Showstopping Cakes: Mastering the Art and Science of Baking

Kyle. Nov. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9781914239236. $34.99. COOKING
Scientist and Great British Bake Off winner Mandal showcases his love of both cakes and science in his first cookbook. Growing up in India without an oven, he didn’t bake his first cake until 2016, after he had moved to the UK. Writing the book he wished he had when he started baking, Mandal offers tips and explains some cake baking techniques along with details of the chemical and molecular reactions that happen to cake ingredients while baking. He begins with a chapter on frostings and fillings and then moves on to décor, such as marzipan, buttercream, and paste flowers and chocolate decorations. Several different types of cakes are featured, ranging from classics including genoise and Swiss rolls, although often updated with interesting flavor combinations, to more modern decorated cakes such as fault-line and geode. Additionally, there are meringues, dacquoise, and cheesecake, ending with several tiered cakes. These bakes look intimidating but seem attainable thanks to Mandal’s detailed written instructions.
VERDICT Featuring many elaborately decorated cakes meant to impress, this is best for ambitious bakers hoping to recreate some Bake Off magic at home.
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