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The Modern Baker: Time-Saving Techniques for Breads, Tarts, Pies, Cakes and Cookies Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 1, 2008
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Sample recipe from The Modern Baker: Chocolate Almond and Amaretti Cake
One 10-inch cake, about 8 large servings
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, setting a rack in the middle level. Butter a 10-inch round cake pan, 2 inches deep, and cut a piece of parchment or wax paper to fit the bottom.
2. Chop the chocolate finely and place it in a small bowl over hot water to melt, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the pan and cool the chocolate slightly.
3. In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter with half the sugar until it’s soft and light. Beat in the chocolate, then the yolks, one at a time, scraping the bowl and beater(s) often. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and light.
4. Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and grind them finely, pulsing the machine on and off at 1-second intervals. Be careful that they do not become pasty. Stir the almonds and amaretti crumbs, then the flour, into the batter.
5. In a clean, dry bowl, whip the egg whites until they hold a very soft peak and whip in the remaining sugar in a slow stream. Continue to whip the whites until they hold a soft, glossy peak. Stir a quarter of the whites into the batter, then fold in the rest with a rubber spatula, so that no streaks remain.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake the cake about 40 minutes, until the center is firm when pressed with a fingertip.
7. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes. The cake may sink slightly, though this does not affect its texture. Trim off any loose crust and invert the cake on a rack, remove the pan, and allow to cool completely.
8. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar and slide onto a platter.
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
For example, I made the instant Puff Pastry (which was great) but found the directions lacking in many areas: there was no mention of the necessary capacity of the food processor (which I found out the hard way when mine overflowed), there was no descriptive of "pulse" which may mean 5 seconds to me and 10 seconds to the author, there were no descriptive qualities of what the dough should look like once it was pulsed and/or rolled out (large butter chunks, small butter chunks, etc.), and when I finally got to making the strudel there was a folding direction for the bottom layer that was misleading and I eventually discovered was completely wrong.
After a couple of weeks I decided to go back and try again with croissants. Too bad they were omitted in the index.
My review is for the graphic design of this book, its readability and ease of use. It is really awful. Readability is just a joke. The graphic designer (or maybe just an intern?) went for a "modern" look, never minding to ask his or her mother if she managed to understand the text. he ingredient lists are set in very tiny type and it's a headache to make out what they say. If you're reading the recipe while baking you will probably miss something. What I've resorted to doing is transcribe the recipe and then use my notes while baking. Going back to the book is a nightmare.
Also a recipe for a cake with frosting should have in my opinion two clear procedures. What if I only want to make the frosting? well, I will have to go spelunking through the bad typography to see if I find what I'm looking for. I hope the editor hires a proper typographic designer and fixes these issues. Nick deserves it.
These are quick-to-make recipes, and give directions that yield successful results. All the recipes that I have baked from this book have resulted in the oooohs and aaaahhhs of guests and in the renewal of my gym membership. Nonetheless, I am happy to now make the best focaccia, quick breads, cakes and tarts I've ever eaten.
Bring it on, Nick; I'll preheat the oven!
I have to agree with others that the Ingredients list for the recipes is in the tiniest font and is hard to read, and I am 23. The photos are great and the recipes sound wonderful but there needs to be more revision.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
The ingredients appear above the title of the recipe, perhaps that is bit arkward, but the major problem is the size of the print--smaller and finer than the instructions. If that seems like a "so what" to you, know that the fractions (1/2, 1/3, etcetera) occupy a single space (e.g. the one in 1/2 appears above the two with a horizontal line sperating them) That means the bottom/denominator of the fraction is half the height of an already tiny print size--try reading that when the book is lying on the counter & the flour is flying!
Another example: When a recipe has two parts, say cake and frosting, the recipes are intermingled. This makes it miserable to improvise by taking one cake & using a different frosting. The author talks about you learning a technique/recipe and improvising with it, but the editorial team seems to have outright hampered that ability.
Bottom line: Wonderful food--IF you are willing to really work at reading carefully--maybe even writing in the columns to repeat the information/amounts in the book so they are more visible--but a how-to book should NEVER need you to do this for information already on the page!
(DK Publishing: Please take note of what this team did & avoid a repeat--You have a great author here, please give him a team experienced with making a usable how-to book. At least they used high contrast between the ink and the paper!)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this book six different times, five of them for gifts. I've not made a bad recipe from this, and those I've given this to as a gift have said the same. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Anthony R Bryant
One of best baking books I've ever used. Every recipe was great and didn't need modifications - You get the feeling that the author has actually tried them before he put his name... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
My favorite part about this book is its time saving tip for baking. Don't bake.Published 8 months ago by jackie egger
Lovely book, good instructions. Malgieri's an excellent teacher.Published 18 months ago by Mary Karren
love this fellow. can hardly wait till Anna's birthday to give all these books. BARGAINS!!!!!!!Published 21 months ago by Inga Bartolec
I almost didn't buy this book because the picture on Amazon shows the cake as GREEN. It is really chocolate on the actual cover. Read morePublished on April 10, 2014 by MV Trish