You might find it strange, a designer writing a review about a baking book, but with her serious design credentials, Frances Quinn the winner of the Great British Bake Off in 2013 has shown she’s one to watch. Since she wowed the nation with her amazing baking skills and fabulous creations the designer baker has been writing her unique baking book Quintessential Baking, while creating commissions for huge brands like Nike and Cadburys as well as celebrities and tastemakers Jo Whiley, Paul Smith and Jo Munroe.
This is a book for everyone, novice or experienced baker. With her unique imagination, designer Quinn conjures up witty bakes that could sit happily on the pages of the books of writer Roald Dahl and illustrator Quentin Blake. The book is divided into sections, a different one for each different cake type. Proportions for these ‘master bakes’ are shown in easily readable pie charts of ingredients, giving the essential know how, leaving you to concentrate on creating your own imaginative bakes.
Packed with puns her gentle humour shines through in her playful bakes. We love her witty Sandwich Toast Cakes, look again to see it’s not beans on toast but peanuts in caramel on cake. In her Cheese Biscuits she cleverly manipulates your response with her attention to detail with holey ‘cheese biscuits’ and an entire paper wrapped Brie made from white chocolate.
The images play with scale, we are spell bound by a Lilliputian vintage ice cream van, monster cornetto strapped to the roof, driving across a beech of crushed biscuit sand. The creations look doable though many will take a large investment of time, one of the simplest was a very beautiful cup cake, decorated with flower confetti scattered over the buttercream topping and when you bite into it there’s a lovely surprise.
Extracts taken from Quinntessential Baking by Frances Quinn (Bloomsbury £25.00)
Photography © Georgia Glynn Smith