Even experienced home bakers will often reminisce about the wonderful cakes that their mothers and grandmothers seemed to be able to produce at the drop of a hat without the aid of recipes. It wasn’t that we are any less capable of baking a cake than they were, just that people tend to spend a little less time in the kitchen and experiment with baking a little bit less. This means that techniques that came easily to those women might take a little longer for younger bakers to learn. All Cakes Considered is a cookbook that was the result of one woman’s quest to really learn how to bake cake – and not just to bake one cake, but to be able to bake great cakes and put herself in the same category as those cake-baking mothers and grandmothers of previous generations.
The recipes in this book are great for bakers of all skill levels, but less experienced bakers will find the way they are written to be particularly helpful because it is actually set up to help you learn about cake baking techniques. The recipes towards the beginning of the book are simpler and the instructions are extremely detailed, and the cakes get more complex as you head towards the back of the book. If you have a lot of experience with cakes, of course, you can skip around at any time, but it is nice to see a book that was so thoughtfully composed and is really designed to help would-be bakers learn about baking cakes and not just providing readers with a list of recipes.
The cake recipes in this book cover a wide range of flavors, in addition to a range of techniques, from basic pound cake to a Peppermint and Rum Chocolate Marble cake to a Lady and Lord Baltimore Cake. All of them are very approachable and clearly written, particularly if you are cooking through the book in order. There are plenty of photos to keep your mouth watering, tips to ensure your recipes come out perfectly and lots of anecdotes about the recipes (and recipe development) that went into putting the book together, too. The book is a lot of fun to read and the recipes are appealing right away, making this a book that is worth some serious consideration for someone who already loves to bake cakes or wants to start baking them.