Steak and Cake: More Than 100 Recipes to Make Any Meal a Smash Hit.


May 2019. 272p. Workman, paper, $22.95 (9780761185741). 641.6.
REVIEW.First publishedMay 1, 2019 (Booklist).

Everyone knows how to cook a steak, and the best cakes come from a bakery box, right? Karmel (BBQ&A, 2014) proves these assumptions more than wrong with these 100-plus recipes pairing, you guessed it, steak and cake. Throughout, she shares her expertise and knowledge of the culinary world, whether that means lessons from chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten and David Lebovitz or a deep-veined précis, covering everything from cuts of meat to slick baking techniques. Dieters, step aside: every dish is decadent; every match of meat and sweet, delicious. Try beef tenderloin kebabs and Palooza cake walk, or cumin-rubbed flank steak and Tex-Mex chocolate sheet cake, for starters. She adds even more variety with accompanying variations after the initial duet has been presented, and includes more than a few secrets of the art, such as why steak knives matter and “I don’t think seasoning on the steak adds anything except visual appeal.” Anticipate other forthright opinions and a pretty serious photographic glossary of steaks, each with names, muscle group, flavor intensity, texture, defining characteristics, prep notes, and approximate prices by dollar signs. Includes conversion tables. 

— Barbara Jacobs

Pat Nunnari