This is my first review on Amazon.com. But I was so disappointed with the results, that I had to dhare my expiriences with the recipes. BILYMI is sure a perfect Coffee table book, with beautiful photos, mouthwatering recipes, extraordinary flavour combos, helpful notes and photo tutorials and amazing Cakes. It's a very inspiring Book, If you want to impress. But If the recipes don't work, a Book doesn't worth the money for me! I have so many Books on my shelf, some are good, others amazing, some ok, but this one...I don't know. I tested a few recipes so far, and after spending hours on them, I didn't have only one good result. I would say that I'm an advanced baker, so after the disappointing results, I started checking the recipes. I have never seen a Book with so many errata like this before! The metric conversions in this Book are a disaster: Sugar, Flour, Cake Flour, no difference in weight with sifted or unsifted Flour...If you weigh your ingredients please don't follow the suggested amounts in this Book! Also there is a very confusing note in this Book regarding the Conversion charts: the author says that 1cup of superfine Sugar=8oz. 1cup granulated Sugar=7oz. This is important, as the amount of Sugar affects the taste and structure of a Cake. But in her recipe the metric equivalent is 7oz. I don't unterstand why the author mentions this, but doesn' t apply it in her recipes. And although the sugar "generally used in this Book...is superfine Sugar...", it appears in only 1recipe. Ok, maybe this is a standard conversion chart, but if a book offers metric conversions, they have to be accurate in order to get good results. Well, typos happen, and what differs a good recipe from a Bad One, consists of a lot more then only an accurate amount of ingredients: it should have an equilibrated combo of straightforward and easy to follow techniques, and of the right ingredients and equipment. BILYMI doesn't have all this. It has typos in ingredients, techniques and amounts. Here are some examples I found after reading, or testing recipes:
1)Green Mountain Tiramisu': the instructions says that for the Ladyfingers batter you have to sift the Flour over the creamed egg yolks, and then to fold in the egg whites. I followed the instructions and ended up with a curdled mess. So I checked other recipes, changed my procedure and had a creamy batter. But the result of the finished Cake layer was awful: dry and hard. And this wasn't a matter of taste. So I rechecked other recipes, skipped the suggested Bread Flour and Cornstarch in BILYMI and took all purpose Flour instead. But 2oz less. The layer was airy but very thin, only 1/2 inch. I would suggest to bake the batter in a jelly roll Pan, instead of the recommended half sheet Pan. Because in my opinion there isn't enough batter for a half sheet Pan.
2) Strawberry-Meyer Lemon Chiffon Cake: The Cake was wonderful, but the Buttercream was more like Butter than a smooth Cream. The author doesn't tell that you probably don't need the whole 1pound Butter. Learning by doing: approx. hhalf the amount is enough.
3) Chestnut Slices: good results, but only because I doublechecked the recipe. the metric conversion of Cake Flour is wrong. 1cup=140g. 120g would be the right conversion. Compared to this the metric conversion for all purpose Flour=120g. That means that 1cup cake Flour weighs more than 1cup all purpose Flour. Typo!
4) Malakofftorte a La Raymo: this recipe is a disaster! Ingredients: 1-1/3 cup Bread Flour=185g. 35g!!! is the right conversion. This is a difference of 5oz. You can imagine the results...I Don't know how it's possible, but with only two eggs in the batter, you can pipe-attention please- 15 three inches long Ladyfingers+(OMG) 3 eight inch Cake rounds. And now the instructions"...trace 6 eight inch rounds on parchement papers...and pipe 4 Cake rounds with the batter? Why trace 6? Two are just for fun! And the surprise comes at the end: you need only 3 Cake rounds to assamble the Cake???? Typo!
5) Pyramide Cake: the instruction says to "put the Almond paste to the batter...", but uuuppsss...where is it? It's not listed in the ingredients. Skip it. Typo!
6)Aztec Chocolate creme fraiche Pound Cake: such a nice glaze listed in the ingredients, but you at the end you only need to dust the Cake with Cacao. Skip the glaze!
7) Even the Cake on the front cover has a Typo: the Ganache listed in the ingredients, is only mentioned at the end of the instruction: "....fill a Pastry bag with the remaining Ganache and pipe hearts. ..: After googling the recipe, I found out that you have to spread the Ganache (and not the Buttercream as the recipe suggest!) on the Cake layers, so it can act as glue for the Chocolate roulade.Typo!
I don't know If the other recipes work, and honestly I'm totaly annoyed of testing it. The title of the Book for me sounds so sarcastic now: Bake it like you mean it. That means: Do whatever you want, but Don't trust my instructions, because they aren't accurate. If you want good results, Don't buy this Book. If you want some inspiration, look at the pictures and Skip the recipes. I wouldn't buy this Book again!