I got this book a few months ago, and have tried a few of the cake recipes out. Every one of them (even the simple ones) did not have the expected turnout.
I'm pretty savvy in following recipes and cooking in general, but after trying the flour-less chocolate cake, Vietnamese coconut cake, and Red Velvet Cake recipes to no avail, it set off some red flags. For example, I followed the Red Velvet recipe to a T and it didn't even turn out red! I question the accuracy of the ingredients and instructions.
The other thing that annoyed me about this book is that the author makes this big deal in discussing the origins and history of a lot of these cakes and recipes, but then goes out of her way to add in her own "special touches" to almost all of them. If you're a purist, this book is not for you. I really wanted to make an original, basic carrot cake, but the author throws in so much extra stuff, it's unclear to me as to what is a "true" carrot cake ingredient, vs. an add-on.
If you want a good coffee table book full of lovely cake pictures, get this book. However, if you want precise cake recipes (serious business), go elsewhere. It makes me angry when I think of how much money I blew following these recipes only to have them turn out as complete failures.
* I have several recipe books, and only this one compelled me to write a review.
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