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5.0 out of 5 stars Get this book if you ever bake a cake
I got a copy of this book way back in 1989, and have sworn by the cakes featured in it since. My other books just sit around collecting dust, while the cover for this is now stained with metled chocolate, butter and batter; and it's falling apart at the seams.
This book has so me inspired that I now run a small home-baked cakes business, making extensive use of the...
Published on July 12 2002 by KC Yap

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Chemist's Cookbook
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...
Published on Dec 27 2000


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Chemist's Cookbook, Dec 27 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cake Bible (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
3.0 out of 5 stars Good and Bad, Sept. 29 2003
This review is from: The Cake Bible (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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3.0 out of 5 stars Cake bible, April 20 2013
By 
Maureen Lukas "love to learn" (London, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Cake Bible (Hardcover)
Haven't used yet but has awesome pictures. It was recommended and I know I'll use it sometime in the future. Love food books
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get this book if you ever bake a cake, July 12 2002
By 
This review is from: The Cake Bible (Hardcover)
I got a copy of this book way back in 1989, and have sworn by the cakes featured in it since. My other books just sit around collecting dust, while the cover for this is now stained with metled chocolate, butter and batter; and it's falling apart at the seams.
This book has so me inspired that I now run a small home-baked cakes business, making extensive use of the recipes from the book.
I've baked the Sour Cream Coffee Cake countless times for parties and gatherings and have never failed to win raves. This is the only cake I've seen ladies going back for second helpings! Another must try is the Bittersweet Cocoa Genoise.
Rose's approach to baking is exactly how it should be, a science and not an art. Each and every ingredient used has a reason. Then you use your creativity after the cakes is baked to creat beautiful cakes. This is the only book I've come across that delves into the whys of doing things and how different ingredients interact with one another.
With every cake, on the sidebar, you will find information of how the cake will appear after baking--how tall the cake will be; whether it'll be flat, taller in the center; whether the sides move will move away from the sides of the pan after removing it from the oven. So just by visual inspection of the cake after it comes out from the oven, you'll know if you got it right. I've not had any disaster baking from this book.
Even after more than 10 years using the book, I still find new information everytime I read it.
The book is not for someone who wants to look at pictures of cakes; but HOW to bake the best cakes.
Just one comment, can you make future prints of this and your other books with stronger string bindings instead of perfect binding?
Rose, if you are reading this. Thank you!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The recipes don't work., April 2 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cake Bible (Hardcover)
As an experienced baker, I found The Cake Bible very disappointing. The recipes just don't work. The cakes come out very dry, or not cooked enough in the middle, etc. The author gives very explicit instructions for each recipe, and I followed them all to the letter. My oven temperature is perfect. And after all that work, you come out with a cake that just isn't good. There are plenty of other books out there that are so much better (anything by Nick Malgieri or Carole Walter, for instance) yet The Cake Bible is always considered THE BOOK. Forget it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Partial Cake Bible, Jan. 12 2004
By 
jerry i h (Berkeley, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Cake Bible (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. It lists pound cakes first, and ends up with genoise-type cakes, which makes more sense than the usual order, which is the other way around; foam-based cakes are the most difficult.
Interestingly, only the first 160 pages of this 550 page book relates to cakes. 60 pages go to showcase cakes, 200 pages to decoration, fillings and frostings, 50 pages to ingredients and equipment, and 70 pages for professionals (including extensive insturctions of wedding cakes; I cannot vouch for this section, since I have never made a wedding cake).
There are some criticisms, but they are mostly ones of omission. Many of the page references are wrong. I object to the suggestion of leaving eggs and chocolate in a warm oven overnight to get them to the proper temperature. Cornstarch is substituted for part of the flour in genoise, but this was not any better than just straight flour. The instructions for waffles are for an old-fashioned, stove top iron and not an electric one. The instructions for making the rose trellis are incomplete. The table of contents need to be more detailed. The chapter subheadings in Part III are used inconsistently. The flavor-cake-filling-frosting combinations the author suggests are not the classic ones; you will need another patissierie book if you need the traditional ones. On the positive side, all the wedding cakes described have pictures. There are several different recipes for chocolate genoise (including one without added butter), one of my favorites. There is also an old fashioned mayonnaise cake. The 2 pancake recipes are ones with whipped egg whites, but none with the plain old baking powder.
The only reservation I have is that this book is not all that friendly or instructive for beginners. For them, I would suggest that you bake some cakes from the first 150 page section and ignore the rest of the book until you become more advanced, making sure that you go through this section in order rather than skipping around.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Results, June 20 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cake Bible (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 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i'm the author!, Sept. 22 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cake Bible (Hardcover)
My new book, The Bread Bible, is finally out! This is the first time in several years that I have had time to visit this site and I am once again rewarded with such encouraging and interesting comments. I've also given the criticisms serious thought and one that I've taken most to heart was that the book falls apart through use. I'm sure there are many who will be happy to hear that I have won that battle with my publisher by offering to take a lower royalty in order to have a stitched binding! This also helps the book to lie flat. I'd also like to take this opportunity to point out that though Dean G. Bornstein is listed above as author, he in fact was not the author (that's me!) but the illustrator. Incidentally, next month the Cake Bible will be 15 years old! Thank you again for taking the time to give me such intelligent and fascinating feedback. I hope you will enjoy my new book as much as I have in writing it.
Warmest wishes,
Rose
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'll Pass!, June 29 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cake Bible (Hardcover)
I had been baking for some time when I bought this book. The cakes I made came out dry, although I was careful when following directions. The real disaster was the buttercream which a) used a ridiculous amount of butter, and b) iced my cake, the plate and then the countertop! It just did not set up at all. I think I'll find another source for cakemaking - like Kaufeehaus!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Levy's Buttercream= "Egg Jelly", May 19 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Cake Bible (Hardcover)
The cake recipes are OKAY, nothing to brag about. I think a couple of the white cakes are decent, a little dry though. I've been cooking for several years, and have been using a scale to reduce mistakes in measurement. It was nice to finally have a cookbook with weight measurements, however, she needs to come up with some new ideas and recipes. Her plain buttercream turned out to what I and friends called the famous "Egg Jelly", the smell still haunts me to this day. I think it called for 6 egg yolks, 1 cup Corn Syrup, 2 lbs butter- something to that effect, IT WAS HORRIBLE. Needless to say, I made my own frosting which was much more pleasant to taste not to mention look at or SMELL! Buy the book if you are in need of some paper for your fireplace, or your trashcan, cause it's pure garbage.
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The Cake Bible
The Cake Bible by Rose Beranbaum (Hardcover - July 8 1988)
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