Zoë Bakes Cakes: Everything You Need to Know to Make Your Favorite Layers, Bundts, Loaves, and More
Pastry chef François (coauthor, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
) delivers in this solid recipe collection more than 100 recipes aimed at taking the guess work out of cake making. The author’s professional background shines through in the book’s opening section, which features a user-friendly and lavishly photographed guide to the fundamentals of baking, covering ingredients, tools, and cake-baking basics from measuring ingredients to frosting the finished product. Recipes are organized by type (pound cakes, soaked cakes, layered cakes, etc.) and range from classics (angel food cake and Boston cream pie) to more inventive offerings (a tempting orange-juice-and-liqueur-infused Greek orange phyllo cake and a decadent meringue-topped Blackberry Diva Cake). The projects grow more complex as the volume proceeds, culminating in a section of “rolled and fancy cakes” that includes a bûche de noël with halva buttercream and a wedding cake. The recipes themselves are clearly written, with measurements in volume and weight, though home bakers may find they need to flip through the book more than they’d like to locate subrecipes (the hazelnut torte has five, for instance). Still, this is an excellent guide, and the tutorial alone is worth the price of admission. (Mar.) Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.