Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

World Class Cakes

World Class Cakes is a collection of globally-inspired desserts. The idea behind this book was to compile recipes from various countries that have been passed down from generation to generation. Despite the title of the cookbook, there are more than just cake recipes, it includes pastries, tarts, bread, and cookies too.

World Class Cakes
250 Classic Recipes from Boston Cream Pie to Madeleines and Muffins
Written by Roger Pizey
Foreword by Marco Pierre White
Photographs by Šárka Babická

ISBN 13: 9781937994167
ISBN 10: 1937994163
Publisher: Race Point Publishing
Hardcover: 288 Pages

Roger Pizey is a celebrated baker and patissier with over twenty years’ experience. He trained for two years with Albert Roux at Le Gavroche before joining Marco Pierre White as his Chef Patissier. In the foreword, we learn that Marco tried Roger's Tarte Tatin (recipe included in World Class Cakes) and made the smart decision of offering Roger jobs at Harvey's, The Restaurant, Mirabelle, and Criterion. As Marco was becoming the first British chef to be awarded three Michelin stars, Roger was creating the desserts for his restaurants. Roger also worked as Head Chef at Criterion Restaurant before returning to pastries at Petyon and Byrne. That's an impressive resume!

The recipes in this book are introduced either with a brief originating history, an account of Roger's first discovery of it, or tips on preparing it. The ingredients and instructions are easily labelled and written. There are some British phrases or terms that were kept from the original publisher, but they're easy enough to figure out. Best of all, there are lots of great photos in this book, one for each recipe!  The cover itself showcases the Devil's Food Cake and to show you more samples, here are the ones that adorn the book itself:
Have a look at that back jacket cover in the photo above.
The front endpapers.
And the back endpapers.
Guest chefs lend a hand in the book and share their favourite recipe. You'll find creations from Donovan Cooke, Willie Harcourt-Cooze, Thierry Busset, Paul A. Young, Mark Hix, Lucas Glanville, Richard Corrigan, Nancy Silverton, Rachel Allen, Shannon Bennett, Marco Pierre White, Oliver Peyton, and Christopher Farrugia.
One of the neat thing is the city guides in the book. If you travel to eat, you'll like learning about new places and I personally think that they're quite brave to include this guide, especially since this information can change on a monthly basis! There are "Where to Eat Cake . . ." features for Tokyo, San Francisco, Berlin, Singapore, Stockholm and Copenhagen, Rome, New York City, Paris, Harrogate, Madrid, Melbourne and Sydney, London, and Vienna. Most of the bakeries are classic establishments, so they probably will stand the test of time.
I've been wanting to use my leaf baking molds and my matcha powder, so I was very pleased to come across this recipe for green tea cakes.

Green Tea Pound Cake
Recipe from World Class Cakes
(Serves 10)

2 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of matcha/green tea powder
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cup of sugar
4 eggs, beaten
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F and grease and line a 10 x 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 deep loaf pan with parchment paper. Or in my case, grease silicone molds in the shape of leaves.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and matcha powder together in a bowl.
  3. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the eggs, mixing in a little bit of the flour halfway through.
  4. Add the rest of the flour into the batter and mix until fully combined.
  5. Pour the batter into your loaf pan or silicone molds and bake in the preheated over for 30 to 35 minutes, since cakes were individually sized, I baked for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Let the cake(s) cool for about 10 minutes and turn out to cool on a wire rack.
Now that autumn is here, we've watched the green leaves change colour. I liked that this cake had a crunchy exterior, but a soft and firm texture on the inside. They're really lovely tea cakes to enjoy with a hot beverage. Not quite as crunchy as a biscotti and not too sweet as other cakes, the only thing I didn't get was the brilliant green colour that the cookbook's photograph achieved. Perhaps it's the brand of matcha powder we're using, it's quite subtle, but the flavours are there. It's better than eating green colour dye!
It's feeling a little bit colder these days. Heck, we even saw some flurries when we drove out west during the weekend, but I do like how the cooler weather keeps the kitchen nice and manageable when the oven is on.
After plating this for my dad and Howard to try, it reminded me of all the little squirrels foraging for nuts in our neighbourhood right now.

Disclaimer: The Public Relations and Marketing Manager of Quayside Publishing Group reached out to us and provided the review copy of World Class Cakes. No incentives were used to produce a positive review of this book. All opinions are our own.

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