Fellow blogger Suzanne Lenzer shared with us this impressive chocolate roll spread with apricot and glazed with lacquer glaze--all components from Rose's Heavenly Cakes except for the flourless chocolate roll from The Cake BIble. Congratulations Suzanne!
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Another very special review and recipe from the book, written by another long time friend, Miriam Rubin, and forwarded to me by a newer dear friend and blogger Matthew Boyer! It's so amazingly interesting to me to see how much of people's personalities are reflected in what they write in a review. And, I must say, I feel very appreciated and am wondering when it will be time to descend from cloud 9!
I haven't heard from my old friend Cornelius O'Donnell for many years now but what a way to hear from him now! This was send by another dear old friend, Blake Swihart (whom I always think of as 'sweetheart'.
Neal's Meals, early May 2010 The Diva of Desserts does it Again
The Diva of Desserts does it Again
I often listen to a couple of classical music programs on FM radio. And both have hosts that are - to put name on it - gushy. And the delivery of one weekday announced is downright breathless. These guys feel that way about Brahms, Beethoven, and Bach. I feel that way about great food and food writing. So humor me and let me gush it up in describing a new cook book.
The "Diva" in question is Rose Levy Beranbaum, and anyone who likes to bake, or would like to learn to bake, should run to the bookstore and order most all of Rose's nine books. You may know her first book - The Cake Bible - published in 1988 and named the Cookbook of the Year by the International Association of Food Professionals, a group I once was part of. Then came Christmas Cookies (a James Beard Foundation Award Winner in '98). The indefatigable Rose also produced The Pie and Pastry Bible in 1998.
More recently, praise was heaped on her 2003 Bread Bible. (I'm pretty sure she was the instigator of all the "Bible" cookbooks that others have published, for better and worse, in the last several years.)
Rose's Heavenly Cakes
Not content to rest on her laurels, Heavenly Cakes was published last year just in time to qualify for the 2009 book awards. You guessed it; the new book again won the IACP "Book of the Year." And when you pick up a copy it's easy to see why. There is no question that "Heavenly" will join the "Bible" in that pantheon of books that become instant classics. Gush. Gush.
I was impressed with the almost four pages of "Acknowledgements," including a photo of her associate Woody Wolston who painstakingly tested and retested the recipes. You really get the sense of confidence in using the recipes. Baking is so rewarding when your creation comes out perfectly. But it's one aspect of cooking that requires precise measurements. A half teaspoon too much or too little and you might have a dud instead of a delight.
I like the way the recipes are written and the feeling that Rose is beside you guiding you to perfection. Incidentally for you scientifically minded cooks, ingredients are listed by volume AND weight - in both grams AND ounces.
Add the valuable sections on the nuts and bolts of baking: special effects and techniques, ingredients and sources, equipment etc. Gush. But I caution that you'd best have ample counter space or one of those cookbook holders. This is a large format book, heavy enough to be a doorstop, and almost 500 pages long.
Restraint and Elegance
Have you seen those cake-making competitions on the tube? Zany, improbable, and wobbly-fragile creations are (maybe) fascinating to watch, but get real. What home cooks want - unless I'm nuts - is to produce desserts that are simple, attractive, and most of all tasty. And this is the time of year when cakes can celebrate graduations, anniversaries, birthdays, reunions, and weddings. The book has some stunning and doable wedding cake ideas. None of the Styrofoam layers and plastic pillars for our Rose, eh Hyacinth?
Turn the pages of the book and start by reading "Rose's Rules of Cake Baking;" no long treatise, just succinct and practical advice. Then come the recipes divided into sections: Butter and Oil Cakes; Sponge Cakes; Mostly Flourless and Cheesecakes; adorable Baby Cakes; and those wedding cakes.
While I was sorely tempted to give you a sample of such delights as the Red Fruit Shortcake in anticipation of our fresh fruit season to come, it is too long for this space. Likewise the No-Bake Whipped Cream Cheesecake, Heavenly Coconut Seduction Cake (a precursor of the wedding cakes, perhaps?), Lemon Meringue Cake, Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake, and even the two trifles so beautifully photographed. And while I've made and loved Rose's signature Lemon Poppy Seed Sour-Cream Cake, let's try the Whipped Cream Cake. It's simple, suitable for many occasions, and a perfect foil for a few fresh berries to garnish the plate.
