AmazingRibs.com is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Steak And Cake by Elizabeth Karmel

Steak and Cake cookbook

I love steak. I love cake. I love them one right after the other. Together, they are the definiton of indulgent. Even the poetry of “steak and cake” is as good an excuse as any for a cookbook, especially when the author is the talented Elizabeth Karmel. Karmel is the brains behind New York’s Hill Country Barbecue in NYC and Washington DC, and Hill Country Chicken in Brooklyn. She’s also written several other cookbooks. Karmel taught a class in steak and cake for many years at New York’s Institute of Culinary Education and now shares all her indulgent wisdom in this book.

So you’re asking yourself, “I knew there were a lot of cake recipes, but how many steak recipes could there possibly be?” Well, far more than even I dreamed. In this case, about 50 steaks and 50 cakes, each paired. Then there is a Steak Primer section and a Cake Primer section. The Steak Primer has tips on shopping for steak, steak grades, steak cuts, and cooking technique.

Karmel understands that one should not let steak come to room temperature first, that sirloin is overrated, that one should oil the food not the grates, that there are effective ways to deal with flareups, and that the importance of salt cannot be overstated. My only complaints are that she has not fully embraced the benefits of the reverse sear technique for thick steaks and of salting in advance (dry brining). She also hasn’t caught on that cross-hatch grill marks on steaks are less flavorful than an all-over sear. But these are not dealbreakers.

As Julia Child once said, “A party without a cake is just a meeting.” This book’s Cake Primer helps you throw a great party. Karmel discusses cake pan materials and shapes, ingredients such as fresh vs. sweetened dried coconut, using spirits in cake batters, and even which cooling racks are best. Recipes focus on the three most popular basic cakes: white, yellow, and chocolate. There’s also a selection of icings, glazes, and frostings.

Personally, when it comes to steak seasoning, I’m Mr. Salt and Pepper. But Karmel has opened my eyes to the indulgent potential of recipes like Cowboy Steak with Whiskey Butter, Knife & Fork Country Club Steak Sandwich, Carne Asada, Steak And Truffled Eggs, Tuscan Steak with White Anchovy and Truffle Butter and Grilled Lemons, T-Bone with Nduja Butter, Bob’s Steak au Poivre, Cofffee Rubbed Tenderloin, Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin, Luck of the Irish Flank Steak Sandwich with Charred Red Onions, and many more.

She includes some great sounding sides, too: Steakhouse Spinach, Bloody Mary Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette, Garlic Smashed Potatoes, Jicama Slaw, Chimichurri Potatoes, Yorkshire Pudding, and Grilled Mexican Street Corn Salad, to name a few.

Then there are the cakes: Whiskey Buttermilk Bundt Cake, Classic Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Baked Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnut Puffs, Houston Banana Loaf Cake, Latte Loaf, Chocolate Layer Cake, Carrot Cake, Turtle Brownie Bites, Red Velvet Four Layer Cake, Chocolate-Coconut Candy Bar Cake, Poppy-Seed Cake, Olive Oil Cake, Classic Key Lime Cheesecake, Tex-Mex Chocolate Sweet Cake, Pecan Studded Rum Cake, and Brown Sugar Pound Cake. I’m drooling just writing those words.

Karmel says, “This is a book made for celebrations and it should be more about the occasion than the meal – so don’t be rigid, and make your own rules.” Amen. Let us eat cake–and steak!

Paperback, 260 pages. Beautiful pictures by talented food photographer Steve Hamilton.

Published On: 7/15/2020 Last Modified: 4/28/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.

 

High quality websites are expensive to run. If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and a lot of freebies!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for high quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 2,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club. But please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get MANY great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Click for comments...

Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?


The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal


Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker


Green Mountain’s portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it’s also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone


GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review


Blackstone Rangetop Combo: Griddle And Deep Fryer In One


The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One


The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

Click here to read our complete review


Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
Click here for our review on this unique smoker