Though I have many cookbooks, I never do a straight comparison of the recipes given in them. Since I often bake multiple dishes, I might have a batch of chocolate chip cookies from one book and a batch of brownies from another, causing tasters to declare a preference for one over the other. I don’t purposely bake and compare chocolate chip cookie recipes side-by-side, however. Perhaps I should, though, as an article in the Dallas Morning News did this type of side-by-side comparison with several cake recipes and it was very interesting to hear the differences between them.
The recipes used were for Pound Cake and Chocolate Cake, each taken from The Cake Bible, Cook’s Illustrated and Joy of Cooking. I’ve had success with recipes from all cookbooks, so I wasn’t surprised to hear that all cakes turned out well. The more interesting thing – especially for novice bakers – is to read the results that different mixing techniques make on the finished product. For instance, the Cake Bible Pound Cake has butter mixed into the dry ingredients for a tight and tender crumb. And cocoa, when used in conjunction with melted chocolate, makes for a much bolder chocolate flavor than chocolate alone in a Chocolate Cake.
The full results, in table form, can be seen below: