From Publishers Weekly
Pretty to look at and brimming with inspiring ideas on throwing a proper birthday fete, Kleinman's book could be equally at home on a coffee table or in kitchen. The book features 38 recipes for birthday cakes, contributed by such notable cooks as James Beard, Alice Waters, Tasha Tudor, Patricia Wells, Julia Child and others. The cakes vary from traditional to unusual, so parents looking for a kid's birthday cake will delight in Birthday Cupcakes, German Chocolate Cake and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, while sophisticated chefs will be happy to find recipes for Aunt Frances's Ricotta Cheesecake and Benoît's Upside-Down Caramelized Apple Tart. Mini-essays by the contributors accompany each recipe, and a nostalgic theme runs throughout, as Robbin Gourley recalls her Aunt Florence's "prized and famous" Jelly Roll and Elizabeth Falkner recounts how her mother always made a Lincoln Log Cake because Falkner shares Abraham Lincoln's birthday. The recipes themselves are a mixed bag; generally, they're not very detailed and leave home cooks to figure out for themselves what instructions like "Roll the cake up with the edge of the paper" mean. The photographs and layout, however, are lovely. The Comforts Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese and Coconut Frosting is a pink and white fantasy; Grandmother's Chocolate Cake is divinely simple; and the Green Cake, with its shelled pistachios and light green icing, is exquisite. Kleinman (a food and floral photographer) and Miller (Chocolate; Espresso; Salt & Pepper) offer a picturesque meditation on an annual rite.
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About the Author
Kathyrn Kleinman has been a dynamic part of the world of food and floral photography for over two decades. A James Beard award winner, she is the photographer of eighteen books, including the critically acclaimed Chronicle Books titles Sushi , Backyard Bou
Carolyn Miller is a writer, book editor, and award-winning poet living in San Francisco. She has written several cookbooks, including Chocolate , Espresso , and Salt & Peppter , all from Chronicle Books.