CAKE BOSS: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia

Buddy Valastro is the master cake baker at Carlo’s Bake Shop, a 100 year-old bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. For the last two years he’s been the Cake Boss at TLC television. It’s a spirited show featuring Buddy’s mother, four sisters and four brothers-in-law as they all work together in the bakery. It’s fun and interesting to watch the interplay between the volatile family members.

Now Buddy can add author to his list of accomplishments. Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia is a touching family memoir with pictures from their personal photo album. If that’s not enough, half the book is devoted to recipes and instructions on making many of this Italian bakery’s special pastries.

The story section covers the creation of Carlo’s Bake Shop and all the hard work by the whole family to make it a success. My favorite part was when Buddy talked about his father. Buddy loved and respected his father, Buddy, Sr. His father mentored him while he was still in school.

The two Buddys also learned together as they traveled to Italy to reconnect with their Sicilian roots. As it turned out, it was a good thing Buddy Jr. learned the business at an early age. His father died when he was just 17. It was then Buddy’s turn to take over Carlo’s Bake Shop. I also liked reading about Buddy’s struggles to master the elusive Lobster Tails.

The food half of Cake Boss “features thirty-eight never-before-published recipes for Carlo’s Bake Shop’s most popular treats.” That includes cookies, pastries, pies, cakes and cupcakes. There are recipes for Classic and Modern Biscotti, Pignolis, Cannolli, Vanilla, Chocolate and Crumb Cakes, as well as recipes for creams, frostings and fillings.

The directions for each recipe are very complete. In addition, there is a paragraph or two at the beginning of each recipe which provides some background on that particular pastry. Each recipe does not have a picture but there are many pages of full color pictures of the various pastries.

One of the recipes I was especially interested in was Buddy’s Tiramisu. He said that his family refers to this cookie as the “Italian pick-me-up because it has such huge quantities of sugar and caffeine.” Here’s what’s in it: espresso, sugar, coffee liqueur, egg yolks, mascarpone cheese, sweet marsala, heavy cream, cocoa and ladyfingers. Oh, yes, I’m wired just reading the list!

The reason I was interested in the Tiramisu recipe was because of an interview I’d read about the book in USA Today. In it Buddy said this:

“Many families are like tiramisu, he says. “Tiramisu is many different layers making a complex dessert. A family has their layers and personalities, and if a family works together and gets the best out of each other, you have magic.”

Food is intricately woven into the fabric of this family and, yes, you do see the magic. Reading about them warmed my heart in addition to making me drool. This is a good read if you love memoirs or if you’re a Cake Boss TV fan or if you love stories of family dynamics. There’s something for everyone.

To watch Cake Boss, check your TV Guide on Monday night, the TLC channel. They are currently in their fourth season. Here’s their website: Cake Boss on TLC.

Look for this book at your local library or your local bookstore. It’s also available at Amazon. (I’m an Amazon Associate.) I received my copy from the publisher.

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking, a weekly feature at Beth Fish Reads. Click the button below and it will take you there.

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23 Responses to CAKE BOSS: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia

  1. Beth F says:

    I admit that I’ve never watched the Cake Boss, though I’ve heard of the show. Now I feel that I’ve really missed out! I loved the quote about families you shared. Oh man, I have a lot to discover!

  2. JoAnn says:

    I keep hearing about CAKE BOSS, but must be the only person around that hasn’t watched the show. Maybe I’ll remember to tune in this Monday…

  3. I really like tiramisu, but it’s about a zillion calories a piece! I’ve also had tiramisu frozen custard – in Wisconsin, of course!

  4. Alex Baugh says:

    I don’t watch Cake Boss because cake is my absolute weakness but the book sure sounds good to me.

  5. Annie says:

    It’s just tea-time. Difficult not to pick in the cookies box !

  6. I’ve only seen the show a couple times but have to say I would love the book! Great quote. I have friends that went to the bakery and there were lines to get in!

  7. kaye says:

    I’ve never seen the show but I like his quote about families and tiramisu.

  8. Pam says:

    I’m a cake boss fanatic, have been for some time, finally went to Hoboken last weekend during a trip to NY, didn’t get in because of the lines, we were on a time schedule, but did get pictures,(would rather of had a cannoli)anyway love the show, love Buddy, next trip I will get in and will get a cannoli and maybe a lobster tail too! Just printed out the recipe for tiramisu, can’t wait to try it, Yum~~~

  9. Belle Wong says:

    I love tiramasu. Plus, it always reminds me of that scene in Sleepless in Seattle, when Tom Hanks is talking with Rob Reiner about getting back into the dating game 🙂

  10. TheBookGirl says:

    I watch this show regularly. I probably would be too intimidated to try the recipes, but I want to get the book anyway, just to read it 🙂

  11. Esme says:

    I have seen the book-however I did not know he had a show. tiramisu is one of my favorites.

  12. Rikki says:

    Nice family quote. And who wouldn’t like Tiramisu?

  13. Chinoiseries says:

    I believe Cake Boss was also featured on Discovery Channel? Hm, one way or the other, it’s not being screened anymore on Dutch television 🙁 That tiramisu sounds fantastic. Love, love, love!

  14. I’m not a fan of the show but the book looks really interesting.

  15. I have seen the show a couple of times. the book sounds like a winner.

  16. Looks like a fun book and show. I get tiramisu in Italian restaurants on very special occasions!

  17. Nan says:

    This sounds just wonderful!! I’ll have to see if I get the show on my dish.

  18. I think I’d love the story of the shop. I’m sure I’d never be able to re-create any of his cakes.

  19. Staci says:

    I love watching the show and I think they’re true artists!!! This looks like a fun book!

  20. Bob says:

    My wife got me hooked on the show the other day and it’s amazing to see how the crew of Cake Boss makes such creative and awesome cakes for people. On TV in HD, the cakes look so real I can almost taste it. I’m glad that DISH Network has the TLC in HD. I am a customer and employee of DISH, and if you’re interested, you can find out how to get your HD free for life online at DISH Network’s official website.

  21. Ruth says:

    Until this year my daughter lived in Hoboken, and whenever we visited her, a feature of any walk down Washington St. was the loo-oo-o-ng line of determined people waiting to get inside the bake shop or have their picture taken in front of it. We were there last July during the record heat wave, when a woman waiting to get inside suffered heat stroke and was taken away in an ambulance. Poor lady–I hope she got to go in later. We never tried to get in, though; as a resident, my daughter believed in patronizing the other lovely bakeries in town who were waiting to be discovered too.

  22. Michelle Katamila says:

    I live in Namibia a Country in Africa..I love you show Buddy and Your Cakes Are Awesome..Your Very Talented..Love Namibia

  23. sierra berry says:

    hi i watch your show cake boss every night and i would love to know the recipe for your lobster tails because they look delicious!!!yum yum btw i love u r work and love u r creativity -sierra

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