On the way to an "after party" celebration. (Even the police cars have roses in this "city of roses" now forever in my heart as 'my' city!)
Thank you all for making this happen! Our book cover has won in the best cookbook category of 2009 and now is in the top 10 of all books! Please vote today by clicking this link or pasting it in your browser. It will only take 3 seconds if you already have an account with Amazon! All you have to do is click on the "vote now" button and it will go right to the top ten book covers. http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_86106491_2?ie=UTF8&node=2233760011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0XYHQ1ERNE5H4059ANKS&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=500810671&pf_rd_i=283155
Rose's Heavenly Cakes was just named one of the top 10 cookbooks of the year by Amazon!
The Golden Dream Wedding CakeThis is Hector's "grand finale" from the wedding cake chapter of Heavenly Cakes. I'm delighted d that Hector loved the cake so much as it is Woody and my favorite yellow cake from the new book. It also appears as a Bundt type cake and a mini gift size version. Hector has done a brilliant job executing these wedding cakes, always adding his own special creative touch. I love the little cubes of candied orange in place of the ribbon which Hector made using the budah's hand (an all zest orange! which he candied using the Cake Bible recipe for candied orange zest). And with this cake Hector has outdone himself in achieving a location that is truly divine. If you ask me to define this cake in one word, it is taste! The Golden Dream Wedding Cake is delicious, delicious, delicious... I yet have to taste a non-chocolate cake as delicious as this. The cake has a delicious buttery flavor enhanced with turbinado sugar, sour cream, ground almonds, and lemon syrup. This cake is so yummy, it reminds me of a succulent and moist Latin American wedding cake but without the chunks of raisins or candied fruits. This cake, as dreamed, has the melt in the mouth texture characteristic of Rose's butter cakes. To my amazement, this cake doesn't use any liqueurs... now I can agree that you can have a superb cake without a drop of liqueur.
This cake is easy to make, but this time was unusually easy to mix because now I have the Beater Blade and in my favorite color: yellow! This attachment works as promised, replacing your stand mixer flat beater. I also use the Beater Blade to stir and pour dry ingredients, pour the batter into the pans, and to scrape clean the mixer's bowl. I agree with all reviewers' recommendations: reduce the mixer speed by a notch, total the same mixing minutes, and never needing to stop the mixer 2 or 3 times to scrape the bowl. I tested the Beater Blade with my 6 qt Kitchen Aid filled at maximum capacity: mixing at once a pair of 6-inch plus a pair of 9-inch layers for this dreamy cake. An ingredient of particular interest for this cake is lemon oil, but you can use lemon zest instead. I much favor Boyajian lemon oil because it is much easier to use, a little goes a long way, and honestly... it tastes great. Boyajian makes the ultimate. Another fundamental ingredient is lemon syrup which is as simple to make as dissolving turbinado sugar in the juice of fresh lemons. I used my lovely Hawaiian lemons grown by Ken Love (yes, that is his last name). Ken is the authority in the field and heads the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Association. Per Ken's suggestion, I agreed that the Hawaiian lemons are plus excellent, but unfortunately (for me) Hawaiian lemons are orange color! So, when I spoke with Ken that the style element for this cake needs to be yellow, he sent me a never-seen-before assortment of citruses, all grown in Kona: sweet limes, buda's hand, calamonsi, Indian key limes, and the proudest of him: oranges from the first tree planted in Hawaii. I turned every peel into Dazzling Lemon and Orange Peel Roses (recipe in the new book): Now, here is my contribution to you, a confession: I only baked the 9-inch and the 6-inch cakes, but invented a method to make this cake a 3-tier wedding cake. I made a 3-inch cutout from the center of the 9-inch cake to make the top tier! Worked like a charm. Call me green or frugal, I thought this was a hideous idea, but Rose said it is totally fine to write about this artiste touch. The strength of the hollowed 9-inch tier was never compromised, as it held well the tiers above, surviving the GRUELING trip till the final destination for photography (so grueling, and life threatening, worth you googling about--see end of posting). This is one more proof for Rose's technique of using plastic drinking straws to support tiered wedding cakes. I am torn between raving about how wonderful the cake tastes and between raving about how WONDERFUL the buttercream tastes! The frosting is the new White Chocolate-Vanilla Bean Buttercream. It is easy to make, but a thermometer is a must to make the transformation and emulsification of white chocolate, eggs, and butter into the most delicate buttercream I've tasted. Basically, make a custard with melted white