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Lifestyle : Cakes For All Occasions special report
1HERSA1 0019 Sydney's brunch just got classier Be one of the first to experience the new Chandon Seafood Sunday Brunch in the newly renovated Crossroads Bar BALMAIN BUGS • CRYSTAL BAY PRAWNS • SYDNEY ROCK OYSTERS • BLUE SWIMMER CRABS • TASMANIAN SMOKED SALMON • BARRAMUNDI • BOTTLE OF CHANDON BRUT NV and much more! for only $125pp or $80pp excluding the bottle of Chandon. * Swissôtel Sydney enforces the responsible service of alcohol Book here for 15% off 68 Market Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 | 02 9238 7082 firstname.lastname@example.org 19 goodfood The Sydney Morning Herald Fully booked . . . inspirational designs and recipes feature in (from far left) The Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book; Planet Cake Kids ; Kids Party Cakes. Old faves and new for boys and girls: The Australian Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book (Random House Australia). Planet Cake Kids (Murdoch Books). Kids Party Cakes (Murdoch Books). Enchanting Magical Cakes (Murdoch Books). Available at cookerybook.com.au. Adriano Zumbo adrianozumbo.com. ''I've never understood that idea,'' Webb says. ''You are going to all that effort, you want the cake to be truly delicious and for kids and adults to enjoy it.'' Patissier Adriano Zumbo says if you are going to use a packet cake mix it has to be good. Zumbo recently released a ''Bake at Home'' range, including a chocolate mirror cake, macarons and a brownie mix. ''The idea is that they are easy enough for kids to make and they give them a base to create whatever they want,'' he says. Complete with piping bags, instructions, templates and online instructional videos, children and parents are well equipped for creative baking. Carve a slice twice as nice Baking fabulous desserts needn't be hard -- keep it simple and reap rewards, writes Marie Sansom. Fruitful . . . Belinda Jeffery's pineapple cake. Photo: Rodney Weidland BELINDA JEFFERY'S NEW cookbook, Desserts, shows you how to dress up cakes and transform them into fabulous desserts with minimum effort and an eye to the ingredients, textures and temperatures that harmonise with the Australian climate. Jeffery, who has a long career in food as a chef, TV and radio presenter, and writer aims for simple, reliable recipes that taste amazing and use classic combinations such as lemon and blueberry, strawberry and mint, chocolate and coffee, and cardamom and citrus. ''I wanted to say, look, you can do these beautiful desserts and there are really lovely finishes that are incredibly simple: a scattering of pomegranate seeds or a beautiful piece of praline with gold leaf or chocolate waves that are really fun,'' Jeffery says. She picks edible flowers from her garden for decoration and paints an apricot glaze or dredges icing sugar over cakes. Pretty little lemon cakes are warmed and drizzled with lemon sauce and candied zest, and a rustic pear-and-pecan cake is topped with golden-syrup-glazed pears and served warm with cream. Desserts is divided into sections by main ingredient: berries; dried fruit and spices; stone fruit; apples, pears and quinces; chocolate; honey, caramel and maple syrup; nuts; tea and coffee and citrus. Tropical fruits have their own section and hot-climate desserts such as ice-cream, panna cotta and semifreddo feature alongside more traditional cakes and crumbles. ''We get a lot of cookbooks from overseas but tropical fruits are everyday things here,'' Jeffery says. ''It seemed logical to do something with pineapple, passionfruit, coconut, papaya and lemon myrtle -- the things I grew up with. It's just the way I cook.'' Her style is warm and encouraging with lots of tips and anecdotes along the way. Jeffery says she loves the stories behind recipes. ''I have very strong links to the food I'm doing. I always like to think of it as a bit of a conversation, sharing not just the food but the things around it. ''People say, 'It's just like you're in the kitchen having a bit of a chat with me'.'' Recipes aren't set in stone, she says, but there are golden rules for baking: know your oven; use good-quality ingredients; measure accurately and don't alter the proportions of ingredients such as sugar, flour and baking agents. Her 2007 award-winning book, Mix & Bake, has been her most successful to date and continues to sell well. Jeffery says she gets more inquiries about baking than anything else. ''Baking is taking everything by storm. There are all these closet bakers. Quite a lot of people relax by baking and switch off from all the other things happening in their lives.'' Desserts, by Belinda Jeffery, Lantern, $49.99.
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