Eric Lanlard is a French pÃ¢tissier and a celebrity chef in the UK, who has starred in two popular food shows in addition to owning and running a highly successful pastry shop, Cake Boy. He is a chef that knows his cakes and desserts, and in the book Cake Boy, named after his shop, he introduces home bakers to some of his best recipes and techniques. The book starts out with cakes, but covers a whole variety of desserts and baked goods that range from the very simple to more complex to appeal to bakers of all skill levels.
The book has a simple format and one that makes the book easy to reference and use. It doesn’t spend a lot of time on introductions and ingredients, but instead jumps into the recipes. The book is divided up into quite a few chapters: Sponge Cakes, Tarts, Meringues, Muffins & Cupcakes, Tray Bakes, Festive Recipes, Cheesecakes, Desserts, and Pastries & Cookies. At the beginning of each chapter, there is a brief look at the techniques used in making that particular type of baked good, as well as tips that are key to success. The recipes are easy to follow and very detailed, and most of the recipes have short ingredient lists (and reminders to always use the highest quality ingredients) that make them appealing and accessible.
One of the things that makes this book stand out from other cookbooks on the bookstore shelf is that it is a British book, and you’ll find a variety of recipes that you won’t see in many American cookbooks. For instance, there is more of a focus on sponge cakes than butter cakes, and you won’t see cakes slathered in American-style buttercream here. Plenty of the recipes could cross over into any other dessert cookbook, but it will add a lot of variety to your collection if you don’t have many books that focus on Victoria sponges and bread and butter puddings. The book is beautiful to look at, with lots of fantastic photos to get your mouth watering and your mixer working, and with the tips and tricks that dot the pages, you’re sure to have good results with any recipe you want to try.
SarahMay 7, 2012
Curious to see this book with a different title, it was called “Home Baked” in the UK although Cake Boy would have been a better title.
Although French, Eric is an absolute cake star in his adopted home of the UK. American readers may be interested to know he’s made cakes for Madonna, the Beckhams and the British Royal Family.