Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes (Anglais) Relié – 28 octobre 2014
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Il y a de nombreuses recettes originales et surtout celle du CRONUT !! Le vrai de vrai, le premier du nom ^^
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The book opens with a foreword by Daniel Boulud, a brief introduction, then there are seven short essays on Dominique's approach to pastry and his journey up until now:
1. Time is an Ingredient
2. Beyond the Comfort Zone
3. Don't Listen
4. What's in a Name
5. Create and Re-Create
6. Everything but the Flavor
7. Never Run Out of Ideas.
I've always felt a little bit badly about not liking madeleines, but in the first "chapter", Ansel explains why I find them dry and not that exciting. It's so nice to know that madeleines truly are meant to be eaten fresh, within five minutes from the oven. Now I have a reason to try baking them myself!
In chapter 7, Ansel discusses why he decided to make the lime tart customizable for the customer, and how he designed a groove in the tart to let customers participate in having exactly the sweet/salty/sour lime tart they wanted.
His recipes are split into three sections: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Every recipe is accompanied by a photo of the final product, and every photograph is stunning. It's bizarre, but in the kindle version, the gluten-free label appears with almost every recipe in the beginning section. Some recipes are actually GF, but others call for all-purpose flour.
The beginner section contains:
Hot chocolate (GF)
Chocolate pecan cookies (GF)
Mini madeleines - kindle version labels as GF, but the recipe calls for all-purpose flour.
Mini me's (meringues) (GF)
Popcorn Chouquettes - kindle version labels as GF, but the recipe calls for all-purpose flour.
Marshmallow Chicks (GF)
Vanilla Ice Cream (GF)
Apple Tart Tatin - kindle version labels as GF, but the recipe calls for all-purpose flour.
The Purple Tart
Cannele de Bordeaux
Perfect Little Egg Sandwich (savory)
Black and Blue Pavlova (GF)
Pink Champagne Macarons (GF)
Apple Marshmallow (GF)
Christmas Morning Cereal (GF)
"Lime Me Up" Tart
Arlette (this is a cookie)
Chocolate Caviar Tart
The Angry Egg (GF)
Dominique's Kouign Amanns
The At-Home Cronut(TM) Pastry
Ganache - Vanilla Rose, Whipped Lemon, Champagne Chocolate
Flavored Sugars - Vanilla, Maple, Orange
Glazes - Rose, Lemon, Champagne Chocolate
Iberico and Mahon Croissant - kindle version labels as GF, but the recipe calls for all-purpose flour.
Sweet Potato Mont Blanc
Finally, these recipes are followed by a techniques section, with step-by-step photos of critical techniques:
Pate a choux
Many of these recipes do call for "specialized" or uncommon kitchen equipment, like specific molds, an airbrush, tart rings, blowtorch, smoking gun, apple wood chips, precision scale, piping bags, fine/medium-fine sieves, deep-fryer (Cronut), Ateco/Wilton tips, ring cutters, terrine mold, ice cream machine, etc...
It's important to note that with the exception of the first two recipes, almost every single recipe presented here requires at least two days from start to finish, and some are certainly more time-intensive than others. These recipes require serious dedication and time commitment. The recipes are very well-organized, starting with a photo, skill level, time requirement, and yield. This is followed by a Timeline section, then a Special Tools section, and next an ingredients section with what you will need for each component detailed separately in weights and volumes. Finally, the step-by-step guidelines are broken up by day and by component, then the final assembly. This is followed by notes/advice, serving instructions, and storage instructions.
To make the Cronut(TM) [because, honestly, that has to be the first recipe I try from this book] you need to make the ganache and the pastry dough (which is a two-step process with 2-3 hours in between) as well as the butter block two days ahead of time. The day before, you laminate the dough. The day of, you cut and fry the dough, make the glaze and flavored sugar you've chosen, and assemble.
The last small part is some basic techniques. This has pictures too to show the process of laminating a dough, etc. which i found useful as I don't know a ton about baking.
