How to Bake; Cookies Unlimited) shares precise and temptingly unfussy recipes in this cake t"/>
 

PERFECT CAKES

Nick Malgieri, Author
Nick Malgieri, Author . HarperCollins $39.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-019879-4
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James Beard Award winner Malgieri (How to Bake; Cookies Unlimited) shares precise and temptingly unfussy recipes in this cake treasury. Recipes are meticulously tested and easy to follow; however, this is not the book for the Duncan Hines set. Each chapter presents both basic and complicated recipes: Coffee Cakes include Sour Cream Coffee Cake and a Brioche Bee Sting Cake with almond brittle topping and a pastry cream filling. While sinful ingredients abound, cheesecakes come both New York style and light unbaked, and there are plenty of butterless sponge cakes. Sprinkled lightly like confectioners' sugar are homey recipes from friends (Passover Sponge Cake from Kyra Effren). Malgieri's tone is one of sincerity, whether his subjects are pound cakes, pleasantly old-fashioned rolls (such as Buche de Noel and Strawberry Roulade), fruit and nut cakes, individual cakes, layer and molded cakes or meringues. There is some central European influence, with Viennese Linzertorte and Apricot Marzipan Cake, and Swiss Kirsch cake. France (Blanc-Manger Aux Framboises) and Italy (Torta Di Nocciole Alla Veronese) are also well represented. The book proffers a few surprises, like Green Tea Pound Cake and an Armenian cake with farina. Most recipes are unburdened by architectural flourishes. Some cakes have many steps: Passion-Fruit Bavarian Cream Cake has five parts, but none of these is difficult in itself—the biggest challenge is assembly. Recipe notes, a chapter on decorating and some photos of the finished results all help. Where many compendiums tend to be overwhelming or scattershot, this book stylishly covers just what home cooks need. (Nov.)

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