The Essential Cake Boss by Buddy Valastro: Craft Book Review

Title: The Essential Cake Boss: A Condensed Edition of Baking with the Cake Boss
Author: Buddy Valastro
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: October 2013
Number of Pages: 192
Series: Stand Alone:
Reason for Discovery: GoodReads First Reads Program

I received this book through the GoodReads First Reads Program in exchange for an honest review.

From GoodReads:

Here are the essentials from Buddy Valastro’s instant classic, the New York Times bestselling Baking with the Cake Boss, in a condensed, more affordable paperback package with a dynamic, new design. Here are extensive explanations and step-by-step photos that show how you can bake—and decorate—just like the Boss! 

Everyone who works at Carlo’s Bake Shop gets an on-the-job education on how to bake like a pro. Now you can get that training in The Essential Cake Boss, a collection of Buddy’s recipes and techniques that are the building blocks of his show-stopping desserts. You’ll learn to work with baking and decorating equipment, bake perfectly moist cupcakes and cakes, and work magical effects with frosting and fondant. With Buddy’s inspiring enthusiasm and stories from the bake shop told in his inimitable voice, The Essential Cake Boss provides you with the tools for making his most popular, signature creations. A unique chart lets you mix and match cake flavors, frosting, and liqueur syrup to create your own personal trademark cakes. Plenty of gorgeous, step-by-step instructional photos let you follow Buddy as he shows how to create his artistic flourishes and decorations. An incomparable dessert education, The Essential Cake Boss will become a beloved reference for aspiring and skilled bakers alike.

I enjoy watching cooking shows on television. In fact, I have watched several episodes of the Cake Boss, because I love to watch how cakes are put together. It is amazing what people can do with a bit of flour and some eggs. When I read this book, the word that kept popping into my mind was "comforting." Buddy Valastro takes a quiet approach with his readers and eases them into the idea of being a baker. He explains that baking is a skill that can be learned with lots of practice. He encourages his reads to start with cookies and then eventually graduating to cakes. As I read the book, I noticed that I started saying to myself that I can do this!

Although this book is a condensed version of Valastro's large book, The Essential Cake Boss feels complete and is surprisingly detailed. Valastro goes into great detail explaining what equipment a baker needs and why. In addition, he gives some great advice on baking in general. Something that made me quite happy is that there are a lot of pictures showing you what things are supposed to look like. The large numbers of pictures keep the number of written instructions limited, so none of the recipes look too intimidating.

This book contains five cookie recipes, eight cake recipes (and additional recipes that build on these eight foundational cakes), and 10 frosting and fillings recipes. Additionally, Valastro shows the reader how to several different types of cake toppers (predominately flowers).

My skill set does not include cooking; however, this book gives me the courage to make some cookies and maybe attempt a cake for the upcoming holiday season.

I give this book 4 out of 5 cakes.


Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...
October 28, 2013 at 8:46 PM

I have been to this shop, since I am a Jersey girl..although now I live in the midwest. I enjoy the show as well.

Unknown said...
October 28, 2013 at 11:37 PM

The show is fun, I like to watch people bake and cook things that are way beyond my skill level. :)

Chanzie said...
October 29, 2013 at 8:44 AM

I love the variety of books you review :) I really enjoyed this post! I love baking and this seems like a good book to add to my collection

Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

Unknown said...
October 29, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Thanks! :) I really do mainly read SF&F; however, with GoodReads giveaways and ARCs, I start to creep outside my comfort zone in reading. I am a bit surprised myself regarding what I find myself enjoying!

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