ISO: Book recommendations

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Joined Nov 27, 2001
Have some money to spend on books. What pastry, cake, baking books are you excited about?
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
(one of my favorite topics) Well knowing that your a serious baker and willing to go that extra mile I would definately narrow my choices down to two books I find the most amazing. "L'Art des Entremets de France" by G.J. Bellouet and J.M. Peruchon and my second pick is "La Patisserie de Pierre Herme" by Pierre Herme.

Why those two: each recipe within each cake, torte, tart etc...is a work of art. You can take any cake recipe or mousse recipe and convert it into what ever dessert your dreaming up. The amount of recipes per book is unbelievable, hundreds. They have core/base recipe and recipes for things you'd can't even dream of needing (but just in case, EVERYTHING is in there). They also teach you about techniques pros need like freezing, working in quantities, etc...

But a word of warning, their very expensive! And written French then translated...some things are confusing at first but people online have helped me understand words and they'll help you too. SOME people might feel intimadated by this work, it's very advanced but if I can do it (and I'm a morron) you can do it too.


THEN other favorites geared toward what I think you can use in your business. I like all of Marcel Desaulniers books, but I must post a disclaimer. Their great because he teaches you how to be free (at least that's what I took from reading them). To combine recipes into your own taste managery but some of his recipes for his cakes can be dryish. Although his mousses and combining skills are fab. really a back bone in my recipe file!

Another pick would be Debbie Fields, she's actually a very solid baker. Good strong recipes. I like Martha, Flo Braker, Marlene Sorosky....oh yeah "The Bakers Dozen" is good....so is "Baking with Julia" very good. I adore Michel Roux's books but he only has a few tortes, he's more geared into desserts but the few mousses and torte he has are wonderful!
 
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Joined May 11, 2001
I just bought Art of the Cake by Healy and Bugat. I think it's a terrific book. I have always preferred the shorter French cakes with complex flavours over the tall American cakes with lots of frosting (although I do have cravings now and then). It's also partially because I find the French cakes easier to decorate.
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
I agree with Risa. The Art Of The Cake is a great book. The cakes are very French though.


Have a look at In The Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley. It's not a cake book or a pastry book but it is a fascinating book, very valuable because it contains so much information. The recipes are great, really.
 
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Joined Mar 24, 2002
Hello!

I'm new to the board and have been reading through the threads that caught my eye (great way to spend a Saturday).

I found "L'Art des Entremets de France" by G.J. Bellouet and J.M. Peruchon and "La Patisserie de Pierre Herme" by Pierre Herme at CHIPS and wanted to thank you not only for recommending what sounds like two great books but a great bookstore (CHIPS) as well!

I'm actually salivating while I wait for these books to arrive!

Have you checked out the other books by Pierre Herme, "Chocolate Desserts" by Pierre Herme (ISBN#0316357413) and "Desserts" by Pierre Herme (ISBN#0316357200)? Do you (or anyone else) have any comments (positive or negative) on either of these?

Also, if you (again, or anyone else) would recommend any other "foundation" books (pastry is my forte, particularly pies) I would appreciate it. I am not formally trained in the culinary arts, but my father was a Sous Chef. I have served (in my youth) as a Prep Cook and Assistant Pastry Chef so am not afraid to step away from a recipe (i.e., I'm an amateur).

I also firmly believe that god gave us kids and dogs to test ideas on (the dog's giving me "the look" and I'm sure my daughter is mumbling in her sleep). ;)

Thanks,
David
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
I do have those other two books by Herme. Their written more for home bakers and are more basic then his professional book, they also include many of the same recipes. They're less expensive because they have WAY WAY fewer recipes and photos. If you can work out of the pro books then you'll find the other ones less interesting (in my opinion, of course), but still worth owning.

If you bought those two books by Herme and Bellouet you probably won't be looking for any more new info for several months...because they contain soooo much info to learn! They're pretty over whelming in my opinion.

If your interested in pies theres several big books on them, Rose levy B. has a huge pie book, so does Martha. I actually find I like the pie recipes in the older books rather interesting. Have you make any from any Amish books? I've also collected vintage baking books like from Betty Crocker, Jello, Nestles, hersheys, Pillsbury Bake Offs, etc... and they have TONS of pie recipes that have long been forgotten or simplified into worse versions then the classics. Also I believe it's Bellouet who has a new pie and tart book out for professionals, I REALLY
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
oops, got my fingers moving too fast and hit the wrong button.

Anyway, all I was saying was I really want that book! You can also find current exciting professional books at JB Prince company on line....if you can spare the money.
 
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Joined Mar 24, 2002
Thanks for the information on the other two books by Herme. I will add them to my library list but won't purchase them until I get more the more important, core books. How do you determine a professional from a non-professional book (forgive my ignorance)? I did some searching on Bellouet last night and only found one other by him (also out of print). I was also unable to find any books at JB Prince (www.jbprince.com).

