Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, by Rose Levy Beranbaum (Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), $39.95

The quote on the book’s back cover, taken from my Foreword contributed to Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, remarks that this book is not simply a successor to The Cake Bible, it is “a bright new guide to the glories of cake baking.” Occasional bakers as well as those who prepare cakes for retail sale will treasure the range in this book.

In Ms. Beranbaum’s hands, the art of cake baking is a meticulous, thorough-going process. The formulas expressed in her latest volume are every bit as detailed as those in The Cake Bible, a cookbook that marked a turning point for communicating, through the written word, this intricate and established culinary art to an audience of both professional and recreational bakers. The details, however, are a bit different–and equally as important to the work.

While both books are creative dissertations on cake, the last one, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes,  is more visually expressed–an important addition that gives readers at all levels of experience a way to understand a recipe before the ingredients are measured and the oven is preheated. by viewing the well-articulated images, you can compare and contrast your baking to the expert’s, and learn many tricks along the way. Baking images are not only inspirational, they are informative.

The information provided in the beautifully designed pages and tables (charts) may give the appearance that some recipes are difficult but this is not so, for the detailed particulars represent important guidelines for accomplishing certain techniques. Rose Levy Beranbaum, in addition to other authors such as Flo Braker (author of The Simple Art of Perfect Baking and Sweet Miniatures), Alice Medrich (author of, among many, Bittersweet and Flavor Flours), and Nick Malgieri (author of, among many, the seminal How to Bake) certainly paved the way for my contributions to the literature of baking, enlarging the sweet impact in the world of cooking along the way.