Paperback: 184 pages
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press; 1 edition (November 1, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #260,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #49 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > U.S. Regional > Midwest #219 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Baking > Cakes #804 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Desserts
As a transplanted Minnesotan, I was looking forward to receiving and using this book. While the book has its strong points, overall I've been underwhelmed. The author is clearly new at this, and the book is poorly edited. For instance, in the pumpkin spice cake recipe, a "small" can of pumpkin is called for, without giving any indication as to what constitutes a small can. I used a 15 oz can, and the cake seemed to be almost mushy. Also, despite the fact that the cakes all call for different amounts of flour, they are all described as fitting into a 12 cup bundt pan. The only cake I've tried so far that fits into a 12 cup pan is the low fat apple cake (my favorite recipe out of this book so far, actually). The chocolate mayonnaise cake barely came halfway up the sides! (also, it didn't taste very good) In addition, the index is *terrible*--very clearly not a professional job. For instance, there are four kinds of apple cakes in this book, but there isn't one coherent entry for apple cakes. I consider a good index to be an essential part of a good cookbook, as it makes finding the recipes you need so much easier. Again, I see this as an example of the lack of professionalism in creating this cookbook. The Minnesota Historical Society Press has created more than one cookbook, and it really should get an editor who knows how to handle these sorts of books.As another reviewer mentions, a lot of these recipes are based on mixes. Personally, I see that as a real negative--I buy cookbooks because I don't want to use cake mixes.This book is really cute, and the authors comments are nice. The low-fat apple cake recipe was good, and the pumpkin spice cake recipe okay (though mushy). Overall, though, I'm kind of disappointed.
Susanna Short draws upon a life-time of interest in baking, as well as her professional experience and expertise as a caterer, to showcase eighty-five truly impressive recipes drawn from Midwestern kitchens and cooks. Following an informative chapter on 'Ingredients, Tools, and Preparation Tips', the individual recipes comprising "Bundt Cake Bliss" are organized into sections that focus on Chocolate Cakes; Coffee Cakes; Harvest Bundts; Springtime Bundts; Bundts off The Beaten path; Blazes; Frostings and Fillings; and Sauces. From Red Devil Cake; Hungarian Cheese-Filled Coffee Cake; Apple Butter Bundt with Cider Glaze; and Coconut Swirl Cake with Easter Jellybeans; to Pine Nut and Chili Bundt with Chili Glaze; Eastern European Honey Cake with Lemon Sugar Glaze; Butter Vanilla Frosting; and Old-Fashioned Lemon Sauce, "Bundt Cake Bliss" is a welcome and recommended culinary resource for baking that perfect desert cake for that perfect occasion all year round!
I just bought this and agree with others who were underwhelmed and disappointed. Definitely will not be my "go to" book for something special.Also, if I want to make a cake from a cake mix, I don't need a cookbook. I wish those types of recipes would be left out of "real" cookbooks, perhaps there could be a category of cookbooks for just cakes made with mixes. I don't like cakes made with cake mix, which is why I always bake from scratch.
Blame Bonny Wolf, author of EATING WITH MY MOUTHFUL, essays developed from her NPR reports. Her chapter on the Bundt pan was irresistible. I went to the back of the closet, retrieved mine and bought this book, largely on the basis that it is endorsed by Ms. Bundt (Dorothy Dalquist). With the exception of the chocolate mayonnaise cake that I must have screwed up somehow (I probably should have left it in the pan to cool longer before upending it on the rack--it arrived in pieces), what I have made thus far has worked. I am anti cake mix, so about half the recipes are not for me, but there are enough that are from scratch to make this worthwhile. I've served the low-fat chocolate cake without anyone guessing, so the recipes do work.Why I've nicked it a star: Where's the editor who would have caught the reference to pans, when only one pan is called for? Or the editor who would have noticed that one need not turn to page 136 for the peanut butter frosting recipe because it is also already on page 66 with the cake recipe that calls for it? Or that the two peanut butter frosting recipes are identical except for the amount of peanut butter? There are no photos to suggest how to decorate with frosting (really, I don't know, I only know how to do a Jackson Pollock effect with icing or a glaze). The homespun comments are cute but stop short of obnoxious. In fact, they can be enlightened (there's a "coming out" cake).
This is an excellent book. Recipes are 80% from scratch, 20% use box mixes. All are fairly simple and use standard ingredients. They are easy to follow. No pictures, but nice homey descriptions and anecdotes. A nice introduction giving the history of the bundt pan in the USA by the wife of the founder of Nordicware and a basic tips section preface. So far all I have tried have worked great. Recipes are organized by type: chocolate, harvest, coffee, springtime, etc. There are around 50 different recipes plus a section for glazes/sauces/fillings. I think it is a terrific buy and highly recommend it.
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