Out of food-writer and cooking-school owner Beranbaum's search for ""a book that would demystify and reveal all the basic and classic cakes, buttercreams, icings, fillings and toppings in their simplest form and show how to create any cake imaginable"" comes her own almost inexhaustible offering. Directions are straightforward and very detailed. Volume, ounce, and gram measurements for all ingredients eliminate the chaos of conversion; and the instructions, assembly and storage instructions, and a section called ""Understanding,"" could hardly be more thorough. ""Understanding"" explains chemical processes, and answers recipespecific questions--e.g., why cocoa instead of chocolate, why arrowroot over cornstarch, and how butter works as a ""cake tenderizer."" Beranbaum's extensive repertoire ranges from ""Simply Delicious Foolproof Cakes,"" ""Techniques [and proportional charts] for Making Large Wedding Cakes,"" and over 50 recipes ""with no cholesterol and low saturated fats,"" to such icing delights as food processor pouring fondant, stabilized whipped cream (holds for 24 hours), and 38 variations on the classic butter-cream. A valuable manual for both the amateur and the aspiring professional baker. As Maida Heatter predicts in her foreward, ""this book will become your partner in the kitchen.