When I saw that Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss contained an authentic recipe for Black Forest Cake, I knew I wanted to add it to my collection. Unfortunately I have yet to actually try that recipe since no one else in my family eats that cake. Let's look at the positives of the book first. The hardcover version has a lovely binding. The cover of the book is beautiful. A wide variety of recipes are included ranging from cookies to tortes to breads/rolls.
This book definitely had some drawbacks for me. First is the obscure ingredients. Many of the recipes call for high-fat, European-style butter which I will never every find in any grocery store near me. I appreciate that it might be needed for authentic German results. I do wish the author had considered her American audience. A lengthy process is given for making your own quark, but some research (not the author) told me that Greek Yogurt is an acceptable substitute at least for my purposes. The second drawback is the lack of pictures of the food. The book includes plenty of pictures of Germany which would be better suited to a travel book rather than a cookbook. Some pictures could truly have been taken at any location and added nothing to appeal of the book.
Those negatives aside I did throw caution to the wind and baked the Schwarz-Weiss Geback (Checkerboard Cookies) with regular American butter. Neither my husband nor I have tasted the true German version. We both agreed that the cookies were quite good. Despite the author's stern warning that non-European butter would not work at all, I will be trying more of the recipes with regular butter.
In spite of the negatives I do like this cookbook. It will not be one that I use everyday. I do expect to experiment with more recipes. I am determined to make that black forest cake too!
disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books but was not otherwise compensated for this review. All opinions are my own!