Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ten best cookbooks of 2009

T. Susan Chang is a New England-based freelance writer and a Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow. She also is the Boston Globe's regular cookbook reviewer, and her articles on cooking, gardening and nutrition appear in a variety of national and regional publications. For NPR, she came up with a ten best list of 2009 cookbooks.

One title on the list:
Rose's Heavenly Cakes, by Rose Levy Beranbaum, hardcover, 512 pages, Wiley, list price: $39.95

Rose Beranbaum has more cake knowhow in her little finger than you will find in the entire Baking Needs aisle at your local supermarket, which is probably why you bought The Cake Bible 20 years ago and never felt the need for another cake book. Rose's new book is for the palate that wants to take a step beyond the pound cakes and yellow sponges and chocolate roulades of yesteryear. Graced with red currants, Seville oranges, pineapple caramel or blackberry mousse, these are cakes that trot down the runway with a sly, secret smile.

Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake is the sophisticated heir of angel food cake, its sweetness arrested and tamed by flecks of bitter chocolate. More exotic but just as grownup is the Sicilian Pistachio Cake, brilliant green blanched pistachios scattered over a golden buttercream. After a couple of years of less ambitious books devoted to cupcakes and quick breads for weekend bakers, it's nice to see that the Cake Queen's still willing to luxe it up.
Read about another cookbook on Chang's list.

--Marshal Zeringue