Happiness Is Baking: Favorite Desserts from the Queen of Cake

Maida Heatter. Little, Brown, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-316-42057-0
Called the Queen of Cake by Saveur magazine, Heatter (Maida Heatter’s Pies and Tarts, etc.) delivers an outstanding and approachable collection of classics for bakers of all ages and skill levels. Most of the recipes, like old-fashioned fudge cake, are simple, but even for the more complex ones—such as her layered birthday cake, which calls for less than a dozen ingredients but spans five pages—Heatter lays out clear instructions for each step in the process. As well, her recipe for Chinese fortune cookies consist of just five ingredients, but her clear explanations of the process make the difference (“Quickly place the fortune on the cookie close to the middle, then immediately fold the cookie in half”). Heatter covers the baking gamut with classic recipes for brownies, carrot cake, key lime pie, and rugelach, as well as intriguing diversions, such as a bourbon-laced 86-Proof Chocolate Cake and her Queen Mother’s Cake, a flourless chocolate cake with almonds and espresso-laced frosting. Heatter packs the book with great tips, such as which cakes can be frozen before frosting; how to make your own buttermilk (which several of the recipes, such as spice cake, call for); and how to make perfect pie crust (glass pie plate is the key). This is one of the season’s standout baking volumes. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 04/16/2019
Release date: 04/16/2019
Genre: Lifestyle
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