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This review is from: Perfect Cakes (Hardcover)
Perfect Cakes has come to be my favorite book on cake baking. It's not just a book filled with endless untried recipes that give no hint of what to expect. All of the recipes in this book are preceded by some type of history or information about the cake that leaves one with the impression that the author is familiar with the recipe and has probably made it a time or two!
The introduction includes information about common ingredients and equipment used for cake baking which is a plus for those new to cake baking or for those looking to expand their baking skills. The book is well designed with beautiful photos and a layout for the recipes that is easy to follow. The ingredients are in a shaded box (yellow) and the instructions are enumerated in red. This makes it easier to find your place in the recipe when you are ready for the next step.
I am currently working through the pound cake section and have become fascinated with the high ratio mixing method. This is a method developed by Procter & Gamble during the 40's. Mr. Malgieri provides an explanation of the method, shows how to convert a recipe to use it, and provides a few recipes. I have made the High-Ratio Lemon-Buttermilk Pound Cake several times, and it has become a requested item among friends. As indicated, the cakes made using this method are moist, fine textured, and delicious. Other cakes that I have made with excellent results include the Orange Poppy Seed Cake, Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Town Hall Cake, and the Buttermilk Cake Layers.
Some of the recipes may require a bit of skill and will be a nice challenge for the experienced baker but the book has plenty of recipes for a beginner to start with. If you like to bake cakes, this is definitely a book to add to your library.