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The Cake Mix Doctor... (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Juni 2000

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Cake mixes are undoubtedly convenient, but do they produce good cakes? They can, says Anne Byrn, author of The Cake Mix Doctor, if you know how to tweak them. Doing this involves the addition of ingredients to enrich the mixes and flavorings to enhance and, in some cases, conceal questionable tastes. To prove her point, Byrn offers more than 175 recipes for mix-based cakes and other desserts, including formulas for frostings that, Byrn maintains, must be made from scratch. The results are convincing; readers interested in satisfying, dependable desserts prepared quickly and with little fuss should welcome the book.

Beginning with a useful discussion of cake mixes, their history and composition, and an outline of the mix-transformation battle plan, the book then presents the recipes in chapters such as "Chocolate Cakes," "Cake-Mix Classics," "Special Occasion Cakes," and "Incredible Bars and Comforting Cookies." Among the most successful offerings are Deeply Chocolate Almond Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, Banana Cake with Quick Caramel Frosting, and Lemon Buttermilk Poppy Seed Cake. A chapter devoted to crumbles, crisps, cobblers, trifles, and even a dessert pizza shows how to use the mixes in innovative ways, and "Lighter Cakes" presents "healthier" offerings, such as Pear and Toasted Pecan Buttermilk Cake. With sidebars such as The Legendary Pillsbury Bake-Off and tips for success throughout ("Cinnamon is one of the great tools to use when doctoring up cake mixes," begins one), the book explores every aspect of cake-mix fixing while revealing the unexpected richness that the process can yield. --Arthur Boehm


A book of 175 fast foolproof recipes for doctoring up ordinary cake mixes to create extraordinary desserts. They range from toasted coconut sour cream cake to Charleston poppy seed cake.

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Von Ein Kunde am 28. Juli 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
I read several reviews from readers who say they baked from-scratch cakes and they couldn't believe how much better these were. While I bake cakes from scratch I don't exactly turn my nose up at boxed mixes. I grew up with them.
Against my better judgement, I bought the book to see what all the excitement was about. Not to mention if the cakes DO come out better (or just as good), this book would be a great timesaver.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Seriously, I think I would rather eat the plain cake mix than the majority of these recipes. (The bar cookies didn't look too bad but I didn't try those.)
I did not find any of the recipes appealing at all. Actually quite the opposite. But I gave a few of them a try because, well, you never know. I had to throw every single cake out because no one would eat it! These cakes just plain made me look bad! (I have no idea how much baking I will have to do to redeem myself!)
Another major downside to this book is the presentation of the cakes. They are not presented nicely at all. The (cake-mix) cheesecakes were made in sheet pans and cut into squares and the frosting on the cakes was sloppy, amoung other things. I can almost do a better job!
The up-side: Tomato Soup Spice Cake is sure to keep me from indulging!
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This book has a multitude of cake mix cakes -- the Banana and Cannoli cakes sound particularly yummy. The author also covers coffee cakes, those really down home favorites (such as Pig Pickin Cake, made with mandarin oranges and pistachio pudding in the frosting), and quite a few yummy chocolate cakes including Peppermint, Almond, and Mississippi Mud. She also DOES include basic yellow and white cakes at the end of the book (telling you to add a full stick of butter and whole eggs and milk). And she also specifically tells you which cakes to use "pudding in the mix" mixes for and which ones not to (pudding in the mix tends to make the cake very wet) and I feel this is easy to comply with since both types of mixes are available at the store.
However, the book does miss some yummy-sounding cake mix recipes that I've found such as Jello Poke Cake, Coconut Poke Cake (made by pouring condensed milk & cream of coconut on top of the hot cake) and Watergate Cake (these are the cakes that make cake mixes fun, in my opinion). I thought this book--with its myriad of recipes--would be all-inclusive. I also wish there were more indulgent-type cakes such as the Banana w/ Caramel Frosting. Too many are bundt/coffee-type cakes which aren't as appealing in a cake mix form to me.
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I share the other reviewersÕ enthusiasm for this book and will no doubt continue to use it from time to time. ThereÕs a sound idea here, and IÕm surprised no one thought of enhancing cake mixes with added ingredients until now.
What disappointed me was the authorÕs exclusion of old favoritesÑ even the obvious ones Ñ at the expense of too much variety and too much innovation. The cookbook author in her got the best of her and decided to eschew old standards like yellow cake with chocolate frosting (who doesnÕt like that?) or white cake with chocolate frosting (ditto). Instead, we get less crowd-pleasing combinations such as lemon and chocolate or less kid-friendly items such as biscotti (not a cake anyway). At the risk of being redundant: Would it have been too much to include a basic yellow cake and chocolate frosting among the dozens of other recipes?
Some of these recipes are conceptually and technically flawed as well. One of the authorÕs favorite methods of making cakes moister is to add a box of instant pudding to the cake mix. Fair enough, but for the fact that the cake mix manufacturers were onto this idea even before the author was -- itÕs difficult to find a cake mix these days that doesnÕt already have pudding in it (both Pillsbury and Betty Crocker mixes have pudding). Thus, weÕre left with the (unanswered) dilemma: Do we add pudding mix to the pudding in the mix, or leave well enough alone with whatÕs already in the mix? This sounds silly, I know; but precision and exactitude are, after all, important in baking.
The author uses the Òinstant pudding mixÓ trick very frequently, asking us to add instant lemon and pistachio puddings to various cake mixes to create new flavors.
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As cook with a major cookbook collection and a "foodie," I must say that I avoid ANYTHING processed and am one who avoided the chemical like taste of cake mixes. However, this book made me change my mind about using cake mixes! When you're a working mom with a 3-year-old, cake mix birthday cakes are a massive time saver! And last year after making a gourmet from scratch cake that the adults loved, my then 2-year-old took one bite and delcared, "I don't like it!" This year I made two cakes from Anne's book to feed 30 at my 3-year old's birthday. One of the the other moms said, "I never eat boxed cakes, but since this is homemade, I'll eat it." And declared it was delicious. She never knew... Thank you Anne for this wonderful resource--especially for busy moms of young kids! The recipes of note for me are the ones with buttermilk (I confess that the chocolate ones don't taste as good as my from-scratch cake from Richard Sax's Classic Home Desserts, but nevertheless much better than just plain old cake mix). This does not inspire me to use any other processed products to cook with, but this is big discovery. And let's get real...do toddlers really care and know the difference if their birthday cake is some major gourmet creation? I also agree with Anne--use her homemade frosting. It's easy to make the frosting, and I also used it to pipe on the cake decorations as well. I really like the cream cheese based frostings. Every mom out there should get this book. The cakes are quick, easy, and taste homemade. You need to add this book to your cookbook collection. It is one you'll go back to time and time again. Bravo Anne! You deserve an award for this book!
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