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A World of Cake: 150 Recipes for Sweet Traditions from Cultures Near and Far    by Krystina Castella order for
World of Cake
by Krystina Castella
Order:  USA  Can
Storey, 2011 (2011)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Who doesn't like cake? Whether it is a birthday party, the holiday season or just a casual get together, a slice of cake and a cup of coffee is the perfect way of sharing friendship and celebrating good times.

In A World of Cake: 150 Recipes for Sweet Traditions From Cultures Near and Far, Krystina Castella opens the door to the secrets of cake making from East to West, from medieval England to modern-day Tokyo.

As you page through this cookbook you'll discover how to make such tasty cakes as the Scandinavian kransekake, the French croquembouche, the Austrian rehruecken, or the elaborate Canadian Yule log.

Before getting down to the nitty-gritty of preparing these yummy concoctions, the author takes the reader on a Cake Walk where she looks at cake history, culture and language. You'll discover that ancient civilizations from the Chinese to the Egyptians and Greeks all prepared cakes as offerings for the gods. As sugar and spice found their way into Europe, cake making began to take off and we have never looked back.

After the general introduction to the topic, the rest of the cookbook is divided into regions of the globe. You'll visit the British Isles, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, the far East, Southeast Asia and Australia and New Zealand.

In each section family trees show how different cakes evolved and, of course, there are plenty of recipes for everything from Dundee Cake, Sachertorte, Pan de Muerto and King Cake popular in New Orleans during Mardi Gras to more exotic fare like Kanafeh, Pavlova and Sugared-Flower Hwajeon.

Beautifully illustrated, this is a book that is fun to look through even if you don't try any of the recipes. But there are so many enticing cakes shown here that it is probably impossible to just window shop.

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