Most helpful critical review
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2010
I love cake, have been baking many years, and was very excited when I discovered this book. So much so, that I purchased a couple of new pans with the intent of baking a new cake (or two!) a week. The book is well written and organized (despite a few editing glitches), and provides great information on the basics, as well as helpful tips (the same tried and true ones I've learned over the years).
I never like to review a cookbook or craft book unless I've tried to make a few things first. I made several of the cakes (most recently the pear cake and the yogurt cake) and they came out just fine - as expected. However, the author's suggested ingredients of unbleached flour, and cornmeal for some, just didn't produce the kind of cake I personally like most. Out of curiosity, I tried at least one, substituting bleached flour, with similar results. I did find, however, that all tasted better a day or two after baking.
The cakes rose just fine, etc., but have what I think of as a muffin or heavy sponge cake texture/flavor. (The heavier type cake that's good for snacking or breakfast.) There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, I just thought I would mention it in case other readers prefer a lighter cake. I've perused some of the recipes I've still left to try in the book, and based on the ingredients, they'll probably all come out similar.
I still haven't found a cookbook that features what I refer to as an `old-fashioned' yellow cake texture, but I'll keep looking! Maybe I should look at old cookbooks instead of new ones!
BTW: to anyone who makes the yogurt cake covered with confectioners' sugar - I sliced through each piece, and put rasberry jam between the layers