Ann Byrn is on to something. Her first book, The Cake Mix Doctor, showed readers how to tweak store-bought cake mixes to produce "like-homemade" treats. The sequel, Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor repeats Byrn's foolproof approach, focusing solely on chocolate. The strategy? Begin with commercial mixes like chocolate cake, devil's food, and chocolate brownie; alter them with ingredients that add flavor, such as cocoa powder, or richness and moistness, like sour cream; use homemade frostings (supermarket versions won't cut it); and you're in business. "My mission," says Byrn, "is to help busy cooks find the time to bake even when company is not coming." If her sweets lack true homemade quality, they nonetheless produce entirely creditable desserts most bakers, and those they feed, will applaud.
Beginning with a blueprint for mix-doctoring success, which includes information on pantry essentials and a useful chocolate primer, the book then presents over 150 easy recipes for a full range of chocolate layer, pound, sheet, angel food, and chiffon cakes, as well as muffins, cookies, brownies, and more. Among these, readers will surely want to try Triple Decker Raspberry Chocolate Cake, White Chocolate Peach Cake, Frozen Chocolate Neapolitan Cake, and Jessica's Caramel Chocolate Brownies. Besides more basic finishes, the frosting chapter offers recipes for the likes of Crushed Peppermint Buttercream Frosting. An introductory section presents color photos of all the cakes; Byrn also supplies interesting technical information, lore (Nuggets of Chocolate History, for one), and a chocolate cake glossary all bakers can use. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
Following her hugely successful baking book The Cake Mix Doctor, Byrn brings her winning formula of doctoring cake mixes to the world of chocolate. No other ingredient tantalizes and tempts the American consumer, who devours it to the tune of 2.8 billion pounds a year. Byrn marries cake mixes with chocolate in 150 easy recipes to create a personalized result. From layers to pound cakes and from sheet cakes to muffins, chocolate invades the senses. These are complemented by 38 frostings, fillings and glazes that intensify the flavors. Whether it's the rich Chocolate Apricot Cake topped with Martha's Chocolate Icing or the lighter than air Barbara's Chocolate Marble Angel Food Cake crowned with Shiny Chocolate Glaze, the recipes are easy and the results are fulfilling. Even the health conscious are looked after, with Good-for-You Chocolate Pound Cake, again with the Shiny Chocolate Glaze, which is so extraordinarily sinful that it's hard to believe it uses applesauce and egg substitute rather than oil and eggs. Throughout the book, useful hints and tips labeled "the Cake Mix Doctor says" are interspersed to give variations to the cakes as well as help and support. There are also larger additions, e.g., "If the cake sticks to the pan," that provide general aid. Despite focusing only on chocolate, this book tops even the original and should appeal to the busy cook, the first-time baker and the chocoholic. (Oct.)Forecast: Expect big sales. The Cake Mix Doctor has 784,000 copies in print, and with a 290,000 printing and 20-city author tour, the publisher fully expects to meet that number for this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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