Pastry book ideas ???

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Hey there people, just wanting a bit of feed back about a few pastry/dessert books I am looking at purchasing thru amazon. The types of books I'm looking for are the more professional style of books e.g all recipes in weights (I know how to convert but i prefer books geared more towards the actual restaurant trade), books with lots of ideas and different tricks for chocolate and presentation. the list of books are as follows: A modernist view of plated desserts, A neoclassic view of plated desserts, Le cordon bleu dessert techniques, the art of chocolate techniques and recipes by Elaine gonzalez, Michael rouxs finest desserts. These are books that I think might be good for pastry chef block. If you have any other favourite books that u think are appropriate it would all be appreciated.
 
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My very favorite picks are:

1. L' Art des Entremets de France, by G.J. Bellouet and J.M. Perruchon.

2. La Patisserie de Pierre Herme'.

3. Michel Roux's Finest Desserts.

I also love these books:

Bo Friebergs' Professional Pastry Chef. Baking with Julia by Julia Child.
Spago Chocolate by Mary Bergin and Judy Gethers.
Pattisserie by Michel and Albert Roux.
Simply Sensational Desserts by Francois Payard.
Desserts to Die For by Marcel Desaulniers.
Death by Chocolate by Marcel Desaulniers.
Chocolate Artistry by Elaine Gonzalez.

My thoughts about your picks....I'd pass on Elaine Gonzalezs' book, there isn't much substance in it. Her first book which I mention in my picks above has far far more substance! Then if your able to work out of A Modernist View and Neo Classic View then Le Cordon Bleu is a poor choice....the difference between professional and amatuer (so I'd also pass on Le Cordon Bleu).
 
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The Art of the Cake by Healy and Bugat, and if you can find it, Mastering the Art of French Pastry by ditto. Cocolat by Alice Mederich. Michel Roux yes yes.
 
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Thebighat, I'd love to share notes on your book choices?? Which items do you like out of Chocolat? I liked the apricot charlotte (needed more gelatin though), chocolate cherry torte, the jelly roll bombe....

What did you like?
 
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Hey thanx for the ideas and feedback.
Like you W.De Bord I also have Bo(which I have never actually really cooked from apart from a few components, But its great for ideas in plating and if you are not to sure on a certain technique, one i reccomend to all pastry people as well).I have Rouxs patisserie and I cook outof that one, very solid recipes, the making of a pastry chef is also a great thinking book actually i lent that to the head chef then never got it back so i guess thats on the list one day. elaine gonzalez's chocolate artistry is that showpieces techniques moulds etc...,I have heard good things on Bellouet as well but have heard translation is a little bad, been to a bookstore today and looked at Desaulniers chocolate book and that has gone on the list i like some of the simple presentation in it.As with the other suggestions i will look them up or search shops for them this weekend. thanx for the link momoreq. cheers pastry chef.
 
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Hi P-CH:
Very nice books. do you know "Au coeur des saveurs" from Frederic Bau(Very nice book),"Desserts,a life long passion" by Michel roux,and "Los Postres del Bulli" by Albert Adria.
And i forgot "New Classical desserts"
Thanks and bye!
K.I.T.
 
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I also have Au coeur des saveurs, honestly I can't really pull anything out of it I want to use...what have you made from it that you liked? His pass plate desserts don't do much for me and his tarts look so clunkie.

I'm so excited reading Michel Roux has another book I've never heard of, how great! Is this a new book, "desserts a life long passion"????? He is truely one of my favorite pastry chefs!!!!!

I found working out of Bellouets book easier (so far) than Herme's as far as translations. But I do come here and ask questions from our French speaking freinds....with time it's gotten easier to understand. Both men have perfect recipes, perfect sponge cakes, geniose, lady fingers, etc... I love their baking components. I relate more to Bellouets taste combos then Hermes at this stage of my career. I also can't get many of their ingredients like all the groites they use, so thats frustrating!

As far as Bo's book I haven't used alot of his recipes... but he's a great reference. His souffles and molton cake work well.


I like Desaulniers books for how he layers and mixes textures with-in a torte. I personally have learned alot from his work and it's taught me to stop following other chefs work and create my own combos. I haven't done anything with all his ice cream recipes and his cakes can be a bit dry (his cookies can't compete with home baking recipes either), but you MUST look past that into how he layers and works his ingredients. He breaks alot of "rules" along the way when he mixes and it's great to break some myths.

As far as Elaine Gonzoles...chocolate artistry has alot of text and real meat to study. Granted the photos are a bit out dated...but you can think of how to update many items and there's a ton of info.. Where as her newer book updates the look but there isn't much info. in it. Her chocolate work is far more knowledgable and pratical for you to learn then her tortes which aren't her strongest area.
 
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Hi P-CH!
The name of the book is "Michel Roux,Desserts a lifelong passion".Edited by Kate Whiteman,and photographs by Martin Brigdale.,
First published in 1994.I agree with you ,Michel Roux is one of my favorites chefs,also Bo Frigers' book. Do youlike Charli trotter' dessert book?
And let me recomend you again the Albert Adria dessert book from "El Bulli".
One questio.
How can i get "Pastry art and design magazine"??.I send a subscription but I think they don't overseas so far.
Tank you
Chau!
 
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I would think Pastry Art & Design would ship anywhere....maybe your payment got lost along the way? Have you gotten back your canceled check from your bank? If not, maybe it takes a while to recieve your first issue....? Where are you from?

