Rose’s Baking Basics Production Phase 16: The Press Reviews

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An author and publisher always have their collective breath held, while they wait to read the major press reviews. Two key reviews that an author wants to be favorable are from Publisher’s Weekly and the Booklist Online. The Publisher’s Weekly review is important because it is the ‘Consumer Reports’ reviewer for the industry. If you get a positive review here, you are likely to get many other good reviews from other publications. The Booklist Online is for the American Library Association.

Here are four reviews that Rose’s Baking Basics has received from Publisher’s Weekly, ALA’s Booklist Online, Eater, and Food & Wine.

Publisher’s Weekly August 2018
Best Books    Authors

Rose’s Baking Basics
Rose Levy Beranbaum. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $35 (400p) ISBN 978-0-544-81622-0

MORE BY AND ABOUT THIS AUTHOR   Beranbaum (The Cake Bible) offers solid baking guidance in the form of step-by-step photos and detailed written instructions. The precision-minded author instructs readers to measure cupcake batter on a scale for even distribution; and, for the same reason, she suggests (perhaps too exactingly) cutting raisins in half when making rugelach. A list of potential problems and their solutions start each chapter (the cookie chapter, for example, details how not to burn the bottoms), and Beranbaum provides measurements for each recipe in both grams and volume, because she believes weighing ingredients is more reliable. Many of her recipes are straightforward and accessible for bakers of all skill levels. Chapters on cookies, cakes, pies, and tarts overflow with precise steps for American classics: double-crusted apple pie, zucchini bread, and two thumbprint nut cookies with jam. The cookies section includes a recipe for chocolate chip cookies with both browned butter for flavor and golden syrup for chewiness, as well as “brookies,” a cross between a brownie and a cookie. Beranbaum suggests using canola or safflower oil rather than butter for a layered carrot cake so that the layers can tolerate refrigeration once cloaked in cream cheese. She presents a recipe for chocolate-spangled angel food cake (“Not only is it a favorite party cake, it is also an excellent vehicle for any leftover egg whites you might have in the freezer”); for pies, there is an apple galette (“a free form tart that can be used with many fruits or berries”) and a key lime pie, for which she admits to preferring regular limes to key limes. Beranbaum’s hand-holding is invaluable, especially for those apprehensive about baking. (Sept.)


American Library Association
Booklist Online: The best book reviews for public libraries and school libraries, and the best books to read for your book club, brought to you by the ALA.

Booklist includes a very positive review for Rose Levy Beranbaum’s ROSE’S BAKING BASICS in their 9/1/18 issue.

“Beranbaum, author of the classic The Cake Bible (1988), tailors her detailed approach to baking for beginners, with plenty for advanced bakers to benefit from, too. To prepare for the worst without fear, she begins each section (“Cookies,” “Cakes,” “Pies and Tarts,” “Breads,” “Toppings and Fillings”) with a page or two of “Solutions for Possible Problems.” Recipes lead with preheating notes and a very helpful “mise en place” list that explains what to do before even beginning, such as getting ingredients to room temperature. Most recipes include “Baking Pearls,” special notes about working with specific ingredients or tools. Beranbaum does not recommend attempting substitutions on a whim, but she shares tested variations, where applicable. Hundreds of color photographs include both dazzling finished products and a wealth of step-by-step process depictions, such as forming rolled cookies or baking cheesecake and carefully removing it from its pan. With bolstering instructions and heavily tested, highly appealing recipes, this is sure to be a new favorite.”—Annie Bostrom

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Food and  

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Stay tuned for next week's Rose's Basics posting: Publisher Weekly's Partners in Crème. 
PW Talks with Rose Levy Beranbaum and Woody Wolston