I was recently sent Gesine Bullock-Prado’s newest book, Bake It Like You Mean It, for review. I own both of Bullock-Prado’s other books, Sugar Baby and Pie It Forward, and love them. Her books are always beautifully laid-out, albeit not as easy to navigate as other cookbooks. Her writing is fun and amusing, and the headnotes are peppered with phrases that fit the sweet focus of the book, such as “meringues the size of a pug’s head.” Doesn’t that sound so much more adorable and sweet than comparing the meringues to various sports balls or fruit?
I also love the detail with which she writes her recipes. So many authors just tell you to do something, without the reasoning behind it, making it tempting to skip or alter some longer or more tedious steps. But Bullock-Prado tells you exactly why you shouldn’t overbeat your batter, or why you need to add sugar to meringues slowly.
The recipes’ difficulty range from simple to complex. Of course I, the girl who always struggles to make cakes look pretty, was immediately drawn to the most complicated cakes…the recipe for the blood orange bombe on page 52, for example, is multiple pages long. But the cake is beautiful and sounds delicious, so it is now on my bucket list.
The first cake I chose to test was the Tangerine Dream Tea Ring. I was drawn to the creamsicle description, and it was the least intimidating on my “want to try this” list. I did struggle a bit along the way, as is my tendency with cakes. The dough wouldn’t rise (perhaps my yeast was bad?), but even so, my cake was much larger than the one pictured in the book. But its taste got rave reviews, so I still consider it a win.
I struggled more with the second cake I tried, the Chocolate-Nutella Pave on page 86.
The picture in the book shows beautiful square layers of cake, with thick clouds of chocolate hazelnut mousse between them, the entire thing coated in ganache. But when I tried to pile the mousse between the cake layers, it squished out the sides, leaving me with extremely light amounts of mousse in the cake, and about 2/3 of the mousse leftover. Due to the lack of filling, the cake was a little dry, but we served it with the mousse on the side to make up for it. And on the bright side, the mousse is delicious on its own as well.
A beautiful baking book with challenging and delicious recipes, I give Bake It Like You Mean It by Gesine Bullock-Prado:
3 out of 5 stars.
Pssst. This book was sent to me for review, but this did not affect my rating. Some of these links are affiliate links. I only ever recommend products I truly love and use myself and think you will love too!