Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rose's Heavenly Cakes a slice of perfection

This is a great book.

For every baker from the newbie to the professional, and every single one of us in between, Rose's Heavenly Cakes is a must-have.

Rose Levy Beranbaum, the award-winning author of the Cake Bible and eight other books, has poured a lifetime's experience of baking, experimenting and testing into this lavishly illustrated edition.

"My goal in writing this second cake book is to continue to share the incredible, extraordinary and unequaled joy of cake eating and baking," writes the author.

It is a beautiful, meticulously researched and tirelessly tested book replete with aesthetic details, from sewn signatures with cloth binding and wild roses gracing the end papers to closeup photos of delicate decorations, and a lacquer glaze so "brilliantly shiny that it resembles a baby grand."

Each recipe has been tested hundreds of times by the author and her "guardian angel" baking assistant Woody Wolston. Readers of her own blog, Real Baking with Rose, also assisted her with their feedback.

Recipe ingredients are listed not only by volume, but by weight -- in both avoirdupois (ounces and pounds) and metric -- a much more reliable system which many more cookbooks should adopt.

Rose takes the baker by the hand, not merely providing recipes, but actually teaching how to bake cakes, much like Julia Child did with French foods.

Rose shares more than 100 recipes, almost all of which are beautifully photographed, and some have step-by-step photos. About 60 pages of the nearly 500-page book are dedicated to teaching techniques, including discussions on special effects, ingredients, equipment and sharing sources. She has even thought of listing recipes needing only egg yolks, and recipes needing only egg whites.

There are 32 quick-and-easy recipes for beginners or for those days when we want the reward of a delicious cake with little effort.

There is an entire chapter dedicated to flourless cakes like tiramisu, cheesecakes, a French Le Succes or a flourless chocolate mousse cake with an amazing mirror-like lacquer glaze. The glaze originates from Japan, but was perfected for the book by the author and Zack Townsend.

Another welcomed feature of this book is that any recipes -- like the Japanese lacquer glaze -- which are used for several cakes are reprinted each time so that we do not have to flip back and forth in the midst of baking.

There are also plenty of non-cake recipes like creme anglaise, lemon curd, ganache glaze, almond cream filling, Italian meringue, to enhance the cake creations.

Buy Rose's Heavenly Cakes. Even in this economy, it's $39.95 well spent, and could well be the only cake book you will ever want or need.

Title: Rose's Heavenly Cakes
Author: Rose Levy Beranbaum
Author's Blog: Real Baking with Rose
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Photographer: Ben Fink
Category: Cookbook/Baking & Pastry
Format: Hardcover Book
Publish Date: Sept. 2009
Price: $39.95
ISBN: 9780471781738
Pages: 498


  1. Hi Joy, This sounds like a great cookbook to add to my library. Please stop on by my blog to pick up something special for you. Bye for now, Roz

  2. I have to check this out - sounds like an awesome book. I'm finally getting all caught up and able to visit!

  3. It's a wonderful book - not like Rose's bibles, but equally as valuable in recipe quality!



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