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jerry i h
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This is cookbook has my highest recommendation. The author has garnered a legendary reputation as an educator to newbie pastry chefs, and this book is a distillation of his knowledge and skills. Even the dedicated home pastry chef can benefit, but with a few caveats as noted.
Each recipe in this book is equivalent to those mini-demos I got in cooking school. You have a copy of the recipe in front of you, and the chef executes the recipe step by step and explains what he is doing and why, each and every step along the way. This book has hundreds of such recipes, many of them are sine qua non. Especially: your employer has asked you to make something that you have never even heard of before, much less seen or tasted. If you can find that recipe herein, your chance of success the first time through is very high: the chef will gently lead you through the recipe.
The chapter on mise-en-place and sauces are quite useful (ditto for the appendices: ingredients, tools). Here, in one book, is collected all of those annoying little bits and pieces that you are always looking for but can never find, no matter how many books you rifle through.
A rare gem: on page 701, the chef tells the truth. Those impressive, architectural desserts that you will see in food magazines and cookbooks are for the camera only. They are not practical, inasmuch as they will not survive a trip by a waiter from the kitchen to the dining room. Even if it does survive the trip, it will probably cause some sort of dry-cleaning bill to the hapless customer. I personally know of some fellow cooking school students who tried to base their careers on such architectural monstrosities.
The author was trained in Scandinavia. As such, the selection of recipes is heavily tilted toward typical Scandinavian recipes. This is good, in that you will find many sort of wonderful B&P goods that you probably have never heard of before. There many sort of recipes you might expect to find, but are absent. The choice of recipes has some peculiarities:
x in the brownie recipe, the chef insists that raisins are a good addition
x there is only one red velvet cake recipe, and it is the oddball one that has beets (no, that is not a typographical error)
x the recipe for genoise has cornstarch
x strawberry shortcake biscuit has orange peel and poppy seed
x there are 4 recipes for pound cake, but only one is the traditional one.
x the author beats a dead horse with no less than 8 cheesecake recipes
x relatively speaking, there is a dearth of chocolate recipes
The beginning of each recipe has a list of all recipes and the page number. The color plates are concentrated on the recipes from the plated desserts chapter, where a picture really does help.
*The yields from recipe to recipe are all fairly uniform, e.g. 2 cakes. The author says it is quite easy to simply multiply up or down; curiously, a few recipes have a small batch version of the recipe. ¡§All purpose¡¨ flour does not make an appearance; instead, all recipes use bread and cake flour in various combinations. Of course, this is the correct solution to AP flours that vary in protein % from brand to brand and in different parts of the country.
*The recipe titles are usually, but not always, English translations. So, if you are looking for a recipe by a French name, you may not find it, e.g. genoise is titled ¡§sponge cake¡¨, and the word genoise does not appear anywhere in the book.
*Note carefully that there is no info about basics and techniques. If you need to know how to whip egg whites, fold batter, knead bread, or different methods of cooling and un-molding cakes, you will not find it here. A list in each recipe of the type of pan or tin used would be helpful. A wonderful substitute for mascarpone cheese (3 parts cream cheese to 1 part sour cream) is buried in the sauce section where you will never find it. The reference on page 856 (it says p. 921) should read ¡§p. 927¡¨.
*During a few recipes, the author describes that various items are conveniently frozen, so they will always be on hand and also for emergencies. A prep list of these things for a restaurant or hotel kitchen would be helpful.
*There is a mini encyclopedia (one for ingredients, one for equipment) occupying 125 pages of small, dense type. As such, it is one of the more useful of its type. One detects a few vagaries here and there. The only shortcoming is that one wishes for a slightly more detailed and practical explanation of the difference between semi-sweet, bittersweet, and ¡§sweet dark¡¨ chocolate (ditto for evaporated vs. condensed milk). The listings for commercial mixer are specifically for ¡§Hobart¡¨; there are other brands, and the information is not really exact from brand to brand.
Home Pastry Chef
This book can be used the dedicated home cook, but with a few caveats. Many chapters you should stay away from, but some of them you can make use of, such as: yeast breads, cookies, pies, quick breads, custards should certainly be in the domain of the talented, home pastry chef. Note also that you will need a battery of standard professional tools and such, and there is no list in the book of these ¡§essentials¡¨.