I can totally admit that I tend to have a lot more grounding in very modern cake recipes – my go-to (probably because it’s Beardy Fiance’s favourite) is red velvet. But especially since I’m planning a wedding cake, I really like the idea of trying some more classic cakes. So when a copy of Roger Pizey’s World Class Cakes arrived in the mail, I was incredibly excited.
The really cool thing about this cookbook is that, while I definitely come from a US Southern tradition of cake baking, this book takes from worldwide classics – the French madeleine, a Rachel Allen cake representing Ireland, a Turkish tahini cake. I love that I know have a recipe from a wide variety of places – great if I’m hosting a themed party, if I want to introduce a bit of a taste change for a holiday, or even feeling nostalgic about holidays that I’ve taken. I don’t really know of any baking specific cookbooks that have this twist (rather than focusing on a specific area of cuisine) and so it’s definitely a useful book to have in the kitchen.
It will also really test your skills as a baker – some of these recipes, obviously do date back to the days before stand mixers and so require quite a bit of old fashioned methods. I found that to be really useful to test myself in frosting preparation and cake mixing. I’d definitely describe this book as intermediate, for the keen baker who wants to challenge themselves.
Devil’s Food Cake Cupcakes (adapted from World Class Cakes)
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/3 cups caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/3 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Allow to cool completely. Start mixing in whole milk and unsalted butter. Add in sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. See those butter chunks below? That’s what happens when your butter isn’t quite softened enough. I normally let it sit in a warm place in my kitchen (over the radiator – the one warm spot we have!) to let them soften a bit more.
Bake at 150C for about 25 to 30 minutes (until you can gently touch the cupcake and it will spring back out).
They do include a recipe for a devil’s food icing, but since this needed to be an easy, quick recipe for us (we were out the night before), I whipped up my easy chocolate frosting. However, if I’d gone for a fancy layer cake, I definitely would have gone with that separated eggs frosting.
I received a free copy of this from Quayside Publishing to review, but all opinions are my own.