If Dan Lepard's new cookbook Short & Sweet is the one-stop shop for homey everyday sweets and baked goods, Patisserie is the one-stop shop for all things classic and French. Want to become the master of puff pastry? Craft your own pulled-sugar roses? Drap petits fours with fondant? With over 3,200 step-by-step photos and 210 recipes in 800 pages, this book will show you exactly how to do all of these things and more. Wowzas.
• Who wrote it: Christophe Felder
• Who published it: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. (distributed by Random House in the US)
• Number of recipes: 210
• Recipes for right now: Kouign Amann, Almond Cream-Rhubarb Cups, Almond Paste Mice, Pulled Sugar Rose, Lime-Coconut Dacquoise with Raspberries, Earl Grey Ganache Squares, Coffee Macarons, Mango-Caramel Macaron Cake, Chocolate Croissants, Honey-Almond Brioches
• Other highlights: This book is like being handed the keys to the pastry shop, the candy store, and the bakery all at once. There are no corners cut or steps simplified — this is the real deal!
The step-by-step photos are thumbnail-sized, but very effective at showing exactly how a technique is done and how the pastry should look at a particular stage (and, boy, do they take me right back to culinary school!). Numbers within the recipe text correspond to the photos so it's easy to skim back and forth while making a recipe. Each chapter also starts with an overview of the techniques and equipment covered in the following pages, which is helpful if you've forgotten exactly what is required for making a dacquoise or what a charlotte pan looks like.
This book seems to assume a certain amount of knowledge about general pastry-making. For instance, that you know the basics of working with a pastry bag or boiling sugar. It might be a bit overwhelming for a straight-up beginner, but is perfect for people who have been playing around with these techniques and wants deeper knowledge. For pros, Patisserie is a must-have for the reference shelf.
Although this book is hard-core, it's definitely still approachable. It melds the stark knowledge-dump character of a culinary school textbook with the warm accessibility of a homebaker's cookbook. And I admit, all the hot pink definitely helps.
• Who would enjoy this book? Bakers who crave the secrets of French pastry, professional bakers
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Patisserie: Mastering The Fundamentals of French Pastry by Christophe Felder
• Visit the author's website: Christophe Felder
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen)