CakeLove: how to bake cakes from scratch
Blog post by Andrea Weigl, "Best Ever Chocolate Cupcake Recipe," from News and Observer, Dec 26, 2015
I made "Sassy" and there were only three of us home, and it was gone the next day. My son thought it was from a bakery (which he thought was a compliment.) Anyway, that is the only cake I've made from this book so far, and it was splendid. That one recipe would have been worth the price of the book, but there are more, more, more -- I can't wait.
- M. C.
The recipes are quite simple, ingredients readily available and the fact that he gives "alcohol free" options makes it so much more useful. The Italian Buttercream frosting is one of my favorite things to make as it ALWAYS turns out. He reminds us that cakes need not be complicated and hard to make. With a few skills that are easy to master, you can turn out the most amazing baked creations.
- C. M.
I decided to attempt the decidedly summer-appropriate Mojito Pound Cake. To answer your burning question, yes, it really does taste like a Mojito! Actually it tastes like a great Mojito, not one of those ghastly drinks you get from a hurried bartender because they think you're a jerk for ordering one in the middle of a rush, but a carefully made, simple syrup, and mint muddled Mojito that makes you sit back and say, "Ahhhhh..." In all seriousness though, I can't believe I made this cake and I definitely couldn't have done it without this amazingly thorough text. There's nothing semi-homemade about these recipes. They're all butter, flour, cream, and eggs through and through. Sure they take a little more time and effort but the quality and taste of a cake made from scratch isn't even in the same league as your basic boxed Betty Crocker.
- E. N.
United cakes from america
If every there was an example of culinary patriotism, it's Warren Brown's "United Cakes of America: Recipes Celebrating Every State". This superbly illustrated, 224-page compendium of superbly presented recipes showcases pound cakes, butter cakes, sponge cakes, cupcakes, frostings, fillings, and meringues. There's a cake for and from all fifty states of the Union. These bakery masterpieces range from Whoopie Pie; Angel Food Cake; Tennessee Mountain Stack Cake; and Rice Krispies Treats; to Bundt Cake; Apple Cake; Jalapeno Cheddar Cheesecake; and Huckleberry Scones. Enhanced with an informative 'Baker Overview', a list of sources, conversion charts, and an index, the recipes themselves are arranged regionally. Thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly', "United Cakes of America: Recipes Celebrating Every State" is a unique and highly recommended addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections!
- Midwest Book Review
cakelove in the morning
I bake almost every day. I have tons of cookbooks, especially baking books. I certainly didn't need another cookbook. But after thumbing through this book at a local bookstore, I couldn't resist. It has recipes for the usual muffins, scones, coffee cakes, quiches, etc. But it also has some unusual twists that I've never seen before. Breakfast lasagna, with lasagna noodles, bacon, mushrooms, eggs - how obvious, and yet the idea had never occurred to me. I bought the book about a week ago, and already I've tried at least a half dozen recipes. All have been winners that I'll make again. We really liked the breakfast lasagna. I loved the idea of the Vanilla Waffles layered with Cooked Meringue and raspberries, and we also loved the result. I used the remaining meringue to fill and decorate the Blueberry Bundt Cake - which was delicious enough to stand on its own, but was even better with the meringue. In my opinion, this is a solid cookbook for both beginning and experienced bakers, with plenty of ideas to satisfy both.
I've been experimenting with gluten-free pie crust recently and Brown's gluten-free crust recipe is THE BEST I have ever made or eaten. It's not perfect, but it bakes up flaky and holds together in a double crust pie better than the 17 other GF crusts I've tried. I used it for 3 of the 4 pies I've made in this book and they all worked. My main complaint with the book is that it's too short. I want more recipes!
I bought this book as a gift for my dad who'd read a newspaper article about Warren Brown & was intrigued. My dad has been baking breads, sweets and pies for over 40 years and thought he knew everything there was to baking pies. But...his book has taught him some new tips and tricks and is very well written.
- K. D.