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Sunday, 26 May 2013

Review - Cake Decorating Magazine













It's been a while since my last post as I've been a little busy lately! If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you'll have seen the cupcakes I've made recently for family and friends, and also the treacle tart I made for World Baking Day on the 19th of May. I'll be posting more about the treacle tart shortly!

I've also had a design and layout update - please let me know what you think!

As I mentioned in "An Update", I've been planning on doing some review posts. I've got a few books I'd like to review, along with some equipment, but I thought that De Agostini's "Cake Decorating" magazine should be my first.

I subscribed to "Cake Decorating" around a year ago on their first publishing run. The magazine was an instant success, and De Agostini have recently started a second publishing run due to the demand.

"Cake Decorating" is a 90 part magazine series, and also has "Special" issues. So far, I have "Jubilee", "Halloween", "Christmas" and "Easter" specials, and the next special (a "Floral" special) is due with my next delivery.

Each magazine contains a cake decorating tool and is packed with recipes, tips and step by step guides to making beautiful cakes and cupcakes!



So far, I'm up to issue 57, and over the course of the magazine I have collected piping nozzles, stencils, embossers, sugarcraft tools, cutters - the list goes on!

The items I've received are great quality, and I think I've saved quite a bit of money by collecting the tools this way over buying them outright.







The magazine is £2.99 per week, with the first issue at 99p. The Jubilee Special is £6.99 (with the other specials at £4.99) as these magazines contain more free gifts than the average weekly edition.



I love the feel of the magazine - the pictures are great and show step by step instructions. The colours and layout have a pretty, vintage feel too.

Each magazine is divided into 6 sections:

  • Mini Cakes: this has included decorated cookies, mini Bollywood cakes and mini Birdhouse cakes
  • Essential Equipment: Covering an array of tools and equipment  - from icing smoothers to embossers, moulds etc.
  • Classic Recipes: a new one each week - from coffee and walnut cake, to custard tarts and cherry clafoutis
  • Special Occasions: Beautiful cakes - from brush embroidered flowers to an Art Deco cake
  • Decorating Masterclass: from covering cakes to wiring flowers and modelling sugarpaste
  • Cakes for Kids: There have been animal cakes, cake pops, pirate cakes - all great for kids parties!
There are also two small subsections:
  • Skills: detailing all of the different skills covered in each issue
  • Recipes: detailing each recipe in the issue. There is usually more than one recipe per issue.
The recipes I've tried so far (and there have been quite a few!) have all turned out well and are easy to follow. I do take the decorating time with a pinch of salt though, I find it normally takes me a bit longer!

All in all, I'm finding it to be a great magazine with a wealth of ideas and tips!

If you are interested in the magazine, I'd highly recommend subscribing. Each month, you get 4 issues along with any specials (you can opt out of these though). The items are delivered by royal mail, and usually fit through the letterbox so you don't have to wait around!

You can also choose to subscribe to the binders. These are £7.99 each, and I currently have 4 of them. The first binder was free with an early issue.



I particularly like the conversion charts on the inside of the binders. One tells you how much to adjust the recipes to fit different cake tin sizes, another quotes the amount of sugarpaste to cover different sized cakes etc.



Unfortunately, two of my binders arrived with slightly bent corners, but they're fine now I've bent them back to shape. I think this is more a fault with Royal Mail's delivery though!




As a bonus, you also receive free gifts only available to subscribers. These come with the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th deliveries. You will receive a sugarcraft gun, cake caddy, toolbox and silicon bakeware.



The caddy has been so handy for transporting cakes and cupcakes! It fits 12 cupcakes, or a reasonable sized 2 tier cake. 

The catches on each side were pretty stiff to open and close to start off with, but they're easing off with use.

The toolbox has also been invaluable, although I'm running out of room now! I'm going to have to see if I can pick up another one to keep the rest of my things in!

I must admit that I'm yet to use the sugarcraft gun. A few people have had issues with it when trying to use cookie dough or fondant. I'm going to give it a try and see how I go! If I get on ok with it, I may consider investing in a metal one in the future.

I've used the silicon bakeware a couple of times and had no problems with it. You get two 8" sandwich "tins" and 12 cupcake cases. 

If you use the silicon cake "tins" I'd recommend putting them on a baking sheet as they flex when you pick them up! 

Cake Decorating have a Facebook Page where you can ask questions and submit photos. There is also a forum page too.

Their website has a gallery and all of the subscription details. There is also a blog, which has recently featured Leanne of Little Cake Tin!

Cake Decorating have recently launched an online shop which you can find here

They have an assortment of tools for cake decorating, chocolate tempering, cookie decoration - the list is endless! I've yet to try anything from their shop, but I'll let you know as soon as I do!

If you're looking to learn about decorating cakes, then I'd definitely recommend giving Cake Decorating a go. All of the back issues are available to order too.

I look forward to my magazines arriving every month, I'm like a kid at Christmas when they arrive! 

Kate

P.S: I've recently got my own Facebook page up and running. You can find it here and alongside the links on the right :)

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the detailed review,it looks like a really good magazine to have if you love making pretty things. Those pics on the on the binder are something I would love to make. Think I will be keeping an eye out for these!
    My Cupcake Habit

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks :)

    I'm finding it to be a great magazine! I really want to make the cakes on the binder too, I especially love the blue birdhouse cupcake and the blue embossed bird cake!

    The magazines are definitely worth the subscription and back issues are available too!

    Kate

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello
    I live in france and would like to subscribe to your magazine.
    Is it possible?
    best regards
    Peggy DUVINAGE
    pegduv07@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi there

    I also recently subscribed and loving it. Baked the chocolate cake of issue 1 for my friend and it was simply delicious. I am looking forward to baking the cakes and developing the decorating skills.

    Would recommend this too anyone who loves cakes and pretty things

    ReplyDelete

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