Cakes and pastries
I wanted to ask you guys if you could recommend a good book for cakes and pastries that is amateur-friendly, with some coverage of technique or tips that could help improve my baking experience.
The reason I ask is that I have tried, on several occasions, to bake cakes from scratch following recipes from a generic baking book that I bought from Borders, but each time have been disapointed with the results. Each time the cakes come out flat and dense (I had much better luck with the croissants I baked). I thought that this could be the result of my poor technique/knowledge, the quality of the available equipment in my kitchen, the quality of the ingredients I have at my dispossal, or all of the above. Or (it occured to me) it could also be the result of a poorly written book (?).
In any case, if anyone could recommend a book to help an amateur, I'd appreciate it very much. :)