|Publisher:||Workman Publishing Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||7.60(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Introduction My friends will tell you that I am among the sneakiest of cake bakers. Months before a pal’s birthday, I will surreptitiously ply him or her with questions (and often wine) to suss out his or her favorite cake. Later, on the big day, I’ll smuggle a freshly baked cake into a crowded bar, tuck one under my arm on the subway, or leave one on a doorstep—whatever it takes to deliver a surprise gift to a wide-eyed friend who only vaguely recalls our conversation from six months earlier. My sleuthing is born of the belief that there’s magic in baking someone a perfect cake, doubly so if it’s a new favorite, made even better with an unexpected twist. It is that magic—and the joy of giving a gift in cake form—that I hope to share with you in this book. What you’ll find in these pages are simple, dependable, fun recipes for cakes that are as inspiring to bake as they are to share. Each one begins with an easy, from-scratch mix that forms the foundation of a range of delectable batters, from vanilla to chocolate, citrus to coconut, and everything in between. Pour a simple flavored syrup (the professional baker’s secret weapon!) over the still-warm cake layers, add one of a dozen dead-easy frostings, maybe a quick topping or two—and you’ve got a hundred cake possibilities. The cake’s destination is up to you—I’ve just handed you some great reasons to make the trip. Cake—even just the promise of it—brings people together. Browse through the pages that follow and get ready to join the legion of cake bakers whose celebrations start in the kitchen. I am so happy to have you here, and hope that you’ll find your next favorite cake lurking among these recipes.—CarolineHow To Use This Book Ready to roll up those sleeves, raid your pantry, and start mixing up a cake? Great! But before you jump in, permit me to give you a quick preview of how this book works. The bulk of the pages feature not recipes, but equations: Each one shows a picture of a cake and directs you to the components—a batter + a syrup + a frosting + (sometimes) a topping—used to make it spectacular. This book has more photos than recipes to illustrate the versatility of the simple, basic anatomy of the cakes. The recipes are almost instinctual and will soon become second nature: Bake and assemble one cake, and you’ll know how it works for all one hundred. The process for each cake is essentially the same—only the flavors change. Here is the basic breakdown:1. Flip to the photo of a cake you want to make. Drool. Note the page references for the cake batter, flavoring syrup, and frosting recipes needed to make it.2. Turn to the back of the book to find the recipes. Mark each with one of the colored ribbons.3. Make a batch of Cake Magic! Cake Mix (page 142), which serves as the foundation for every cake in the book.4. Follow the recipes you’ve marked—you’ll be making cake layers, a flavored syrup, frosting, and so on—and assemble the cake as directed on page 120.5. Eat!A NOTE FOR GLUTEN-FREE AND VEGAN BAKERS AND EATERS: I want everyone to feel comfortable playing around in the kitchen, and even breaking a few baking rules. When I say “everyone,” I’m including people with food restrictions for whom cake baking (and eating) can be challenging. With them in mind, I’ve created a Gluten-Free Cake Magic! Cake Mix (page 143) that works as a substitute for the one using all-purpose flour. For vegan bakers, I’ve offered variations on the batters that make any cake in this book vegan-friendly. (And any recipes that are already gluten-free or vegan are marked accordingly with these respective icons: GF• V.) These variations are supremely tasty and were developed to mimic the texture and flavors of the cakes made with all the standard components. They can be syruped, frosted, topped, and—best of all—enjoyed just like any other cake in this book.These recipes work as cupcakes, Bundts, and sheet cakes, too—for instructions on adapting them, see pages 120–121.