The TV show Cake Boss on TLC is focused on the day to day workings for Buddy Valestro’s New Jersey Carlo’s Bakery, including everything from the family dynamics of those who run to place to the efficient production that goes into make beautiful cakes for weddings and birthdays. In Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia, you get a lot more background on Buddy and the history of the bakery, making this book a great companion for fans of the series and those who might simply be interested in the inner workings of a very successful bakery.
The book starts out with the story of Buddy’s father, who was born in Italy and grew up working in his grandfather’s bakery, and how h came to work at – and eventually buy – Carlo’s Bakery in 1963. It has been in the family ever since. The book goes on to describe the work that buddy’s father did there, how Buddy rose up to the challenge of filling his shoes after his death and how he built on the bakery’s success to make it bigger and more popular than before. It’s one of those classic American stories where hard work and skill reap big rewards in the end for everyone involved. The book is full of great black and white family photos from the last several decades.
After the history lesson, there is a big section of recipes from the bakery, with many cake, pie and frosting recipes. The one that will stand out the most is the recipe for lobster tails, which are the bakery’s signature (and most difficult to make) desserts. This particular recipe even warns that you might not want to attempt the sfogliatelle dough at home unless you’ve had experience working in a bakery before! Still, the recipes are well written and well explained, and while most are much simpler than the lobster tails, there should be no reason that a little persistence shouldn’t pay off for home bakers and result in some great bakery-quality cakes to enjoy while watching the show or reading the rest of the book.