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BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking with Over 200 Magnificent Recipes (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 28. Oktober 2008

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Shirley O. Corriher has a B.A. in chemistry from Vanderbilt University, where she was also a biochemist at the medical school. She has problem-solved for everyone from Julia Child to Procter & Gamble and Pillsbury. She has taught and lectured throughout the world. She has long been a writer-- authoring a regular syndicated column in The Los Angeles Times Syndicate's Great Chefs series as well as technical articles in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Her first book, Cookwise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking is a bestseller and  won a James Beard Award for excellence. Shirley has received many awards, including the Best Cooking Teacher of the Year in Bon Appetit's "Best of the Best" Annual Food and Entertaining Awards in 2001. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Arch.

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258 von 275 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Disappointing followup to Cookwise 1. November 2008
Von Joseph Adler - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Shirley O Corriher is one of the best known food scientists in the world. She's a frequent guest on "Good Eats," and is often consulted by professional chefs. Her first book, Cookwise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed is one of my favorite cookbooks. Alton Brown said about this book "Finally, Moses has come down the mountain with another five commandments." With this history and pedigree, I expected great things from this book (and ordered it months ago). It would be difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to live up to these expectations. Sadly, this book does not.

There are many things to like about this book. It is a very detailed book, and provides a lot of background about each recipe. It's well organized, with chapters devoted to Cakes, Puff Pastry, Pies, Cookies, and Breads. And it provides a lot of good information about baking: how to tell if a recipe will work, what purpose different ingredients serve, useful and novel techniques. However, this is not a very good book of recipes.

After getting this book, I plunged right in, making her recipe for "Blueberry and Cream Muffins." The recipe promised moist, delicious muffins. They were really delicious, but the texture was oily and gummy. I tried the recipe a second time, carefully measuring every item, checking my oven temperature with a thermometer, and made a second batch. The second batch was slightly better, but was still greasy and gummy. I was surprised; how could the queen of food science provide recipes that don't work? I sat down and started reading the book from the beginning. At last, I realized what was wrong.

This book reads more like a set of magazine articles, or a good blog, than a cookbook. You can't just pick a recipe out of the middle of this book and expect it to work. The recipes in this book are examples of different techniques (like the muffin recipe), not well-tested, authoritative recipes (like in The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition). Shirley gives you the formulas that make recipes successful (ratios of flour, eggs, fat, sugars, and liquids), then often pushes the boundaries of this formulas to show what happens. A good example of this are the pound cake recipes. On page 15 "So that you can see that changes that I made, I have included the original recipe for The Great American Pound Cake; but do not bake it." The problem with this warning is that you'd never see it if you just flipped to the recipe for "The Great American Pound Cake," and would end up with a sunken, soggy cake. If you buy this book, make sure to read the whole thing before you bake anything.

The problem with this approach is that she has produced a book of temperamental, difficult recipes. The recipes are very sensitive to ingredients, techniques, and equipment. (For example, I use organic grade AA pastured eggs, which contain much more fat and protein and lower moisture than the grade A supermarket eggs that she recommends.) The results can be interesting, but they may not produce something that you want to eat. An additional problem with this book is that it reflects Shirley's own taste in flavors and textures. As noted above, she likes the texture of oily baked goods (I do not).

One final problem with this book is that she appears to have developed the recipes based on volume measurements for flour, but later converted these to weights. There are multiple recipes that specify weird weights of flour (like 3.2 ounces), leading me to believe that the recipes were developed with volume measurements and later converted to weights. As many experienced bakers know, the same mass of flour can take up very different amounts of space depending on how much it is aerated. I believe that many recipes in this book do not actually contain the correct amounts of flour.

I would recommend this cookbook to the serious baker or food science buff, but not the beginning cook. A better food-science related cookbook for the beginner would be Alton Brown's baking book I'm Just Here for More Food: Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking.
92 von 97 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
not for the faint of heart 21. Oktober 2008
Von Seven Kitties - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
First, two tiny gripes: One, the photography. To keep this book from an astronomical price, it only has a single 8 page color photo insert, which means out of the 'two hundred magnificent recipes' you only get to get a visual on sixteen. And they're photographed at extreme macro levels against a chic stark background, which isn't helpful. Is that cream puff really the size of my head?

