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Friday, June 29, 2012

What (Cupcake) Professionals Know

You can be pretty good at something, but I am convinced that you will never know as much as professionals,.    This was brought home to me this week because 1.)  my bathroom is getting renovated, and 2.) I was baking for the staff birthdays at the Library.

 I am a pretty good baker, but until I read the book The Complete Photo Guide to Cake Decorating by Autumn Carpenter, I didn't realize how little I actually knew.  Many of the problems I have encountered in 33 years of semi-serious cake baking have been solved between the pages of this book.  

At the same time, my husband and I have been picking out fixtures, etc. for our (tiny) master bathroom. As a do-it-yourselfer, you probably wouldn't think about the height of your faucet and the height of the medicine cabinet and lights until you started installing them.  But our bathroom remodeler, Ralph, alerted us to these issues and more right away as we were picking out our fixtures.  You just can't beat a professional for the inside track on all this information.

Red velvet cupcakes with (swirly!) cream cheese frosting.  In the background, Outrageous Brownies from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, and blueberry/cranberry pie.

Have you seen the fabulous looking cupcakes at bakery shops and on TV?  I am fairly handy with a pastry bag, but I did not realize until I read this book, that the generous swirls on top of the cupcakes need to be started with a rosette of frosting in the middle of the cupcake FIRST before you build up the swirls around that cone base.  Otherwise they just look flat and boring!  Yep, this tip was illustrated in Carpenter's book.  

Of course, you can go to YouTube to find this out too.  If you need to brush up on your computer skills, why don't you come to the Library and take some of our computer classes?  Even more conveniently, you can go to our website,, click on Databases, then go to Learning Express, click on Popular Software Tutorials, and find a huge panoply of computer tutorials from basic to advanced on everything from Photoshop, to Excel, PowerPoint and lots more.  

If you are remodeling, we have lots of great books on plumbing, decorating and renovating in our collection.
Consider our library, and its myriad resources on a lot of DIY subjects (including baking!) as a source to keep your mistakes to a minimum.  

And if all else fails: consult a professional!

Diane Whitman
Reference Librarian
Not a Plumber

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved it!