I'd pick it up if you are even mildly interested in baking and Ansel's recipes. He is an absolute genius and this has to have some of the most creative dishes (pastries, etc.) I've ever seen. I wasn't as familiar with his stuff so some of it really blew my mind.
How does it compare to Bouchon Bakery?
On quick glance and off the top of my head, The Bouchon Bakery cookbook is much more thorough in terms of variety of recipes and standard pastries, etc. Dominique's book is very specific to his own unique creations and very intense. I'd say the hardest recipe in Bouchon Bakery is maybe as hard as the fifth hardest recipe in Dominique's book. By hard I mean a lot of things like steps, duration to complete the recipe, and how difficult it might be to execute it.
But I haven't cooked a ton out of the Bouchon Bakery either so not sure how accurate that may be. The biggest difference is Bouchon Bakery really has every standard french baking recipe in it. Breads, sweets, all of the above. Dominique's book has mostly sweet things of his own design that he sells at his shop. There are some overlap of recipes with Bouchon Bakery but most of the recipes in Dominique's book are really unique to him. I'd say Bouchon Bakery would give you a wonderful education in baking, etc. and Dominique's book would show you how to really execute 3 Michelin starred pastries, or whatever you'd call Dominique's genius creations.
How do I know this? Well, I've stood on his sidewalk waiting in line, munching on his apologetic freshly baked madeleine finally understanding why Proust was so transported. I have tasted the Cronut, with enthusiasm, and I have tasted its imitation, I have been to Fauchon (where he was forged) and I have read his book.
Like most of the cookbooks that are coming out these days, the book is by weight roughly half essays and pictures, as much about the vision and experiences of the chef as about recipes. If you go to his shop, you get to pick a number of varied little bites and tastes, so too with this book. It is not written in long form but rather a series of mostly one page ruminations on certain desserts and the themes and creative process that led to them. These essays are extremely well written, so much so that either Ansel must be congratulated on having mastered English thoroughly enough to work professionally as a food essayist (and perhaps he has, having the intellect to explore how memory and time go into enjoying something as simple as a marshmallow) or his nameless ghostwriters must be named and thanked, so that they can be called upon to help other cookbook authors craft a worthy product. He writes about the craft, his youth and training, and the things he would love to change in the industry. He describes his deep love of New York City and the people in it, and tries to explain as best he can why he will never pre-make certain products or start a chain of Cronut stores.
To write such a book, calling attention on the cover to the "secret" nature of the recipes and the fame of the bakery and chef, is to invite comparison. This is not a book that aims to make a novice into a skilled baker, nor does it try to encompass the entire cannon of what might be found in bakeries of note (a la the Bouchon Bakery cookbook, a textbook unto itself). These are not professional recipes which specify four differing flours of different protein content for one recipe and require esoteric baking equipment. Rather, it gives a few key recipes to the items that define the bakery, modified for the home kitchen. A professional baker trying to scale up and duplicate the Cronut home recipe would be, I think, frustrated in the attempt. The true secrets remain unpublished, as yet. The home cook trying to make the same recipe will be rather pleased with themselves. Standouts include the Kouign Amann (DKA), and the Perfect Egg Sandwich, and the simple hot chocolate made from ganache. Recipes are organized into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced and represent, perhaps, a learning curve or at least an increasing investment of time and frustration that will eventually with requisite repetition yield outstanding results. Metric weight measurements are joined by the American volume measurements on the page, and marginalia clarify difficult points of execution. The book is rounded out by a few base recipes and techniques and ultimately proves a worthy addition to a kitchen, bookshelf, or coffee table. It costs roughly the same as a black market Cronut might, or as much as 4 Cronuts would at the counter.
Dominique Ansel came out the other end of classical French training and found himself a uniquely American palate to work in, and his creations are defined by their familiarity, but with a special "twist." He is playful, and this is a playful book of new things. Many people have lined up to buy his pastries, and I anticipate many will line up to buy this book. It may be as close as he ever comes to selling out, but really its just all of us trying to buy in.