I have so many cookbooks that it's almost ridiculous....although I justify buying more and more because baking IS my job (and I can claim back the tax, YAY!) Where baking books are concerned (as opposed to more general cookbooks) I am quite choosy, however. I bake 6 days a week...so they really have to say something new and give me inspiration.
I saw this book when we were in the US last year and made a note of the title(far too heavy to buy there and bring home!) American books are usually my favourites for baking ideas as I find the cakes are just the kind my customers expect - tall, beautiful & unusual. A little bit different to the normal coffee shop offerings.
The first thing that attracted me was the fact that it's published by my VERY favourite company, the San Francisco based Chronicle Books. Their titles are always beautiful, well laid out and in a wonderful format (smaller than average) and I can spot them anywhere!
Melissa Gray has produced a gorgeous book,packed with unusual recipes that I couldn't wait to try. As I write, the smell of her Key Lime Cake is wafting it's way from my oven. Mmmm!
The author works for National Public Radio and, every Monday, brings a different cake into the office for her co-workers. This book is a collection of the recipes, often accompanied with a little story about where the cake idea originated. She writes in a contemporary, witty & chatty style that I find very appealing - she feels like a friend.
Most importantly, I've made many recipes...stand outs include Cinnamon Almond Coffee Cake, ATF Gingerbread, Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting & Triple Chocolate Orange Passion Cake...they are all delicious & they ALL WORK first time.
There are also cookie & pie recipes and great, informative sections on ingredients and equipment that would be really useful for someone who doesn't bake so often (or isn't too familiar with American ingredioents etc)
This book is at the front of my shelf and I use it regularly when I need a new, zesty idea to stun my customers. Highly recommended to all who love baking!