Paris Patisseries: History, Shops, Recipes (Anglais) Relié – 5 janvier 2010
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I personally use this as visual inspiration for desserts but it's also a wonderful coffee table book. I couldn't bare other people touching the beautiful photos with dirty hands.
When it showed up, I instantly concurred that it lives up to its billing of displaying exquisite photography. While there's plenty of that to be had in the cookbook world -- it's become quite the art, hasn't it, to photograph something as suggestive s a polished spoon or a balloon whip, then wait for the Pavlovian response to follow -- and to not always rely on the spectacular finished product.
This book does photograph the pastries, and yes, they are lovely.
While photography and histories are terrific, I wanted to expand on my kitchen capabilities. The volume did not deliver what I had hoped in the way of recipes and design "how to." As promoted in the product description, there are recipes, but they often duplicate what is already available to us in other cookbooks(recipes for choux pastry and souffles, for instance). My interest is in connecting the dots between recipe and finished product. I am interested in the specifics of the design of the Baiser, par exemple.
In an American world where we increasingly roll our shopping carts across tiled floors in a grocery chain's bakery-deli department to make a selection from a mass-produced confection displayed on plastic and cardboard, this book is an effective reminder that venue, as well as confection, should be a part of the overall experience.
Just Say No to the mass-produced, and I'm guessing I'm preaching to the choir. Otherwise, you wouldn't be considering this book. If you can't, or don't want to create a pastry yourself, find a good bakery. Above all, don't communicate love or congratulations or celebrate with confections produced from a Walmart or another grocery chain. Just. Don't. Please.
Specifics for creating Paris Patisseries in my Kentucky kitchen was what I was aiming for. Again, I was not able to get there.
Some will be looking for a cook book - look elsewhere.
Some will be looking for a history book - look elsewhere.
Some will want to have every detail dissected and investigated and analyzed - look elsewhere.
Some will want Paris and france placed into the context of 'Top Chef' or 'Ace of Cakes' - look elsewhere.
For those who appreciate the true visual beauty of pastry, here is an uncompromising book about what is currently the pinnacle of the form.
Top recommendation - no one else, to my knowledge, has made such a book - one dedicated to the visual beauty of pastry, the purity of this French art form. It is loving and comprehensive; I have been to most places and eaten many of the examples in the book - and the author clearly understands beauty as it exists in the daily life of Parisians; something lacking in daily American life.