Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The gold standard for German-style baking, April 8, 2012
This review is from: German Baking Today (Hardcover)
My original copy of this classic dates back to WWII and was a gift from my great-aunt who lived in Africa and was a superlative cook and baker. A lot of her "secret" cakes came out of this book. Her edition was in German, which I think may prompted me to take German rather than continue with French in college; I wanted to read that book. Well, I was able to read this book by sophomore year and I found out that German baking is gravimetric (uses a scale) rather than volumetric (uses measuring cups.) I got a copy in English and was pleased to see that the recipes were pretty much the same as in my original old volume.

The classics are here--such as cinnamon stars, which sound rather boring, but these are a nut-based, meringue-iced Christmas cookie that are very common in Germany and very tasty. Also the famous Black Forest Cherry cake (a torte) and Sachertorte (the famous Viennese chocolate-apricot torte) and Linzertorte, which is a pastry and jam based tart that is very impressive to look at but not extremely difficult to make. All these pastries are very rich and basically, I use this book for entertaining or fancy parties. (If I eat a sweet at home, it's apt to be very plain as I don't particularly like overly sweet things that much.) Note that the curd tarts look like cheesecake, but use "quark" which is more or less "pot cheese" or farmer's cheese (a dry cottage cheese.) I'm not fond of quark-based tarts and funnily enough, a lot of Germans say they don't like it either, finding that the quark is dry on the tongue. Yet, it is very common as an ingredient in "kuchen." Go figure.

Of all the dessert baking books I've had, this remains my favorite. You will need a baking scale to use this book (like a diet scale.) Either get one with a bowl, or put a bowl on a flat platform style that has the read-out extended far enough so you can see the weight. You'll use the "tare" after you put on the bowl and then after each addition, which is how my friends in Germany do it. It's an easy way to measure dry ingredients.
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Joanna Daneman
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Location: USA

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