Second, several times she'll give a recipe with a kind of caveat, like Pop Corriher's Applesauce Cake. The idea is that she made it, didn't like it, and then sets about to 'fix' it, taking the reader along on the journey. Not only does this cut into the *new* recipes she could be offering, it sometimes seems kinda mean. I've decided if Shirley Corriher ever asks me for a recipe, say no, because she's going to savage it in her next book.

One of her fixes she explores in the poundcake section is, for example, different varieties of fats one can use in a cake--oil, butter, shortening, whipped cream, etc. She ultimately decides on a combination of fats and the addition of potato granules to the cake. Her explanation is sound, but this kind of cooking comes from the kitchen of someone who has minions to do all sorts of scut work for her--what I call the Many Little Bowls School of Cooking. Not likely to see me whipping that one up for a little snack for my coworkers!

But, and this is what is irreplaceable about this book for the hard core baker: I'm sure that that poundcake will be phenomenally good. Her discussion of the science behind baking is fascinating to read, and I started thinking about the structure of cakes a whole new way (I learned why, for example, my cookies and biscuits turned out so different after I left the South--turns out it was the protein content in the flour!). You learn about baking powder--not only what it is, but how the different chemical composition of different brands could make or break your baking. You learn about when to add eggs to a recipe, how to fix your cookies from spreading into one big glob and a host of other things you can apply even to your own, less persnickety recipes to make them stand out.

A valuable resource(the brownies, which I made just for *me*, with four different sweeteners, two kinds of chocolate and seven separated eggs--see what I mean about persnickety?!--are delicious) but the recipes may strike one as unnecessarily difficult. The interleaved information, never more than a few paragraphs at a time, makes it an adventure whenever you open the book.
79 von 84 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Extraordinary! 20. Oktober 2008
Von Tracy Rowan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
At the risk of hyperbole, I must say that this is an extraordinary cookbook. Because precision is more important to baking than any other type of cooking, many books will give you a fast-and-dirty introduction to the basics. Corriher's introduction is no exception to this rule, but her introduction is a very nuts-and-bolts one, with tips on how ovens work, and similar information. It's within the chapters that things get really interesting.

Bakewise is divided up into chapters on cakes, and cake-like baking (muffins, quickbreads, etc.) puff pastry, pies, cookies and breads. At the beginning of each chapter you have a section that gives you an overview of what you will learn by making the recipes contained in it. For example, the cake chapter will teach you: "How to create your own perfect cakes," "How to spot cakes that won't work and how to fix them," "How to make cakes, muffins and quick breads more moist," "Even if you have never baked, how to ice a cake as spotlessly smooth as glass and looking as if it came from an elegant professional baker," and more. Recipes are then broken down into types, such as "Favorites" or "Elegant cakes." Finally there are the recipes, and here Corriher really goes to town.

She leads off with a classic, or very basic recipe, one which we all know, and probably have tried to make in the past. She discusses it, the theories and techniques behind it, and may even show you the process by which the recipe has been perfected. At the head of the recipe is a box that tells you what the recipe will show you. For example, the pound cake recipe which leads off the cake chapter will show you how excess sugar and butter will make this cake moister than a traditional pound cake, and explain why it's important to blend the flavoring with the fat (Fat is a flavor carrier.) or why you must always be sure to mix well so that there won't be any holes in your cake.

Finally you get to the recipe, and they are precise down to the last pinch of salt. Many include recipes for icing or filling or variations. Some, such as "Shirley's Version of Pop Corriher's Applesauce Cake" are the focus of a lesson on things like fixing over-leavened recipes which can lead to cakes which fall and become heavy. She discusses leavening thoroughly, how to read a label to find out what's in your leavener, how to make your own, and finally shows you how she fixed her father's cake recipe to ensure perfect results. She anticipates problems that can and will arise during baking, gives examples of recipes which could create those problems, shows how she fixed the recipes, and gives the reader a very good working knowledge which can then be applied to recipes from other sources.