chocolate, butter, and whole eggs. Then, chill the custard to 65-70˚F and incorporate whipped butter at the same temperature. Then, add lemon zest plus a 'required amount' of lemon oil. The lemon zest gives you a deliciously looking textured pattern on the frosted cake, and I would guess that you could omit the zest and use only lemon oil for a smooth finish. Rose recommends white chocolate containing vanilla seeds, such as Green and Blacks. Another recommended chocolate is Valrhona which doesn't contain vanilla seeds, but you can add your own vanilla seeds or vanilla extract instead. Which ever you decide, vanilla turns this buttercream into something one of my tasters perceived as crème brûlée! My secret is using vanilla essence saturated with vanilla seeds; if you have been reading my previous cake reviews, I have a lifetime supply of Hawaiian vanilla seeds which I store in vanilla extract. My favorite vanilla buttercream was the Caramel Silk Meringue Buttercream, but now it is my second favorite. Here is a close up of the vanilla studded Golden Dream Wedding Cake. To make my story end, and close with 'broche de oro' here is my ultimate treat for you all wonderful readers who have been following me bake and share my experiences of the 4 glorious wedding cakes found in Rose's new book: I assembled and officially unveiled my GOLDEN DREAM IN HEAVEN cake at the Mauna Kea State Park at 13,700 feet above sea level, above the clouds. This picture is my life gift to Rose, taking her best cake to as close to heaven as one can. Hector assembling the cake in the van. Much aloha to everyone, and until my next cake commission... stay tuned... Special thanks to Dr. Luca Rizzi from the Joint Astronomy Centre United Kingdom Infra-Red Telescope http://www.jach.hawaii.edu/UKIRT. Ken Love from Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers www.hawaiifruit.net and http://www.hawaiitropicalfruitgrowers.org. Valrhona, Boyajian, BeaterBlade+ TM, Rose's Heavenly Cake Strips, and Hawaiian Vanilla Company.
Today is the official pub date of Rose's Heavenly Cakes though the book has been out for several weeks.I thank you all for your wonderful feedback. There have been several "Wows"--can't get more eloquent than that. Another favorite was "insanely wonderful" (love it)! And here's Hector's response on first receiving the book, which I leave unchanged as even his minor errors (English is his third language) touches my heart: Everyone who has cake bible will get this one. It really is everything one can wish for after cake bible! I know all your other books can also be "part two" of cake bible, but this one is it! I hope you live till 150 years, and you release a new CAKE book every 20 years. The world needs it. I am so happy you are so open to reality and indeed you are evolving. This book shows you, the new Rose, renassaince Rose, the Rose that is catering to today and to people of today. Once many times I commented, narrow minded, that mini cakes, cupcakes, red velvet, white chocolate, non mousseline, etc, are not real cake or real baking, but now you changed my vision. I glanced at your book 5 times last night, until taking it to bed and flip every page from the very first page, page by page until past middle of book and falling to sleep. I also looked at the cover, the hard cover, the spine, the paper, how this is all built. I loved my mention, I told my friends I am mentioned in the ackowledgements, perhaps in very short and small print, but now, I have near 5 lines if not a whole paragrah about me! I also loved the part you say that writting is lonelly, and the blog makes you no longer lonelly. So many new angels came to you thru the blog and keep coming, I think now is the perfect time to revamp the blog, change the design, add more functionality, no idea how, so many new technologies now. Maybe just have you come back to it the same way we miss you, with your many generous comments and answers. I think you will, new book to blog about! I don't know how you keep track and in touch with the many people you mention in the ackowledgement and introduction. The world is at your feet, so many friends, colleges, agents, and also computer people! I love woody's picture, with his meassuring device, really neat and well presented. Love the lemon poppy seed cake baked on the heart nordic pan, the slice is so stunning! I thought you already told me everything about the book, you have been, and that yesterday I wouldn't be impressed. I was so wow, this book is so beautiful my dear, so you, and it shows you made this book for love and as a gift to people that you love, many people, and with individual attention. Each cake is a love story! You wrote a cake to each person you love, like a musician giving the gift of music, you write one new song for each one of us. Thank you for been who you are, only you know how and there is only one like you, Rose, but so glad this flower comes in many colors! I hope this book does well and that you take a lot of ginseng and embrace publicity, the news, the media. We really like to hear your side of the story about this book, now that is out to the public!
