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K. J. A. Brown
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I have bookshelves in my kitchen,overflowing with baking books that still have pristine pages, doomed to live their lives as mere gastroporn. Amongst the hundreds(yes,hundreds!)of cook books, only a couple of dozen make their way to the "active" shelf. In the three weeks since I purchased Tish Boyles' latest offering,it has worked its way to finger-smudged, frosting-smeared glory.
There's a lot to like about this book; the clear explainations of ingredients, equipment and techniques in the introductory chapters, a clean easy to read typeset and layout,and attractive,though limited in number,photos. Also appreciated by an antipodean like myself, measurements are given in both imperial and metric. This includes dry ingredients such as flour and sugar, which are often only listed by cup measurements in other baking books. If you've ever checked the discrepancies between one scooped cup of flour and the next, by weight,you'll appreciate the reason a careful baker chooses weighing.
But the real pleasure in this book are the recipes; there are real originals, such as the Jasmin Ginger and Plum upside down cake,and Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Fig Topping. There are also great versions of classics. The Deeply Dark Devil's Food cake is the most tender version I have ever made, with a truly luscious flavour (just don't try to reel the name off your tongue too quickly!. The Banana cake with Caramel Expresso Frosting defied the usual dense and gummy banana cake stereotype. Although time-consuming, and a need for careful attention to the details with the frosting ,itis definitely worth the effort. The difficulty of each recipe is indicated by a cake slice symbol at the start of each cakes description. Just a tip on the Banana cake,the author gives a choice between pureed or well-mashed bananas in the ingredient list,it's worth pureeing the bananas in processor or blender (I used a mini-Cuisinart) for the lightest cake. The Lemon Lust cake lived up to its name,with a true citrus flavour.Unlike many other lemon cakes I've tried,the lemon was not just evident in the frosting, but carried right through the cake crumb. The cake chapters are rounded out by a chapter on Mousse and Icecream cakes, something of a rarity in baking books.Although I've yet to try any of the recipes from this section (it's Winter here in New Zealand), I'm enticed by cakes with names like Oranges and Cream cake.
So,having decided that this is a "Top Ten" book, up there with Rose Levy Beranbaum's Cake Bible, or any of Maida Heatters magnificent works, why have I given four-stars,instead of five? Firstly,a glaring error in the Fresh Ginger Spice cake. There's no raising agent,neither baking powder or soda, listed in either the ingredients or the main text of this recipe. Despite my misgivings (I have previously cooked professionally, and can pretty well tell whether a recipe will work from reading it)I have a lot of faith in Tish Boyle, based on previous books by her that I have used, producing outstanding results, even when the methods have been somewhat unusual. Sadly,this didn't happen here, and the result was a flabby puddle of goo. Ms. Boyle is editor in chief of Chocolatier and Pastry Art and Design magazines, and should have picked this error up. Secondly,I quibble with her Pavlova recipe. Pavlova is not merely a meringue by another name, but distinguished by its soft marshmellow interior under a crisp exterior
Overall a 'must have' for the serious baker and anyone with a love of baking.
I've got to updated this review,as since I first wrote it, Ms.Boyle has uploaded a corrected version of her Ginger Spice cake on her blog page(just google Tish Boyle.) I had to bake it as soon as I saw the new version. The cake was lovely. Also, after owning the book since 2006, I would have baked something from it at least once a week. The page that has the Deeply Dark Devils Food cake is nearly obscured by spatters of batter. Fortunately I make it so often, I can now make it without opening the book. This book has proved its worth in my kitchen.
73 von 76 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
`The Cake Book' by chocolate guru Tish Boyle evokes in me the exclamation ... `Holy butter crème, Batman, yet another book on cakes! What with several recent and classic big books on cakes, including those from great teachers such as `Perfect Cakes' by Nick Malgieri, those from dessert icons such as `Cakes' by Maida Heatter and those from baking expert explainers such `The Cake Bible' from Rose Levy Beranbaum, one wonders, does the world really need another book on cakes?
Well, I bought it, and I'm glad I did. Beranbaum does a somewhat better job of explaining the reasons why cakes work or don't work, and Heatter covers more of the classic European types of cakes, and Malgieri covers some pedagogical matters a bit better, but if you like baking cakes, then this book will not be intimidated by sitting alongside these other volumes on your shelf.
One thing which did surprise me (and which actually increases the value of the book) is that Ms. Boyle actually covers a lot more than cakes understood in a narrow sense as those confections generally done in layers, with icing in the middle and leavened primarily with eggs. The first and most interesting `out of spec' chapter covers cheesecakes, and I believe she has done us a major service by pointing out that cheesecakes, and the cream cheese from which they are made, are one of our great American originals. Her second great service is to give us a recipe for the classic New York cheesecake. I was quite surprised to find that these are not baked in water baths and a little crack or two is considered quite acceptable. This is totally understandable, as I'm sure Juniors in Brooklyn doesn't roll out their thousands of cakes a day by baking in water baths.
The other major straying from topic is a chapter on Ice Cream cakes. With these detours, I'm really surprised Ms. Boyle didn't do a chapter on cupcakes. There are only two references to cupcakes in the index, and one of these is a cheesecake (and therefore not a real cake at all).
The book most similar to Ms. Boyle's effort is Nick Malgieri's `Perfect Cakes', so I compared the two to get some impression of which was the better. My ultimate opinion is that you loose nothing by having both books. Both volumes cover, for example, cheesecakes, and Malgieri is just a little better at giving you tips on general cheesecake expertise. And, both include the Italian speciality, pizza dolce di ricotta, but with markedly different recipes. Like Heatter, Malgieri leans towards European classics, especially Jewish and Italian classics, while Ms. Boyle leans to American standards. Regarding these standards, her recipe for `solid gold Carrot Cake' particularly took me. It does not include the pineapple from my favorite Malgieri recipe, but it includes lots of other yummy things such as ginger, orange zest, and the cookie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves). It is also illuminating to see her take on strawberry shortcake, since (unlike everyone from James Beard to Martha Stewart) she uses a genoise spongecake instead of the traditional sweet biscuit. To redeem herself from this sin, she gives us some of the very nicest recipes for the strawberry filling, syrup, and whipped cream and frosting.
She includes a chapter on flourless cakes, and I'm disappointed that she did not include a recipe for my favorite Hungarian nut cake, but than Maida Heatter has that covered.
I tried to find some piece of advice missing from Ms. Boyle's book, and the only thing I could come up with is that she does not give any general advice on how to give a cake a crumb coat. I was very impressed by her chapter on cake decorating. Malgieri gives a very similar tutorial, and does just a slightly better job in illustrating some basic techniques, but Ms. Boyle gives us more piping techniques and examples.
By biggest impression came at the end of the book with Ms. Boyle's recipes for `Basic Recipes and Accompaniments'. I typically make my lemon curd from a Chez Panisse recipe and I often have trouble getting the stuff to stiffen up after cooking. Ms. Boyle gives me a new approach I certainly plan to use.
Overall, this book will certainly cut the mustard by itself, if you only want one book on cakes. Even better, it does not have a lot of overlap with the other good books on cakes, so go ahead and indulge in a second cake book.