, to match my decor šŸ™‚

  39. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    7th June 2013

    would love a red whisk xx

    Donna Clarke

  40. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    7th June 2013

    LISA ANN TEBBUTT
    ORANGE PLEASE

  41. Leave a Reply

    rachael jones mann
    7th June 2013

    blue or red for my red white and blue theme

  42. Leave a Reply

    Michelle Hughes shell_shoez27@yahoo.com
    7th June 2013

    I would love a lime green one šŸ™‚

  43. Leave a Reply

    Maddy Edwards
    7th June 2013

    I would have to go for green!

  44. Leave a Reply

    smither666
    7th June 2013

    absolutely love baking šŸ˜€ at home, in school with the children, at families houses, I love it xxx

  45. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    8th June 2013

    a rainbow coloured whisk would be unique, yum!!

  46. Leave a Reply

    Mark Whittaker
    8th June 2013

    I think it would be the pink whisk itself , hey its not just girls who like pink lol . Plus it would fit into the purple/red colour scheme

  47. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    8th June 2013

    Pink, as pretty and feminine.

    Rachel Craig

  48. Leave a Reply

    jo-anne
    8th June 2013

    A pink one just for me please!! Cakes look super good on here! :)_

  49. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    8th June 2013

    I would have a purple one

  50. Leave a Reply

    Hayley Todd
    8th June 2013

    My kitchen is vintage / shabby chic in style and very pink! So I would love a pastel pink whisk!

  51. Leave a Reply

    Carol Bevitt
    8th June 2013

    I’d like a Cerise pink whisk.

  52. Leave a Reply

    Amanda Gregory
    8th June 2013

    I should say black to go with my kitchen but really I’d go for purple, as I love everything purple.

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