A pioneer in the new-wave Irish food movement, Michelle Darmody opened the doors of The Cake Café in 2006 – a small bakery and café, tucked away in Dublin’s south side. With her love of great food and great design, The Cake Café Bake Book combines the two in a beautiful compact publication about baking, filled with deliciously vibrant illustrations, tactile and informative about the love of preparing food. The baking in the book focuses on all things cake, from tray bakes to buns, biscuits to jam tarts, and of course plenty of ‘cake cakes’ proper. It features a section on icings and fillings, together with much practical information, diagrams, equipment and ingredient advice, and even how to make your own vanilla extract with a bottle of vodka and vanilla pods. The Café has become a neighbourhood staple with an international reputation, a place that is embedded in the conscience of the customers, and is as much a part of the city as the Forty Foot or Busáras. So much so that one of the regular customers – comedian David O’Doherty – has written the foreword to the book. Specializing in good quality home baking with contemporary attitude, rather than fancy, intricate cakes, all of the recipes in the book are ones used in the Café on a day-to-day basis.