The Cake Bible (Anglais) Broché – 28 mai 1993
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Présentation de l'éditeur
"If you ever bake a cake, this book will become your partner in the kitchen."-- from the foreword by Maida Heatter
This is the classic cake cookbook that enables anyone to make delicious, exquisite cakes. As a writer for food magazines, women's magazines, and newspapers, including The New York Times, Rose Levy Beranbaum's trademark is her ability to reduce the most complex techniques to easy-to-follow recipes. Rose makes baking a joy. This is the definitive work on cakes by the country's top cake baker.
The Cake Bible shows how to:
Mix a buttery, tender layer cake in under five minutes with perfect results every time
Make the most fabulous chocolate cake you ever imagined with just three ingredients
Find recipes for every major type of cake, from pancakes to four-tiered wedding cakes
Make cakes with less sugar but maximum flavor and texture
Make many low- to no- cholesterol, low-saturated-fat recipes--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .
Biographie de l'auteur
Rose Levy Beranbaum has created special occasion cakes priced at more than two thousand dollars for customers including world-renowned restaurant consultant George Lang, and a wedding cake for Rudolph Sprungli, owner of Lindt Chocolate. She lives and works in New York City. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .
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C'est vrai qu'il explique TOUT ce qui concerne la pâtisserie. Mais qu'est ce qu'il est moche! Si vous aimez voir à quoi ressemblent les gâteaux des recettes présentées, y a pas. Si, quelques unes, rassemblées au tout début du livre, des photos vieillotes, sûrement prises dans les années 80. Tout le reste est en noir et blanc, la mise en page assez éttoufante, l'écriture très serrée et la qualité du papier médiocre. Bref, le contenu - plutôt technique - est intéressant si vous trouvez le courage de le lire.
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But, many recipes do fail, sometimes spectacularly. How is that possible? The reasons are many and varied. First, my sense is that the recipes themselves are fragile. While ingredient measures are expressed in precise units (you'd better own a scale), the instructions must be executed to the letter. No step can be compromised; no corner can be cut. Exact pan sizes and oven temperatures must be used. The ingredients are carefully balanced. If you're off by just a little, the cake will fail. Hence, I don't approach the recipes in this book with the sort of unhesitating confidence I would like. It often takes several tries to get a cake right.
Second, the recipes don't take kindly to substitutions. Once, I came up a little short on sour cream and tried to substitute some plain yogurt in the Sour Cream Coffee Cake. The recipe wasn't robust enough to accommodate the additional water provided by the yogurt, and the cake fell. To make these cakes, you need to triple-check the ingredients list before you start.
Third, only the highest quality ingredients can be used. The Mousseline Buttercream is a good example. Since it uses only egg whites instead of yolks or whole eggs, and since there isn't much sugar, the only flavor notes come from the butter. Anything less that the highest quality will result in a final product that is greasy and horrible. And the additional liquor flavoring in many recipes is not optional. It is often required to compensate for the relative lack sugar.
Finally, the author's encouragement notwithstanding, the Showcase Cakes are legitimately complicated. Each of them has a number of components, some with multiple sub-components, and each cake takes several days to construct. The Blueberry Swan Lake, for example, calls for 2 meringue swans with piped whipped cream feathers. The White Lilac Nostalgia cake requires dozens of crystallized lilac blossoms, each prepared carefully by hand. And I'd love to see anyone's first crack at the red chocolate roses and 20 chocolate rose leaves required for the Bittersweet Royale Torte.
In fairness, however, it should be noted that some of the fundamental recipes are real breakthroughs (or at least they were when the book was written in 1988). The Moist Chocolate Genoise, for example, uses bar chocolate instead of the cocoa. The cocoa butter in the chocolate replaces the clarified butter that would normally be added to a cake of this type. The result is a chocolate genoise unlike any other I've ever tasted. While many are stiff and dry, this cake is tender and moist. In addition, the Neo-Classic Buttercream offers a worthwhile shortcut to the preparation of the sugar syrup.
A special bonus is the wedding cake section. These pages thoroughly describe the construction of a 'standard' wedding cake, right down to the amount of buttercream required for each layer. Recipes are offered for yellow and chocolate butter cake, yellow and chocolate genoise, and cheesecake. Every step along the way is described in detail, and the designs, while challenging, are generally more accessible that those from, say, Colette Peters or Dede Wilson.
In sum, while it's easy to make a decent cake, it's a big step to the next level. What this book underscores is the amount of preparation, concentration, and effort it takes to make an exceptional cake. If that is your goal, then this book could well offer the road map you're looking for.
Note added 4/12/2012 -- I am suddenly receiving a fair number of private emails about this 11-year-old review, almost all critical of my comment that the recipes don't take kindly to substitutions. At the time this book was written, modifying basic cakes was standard practice. In fact, books were written on how to add this, that, and the other thing to a standard cake recipe to achieve new and interesting results. My review was intended to point out the the recipes in "The Cake Bible" are not those kind of recipes. If you'd like to make the cakes in this book, you'd better have the right pans, a stand mixer, a gram scale and a calibrated oven. In particular, the mixing procedure when executed correctly produces a cake that can be wonderfully light. But the structure is less robust than the standard procedure offered in most books. It's worth noting that that this procedure has not become the culinary standard in the decade since it was introduced.
