Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia

( 137 )

Overview

In this heartfelt memoir, master baker and star of the #1 hit TLC show, Buddy Valastro tells his inspiring story—and recounts his family’s warm memories from a lifetime of living, loving, and cake making.

Television viewers have fallen in love with Buddy Valastro, master cake maker, and his funny and fiery family, proprietors of Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey, on the smash hit TLC series Cake Boss. Now, to coincide with Carlo’s 100th anniversary, cake designer ...

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Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia

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Overview

In this heartfelt memoir, master baker and star of the #1 hit TLC show, Buddy Valastro tells his inspiring story—and recounts his family’s warm memories from a lifetime of living, loving, and cake making.

Television viewers have fallen in love with Buddy Valastro, master cake maker, and his funny and fiery family, proprietors of Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey, on the smash hit TLC series Cake Boss. Now, to coincide with Carlo’s 100th anniversary, cake designer extraordinaire Buddy Valastro brings together his passion for baking and his high-energy family stories in the pages of this charming, heartwarming book—complete with 25 recipes and tips that will make every reader the “cake boss” of their own kitchen.

Buddy’s beautifully designed cakes are the stuff of legend—and so is the remarkable story of his father, a beloved pillar of the community and himself a talented baker who set the stage for his family’s rise to the pinnacle of their industry. Cake Boss recounts the story of Buddy’s life and of his family’s bakeshop, originally established in 1910 and now a Hoboken, New Jersey, landmark and culinary tourist destination. Here also are twenty-five recipes for Carlo’s Bakery’s most sought-after pastries, pies, cupcakes, and cakes, an irresistible combination of time-tested old-world recipes and modern creations, all founded on a rock-solid “old-school” baking foundation and classic techniques.

This is the incredible true story of how Carlo’s Bakery came to be, how one hard-working family realized their patriarch’s dream of making their beloved bake shop a household name. The special bond and loving dynamic of the Valastro clan make this an uncommonly touching and truly inspiring memoir.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, the setting of TLC's hit reality show Cake Boss, is now celebrating its 100th anniversary. If you can't get join the festivities at the sweet treat center, you can enjoy the atmosphere and goodies in this combination family history-memoir and baking cookbook. A heartwarming read—and don't forget the 25 "cake boss" recipes!

Publishers Weekly
Best known on TLC cable as the Cake Boss, Valastro shares recipes and a sometimes treacly tale of family, tradition, and ambition. A fourth-generation baker born in Hoboken, N.J., Buddy honors his Sicilian father, who taught him his craft, while marking his own rise from apprentice to master baker. His is the American dream told in flashbacks; like his show, the book plays on charm and the idea that to know Buddy is to like his work. Still, the book offers hard-won baking know-how. It conveys the dramatic sweep of Buddy's accomplishments as bolstered by his traditional values and family. For drama, it depicts, as mini-crises, the elaborate challenges and difficult designs that proliferate as Buddy's clientele expands to include Modern Bride and Britney Spears. However, despite great technical descriptions, including his bakery's cannoli recipe and photos of his spectacular cakes, Buddy's tale of immigrant success proves too familiar. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
“Offers hard-won baking know-how … [and] conveys the dramatic sweep of Buddy's accomplishments as bolstered by his traditional values and family.” –Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439183519
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publication date: 11/2/2010
  • Edition description: Simon & Schuster
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 366,551
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Buddy Valastro

Buddy Valastro is the star of the hit TLC series Cake Boss and Next Great Baker and author of the New York Times bestsellers Cake Boss and Baking with the Cake Boss, as well as Cooking Italian with the Cake Boss. He is owner of Carlo's Bake Shop in Hoboken and the Cake Boss factory in Jersey City, which supplies stores around the country. Buddy lives with his wife and four children in New Jersey.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

THE DECORATING ROOM on the second floor of Carlo’s Bake Shop, my family’s business in Hoboken, New Jersey, is like heaven on Earth to me. It’s where my comrades in arms and I work our magic, turning out wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and theme cakes for every occasion imaginable.

Every day is a new adventure in that decorating room: On Monday, the big challenge might be a ten-tier wedding cake draped with rolled fondant and showered with delicate, lifelike sugar flowers; on Tuesday, it could be a birthday cake shaped like a soccer field, complete with figurines of the players; by Wednesday, we might be replicating a pop star’s new CD cover in icing and gum paste for a television show; and Thursday and Friday … well, we’ll cross those bridges when we get to them.

