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Even Karen Krasne's local contemporaries (i.e., competitors) freely admit it — the woman knows her confections and does a hell of a job. Like a plastic bride atop a skyscraper-high wedding cake, she's had her feet planted firmly in the frosting strata of SD's top tier of dessert experts since the late '80s. If you're anything like me, you've walked into her Hillcrest sugar shrine, Extraordinary Desserts, and marveled at the grandiose, colorful and sometimes seemingly gravity-defying decorations adorning her baked goods and wondered, how'd she do that? Well, it looks like questions like that are about to be answered...at least where cakes are concerned.

Krasne, who was once dubbed the "Queen of Cakes" by Gourmet, has penned a cookbook titled Extraordinary Cakes: Recipes for Bold and Sophisticated Desserts. It's slated to be released in early October and will include a wide variety of her notable creations from the past 22 years, including her New York, New York — a devil's food testament to all things cocoa juxtaposed by caramelized apples — or the similarly chocolaty Viking, a chocolate cake and crème brûlée torte spackled with crushed chocolate-almond pralines. Fruity numbers like blackberry cheesecake and the lemon praline help make the book more than the chocoholic equivalent of a porno mag, but they taste just as sinful.

An official release party will be held at Extraordinary Desserts' Little Italy location at 1430 Union Street on October 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. where Krasne will be autographing copies of her book. Further sweetening the celebration is the fact that a portion of proceeds from it will be donated to San Diego's Ronald McDonald House. Nice value added. Ditto for the champagne, wine and Ballast Point beers that will accompany a myriad of selections from the book.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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