Another response I adore and treasure is from my cousin Elizabeth Granatelli who is a graphic artist. She is half Sicilian and here is a photo which unfortunately is only a snippet of her with the main focus having been on the Sicilian Pistachio Cake I made for her to taste. By pure coincidence (or was it?!) she is wearing a pistachio and white striped sweater! I Elizabeth's detailed eye in describing so many of the book's special features: Hi Rose, Thank you for sending me the copy of your new book Rose's heavenly cakes. Perfect title! Congratulations! The book arrived in perfect condition, package in a paper envelope with bubbled wrap, encased in a heavy cardboard envelope. The book is exquisite! Your photographs (interior & back cover flap) compliment you. Captures you in a wonderful warm, friendly, and professional way. Woody's photo is really nice. The (book jacket) cover is elegant. The title: emboss lettering, with a gloss finish, makes your (very perfect) title stand out without taking away from the gorgeous, rich photograph. The matt finish on the front jacket enhances the richness of the photograph. Light/glare doesn't bounce off the cover. The spine is unique & outstanding as well. Rich, just the right colors, emboss text, and a touch of the end paper design. The back cover, gloss (makes sense to me because your book may sit on a table/counter top and I think the gloss finish may help protect the back part of the jacket) - a heart with two forks! Brilliant. I love the quote, taken from the forward. Under the book jacket: the hardcover design is very, very sensual........ So is cooking, baking, sharing, eating....... Yum. Nice surprise. The (interior) end pages are just lovely........ An x-ray (Man Ray style or Elliott's influence?) photographic image of small delicate roses. Love the color - not a cliché at all. And the tiny thorns......well (I thought) cooking can be dangerous, using sharp utensils. Nice metaphor, while keeping with your name, Rose. Cooking: a beautiful art, with a hint of risk! Fun! Concept designs repeats on the "Content" pages. I just love Elliott's quote, following the copyright page. Genius. Inspirational. I love the color, type, and layout re: the interior. The color scheme repeats throughout the book - very nice touch - creating a nice feel - compliments the photographs - easy on the eye - easy to follow and read - a visual pleasure. The photographs are sumptuous - rich, with light, & color - I can practically taste each piece. I love that the photographs "bleed" off the edges of the page. Well, there you have it - Again, Congratulations & thanks. I know your book will be a huge success.
I just LOVE Hector's take on my cake(s)! I think this one, in all its simplicity, is totally stunning. Of course simplicity is the hardest thing to achieve as one can't hide errors. Congratulations Hector--you have out done yourself. (And wait until the next one--it will be the grand finale!)from Hector himself: I have the honor to preview Rose's new wedding cakes, and one clause is to make the cake as written in the book. But, you know me . . . nobody said I couldn't rename the cakes and make them my own, so here is a "Slice of Heaven." The orange slice comes from the first orange tree planted in Hawaii, circa 1700s and perhaps the first in North America! The cake is the GRAND MARNIER WEDDING CAKE from the much anticipated book ROSE'S HEAVENLY CAKES. My project: 4 wedding cakes to preview, 365 days in the making. The progress: 3 wedding cakes completed, 1 more cake to preview by October 3 right after the book launches!