I've learned many good and impresive things the average cook admires when they come to my dining table. The best is the caramel cage; I make caramel cages for many uses; to hold fresh fruits, as a stand for a ball of cheese or freshly whipped flavored butter, as a garnish for a main entre, etc. I've made star shaped caramel cages, squares, buckets, cilinders, you name it. All it needs is sugar and water and aluminum foil, and those are present in any kitchen.
The triple chocolate cake is the best chocolate cake you can desire. Rose is correct when she says, this is a triple orgasm, or a triple pressence of chocolate in its best representation; You bite into a moist-airy-grainy-spongy chocolate genoise cake that is layered with silky creamy chocolate ganache and then all covered with hard chocolate praline sheets. She chosed with exactitude the addition of Frangelico liquor and hazelnut praline. Let me tell you, making chocolate genoise cake is delicate and requires a large mixing bowls, this is a chocolate cake without baking powder so the resulting flavor is pure chocolate without the chemical disflavors that baking powder adds when it reacts against chocolate. You can't show off how you make your chocolate genoise, you can't have your dog or distracting family members in the kitchen when you are folding the yolk mixture into the egg white mixture. Yes, indeed out of 10 times making it, 3 times the genoise cake became flat, my fault.
The mouseline butter cream is a master thesis on its own. I am glad somebody mentioned it in the reviews. It is an act of acrobatics and chemistry, plus a touch of magic. It is hard to believe and explain that a mix of egg whites, water, and sugar can blend with soft butter. It is hard to believe Rose when she says to not be alarmed that the mix will initially look like a puddle of unmixable butter floating like oil on water, and that your end result is the best bodied butter cream you can have (if you follow all her rules, yes RULES and not RECOMENDATIONS). You end up with a silky buttercream, that is light, not so sweet, not so greasy, and not so heavy, that will stand at room temperature for days or that will not loose its shape or body even after abusing it with food coloring or making extravagant cake pipings. And absolutelly, the addition of 3 oz of sweet liquor of your choice is a MUST. 3 oz is 3 shots of liquor, quite a lot. Before adding the sweet liquor, the mouseline butter cream tastes not so good (buttery and not so sweet) and in fact, the body is even better and silkier after adding the 3 oz of liquor. I am sure, if you choose not to add liquor, try find out how much sugar are in 3 oz of sweet liquor and how much water (less the alcohol evaporation), and you might be able to substitute by increasing the amount of sugar and water in the egg white mix. I do have one recomendation: if you are using the recipe Rose wrote with the liquor, make your butter cream 3 to 5 days before you use the buttercream, or frost your cake 12 to 24 hours. This will allow time for the alcohol to dissapear. Hey, and what is wrong to not use egg yolks in buttercream? It is healthier and you end up with the purest white possible butter cream.
The same goes with all her recipes that call for adding syrup with liquor. She makes it a rule if you are baking before than 1 day in advance, then add liquor.
In conclusion this is NOT a book for beginners or cooks that want to start baking. This is a book for the baker or for the cook the loves to read cookbooks. I indeed have ALL of Rose's books, and all share my same reviews: The Pastry Bible, The Bread Bible, Rose's Celebrations, etc.
Rose is unique and her writing style is product of her own research.
I can attest personally to the fact that the recipes WORK. This is the number one test for any cookbook, yet it's astonishing to me how many recipes DON'T work--either because of unclear or poorly worded directions, or because of lack of thorough testing on the part of the author. I have never yet made anything from this book with which I was disappointed, and have made a number of recipes which have entered the hallowed pantheon of family favorites. Beranbaum's White Velvet Butter Cake has become a de rigeur choice for birthday, confirmation, and other special occasion cakes--it's a fine-crumbed, velvety, melt-in-your-mouth cake that's like the best wedding cake or petit four you've ever put in your mouth. And the Neoclassic Buttercream gives you a meltingly delicious frosting that's the color of cheesecake--richly ivory and silken smooth.
Beranbaum is a companionable writer--her essay on "My Brother's Wedding Cake, or the Snowstorm of 1983" has become something of a Murphy's Law baking classic--and she's a learned and intelligent teacher. This book was the first to introduce me to the novel idea of weighing ingredients, rather than measuring them by volume. The result is much greater accuracy, which in turn gives you a much higher chance of turning out stellar baking results. I bought a scale shortly after receiving this book as a gift for my birthday in 1989, and have never looked back. In fact, when I wrote my own culinary newsletter from 1993 to 2000, I usually did all the recipes giving both weights AND measures, trying to encourage my readers to try the weighing method. Once you try it, you'll never go back.
The photography is gorgeous (although I have always wished there were more of it!). The cakes fairly gleam with rich color--you can practically taste them just looking at the photographs (check out especially the handsome Strawberry Maria, named for editor Maria Guarnaschelli, and the dramatically decorated Art Deco cake).
In addition to the cake and icing recipes, there is worthy advice on everything from tempering chocolate to creating three-dimensional cake decorations to unusual sources for cake and cake-decorating supplies. The bottom line is that any home cook can create gorgeous, sumptuous, outstandingly delicious cakes from Beranbaum's book--and isn't that what a cake bible should be all about?