Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
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CAKE FLOUR DOES NOT EXIST IN GERMANY...
am 29. April 2006
...which is where I live now. Unfortunately, almost ALL the cake recipes in the book call for cake flour (save for maybe 3 or 4 that use all-purpose or bread flour, and some that use none at all). Quite a disappoinment for those who have absolutely no access to this entire book's most vital ingredient. I think I would've given it at least one more star if it were not for this fact.
Most people will try to be helpful and tell you that cake flour can be substituted easily by sifting together a mixture of flour and cornstarch - this might be ok for creamed batter cakes like yellow or pound cake (personally, a slightly obsessive perfectionist like myself can still feel the difference. Cake flour makes for a finer, more tender, and lighter crumb. Cake made with the AP flour+cornstarch substitute TASTES the same, it's just not nearly as light or fluffy). For foam cakes like chiffon, sponge, or angel food cake, cake flour is simply IRREPLACEABLE. I really don't want to go into detail about soft winter wheat vs. hard spring wheat right now, and I'm not saying that you won't be able to turn out a cake in the end - you will, and it will taste good - but you will miss out on the lovely texture that Ms. Levy-Beranbaum is talking about in the description that comes before each recipe. I had the chance to try making the Orange Glow Chiffon during a vacation abroad (in a country where cake flour is readily available) and the difference was huge. The cake was amazing and I brought back as much cake flour as I could stuff into what was left of my meager economy-class baggage allowance during the latter part of my trip.
Another reason for my 3-star rating is the lack of pictures. It doesn't hurt to be able to see what your baked cake should look like when it comes out of the oven. The lack of pictures also slightly handicaps the decorating section which tries to demonstrate techniques with rather poorly drawn illustrations that fail to convey the visual representations of some of the more intricate instructions in the book.
As far as the ease of use, I would not recommend this book to beginners whose past experiences of cake making consist of a box of mix and a tub of frosting. Some know-how and a thorough attention to detail are required. If you think you've got that (and easy access to cake flour), this book is definitely worth your while.