Who is Peggy Porschen? To me, she’s an artist with exquisite taste in designing beautiful pastries. She is an inspiration to many to replicate her work. Yes, Ms. Porschen, you are. She has a wonderful website for her business as well as a Facebook page to covet her talent. She also teaches classes to those who wish to pretend they’re Peggy while on vacation in England.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To some when you see a lovely cake your reaction may be, “I don’t eat cake”, or “That’s just too beautiful to eat”, or “May I have the corner piece?” I’m the middle person. With Peggy’s cakes they’re really too beautiful to eat.
For the beginning baker this may be a step above for you but worth EVERY stretch to learn how to create edibles that people will hover over praising you for your talent. What I like most is that she gives you lots of suggestions on how best to do something. She helps take the guess work out of pairings of flavors and graciously shares her flavors within the book.
Ms. Porschen has written her cookbook exactly how I’ve envisioned writing one. She tells you EXACTLY what equipment you should be using, gives you notes on techniques, pictures on every recipe and technique, has a GRAND view of all the equipment you’ll ever need in a double page spread with a LEGEND, gives precise instructions, paint-by-number if you will, on how to create sugared flowers of all kinds, piping details and much more. She even shows you how to make candied butterflies.
I’m getting ready to try to make one of her recipes. Ms. Porschen is from England where they measure using grams and milligrams – not conducive to United States measurements. I did find a conversion site, thank you internet, and have gone through “in pencil” annotating the equivalent. (I have my doubts for my first try on one of these using the equivalents.)
Another challenge for Americans is equating British ingredients to like type American ingredients. Such as Castor Sugar, Treacle – not really sure what that is, golden syrup, marzipan isn’t at the local shops that carry Wilton products, liquid fondant (I thought it was prepackaged, not liquid, and you could get it at Michael’s or Joann Fabrics), liquid glucose and a few others.
It’ll take me a week or so to gather everything, I think. My first try will be the Fondant Fancies. They look fabulous and easy to do.
What you’ll enjoy are the word choices that are so different. Such as: cling film, muffin cases, icing sugar and spirit level (?). You’ll enjoy the articulate way in which she walks you through the steps from beginning to end.
The photography is fabulous making you want to empty your cupboards to start making goodies immediately. The challenge is to take your time, research the work, plan the process which hopefully reaps the benefits.