It gives me the greatest of pleasure to let you know Elizabeth Solaru, award-winning luxury cake baker to the Royals and sugarcraft Queen of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, has launched her very own cake baking bible; OPULENCIA, produced to celebrate a decade of cake making excellence.
Nu Bride Ambassador Elizabeth, has been one of Nu Bride’s greatest supporters, since I first launched in 2012. She is highly respected in the industry, not only for her exceptional talent, but for the way she continuously supports and nurtures people she believes in.
Artistry aside, anyone that has had the pleasure of crossing paths with Elizabeth, lives are no doubt richer as a result. Mine certainly is.
She is a remarkable human being and an exceptional baker, and I am honoured to be able to share this news with you, plus bring you an exclusive interview and snippet of the book today.
“Opulencia” – a stand out baking bible that showcases some of Elizabeth Solaru’s most dazzling creations.
“Opulencia” is a tour-de-force of artisan baking, as well as an inspiration to aspiring cake-makers and seasoned professionals alike.
Over to Elizabeth!
We’ve been waiting with bated breath for a book from you Elizabeth, why now?
Opulencia was written to celebrate 10 years of caking excellence at Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium. A mostly inspirational book, it features a collection of some of my most memorable cakes over the years, as well as newer designs. I waited to write the book as I wanted to be in a position to have control over all aspects of the book from the title, look and feel and the contents.
What were some of the challenges you had to overcome while creating the book?
The challenges were enormous and worthy of a soap opera.
A major one was walking away from over 300 images shot specifically for the book, as I refused to give in to pressure of any kind. However, it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened as it opened the door to me finding some amazing people who were not only more professionally in sync with my vision but also hugely supportive. One of them was Nek Vardikos of NV Documentary Wedding Photographers and the other was James Willis of Spiffing Covers. They became my brothers from another mother. I am also truly grateful to the amazing photographers who also kindly gave me permission to use their images of my cakes.
The over-riding philosophy of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium is a simple one, great tasting cakes paired with great cake design. Opulencia showcases some of their iconic cakes designs.
Oh go on then Elizabeth, give us a delicious sneak peek from the book…
Excerpt From Opulencia
Baking is both a science and an art form. The quality, quantity and mix of ingredients play a crucial role in ensuring consistently good bakes.
One of the key pieces of equipment, people pay little attention to is the oven. Ensure you have a properly calibrated oven that you are familiar with, especially its quirks. My book tells you a neat trick for testing and finding your oven’s hot spots and cold spots.
Always pre-heat your oven until it reaches the desired temperature before baking. For some ovens a light will go out, others will bleep. To be certain your oven is at the right temperature though, check with an oven thermometer.
It is also important to use the right TYPE and SIZE of baking tin for each recipe. For most cake baking the batter should fill about half to two-thirds of the tin. This allows for space for the cake to rise.
Always use the best quality key ingredients possible. This means real butter, the freshest eggs, good quality sugar and premium sponge flour for cakes.
Place a shallow pan of water at the bottom of the oven when baking fruit cakes, particularly if the cake is quite large to prevent drying out. Also, surrounding the outside of your cake tin with double brown paper (hold in place with twine) will help the fruit cake bake at a slower rate and encourage even heat distribution.
Butter, eggs and milk should be brought to room temperature before baking to prevent any curdling later on. I find that leaving everything out overnight helps.
However, if you are short of time, microwave cut-up butter on low in 5-second intervals, checking in between, and place eggs in a bowl of warm water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Be accurate with the weighing and measuring of ingredients so that you achieve consistent results.
When making sponge cakes, cream the butter and sugar together at a very high-speed until the colour pales to nearly white and the mixture is light and fluffy.
More great tips and jaw dropping designs, can be found in Elizabeth’s brand new book; OPULENCIA, now available via Amazon and through Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium website, they will be running competitions and give aways too, so watch this space!
Elizabeth, thank you for sharing your world and exciting milestone with us, the biggest of congratulations and here’s to the next 10 years!
I’m off to grab my copy!
Photography: NV Photographers