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The Cake Bible Hardcover – Jul 8 1988


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The Cake Bible + The Pie and Pastry Bible + Rose's Heavenly Cakes
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Cookbooks; 1 edition (July 8 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688044026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688044022
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 4.4 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Rose Levy Beranbaum is a kitchen chemist extraordinaire--this, after all, is the woman who wrote her master's thesis on the effects of sifting on the quality of yellow cake. In The Cake Bible, she explains the science behind types of leavening, the merits (or not) of sifting, melting chocolate, preheating ovens, and more. There are precise and detailed instructions for intricate wedding cakes as well as cakes that can be mixed and in the oven in five minutes. In addition, nutrition information is included with every recipe. Cake scientist Beranbaum doesn't forget the art, either; pencil drawings teach novice bakers how to create a garden full of flowers from royal icing and mushrooms from piped meringue. It's no wonder that the International Association of Culinary Professionals picked The Cake Bible as their cookbook of the year for 1988--this book has something to teach bakers at every level.

From Library Journal

Beranbaum, a talented baker and former owner of a New York cooking school, has produced a definitive work that will excite accomplished cooks and beginners alike. She covers basic, "foolproof" cakes as well as showcase cakes, accompanying these with pages and pages of adornments of all types; her instructions are impressively precise but unintimidating. She also includes lengthy discussions on ingredients and equipment and concludes with a special section on the chemistry of cake baking and on making a professional wedding cakes. An essential purchase. JS
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Dec 27 2000
Format: Hardcover
I wanted to love this book. Really, I did. I was willing to follow the instructions to a "T", and even take decorating lessons so I could stun my friends speechless with the wonder of my cakes. But I can't. Let me explain here that I am regarded (sorry to be immodest) as a fabulous home baker. That I'm a well-travelled European (from the Land o'Cakes--Scotland--no less), and know what good cakes should taste like. And that I was willing to invest the time, energy and money to make these cakes work. And they did. I just didn't like them. The reviewers who don't rave about this book are in the minority, but (for the most part), I think we're right. The buttercream tastes like...butter. The ganache frosting ( made with Lindt chocolate, no less) is heavy and off-putting. The cakes I have made are heavy and buttery without that wonderful buttery taste of good cakes (and I used a wonderful butter from Pennsylvania that's virtually indistiguishable from the fine Danish kind). Most recently, I tried the Chocolate Cloud roll cake, and it came out perfectly. But nobody wanted seconds. In short, it doesn't surprise me that Ms. Berenbaum is fascinated by the chemistry of baking. These are cakes made to icy physical perfection, but lacking the art that makes genuinely delicious confections. If you're into elaborately-decorated cakes that will amaze your friends, buy this book. If you're looking for cakes that dance on the tastebuds, this isn't it. One last comment, and a more positive one, is that the general advice she gives on measuring, mixing and baking is very good, and this (plus the gorgeous pictures) make the book a good buy, especially if you like to read cookbooks.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By none on Sept. 29 2003
Format: Hardcover
The cakes are very good. The All American Chocolate cake recipe turned out great first time. I like the use of weights as well as volumetric measurements in the recipes. Now for the not-so-good: the buttercream frosting recipes are just awful.
This weekend we made five batches of buttercream frosting following the recipe instructions exactly and each time the frosting came out tasting like whipped butter; greasy and overpowering and ruining the taste of the cake. We used unsalted Land-O-Lakes brand butter.
While the cake recipes are worthwhile, the frosting section is so wanting that I would consider looking further if you need a book that has good cake AND frosting recipes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jerry i h on Jan. 12 2004
Format: Hardcover
There are many cake cookbooks available, but I am not comfortable with recommending any of them. The Cake Bible by Beranbaum is the only one I can recommend without reservation, as the recipes and techniques all work. On the whole, I like this book quite a bit and use it fairly often as a reference.
The author has done wedding cakes professionally for many years, and this cookbook is a compendium of tried and true recipes that she has used. This is both good and bad. These are baking recipes that are battle tested and ones that you can rely upon, especially on special occassions. On the other hand, it is a very personal collection of production recipes, and you will not find several common cake types because she has not done them in her professional experience.
Several recipe types, such as butter cakes, genoise, and buttercreams, are very different from the usual ones that you will find in other baking books. This is because they are a record of the author's efforts, and not just a mechanical recapitulation of standard patissierie recipes. The procedures at first seemed to be unnecessarily finicky, and had a few extra steps that did not seem to be necessary. On the other hand, I had no problems with any of the ones I tried. The procedures are often unique; while the results were not better than standard recipes, they can, in some cases, be slightly easier to execute than standard recipes, which are more prone to failure by the home baker.
The arrangement of the cakes chapter is particularly useful. It assumes that you will work methodically through the chapter, baking each cake as you go, and not just pick out recipes at random.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have had mixed results with this book. The cakes that turned out well (downy yellow butter and golden almond, for example) were among the best cakes I've ever tasted. The ones that didn't, however (including the white spice pound cake and chocolate genoise) were dry and tasteless. I recommend this book for the intrepid experimenter: you will probably not like all the recipes in this book, but the ones that you like, you will love. The directions are extremely clear and detailed; I am an intermediate baker and I learned a lot from this book. Two words of advice: 1. Start checking your cakes a good 5-10 minutes before the suggested baking time; many of these cakes dry out in a heartbeat and are best just a touch underdone (and my oven temperature is perfect). 2. Berenbaum's buttercream is not for the faint of heart (4 sticks to frost one cake)! You might want to look elsewhere for buttercream recipes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Julia Schmidt on May 9 2011
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely love this book. I have tried several recipes in this book and all have tasted wonderful and come out moist. I have had tons of requests for the recipes and I praise this book every chance I get.

The golden almond butter cake is fabulous (and it can be made with margarine instead of butter if you want). The Domingo chocolate cake is a dark chocolate cake and was really good. The Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Cake is to die for....it's like eating a cake made out of lindt chocolate truffles (just make sure you use a good quality dark chocolate (I use Morden's Chocolate - an independent chocolatier in Winnipeg, MB)). This cake is absolutely beautiful when decorated with whipped cream.

For fillings, I've only tried the Stabilized whipped cream (with gelatin) and it stood up wonderfully. I mixed in fresh fruit and berries and had it as the filling on my cakes.

My favorite frostings are the Mousseline buttercream (I use apricot brandy for mine). It is wonderful to work with and will hold up to just about anything. The only catch with it is that it must be at room temperature for it to work. If it is not at room temperature, it will separate. If this happens, you just warm it up a bit (2-3 seconds in the microwave at a time) and mix it till it comes back together. Once it's together, it won't separate again while you work with it. I've done wilton roses with this icing - the trick is to make the centers and stick them in the fridge to harden and then pipe the petals - refrigerating again to harden. This also makes it easier to transfer them to the cake.
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