You're getting an education with this book, not just a collection of recipes. Armed with what you learn from Corriher's recipes, you can go confidently to other sources, and be sure that you have the ability to create wonderful baked goods, no matter what. You can probably even create your own recipes after working with this book. Really, if you're at all serious about your baking, I cannot recommend a better book on it.
22 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Good Addition to a Cookbook Collection 20. Oktober 2008
Von atavism - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
BakeWise isn't a basic cookbook that will be the foundation of your cookbook collection, and it's not the type of book for someone who limits their baking to the occasional batch of brownies and a pie at Thanksgiving. It skips the most basic, traditional recipes in favor of complicated or unusual fare. Looking for old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies or apple pie? Sorry, not here. But you will find "roasted pecan chocolate chip cookies" and "fried apple pies extraordinaire"- twists on the old favorites.

I prefer to keep my baking simple, so I'll probably skip a lot of the more complicated or overly-busy recipes in this book, but I think people who are looking for new or creative recipes will really enjoy the ones in BakeWise.

I think the best part of this book is that it provides a lot of insight into how baking works. I tend to use recipes as starting points and mix up something without paying too much attention to all the details of the recipes. This is a great source of hints, tips, and explanations for anyone who wants to be able to create their own foods without having to follow a strict recipe. This book will tell you how to make your brownies fudgy or crumbly, how to make your cookies darker or lighter in color, what exactly happens when you beat egg whites, what purpose salt serves in a recipe, and much, much, more. In fact, the bulk of this book isn't the recipes, but the information and opinions about baking.

A few other things: There are almost no pictures, just a few color photos in a center insert. There are also no handy substitutions or equivalents tables, but you'll probably have those in one of your other cookbooks. The book is divided into five chapters: cakes, muffins and quick breads; puffs; pies; cookies; and breads.

So, I'd recommend this to anyone interested in new recipes or who wants to learn more about the underlying processes of baking. It's a great cookbook, but definitely not for the very casual baker.
22 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Read for the science, maybe, but don't use the recipes!! 30. August 2010
Von A. Elias - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I'm an dedicated and skilled home baker who's been baking for forty years. When I saw this book in the library, I was thrilled. Wow! I chance to find out the "whys" behind baking, and maybe get some new favorite recipes!

I carried it home. And the book seduced me. It looked wonderful. The detailed sections about the chemistry of baking were interesting and sounded convincing. It had me drooling over the adjective-laden descriptions of the recipes.

So I tried the Deep, Dark Chocolate Cake. I knew from reading all of the text that it was important to follow the ingredients and the procedures exactly, so I did, faithfully. And the cake failed to rise. First time that's ever happened to me! Maybe it's because her recipe tells you to add boiling water to a mix that includes the baking soda, and then let it sit for at least ten minutes? And doesn't call for any other leavening? I should have seen through it, but like a silly ninny, I was blinded by the book's charm and lost my common sense.

Next I went to Corriher's "Magnificent, Moist Golden Cake." My common sense said it was weird that the recipe called for putting all of the batter in just *one* nine inch round, but a book this scientific, this gorgeous, surely must have been tested and proof-read carefully, right? Wrong. The batter rose up, out, and all over my baking stone (the baking stone she said to use, carefully preheated as per her instructions). We tried the cake anyway - hey, "magnificent and moist" is more important than its appearance- but I would *not* call it magnificent, nor particularly moist. Corriher's recipe calls for 1/4 cup of butter and 1/3 cup of canola oil; thank you, I'll go back to sticking to my all-butter cakes; oil is never going to give a yellow cake the flavor that butter does.

So two strikes in a row lead me to conclude that this book was either badly tested, not proof-read adequately, or both. Maybe take a chance on it it they come out with a revised edition - maybe. If you want a baking book with recipes that *work* and taste good, get the following:
The Complete Book of Baking by Pillsbury, full of winning recipes from their Bake-Offs over the decades. Out of print and terribly bound - all the pages in my copy fell out - but you can trust the recipes.
Jim Fobel's Old-Fashioned Baking Book: Recipes from an American Childhood It has the best chocolate cake recipe ever!
Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies
Pillsbury Best Cookies Cookbook: Favorite Recipes from America's Most-Trusted Kitchens
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