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Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy's Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets Hardcover – November 1, 2011
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Recipe from Baking with the Cake Boss: Chocolate Brownie Clusters
In a bakery like Carlo's, everybody contributes some recipes at some time or another. These cookies—-which replicate the flavors and textures of a brownie in a meringue--like cookie that's miraculously crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle—-were the invention of the late, great baker Sal Picinich (who passed away while I was writing this book) and they-re pretty ingenious.
What impresses me about these cookies is the complex, deeply satisfying result achieved with just a handful of ingredients: egg whites, sugar, cocoa, and nuts. The batter looks like an unholy, goopy-gooey mess. When you make these, you might even think you did something wrong—-how could it transform into something appetizing? Your doubt might even be increased by the fact that these can only be spooned onto your baking sheet; the dough is too sticky for a pastry bag and too messy to work with by hand.
But trust me: Once these get into the oven, something magical happens and these ugly ducklings turn into perfect little swans—-and everybody will love the way they mimic the flavor and texture of brownies. It's a cookie to die for.
- 3 extra-large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups powdered (10X) sugar
- 1 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted raw walnut halves
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.
2. Put the egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. (Be sure the bowl is immaculately clean; see "Egg Whites," page 56.) Whip on low speed for 2 minutes, then on maximum speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
3. Sift the sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl together, then fold into the batter with a rubber spatula until the batter is smooth and shiny. Fold in the walnuts, until they are well coated with the batter.
4. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, using nonstick spray or a dab of butter in each corner to glue the paper in place. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 1/2 inch apart, being sure to include about the same number of walnuts (3 or 4) in each one.
5. Bake until the outside has crisped and the bottom starts to pull away from the parchment paper, 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. As soon as the clusters can be moved, use a spatula to transfer them to a rack and let them cool.
Enjoy the cookies right away, or store when completely cool in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
I sift ingredients for two reasons: (1) To be sure dry ingredients aren't too compacted; sifting helps ensure a lighter result in the baked good being made. (2) To better combine two or more dry ingredients that will be added to a recipe at the same time. This is especially important when you are using leavening agents such as baking powder and baking soda—-you want those strong-acting ingredients to be as evenly distributed as possible to ensure an even result across the entire baked good. (All of that said, in some cookie recipes I don't call for sifting because the dough gets mixed enough that the ingredients can't help being evenly distributed.)
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Top Customer Reviews
"The Good" I love the way Buddy goes into detail for decorating. He explains decorating basics, walks you through the simplest cakes then step by step goes into a little more advanced. Great for the Beginning decorator. The instructions are clear and the step by step pictures are wonderful. SOME of the recipes are to die for. The chocolate mousse, Italian custard...Chocolate cake, icing recipes are spot on! yummmmm! Love his flavor suggestions for cakes.
The reason I can't give this book 5 stars is:
"The BAD" I was a little disappointed that there really weren't any NEW recipes. The same recipes can be found in his first book. If you don't have his first book then this is a good buy for you
"The Ugly" Even though MOST of the recipes in the book are divine: WARNING! The vanilla cake recipe is the worst recipe ever! I am a professional baker as well but this recipe leaves you with a heavy cake that taste like pancake dough. I wouldn't even call it a sponge cake... I tried it twice making sure everything was exact. Both attempts, Big fat BOMB on this one!!!! I was very disappointed in this recipe. Hopefully it is just a misprint in the directions. All in all I would recommend the book!
I think Buddy (or some unsupervised delegate) was lazy and changed one ingredient in this recipe, with no regard for modifying the method associated with the change. He even says in the acknowledgements that his brother-in-law, Joey, tested all these recipes...HIGHLY unlikely that two skilled bakers tested these recipes. If the recipes were intentionally altered to protect the intellectual property of Carlo's Bakery, then Buddy should write a guide to decorating, NOT a cookbook that delivers poor products, tarnishes his reputation, and makes him look like a shady character who turned his father's sterling reputation into a lot of gold at the expense of quality. Buddy comes across as an honest guy, a family man, and a true professional on his show.Read more ›
So I was so excited to get this book. While it is a good read the cake recipes fall very short of the baked goods he sells in his New Jersey bakery. I come from a long line of bakers so I didn't really learn anything new. I did make his red velvet cake. I was so disappointed at how dry and tasteless in came out. The frosting was too sweet and thin. My sister made the vanilla cake for her daughters birthday and it was awful. She worked as a baker for many years so she and I know how to follow a recipe. I am afraid to try any other recipes so I will just remember the wonderful treats we had in Hoboken Baby!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Exactly as it was described and arrived fast just as Amazon always promises! Thank you so very much!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Me and my daughter have always been watching his show The Cake Boss because we both love to bake. And so I bought her this one so she can learn more and try different recipes and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by James Reny
I have not tried any recipes YET, but this book is awesome! It has great how-to pictures and is interesting to read. Many of the recipes and pictures are shown on the tv show.Published 3 months ago by mmphenry