Steak and Cake: More Than 100 Recipes for the Best Meal Ever

Elizabeth Karmel. Workman, $22.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7611-8574-1


In this wonderfully indulgent cookbook, Karmel, the founding executive chef of New York’s Hill Country Barbecue, matches red meat entrees with decadent desserts. Home cooks will be tempted by, for example, steak Diane cooked in shallots, brandy, and butter, which is followed by retro chocolate cupcakes with a sweet mascarpone center; as well as individual servings of beef Wellington that share the table with a chocolate-coconut candy bar cake. Karmel relies mainly on recipes from her friends and family: the POTUS carrot cake originated with her cousin Carol, who was once Gerald Ford’s chef (the cake is paired with a New York strip steak). One-time Spiaggia pastry chef Cece Campise contributes a cast-iron lemon steak with a sauce of wine, lemon juice, butter, and shallots to go with a Houston banana loaf cake. Butter is the common denominator among many of these dishes, though, with an Irish flank steak sandwich and its accompanying double-chocolate Guinness bundt cake, stout beer is the shared ingredient. Karmel’s teaching skills truly shine in the book’s final 50 pages, where she presents excellent primers on the basics of steak and cake preparation. Whether smothered in onions or covered in frosting, Karmel’s offerings are as rich as they are satisfying. (May)


Reviewed on: 12/17/2018 
Release date: 04/01/2019 
Genre: Nonfiction

Pat Nunnari