THE PERFECT CAKE: 150 Cakes for Every Taste and Occasion

Susan Gold Purdy, Author . Broadway $19.95 (, $19.95 ISBN ) ISBN 0-7679-0537-7

In the wake of her highly successful The Perfect Pie, baking authority Purdy has come out with a new edition of 1989's The Perfect Cake. Revised to include parts of A Piece of Cake, the book is organized in easy-to-follow sections organized by cake type. After covering ingredients and equipment comprehensively, Purdy catalogues the basics of baking, from measuring ingredients to preparing pans to "what happens when a cake is baked." The recipes, which have a cake for every taste, occasion and skill, begin with Butter and/or Shortening Cakes. This includes the Basic 1-2-3-4 Cake, which, when paired with the chocolate variation of the Basic Quick Buttercream, is a cornerstone of any cook's collection. This repertoire would also include the Best Pound Cake, which has nine variations, from Rose Geranium to Chocolate Chip. Wonderfully rich and creamy Cheesecakes fill out the next section, which includes the tangy Tangerine Cheesecake with a sour cream topping; after the Sponge & Foam Cakes come the Elegant & Special Cakes, such as the classic Black Forest Cherry Cake and the Orange-Chocolate Dream Cake. Sections on Fillings, Frostings and related items and Decorating Cakes round out the volume. With hints, tips and troubleshooting at the start of each chapter, plus instructions about advance preparation, special equipment and baking times clearly laid out in bullets at the side of each recipe, it's impossible to imagine a cook floundering at any point in the process. This imaginative and comprehensive volume could be one of the only cake-baking book a cook would ever require. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/04/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
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