Cookbook Review: Steak and Cake by Elizabeth Karmel

Note: I received a digital advance reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Steak and cake--it's not only a fun rhyme, but it's also a legitimate menu plan. I can't think of anyone who would be upset coming over for dinner and finding out that the menu was steak and cake. Okay, maybe a vegetarian. Or someone watching their figure. But apparently when Elizabeth Karmel used to teach a cooking class called Steak and Cake, there was an overwhelming demand, and for good reason. Learning how to grill a steak and bake a cake are two essential skills in the kitchen. Not to mention, they're sure to make you popular with friends.

Where Elizabeth Karmel excels is taking this simple concept and spinning it into a number of different combinations with her culinary expertise and flair. She pairs a classic cowboy steak with whiskey butter with a whiskey buttermilk bundt cake. I can't think of a more perfect combination to celebrate the South. A very technique-driven prime New York strip steak roast cozies up to her chocolate layer cake (with cocoa-Frangelico frosting of course), because nothing in this book is your run-of-the-mill recipe. Her little twists on classic recipes really make this cookbook an interesting read and gives Elizabeth Karmel credibility as the patron saint of steaks and cakes.

As someone who bakes quite a bit, but is very much intimidated by steaks, this book served two purposes. 1) Acclimating me to the art of cooking big hunks of meat, whether that be on the grill, stove, or oven. And 2) introducing new and fun cake recipes for me to try! There's something for everyone here, both traditionalists and innovators, both bakers and big-meat fanatics. Not to mention, the photos are beautiful and make you inspired to cook.

While it's ultimately too niche of a concept for it to justify a spot on my cookbook shelf, I really enjoyed reading this, and it's sure to be a conversation starter no matter who you gift it to.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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