am 30. Juli 1999
I bought this on a whim, with no idea who the author was, or if the recipes were any good. But much to my surprise, the promises made on the cover and in the blurbs actually panned out into fantastic results. Maida has perfected every one of the recipes, so much so that even the slightest tweaking of them on my part usually ends up in less than perfect results. (A word of caution though; I find most of the cakes a touch on the sweet side, so bakers with a less-than-sweet tooth may want to reduce the sugar.)
Nonetheless, it is a fabulous selection, a mind-boggling array of delicious cakes (more than 175!) whose recipes are so carefully crafted and lovingly detailed that they will work beautifully even in the hands of the most inexperienced novice. Instructions are crystal clear, and Maida never leaves room for any ambiguity to creep in and spoil a recipe. She doesn't always tell you WHY a particular step is performed (unlike Rose Levy Beranbaum's "The Cake Bible"), but it always works. (If she did explain, I imagine the book would be twice as long, given how detailed her instructions already are!) As a book for learning the art of baking, I think it needs to be paired with something else as well to make up for the lack of explanation (Why a tube pan? Why the bottom third of the oven? Why 350 degrees here but not there?), but it is a rich resource indeed.
The book has a number of typos, surprisingly, but they do not affect understanding of the recipes (thank goodness).
There are, however, few concessions to health and diet -- the main thrust is delicious cake, but the enthusiatic reader can still find some healthy choices (like the marvellous Zucchini Loaf, butterless and low in cholestrol, yet marvellously moist and delicious). I haven't been able to make all the cakes yet, but I definitely intend to. A million thanks to Maida Heatter for this gem of a book -- you now have a fan for life in me!
am 3. Juli 2000
I have all of Maida Heatter's cook books. This one, in essence, is a collection of some of her best recipes. You can't go wrong when you follow her easy, fool-proof instructions. The techniques she has taught me over the years helps me with other, less informative, cook book authors. Her precise instructions give you total confidence in the results. My favorites, which I have made many times are the East 62nd Street Lemon Cake, the Queen Mother's Cake, and the Sour Cream Cake (which is unbelievably delicious). She is always the one that I return to.
am 13. Oktober 1999
I am a mother,wife,and cooking school student. Before cooking school,I started my baking with books and read so many books -actually, too many books. Maida hatter's every cook books are so satisfying . Definitely, I fell in love with her books.