You must be wondering how to pipe perfect beads? These are VALRHONA LES PERLES chocolate drops, 55% , dark chocolate, perfectly shaped pearls. Just place them one by one on the cake which indeed takes much longer than piping! I am renaming this cake (once again) as LES PERLES, for my yellow kitchen catalog. Now, let's bake. The cake recipe calls for Valrhona Les Perles, which I used but semisweet mini chocolate chips are listed as an alternative. First, coat Les Perles with some flour, then mix dry ingredients and some ground almonds, add the wet ingredients, then fold in the Les Perles. The batter uses about 5 tablespoons of orange zest but instead I used orange oil as one suggested alternative. I was skeptical, especially since I am good friends with an orange farmer an authority in Hawaii! Results? When adding the BOYAJIAN ORANGE OIL to the cake batter, I smelled I was inside an orange! It was orange heaven (sans the pollution, of course). The feeling was so great that I saved my mixer's beater in a ziplock bag and took it with me to the restaurant where I had dinner that evening! The cake baked flat gorgeous. I used ROSE'S HEAVENLY CAKE STRIPS: 3 strips folded and held together with metal clamps per 12-inch cake pan. The cake rose exactly to double and as flat as a lake, all across. The Les Perles rose beautifully together with the cake batter; the bumpy blisters on the baked surface are the Les Perles. I have never seen a butter cake rise so even, especially on the 12-inch layer. I told Rose she wrote this recipe "flat gorgeous." The cake is frosted with Grand Marnier Ganache, yummy! The monogram I applied for this special occasion was done with the 3M MPRO 110 MICRO PROJECTOR. The projector is as small as my hand, and it is so practical for cake decorating! It comes with video and computer cables. Most definitely, I traced the monogram with Les Perles! You know I don't specialize in sugar craft nor cake painting, but considering during the day I am a computer guy, now it is time to use some of that to baking! You may have noticed my writing style has changed, just feeling a bit exhausted, of course, but saving energy when the actual book is in my hands. Enjoy the Grand Marnier Wedding Cake, make it as soon as you get the book. This cake isn't difficult, the hardest part is to find the Les Perles, for which I would recommend ordering them from http://www.chocosphere.com Also, it isn't a bad idea to have a good night sleep prior to monograming. Instead, I was running on solar power rather than good sleep because I served this cake for an aloha party where I also carved the lechon and run a full service Illy espresso bar! Tasting impressions: "the flavor of this cake is so extremely well balanced: not too sweet, rich yet light, I could tell the orange and the Grand Marnier. The ganache was right on to kill, I could have this cake with a thinner layer of ganache in the filling because it is that good. The pearls are intriguing and look too beautiful to cut, how did you make them so perfectly round? I can see how each wedding cake on the new book is special and distinguished, if I get married I would need to have 3 wedding cakes: the mac nut banana cake, the lacquer glaze chocolate cake, and this one." There was one observation that I puzzled about: if you look carefully at the picture of the cake slice, you will notice pockets of pastiness. I puzzled with Rose, and she agrees that the pastiness comes from chopping the almonds too fine in the food processor. I should have watched youtube as a refresher! Please watch the PBS episode for the Grand Marnier Chocolate Chip cake. Special thanks to Valrhona, Boyajian, 3M, and to Rose's Heavenly Cake Strips. Extra special thanks to Ken Love from Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, whom I will be honoring at my next wedding cake preview from the book!
i wanted this cake to be a dream, and this is the first time i felt i made one! here is my interpretation of the Deep Chocolate Passion Wedding Cake from Rose's upcoming book: Rose's Heavenly Cakes. the recipe is easy to follow, plus i made this cake to be local Hawaiian fare. A hui hou! the first ingredient i shall reveal is macadamia oil. Rose's recipe calls for a neutral vegetable oil, like safflower or canola, but i used macadamia oil instead since it is readily available. Barbara Gray from Oils of Aloha worked with me and loved the idea of using her wonderful Hawaii's Gold macadamia oil for this cake. in fact, i have been using this oil for all my chocolate chiffon cakes for years. macadamia oil has a beautiful gold shine and a slight nutty taste. it is premium and healthy, and in my opinion bakes very well for all oil based cakes. when i performed several blind tastings for this cake vs safflower, everyone agreed the macadamia oil was fine fine fine, enhancing and never overpowering other flavors, specially for chocolate. it is a neutral vegetable oil, so neutral i thought i was driving stick shift, with just an invisible backseat driver: a flavor enhancer, the mac nutty hint. you can find Barbara at www.oilsofaloha.com Rose's original cake is decorated with lovely chocolate twigs. but not long ago i had a dream "how about using vanilla beans to decorate this cake?" so since i could, i should, i did: i contacted Jim Reddekopp, and he sent me what i felt is the ultimate baker's dream: ninety four Hawaiian vanilla beans from his amazing farm and gastronomic center in Paauilo. i split the beans and saved the seeds for future use; then i soaked the split beans in House of Grand Marnier Navan vanilla cognac for weeks. if you haven't tried the Hawaiian vanilla yet, you must must must. it has a floral aroma, what i call the more beautiful twin of the finest Tahitian vanilla, plus it is longer and more plum fresh. You can find Jim at Hawaiian Vanilla Company www.hawaiianvanilla.com now comes the chocolate.... here is the cake with chocolate babies: cacao pods! this is the picture that will be gracing the walls of Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory www.ohcf.us:
