American Cake: From Colonial Gingerbread to Classic Layer, The Story Beyond Our Best-Loved Cakes From Past to Present

Anne Byrn. Rodale, $29.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-62336-543-1
This culinary walk through American history is both fascinating and kitchen-inspiring. Bestselling author Byrn presents chapters in chronological order (from “1650 to 1799: Baking Cakes in Early America” through “2000 to the Present: The Cakes of the New Millennium”). All recipes are designed for the modern kitchen, with minor changes made when needed (hickory nuts aren’t available to most bakers, and apparently Martha Washington’s pans were bigger than those used today). Headnotes detail the lineage of cakes, including the Robert E. Lee Cake, a recipe the Confederate general’s wife, Mary Curtis Lee, passed on through the family that describes a layer cake filled with a bright lemon filling, topped with an orange and lemon icing. Fast-forward to the new millennium for the Smith Island Cake, an exquisite 10-layer fudge-frosted extravaganza that was named Maryland’s state cake in 2008. In between, readers will find decade-defining information, such as the popularity of using baby food fruit purees in baking in the 1970s, and sidebars on prominent baking figures who have made their marks in kitchens across the country, including Betty Crocker and Martha Stewart. These well researched and written pages go far beyond the average baking guide. Agent: David Black, David Black Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2016
Release date: 09/06/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-1-62336-544-8
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