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A World of Cake: 150 Recipes for Sweet Traditions from Cultures Near and Far [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Krystina Castella

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1. November 2010
What's a cake? If you're living in the United States, a cake is a sweet, often layered dessert treat, usually frosted and served at a celebration such as a birthday, a wedding, or an anniversary. In France, patisseries offer edible works of art, combining architectural skill with a facility in combining sugar and flour. China is home to the mooncake, England gives us 'puddings' (which are often cakes!), Australia perfected the Pavlova meringue cake in honour of the Russian prima ballerina, and bite-sized fruit fritters are popular in West Africa. Author Krystina Castella became intrigued by the cultural history of cake when she hosted a bake sale with the international students she teaches and each student brought a cake from his or her family's heritage. This collection of international cakes was the beginning of "A World of Cake", an adventurous exploration of global cake culture. The fascinating culinary journey includes all kinds of fun-to-read facts, such as 'A Field Guide to Cakes', 'World Tour of Cake Holidays', and 'Family Trees' for each kind of cake. Clear instructions, illustrations, and hundreds of colour photos accompany the recipes. Who knew that edification could be this much fun? Or this delicious? Including doughnuts, fritters, dumplings, milk treats, candy, and frosting, "A World of Cake" is more than a cookbook, more than an anthropology lesson, and way more fun than a textbook. Where else could readers find an entire section devoted to cakes named after famous people? With subcategories? Castella embraces the spirit of celebration with this big, must-have book for anyone who loves making, eating, or just enjoying any version of a sweet treat.

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Amazon.com: 3.9 von 5 Sternen  31 Rezensionen
18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful, informative, but NOT good for recipes! 24. Dezember 2011
Von Palindrome202 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I received this book as a reward for sending in my pledge to NPR (National Public Radio). The author was being interviewed by a local Wisconsin Public Radio host who was cooing over all of the beautiful pictures and interesting history contained in this tome. I cannot deny the beautiful and inspiring pictures and interesting historical tidbits in this book. But if you want to make any of the beautiful cakes pictured within, look elsewhere for your recipes.

The recipes in this book are not to be trusted, and based off of the other reviews I've glanced at, I'm not the only one to have issue with this book. I've tried 2 recipes out of this book, and have been led astray both times. My first attempt was making the Australian Frog Cakes. The recipe had caught my girlfriend's eye as she is a frog nut, so I decided to give it a go.

The Frog Cake base is a French Genoise. Easy enough, but I blindly followed the recipe proportions. Big mistake. The main culprits here are the proportions of egg to flour. 12 eggs to 1 and 1/3 cups of cake flour. Let me tell you what the result was...soup. For the uninitiated, genoise is a cake, not a soup. I suppose it was my fault. What stupid human being would think that 12 eggs to 1 and 1/3 cups of flour would make a beautiful cake? Me for one, and any other person who likes to follow recipes to the "t" the first time trying them. Well after wasting a dozen eggs and some flour and sugar on the first try, I made Julia Child's genoise recipe for the cake and plodded on. Oh, and Julia's worked out well by the way, look it up. She actually tested her recipes before putting them in a published book.

The other issues with the Frog Cakes are lost to the sands of time, but there were others. Fast forward to today...I'm making goodies for my family Christmas. The thought of making Turkish Delight pops to mind, and I recall this book has a recipe for it. I seek out the book and flip right to the page as though it were bookmarked. The painful memories of the failed genoise now dulled and misted by time as I open the book to the Turkish Delight page. Simple enough, nobody could get this recipe wrong....WRONG! Proportions yet again are the major failing. The recipe calls for a 6" square pan to put the Delight into after it is done. Let's just say proportions were off again. I couldn't even cover the bottom of a smaller 8" x 4" bread pan...awful!

It is clear that Krystina Castella, the author of this book, hasn't put in the time and effort to trial the recipes. I learn upon reading her bio on the back flap that she is a professor at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. I'm not surprised, this book is excellent as the superficial ubiquitous coffee table book, but lacking the substance and proper instruction of a well-written cook book.

I appreciate the author's enthusiasm, but dilettantes should leave instructional books to the experts.
17 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful pictures...Bad instruction 4. März 2011
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I got this book a few months ago, and have tried a few of the cake recipes out. Every one of them (even the simple ones) did not have the expected turnout.

I'm pretty savvy in following recipes and cooking in general, but after trying the flour-less chocolate cake, Vietnamese coconut cake, and Red Velvet Cake recipes to no avail, it set off some red flags. For example, I followed the Red Velvet recipe to a T and it didn't even turn out red! I question the accuracy of the ingredients and instructions.

The other thing that annoyed me about this book is that the author makes this big deal in discussing the origins and history of a lot of these cakes and recipes, but then goes out of her way to add in her own "special touches" to almost all of them. If you're a purist, this book is not for you. I really wanted to make an original, basic carrot cake, but the author throws in so much extra stuff, it's unclear to me as to what is a "true" carrot cake ingredient, vs. an add-on.

If you want a good coffee table book full of lovely cake pictures, get this book. However, if you want precise cake recipes (serious business), go elsewhere. It makes me angry when I think of how much money I blew following these recipes only to have them turn out as complete failures.

* I have several recipe books, and only this one compelled me to write a review.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen info yes, recipes no. 2. Februar 2011
Von R. Alsunaid - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I like this book. Great information and history and beautiful pictures. However, I have tried "basbosa", the Egyptian cake and it tasted nothing like the real basbosa I grew up eating. I think this will be a great resource about different cakes backgrounds and history, but not an authentic recipe book.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen If only all history books could be this good... 27. September 2010
Von William J. Wright - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
We made the German Chocolate cake this weekend- It was a 10 out of 10. The combination of textures between the filling and the frosting were sublime.

The histories of the cakes within their cultural origins created "an experience" beyond making a dessert for our dinner party. Everyone left a little more enlightened and insisted on taking a piece home for a family member. My Fiance's mom loved it too. One can only hope all history books are this exciting to read and fun to experience. Bravo Ms. Castella!
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Beware! Beautiful Book, Bad Recipes! 9. Februar 2012
Von Anna Hoffman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
This book is beautiful to look at and I was so excited to receive it from my husband on my birthday. There is a lot of nice colorful pictures and great history and information. So if you want a pretty book this is for you.

However, if you plan to bake any of the recipes, I would stay away from this book. The recipes are inaccurate and
the proportions are incorrect. I ruined a few cakes that I was going to gift to friends. Money in ingredients
down the drain. So if you are a serious baker, STAY AWAY. Find another place for tested recipes. So for this reason
I was really disappointed.
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