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A story of kitchen mayhem

  • Jun 21, 2010
  • by
I'm not someone who cooks. When I registered for fine china, my own Mother asked me what I was going to serve on it, fast food? I love chocolate and I love dessert, so I figured that if any cookbook would tempt me to cook, this would be the one. I decided to try to bake a cake for Father's Day. Because I'm a chocolate fiend, I decided to try the Gateau Victoire, a flowerless chocolate cake!

I didn't have the stand mixer, the double boiler or the springform pan that the recipe called for. That's okay, I figured. I can make it work, or at least give it a valiant effort. I think I did a good job with my make-shift double boiler, if I do say so myself, so that wasn't a problem. I didn't have stand mixer, but I do have a fairly nice KitchenAid Handheld Mixer that had the correct attachment. After whipping the sugar and eggs for the recommended 5 minutes, I did not see a "well defined ribbon on the surface." So I just kept whipping it. I whipped it good. After about 15 minutes, my eggs were so fluffy I thought I was going to have to move them into a larger bowl, so I gave up on the ribbon. This was just going to have to do. I folded the eggs into the chocolate and things seemed to be going wonderfully.

Well, I don't have a springform pan, but I did have a Slice Solutions 9-Inch Round Sectional Cake Pan Set. It was all I had, and it would have to do! The problem started when the batter wouldn't fit in the pan. I waited nervously for 45 minutes while my cake baked. I was excited when the timer finally beeped and I took it out of the oven. It looked great! Really great! But then, the cake started to fall apart! The middle started to collapse and the edges started to break. I keep telling myself that it's all about the pan, and that it wasn't my fault. The cake did, however it looked, taste wonderful.

I really like this cookbook and I'm looking forward to stretching my cooking skills, or lack thereof, with these wonderful recipes!

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More Ready for Dessert: My Best Rec... reviews
review by . March 18, 2010
This is a nice, conversational cookbook. Each recipe is introduced with a paragraph on some interesting thing: is the area behind the Gare du Nord really a Hell's Angels hangout? Do Italians love cornmeal as much as Americans? What do showgirls at the Lido really think about cake? Plus things like how to make brown butter correctly and the proper peeling technique for bananas, in case you need those things.    There are also recipes here. The categories include cakes; pies, tarts, …
About the reviewer
Celeste Sonnier ()
Ranked #316
I'm 35 and about to get married. I work full time and life is hectic when you're trying to plan a wedding. Internet reviews and the wonderful people I've met online are my"dirty little … more
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About this book


Starred Review. An elegantly-composed collection of classics and contemporary riffs, former Chez Panisse pastry chef David Lebovitz's (The Perfect Scoop) latest effort hits the sweet spot. Artfully balancing accessible recipes for novices (the simple four-ingredient Chocolate Orbit Cake, the three-ingredient Peaches in Red Wine and Pistachio, Almond and Dried Cherry Bark) with ambitious-but -worth-it desserts like Banana Cake with Mocha Frosting and Salted Candied Peanuts and White Nectarine Sorbet with Blackberries in Five-Spice Cookie Cups, Lebovitz truly has something for everyone. Can't-miss combinations like Guinness-Gingerbread Cupcakes, Cherry-Almond Cobbler, and Orange-Almond Bread Pudding are sure to inspire a trip to the market, and riffs on classics like a French apple galette (updated here with frangipane, a rich almond pastry cream) and a lush Fresh Ginger Cake will appeal to bakers whose bookshelves are already groaning with cookbooks. The inclusion of Coconut Layer Cake, Vanilla Ice Cream, Meyer Lemon Sorbet, Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies, and Gingersnaps (including a fat-free variety) shows that Lebovitz also knows when not to mess with a good thing. Given its breadth, depth, and accessibility, readers with a passion for baking will be hard pressed to find a better guide to desserts this year. Photos.


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ISBN-10: 158008138X
ISBN-13: 978-1580081382
Author: David Lebovitz
Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Date Published: April 6, 2010
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