Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks (September 14, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,324,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #524 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Coffee & Tea #961 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Baking > Cakes #3561 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Desserts
I'm a coffee fanatic and love to bake, so this was an anxiously awaited title, but what a disappointment!First, there aren't that many recipes; much of the book is "informational". For instance, pages of "a short history of coffee", coffee terminology and brief discussions of the various coffee growing regions of the world, as well as descriptions of how coffee is processed and roasted start the book. Then, there are the instructions on how to brew coffee and laborious coverage of the various pots and machines used to brew coffee. All this before we get to a single recipe, and this is just the coffee section of the book.The cake section follows the same pattern; over 20 pages of truly basic information precede any recipes. How basic? Try this: "flour is the backbone of all cake recipes. Milled from wheat, flour is mostly starch..." For anyone who has a modicum of experience baking, reading these pages is the equivalent of an accomplished pianist playing "chopsticks". Yet, the descriptions are so superficial that this isn't an appropriate learning text for a neophyte, either.Then, there are the recipes. The first one I tried, the "Apple-Cranberry Ginger Loaf" was awful. I seriously have to wonder whether there wasn't an editing error in the ingredient list. Don't try this one at home.Not every recipe has a picture of the finished product and some probably should have. For instance, the "Butterfly" cupcakes are described as "whipped cream-and-preserves-filled cupcakes, decorated to look vaguely like butterflies..." We'll never know how vaguely like butterflies they look, because they're not pictured.There are too many other excellent cookbooks and resources out there to waste time on this one.
Rick Rodgers, author of the delightful tome Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague, returns to the subject of European-style coffee and baked goods in "Coffee and Cake." The first forty pages or so are devoted to an excellent, in-depth coffee primer, which includes a brief history of coffee, "coffee talk" (flavor notes and adjectives used to describe coffees, similar to wine tasting), growing regions, brewing tips, a section devoted solely to espresso, and types of coffee pots.The included coffee recipes cover European territory such as Viennese coffees (fiaker), spiced mocha, Irish coffee, café brulot from New Orleans, and more far-flung variations such as Vietnamese and Thai (iced) coffee, along with a DIY frappe recipe (ice cream, espresso and whole milk) and an espresso martini.As for the baking half, it's kicked off by an excellent baking primer that would be helpful for novice bakers in particular. There's in-depth discussion of ingredients, equipment, baking and cooling, and decorating. The cake recipes are divided into four parts. If you're looking for comfort food, you'll find heirloom recipes like apple-cranberry ginger loaf from the author's grandmother, almond blueberry buckle, or cinnamon swirl coffee cake. For the kids (and kids at heart), there's a section devoted to cupcakes and frosting. Gracious Southern-style cakes include ambrosia coconut cake and spice layer cake with praline frosting. You'll also find new favorites like a S'mores cheesecake and chocolate cake with chocolate malt frosting.
Coffee and Cake , by Rick Rodgers is a fun, nice sized book to look through and read.The book is divided into 2 sections Coffee and Cake.The coffee section begins with a coffee primer with a brief history of coffee, a section on coffee talk where the author describes that as wine coffee has its own terminology, an explanation of where coffee is harvested, how it is processed, and finally how it is brewed.The coffee primer is followed by hot and cold coffee beverage recipes. In my opinion a fault in the recipe section is the lack of pictures for every recipe. I like to see what the end result of a recipe is supposed to look like. This book really seems to be missing this since it is of somewhat gastronomical educational nature.The next section is the cake primer it begins with a list of ingredients commonly used in cakes. The ingredient section begins with flour and gives information about the types of flour and why they are used, it then moves on to other basic ingredients like butter and eggs. The cake primer section finishes up with decorating, storing and serving.Finally we get to the cake recipes! There are 26 recipes with at least one recipe from every type of cake I could imagine, from cupcakes to cheesecake and everything in between. As in the coffee section the major downfall I see is the lack of pictures of the recipes. I would also like to acknowledge that there are many tips throughout the recipe section that were very helpful. I now know why my cheesecake cracks!But with so few recipes and a book that was designed to be more than a simple list of recipes, the omission of pictures from each recipe is simply unforgivable. Less than 50% of the recipes are pictured, 4 coffee and 14 cake. It's hard to choose a niche for the book.
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