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Perfect Cakes Hardcover – October 15, 2002
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The recipes come from home bakers who are aunts, grandmothers, friends, and friends of friends, as well as food writers and professional bakers; some also come from Malgieri's kitchen, of course. The delectably moist Orange Poppy Seed Cake is as easy a recipe as you can hope to find, and don't miss his Aunt Virginia's Sour Cream Coffee Cake. The 19th-century Morris Cake is simple yet elegant, and the truly unique Green Tea Pound Cake comes from Paris's Mariage Frères. Beware the decadent Chocolate Pecan Caramel Cake. Whatever the celebration or occasion, there's nothing like a perfect cake--and you're sure to find it here. --Leora Y. Bloom
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Malgieri tells you practically everything you ever needed to know about baking a cake. There is information on ingredients, equipment, sources, a bibliography, all kinds of different cake recipes, as well as information on frosting and decorating. (For example, now I know that one cup minus two tablespoons of all-purpose flour equals one cup cake flour.) I marvel that at this late date there are still new cake recipes to be had. This book is full of them. And in keeping with my theory that each book should have at least one dynamite recipe, the green tea pound on page 42 makes the cut. I'm pleased to say that a slice tastes great straight from the oven with a glass of cold milk. In addition to this great recipe, there are certainly many others I want to try.
If you are on a diet or do not bake, however, just looking at these great photographs makes the book worth having. Printed on slick acid-free paper with great color photographs, this book is too pretty to get cake flour on. It is worthy of a coffee table.
However, I have to agree with the first reviewer 'oktober31' on the lack of some details in the instructions. I had to rely on my past experiences for things like 'how much to whip the meringue?', and 'should the eggs be at room temp or cold?', etc.
These seem like small details, but when it comes to baking, we all know how important these small details become!
But if you're a somewhat experienced baker, I highly recommend the book as the recipes are out of this world! - thanks
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.
Now, I did expect, coming from a very famous, skilled chef, to get a book that wasn't exactly what you'd call simple. Of course, his experience was going to show somewhere so no, I didn't expect easy stuff. But I'm something of an avid baker so even if I don't have any professional training, I do pretty well in the kitchen. Imagine my surprise when several of his recipes did flop on me. This is ridiculous! I'm one to follow instructions to the best of my abilities but I think he takes for granted that you know so much more on so many levels than any non-chef does. I never did try the failed recipes again but did try others and fared a little better. They really are delicious. Still, I don't like thinking when I start baking that there's a 50% chance that the recipe may not come out well.
Never had any trouble at all baking extensively from other books. This one, I'm getting a little bit better but by trial and error, not through useful insight gained from the book. But the best part, this book does inspire me to keep trying.
I'll get your cakes yet, Nick Malgieri!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I met NIck Malgieri years ago at a cooking demonstration in Charlottesville, VA. He introduced this book...I can see my well-used copy of my shelf as I write this. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Brisket Lover 1
Nick Malgieri definitely helps you create 'Perfect Cakes.' Also bought the 'Bake' cookbook.Published 6 months ago by Susan
I love Nick Malgieri! His recipes are easy to follow and come out amazing! This was delivered quickly and was in perfect condition.Published 7 months ago by Sara Mendez
The quantities in this book are not weighed on a scale like most recent baking books. This makes it seem a bit old fashioned to me but at the same time easier than weighing egg... Read morePublished 11 months ago by J. Frost
My old reliable. I have NEVER been disappointed with one of Nick's recipes. Read more