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on 28 November 2010
Anyone who bakes cakes is no stranger to Rose Levy Beranbaum.
She really is the doyen of this art. Only one problem, the recipes use American Flour, and the UK flour just does NOT produce the same results. Believe me when I say I have researched this and researched this for HOURS! It has something to do with the protein contents and the fact that american flour is bleached and heat treated. This is prohibited in the UK, and I believe that only some bakeries have access to this kind of flour? It is definitely not available to the general public for domestic use. So much so, that you are not allowed to bring american flour into the UK! So to make this review more palatable for the person reading it, I can say the following: If you want to try any of these recipes, then PLEASE go to a Blog on 'KATE FLOUR'. The article is self explanatory. Do not try to make any of these cakes using our local flour, you will end up with a stodgy heavy imitation of the real thing. A total waste of exensive ingredients.
I beleive that Rose has found that this is indeed a problem over here, and has in fact come to the UK, and spent many hours researching a way for her UK readers to use her recipes. Go to her blog and read up on the matter before you consider to buy this book.
I do know that you can buy the UK version of this book that uses our Plain and SF flours, where Rose states that you can get similar results to the cakes using american flour.
Having said that, I have made and used the Kate flour and the results were superb, but it is a time consuming way around things, and I definitely would NOT recommend this book for a novice baker, it will put you off baking cakes for life. There are far more suitable books out there for you to try.
Good Luck!!
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on 29 July 2005
I bought this book a number of years ago and it is well thumbed. If you not only want to know how to bake cakes but also the science behind it this is the book for you. It is an easy to read book. Each recipe is clear to follow, and there is usually suggestions for alternative flavours and details of the structure of the finished cake. There are lots of useful hints and tips about just everything you could want to know to make perfect, beautiful and unusual cakes. To date I can honestly say I have not baked a bad cake using the recipes in this book. Don't buy this book if you want to make a quick cake, but if you have a spare few hours indulge yourself!
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on 17 September 2006
This is the book for you if you want to understand the chemistry of cake-making. If you are the sort of cake-baker who likes to fiddle with recipes, Rose Berebaum has been there before you. Invaluable guidance on increasing and decreasing the size of a recipe, as well where to buy difficult to find items. After 15 years of owning this book it is still my best bedside read. If you follow her (prescise) instructions you can't fail to produce fabulous cakes. Not aimed at the beginner but it will take you through to the heights of cake-making.
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on 15 June 2011
I bought this book as a gift for my wife along with Rose's Heavenly Cakes.

I have noticed that even though this book contains more recipes than the later, it is being used a lot less than Rose's Heavenly Cakes. I think the main reason is presentation of the book... the bland print and the lack of pictures have let this book down slightly despite the many great recipes that are in this book. This was rectified in the later book which followed this one and has greatly helped.

Just purely based on the recipes, this book should receive a solid five, but due to the slightly less than captivating presentation and look of the book on the inside, it gets a four.

I think if they ever put out a new edition of this book they should definitely beef it up with better print and pictures. Like so many chefs always say, whenever we are served a plate of food, we eat with our eyes first and then with our pallets.
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on 7 May 2016
Its a very enlightening book. I own a cake business in Ireland. So beware of cake flour. Europeans this book is of no use to you. Genuinely. Unless you can make the cake flour substitute which takes time don't bother. European plain flour will not work in these recipe . Don't let anyone tell you any different. Your cakes will sink from too much liquid. Americans. This is your gospel and sermon. Its a great insight into how ingredients and how they react with one another. Its a study book. Not a glance and bake. You can't just jump into recipes without doing some of the reading.
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on 2 February 2015
I was hyperventilating when it came through the post!! I'm so excited about reading it and trying recipes from this amazing book.
I've only started reading some of it and it's fantastic!! It's more like an encyclopaedia!
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on 28 May 2014
I have two other books by Ms Beranbaum, which have been very rewarding, and I was very pleased to find a copy of this out-of-print work. I have found it extremely helpful, being the worst sort of amateur baker.
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on 17 December 2015
Wonderful book, great condition for used arrived promptly. This gives a whole new approach to cake making. First cake I made, with trepidation was fabulous.
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on 22 August 2010
I love this book!its called the cake bible for a very good reason. Although there arent many photos , the ones provided are simply out of this world . The book will suit anyone as the author uses the international measures.Plenty of baking tips, recipies and I believe everything related to the art of baking ,and needed for a professional or advanced baker.All the recipies are very well and clearly explained despite their lenght and in some cases lack of photo .Because of this clarity I believe that even a beginner in the baking department should not be discouraged : ).Highly recommended if you ve got a passion and a patience for cakes.
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on 6 December 2015
love it
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