I will look for the pie books by Rose Levy B. and Martha [Stewart?] as they both sound wonderful! I agree that the older recipes are more interesting and cherish the older baking books. There are some great recipes in the vintage books and agree that they are underused, forgotten, or simplified into horrible misguided versions of the original. I continue to search for country and Betty Crocker baking books and want to continue to build my collection. Having used some of the Quaker recipes I can't believe I have never thought about the Amish (kicking myself), what a great idea!

You have been fantastic and a wealth of information!!

Thank you so much!
David
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
How you know if their pro books......well usually the price is my first clue. They are almost always over $100.00 (and UP) and you can't find them (usually) at book stores or average places. You have to find them thru "professional" cookbook sources (like chips or Jb Prince). Also who the author is... Herme is considered one of the best pastry chefs alive so... many of the other pro books are written by instructors at culinary schools, or just names you become familar with as experts in the industry.

Maybe someone here can guide you to where Prince has their books? I'm not very good on the computor.

My favorite Amish cookbooks are written by Phyllis Pellman Good. Her books are heavy on baked goods and I've had success with many of her recipes. P.S. Her doughnut recipes are VERY good.

Don't buy anything from Martha Stewart until you check out her web site. She has sooooo many of her recipes posted on line. I know I'm in the minority liking her work....so I'm not sure if you will like her recipes or not. But specificly in her pie book, I use her blueberry pie and her almond pear tart recipes often. In her soft cover dessert cookbook I've made all of her pies and tarts and found them all to be very good.

Actually it's amazing what you can find online. I've made MANY pies from pillsbury bake-offs that were very good, maybe their on line too...

What books do you use for Quaker recipes? I can't think of an example of Quaker baking right this minute, help....what do you make from them?
 

oli

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Joined Aug 31, 2001
Is this the title of the recipe from Martha Stewart you were referring to? Anything you recommend I've always looked into.

Pear and Almond Frangipane Tart
 
1,640
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
Yes Oli, I like that one alot (I have a weakness for pears and almonds together). If you make it, make sure your almonds are really ground fine (like almond flour) otherwise the almonds are gritty(another tech. term) in the mouth. Do you have that book also Oli? Which recipes have you liked from it?
 

oli

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Joined Aug 31, 2001
Hi Wendy. No I don't have the book, I just went to her web site as you mentioned and looked for it there. I don't have a very high opinion of her recipes because of all the bad talk about her recipes not turning out for one reason or another. But if someone does mention a good recipe I am always willing to take a look at it.
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Isn't that the best dessert ever. Just mentioning the name makes you crave some. You should see my dad's face light up when he hears it.

Thought I share an idea I found in another cookbook. Just before you place the poached pears on the tart, insert in place of the core a small ball of almond paste and bake it as usual. :lips:
 

oli

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Joined Aug 31, 2001
Isa:


insert in place of the core a small ball of almond paste

In Martha's recipe she says: "cut each in half lengthwise, removing core and stem. Place each half, cut side down, on a cutting board, and cut crosswise into thin slices."
This is the method I have used before, but I would like to incorporate your idea.
How would you recommend cutting the pears to accomodate the almond paste, so that I can fan out the pears to look like Martha's design. Or would you recommend another design?
Thanks
:confused:
 
1,640
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
I sort of think in that specific tart, straight almond paste would be redundant ontop of a frangipane filling. In that tart I add a couple t. of almond emulsion to my frangipane (which I do to most frangipane fillings) to shout out almond, then when finished I brush it with apricot preserves (instead of her poaching liquid) and sprinkle toasted almonds ontop to garnish.

If you want a tart with intense almond paste this is one that I do...I mix almond paste with some butter and xxxsugar (like a danish filling) spread it on a thin tart crust. Take peeled and thinly sliced pears (soak quick in amaretto) and fan out on crust. Sprinkle with cin. sugar and bake.

You can even incorporate almond paste into many crusts/tart shells for flavor.
 

oli

130
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Joined Aug 31, 2001
Wendy:
Thanks, thats just the kind of info. I can appreciate. A little tweeking here and there to improve upon the taste. I will have to make two tarts, each with your suggestion to see which I like better.:lips:
 

oli

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Joined Aug 31, 2001
One more question, in regards to your statement "then when finished I brush it with apricot preserves ( instead of her poaching liquid )" are you saying you don't poach the pears , you just brush on the apricot preserves?
Thanks
 
1,640
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
No, I poach the pears ahead of time. But as I recall she tells you to reduce the poaching liquid into a thickened syrup to brush on the finished tart for appearances. That takes too long (and you usually have many other things to attend to) and apricot preserves are so handy.

The pears in the frangipane tart don't look beautiful once baked and at room temp. so you have to "dress-up" your dessert for eye appeal. You can do that a couple ways. You could sprinkle the tart with almonds and xxxsugar before baking for a more rustic appearance or the "glaze" for a more traditional look.
 

oli

130
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Joined Aug 31, 2001
Thanks again Wendy. I will try both of your versions to see which I like better. Sorry for the question on whether or not to use the poaching liquid to brush on the pears, but I was looking for where you saw that but she says:"The warm-from-the-oven pears are brushed with a melted apricot-rum glaze and served at room temperature." and thats where I got confused.
:lips:
 

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