I used to spend all my time in the decorating room, but now I have other responsibilities as well, because I’m not just a decorator; I’m the Boss. A portion of each day is spent in my office, down the hall from that grownup playpen. When I’m in my office, the hallway outside its door is always crowded. It’s a narrow passageway on the second floor, and half of its width is taken up with steel utility shelving. On a normal day, there’s a line outside made up of family and other employees waiting to come in and see me. Some of them need me to sign off on something, like the design and baking of a cake for fifty people for a special event by tomorrow, even though our production schedule is maxed out. Others have a question that only I can answer, like what we should charge a local rock band for a sheet cake with modeling-chocolate figurines of themselves on top, accurate right down to their facial hair and earrings. Billing issues, vendor screwups, Web site glitches … it all comes to my door.

On a normal day, inside my office, there’s no telling what I might be up to. I might be having a consultation with a couple planning their wedding, describing the cake they dreamed up the night they got engaged, and wondering if I can bring it to life for them. The look in the eyes of a bride as she describes her dream cake is like nothing you’ve ever seen, a constant reminder that although I may be just a baker, my responsibility is awesome. Our customers entrust their dreams to us, and we have the power to make or break memories. That might not be the same as being a surgeon or a fireman, but you feel the weight of expectations every time somebody new walks through that door.

If I’m not immersed in a consultation, I might be meeting with my assistants, going over phone calls and meetings, or with one of my four sisters—Grace, Madeline, Mary, and Lisa—talking through a problem that’s cropped up with the pastry counter they manage downstairs.

My life isn’t just about baking, decorating, and consultations: We’re a family business, so, sometimes, there are family squabbles. It’s just as likely that a voice that comes crackling through the intercom will shout out, “Buddy, where do you want the new mixer installed?” as it is, “Buddy, Mary and Grace are fighting again.” I hear that, and it’s a code-blue situation because it means that two of my sisters are going at it. I drop whatever I’m doing and hustle downstairs, because breaking up those arguments is part of my job, too.

Just like the counter is run by my sisters, the top dogs in the back are my brothers-in-law. Upstairs in the decorating room is Mauro Castano, my right-hand man, husband to my sister Madeline, and one of my best decorators. There’s also Little Frankie Amato, the son of my Uncle Frankie and my father’s godson, who’s been around the bakery since he started hanging around there as a kid, and has been working with us since he left Wall Street in 2006. There’s Danny Dragone, a mustachioed Italian who we call “the Mule,” a jack of all trades who helps out wherever he’s needed—the baking equivalent of a utility player. And, of course, there are the designers, our own little team of magical elves, like Stephanie “Sunshine” Fernandez, who was the first woman to ever work in the back with the bakers, in 2004, which was no small thing, because in addition to the long, grueling days, it can get a little bit like a frat house back there. She and the other designers can make anything at all out of fondant, modeling chocolate, and gum paste: people, animals, palm trees, cars, boats, footballs … you name it, they can sculpt it.

Downstairs, in the bakery, there’s Joey Faugno, another brother-in-law, who’s married to my sister Grace, and is one of our top bakers and another utility player; in addition to being a champion mixer and oven guy, he’s a fine decorator. And there’s Sal Pininch, who’s been with the bakery since the 1960s, and is my most trusted baker because, beyond baking, he’s somebody who I can go to for fatherly advice.

Whether we’re related by blood or marriage or not at all, these people are my family, and most of them have been at Carlo’s for years. They are also my co-stars, because, starting in 2009, our family and our bakery became the subject of a television show, Cake Boss. The show depicts who we are and how we do what we do and how sometimes things get a little crazy at Carlo’s. The funny thing is that the show itself has made things crazier than ever: A team of producers and directors and camera people and sound technicians and production assistants have practically moved in with us. I spend the day doing everything I just described, but I do it wearing a microphone, like the informant in a crime movie. There’s a camera and light aimed down at my desk from the ceiling, and my every move and conversation in the bakery and decorating room is tracked. That hallway outside my office is twice as crowded as usual, with as many people wearing walkie talkies as wearing aprons.

Since the show hit TLC, whenever I visit the retail floor, the customers burst into applause, and I stop and pose for pictures with them. I’m flattered by the attention, but it’s also a little funny to me, because all I do on television is what I’ve been doing since I was a teenager.

That same attention has made the bakery busier than it’s ever been before. There’s a line out the door most days, filled with people who have come from all over the country just to pay us a visit and taste the pastries they’ve seen on television. It’s been quite a ride, and it just gets more exciting and more gratifying all the time. My only regret is that sometimes things move so quickly that we don’t have time to stop and take them in. But, at the end of the day, before I change into my street clothes and pull my black, varsity-style Carlo’s Bake Shop jacket on, I sometimes stop and savor the silence. I look out the window of my office onto Washington Street, one of Hoboken’s main thoroughfares, and I remember.