growers Pam and Bob Cooper from Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory have become my best friends. no one can resist chocolate, and so glad the Copper's and chocolate have the same personality! be sure to send them an email! the cake is a chocolate chiffon cake with Rose's revolutionary new mixing method for making chiffon cakes as tiered layers. after baking, the cake is moistened with lots and lots and lots of milk ganache syrup, then filled and frosted with dark chocolate ganache. the Coopers are becoming noticed worldwide, especially with the current interest in single origin chocolate, so be sure to look for Hawaii grown chocolate at your favorite store. i loved it so much, this cake with the exact same chocolate is now part of my yellow kitchen cake catalog. it tastes like chocolate and nothing else . . . works so well in harmony with the rest of the ingredients. there is more to this cake: the shiny baby grand piano chocolate lacquer glaze. please read how this glaze came about on a recent blog post where Rose meets Zach Townsend in Paris. this lacquer glaze is so perfect and so shiny, that i went on to become friends with Zach! we had quite and interesting exchange of notes about the ability of this glaze to be forgiving to work with, to withstand warm weather, on and on till a new subject of soy sauce on chocolate came about... stay tuned. and there is more to this cake, too . . . once you get your copy of Rose's upcoming book and look at the picture of this cake, you are just going to drop. the picture is so perfect that i had to dig the world to find the person who photographed it . . . i facebook'd the great Ben Fink and commented on his picture only to hear back from him that my picture was also great! . . . photographing brown on brown on black on black on shiny on shiny is just not very easy. i hope you enjoy this cake, make it as soon as Rose's new book is out, and remember ALL the people involved on the development of this recipe: Rose, Zach, and of course Woody. without their guidance, my cake wouldn't have turned out the way you see it. Rose had the gracious act to show my cake to Daniel Patterson, for whom the cake was first designed (for his wedding back in 2007). the only thing i didn't account for while planning this cake, is hiring Honolulu Police, to escort motorcade the delivery (and more so after finding out that Whole Foods sells one Hawaiian vanilla bean for $29); instead i brought four of my closest friends, and made new friends after the cake was served, which is perfect, because i am such a nerve bag when driving with my cakes, most quit after they see me run red lights rather than slamming the car breaks. aloha. /H p.s. my cake was enjoyed at my adorable Emily and Carlos's baby shower and nobody else in the world would have been more perfect to receive this cake in celebration. here are more pictures of the cake: http://www.hectorwong.com/MYYELLOWKITCHEN/deep%20passion/index.html
Happy June 1 and happy indeed as the first cake and frosting (including commentary, photos and recipes) from my new book has appeared. Check out http://www.heavenlycakeplace.blogspot.comThis unusual combination of spice cake and peanut buttercream was inspired by Lillan Hayward, mother of Woody's T'ai Chi master Sifu Ray (funny coincidence both she and Marie are from the Twin Cities! But Marie says she chose this as her first cake to try because her husband Jim loves peanut butter.) This is my newest peanut buttercream and I'm very pleased with it. In fact I'm combining it with my new devil's food cake for a special birthday party this coming weekend in Hope!
SHARON QUESTIONHello, I am thinking about purchasing The Cake Bible. When is the new book coming out and what will be different? Should I wait for the new one or should I purchase both of them? I'm a novice to pastry making. Will there be a new pastry book also or am I safe to purchase The Pastry Bible? Thank you for a very informative site. ROSE REPLY i would highly recommend getting the cake bible and here's why: last year i did a revision but the only things i felt needed changing were the chocolate recommendations and the equipment and ingredient distributors. chocolate is now expressed in % of cocoa mass rather than manufacturer and some of the chocolates i recommended no longer exist! the recipes, however, have become classics as the book has survived for close to 18 years now and still going strong. i found there was nothing i wanted to change with the exception of the burnt almond milk chocolate ganache as the chocolate bar used to make it is no longer being manufactured so i replaced it with another delicious milk chocolate ganache (lesson learned not to have a product-dependent recipe!) the cake bible is filled with explanations about how cake baking works which is ideal for beginning and advanced bakers who want to know more and have more control over what they are doing. the new cake book will be entirely different with emphasis on the visual (some aspect of every cake will be pictured) and contain all the new ideas that have come about over the past two decades since the cake bible. re the pie pastry bible, if i ever do another on the subject it will be many years from now! but do check out the new pie crust that's on the blog. it's a variation of the cream cheese pie crust but uses heavy cream instead of water and is more tender and more delicious.