I remember all the things that brought my family and me to this moment.

© 2010 Discovery Communications, LLC. TLC

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 137 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(87)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 139 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Love it!!

    Omg i love buddys cakes

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2011

    :)

    omg! i luv cake boss and this book and i bet if u love anything to do with cakes, u will too. i definetley reccomend this book.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Feel-Good Look Behind The Scenes

    Viewers of TLC's hit show, Cake Boss, will be delighted to discover that Buddy Valastro, the genial host, has written his memoir. Those not familiar with the show will also quickly become engaged in reading Buddy's life story. Scumptious recipes, gorgeous photographs of the finished products and a great memoir make this a book to enjoy and share.

    Buddy is the product of a traditional Italian family. His family have been bakers for many generations, and he knew from a child that becoming a pastry/cake baker was the life he wanted. The book traces the Valastro family history. We get to follow the immigration of the family on both sides from Italy to America and hear how they became successes at their Italian bakery.

    When Buddy took over, he made some changes that improved the family business while maintaining the traditional Italian fare his customers had grown up loving. He changed ingredients and expanded the cake decoration and custom cake part of the business. Part of the change was the expansion of the business as Buddy makes a splash in the national bridal magazines, and finally on the TV show that has made the bakery a recognized business nationwide. Regardless of the changes, the same core values continue the success of the business; love of family, hard work and the determination to send every customer home happy.

    In addition to the engaging memoir, the book includes the recipes that made Carlo's Bakery famous. There are recipes for traditional Italian pastries, cookies, cupcakes and cakes. Along with the recipes are tips on kitchen equipment, quality ingredients, and cooking techniques. This book is recommended for cooks everywhere and for readers interested in a feel-good, interesting story.

    7 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2010

    pass better books out there

    review states complete with 25 recipes to bad the recipes are not complete with amounts left out on some key incredients

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    BIGGEST CAKE BOSS FAN

    Best book u will ever read i read it and got sad when it ended it maybe expensive but either way u hav to read it i recomend this book for anyone who likes the show or who likes to bake and if u like reading stories about the ups and downs of peoples lives which is pretty much everyone GET IT BEST BOOK EVER BY THE WAY I AM MORE THEN JUST A FAN I AM A CRAVED FAN

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 16, 2011

    Sounds a-w-e-s-o-m-e Souds awesome,awesome (clap clap Omg!!

    I really want this nook book! Feeling:impatient

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2011

    great book except....

    the ebook version i read on my nook is missing ingredients for the recipes, it has a ? instead of the actual measure so i'm not sure how the cakes, pastries ect wil turn out. very disappointing

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    ???? :(

    Want relly badly

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 2, 2011

    LOVE!!!!!!!

    I just got the book today and read some of the frist pages Buddy is a baking guru in my eyes,he runs a bakery and website/factory. He deals with so much can't wait to dig into more of the book.:D

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 25, 2011

    Omg

    I cant wait to get this sounds great

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 22, 2011

    Awesome!!!!!

    I only got the sample on my nook because it was too expensive ,but I found it at the library!:) I read it and it was great!I couldn't stop reading it!It did have some sad parts but overall it was great.I love the show and now I can't wait to make the red velvet cake or chocolate chip cookies!

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2011

    Love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I loooooovvve cake boss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 14, 2011

    Omg

    I just cant wait to read the whole entire book i love to watch the show so mutch and i love hearing about the show ILOVE CAKEBOSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cant wait to read it

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2011

    Omg

    Omg this book is amazing i love buddy and watch cake boss every day

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 24, 2011

    Highly Recommended. Good story, Great recipes

    Even though I am a hudge fan of Buddy Valastro himself and enjoyed reading his family's story. I was aftraid this book would not have many recipes. To my relief, it does! Buddy tells his entire story, starting from his grandfather. It was interesting to read how the Valastro baking began. The recipes in the back are numerous and have his more popular ones. There are recipes on cakes, pies, patries, fillings and frostings. I was very happy with the purchase of this book! If you can't get enough of the show, this book is a must have!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 26, 2011

    buddy is so awesome

    i love this book and buddy himself

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2011

    BEST BOOK EVER

    this book is sooooo interesting to read and they have the best recipes as well!!!!! it is a must buy!!!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 26, 2011

    Buddy never faill Buddy never fails!

    This book is the show in book verson!

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2011

    So badly

    I want the books soooooo bad my mom only let me get the sample cause it is too much money

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2011

    great book

    buddy valastro is the greatest

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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