I'm not a fan of Trotters. I think he's a great chef... but his combos. don't appeal to my sweet palate. Different just to be different isn't art, it's amusing...

I've never heard of Albert Adria before, does he publish work in English?
 
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I dont have Charlie Trotters desser books, I have flicked thru it at the local bookshop but it just didnt jump out at me all at once I found the presentation not really my cup of tea, I can see how some people like it my old head chef use to rave about charlie but we were in Australia where you find alot of east meets west fusion cooking Tetsuyas for example. But after looking at it again this weekend I found that if i ignored the pictures and looked at flavour and texture combinations he is pretty much on the ball my favourite is his chartreuse and dried strawberry chip ice-cream (i've always been hooked on chartreuse though). Michel Rouxs A Life Long Passion is very good as well I have that one but I'm thinking Michel Rouxs Finest Desserts is a step up from the 1st. Correct me if im wrong but dont Albert and Michel have a joint book out together but in a savoury line???. I'm deffinately keen to have a look at Elaine Gonzalezs Artistry of chocolate but cant seem to find it on CHIPS or Amazon (amazon list it as out of stock and have a waiting list).Have to agree with you on some of Hermes ingredient lists though I tend to have to use Callebeaut or Belcolade rather than Valhrona. But you can pretty much get the idea of there recipes and use local produce to replace some of the harder to find European produce. Cheers Pastry Chef (Mike).
 
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Pattisserie by Albert and Michel Roux does contain a few pages of savory items, mostly canapes if I recall correctly. I'm not familar with any other books they might have together. I did page thru Michels sauce book last week at the store (I really wanted to buy it). I trust his work, it's always right on.

I found Elaines G.s' book at a book sale, I paid about $4.00 for it. I like to go to used book sales as a hobby.

I guess I'm fall into old school of thoughts. I still believe in classic flavors and pairings. Even working in nice places I find most people aren't even familar with basic baked goods. I live in the mid western United States and I think we're simplier in our likes then other areas of the world. I find people order what they know and sometimes they just like simple things and don't want to branch out from there. I've tried just looking at Trotters components to evaluate if I should buy his book, but they just aren't flavors I can use often or I'd spend more time searching for the ingredients then making it.

I can get alot more practical info. and recipes out of Neoclassic and A Modernist View than anything that Trotters book has. Also as I recall it was so much last second assembly, I've never worked in a place that could handle that in the pastry dept. (I've pretty much been a solo act as a pastry department where ever I've worked).
 
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Hi Wdebord! How are you!
Let me tell you,that i'm from Argentina,i just send an e-mail to this magazine(P.Art & Design)and they didin't reply me.I think they don't overseas the issues,that's a petty.I'll still looking on it.
One of the things i like to do,is go to the National Biblioteque,and ask about old and past century cooking books.Do you try that??.
Sure you gonna find interestings recipes.
I really like the "grand finales book",but not to much the second one(don't remember the name now)Let me tell you about another chocolate book,do you know Juan Mari Arzak? from Spain? (Pays Basque)
The name of the book is "Tratado del Chocolate" and it's from his Pastry chef(i really don't remember his name ,but if you want, i'll get you that information!
Nice to be in contact with all of you,we still K.I.T.
Hasta la vista!!
 
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Totally agree with you on what you are saying about the customers choosing a simple dessert (In Australia we would call them a safe bet) and I am exactly the same way if you are going out for dinner and your knowledge of cooking is your usual average run of the mill stuff, choosing from SOME menus can become very intimidating produce you have never heard of strange sounding liqueurs that you might never of tried before. It's very important to broaden your tasebuds and try new menu items, but sometimes if you dont go out that much it might mean paying $12-$15 dollars for a dessert you dont like. We always have a few daring or interesting flavour combinations on our menu but 2/3rds would be safe/simple desserts where you know what you are going to get(but its up to the chef to make it the best you have had).E.g Brulees,lava cakes,tiramisu,ice creams and sorbets(and pavlova I'm not to sure if americans know what pavlova's are but roughly they are a meringue with a very soft marshmallow type centre with a crisp crust, an Australian classic)now i know these desserts are not stretching the boundarys of the culinary world but they are what keeps the money coming in (especially with functions where you have to find a dessert for 300 people) if it wasnt for a broad range of desserts both safe and daring I think our establishment might go under or be totally boring with nothing new to keep us chefs motivated. (P.S I love renovating old ideas classic's that have proved there worth but putting them into todays new techniques for presentation much like neoclassics im sure) sorry for the long winded approach but i'm just touching on something that has been buzzing around my head for the last few days while looking at cook books and such. Cheers Pastry Chef (Mike).
 
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sorry i was just trying to figure out if i can pu a link to my photos in the signature will try again later ciao
 
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Wow Iza it's reasonably priced too. I wish I was their niece.....

Wagamama I don't know what a biblioteque is, is it a library? If so, I really don't visit my local library for baking books they don't have anything interesting that I don't already own myself (I have ALOT of baking books). I have collected a few older baking books some of which I've bought thru e-bay. Mostly homemaker type books like earily additions of Hersheys, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker and such. The older professional books I own don't interest me as much. I like homemaker recipes, I use alot of them.


I'm not sure why, but I never hear or read about great Spanish pastry chefs. I'm not familar with the person you mention. In general we seem to hear more about great European chefs than any other group. Do you hear about great American chefs in you area or do people talk more about the French chefs?

Pastry--chef, been doing pavlovas for 20 years now. I do like them. I put whip cream, chocolate (just a little) and fruit on mine and sit it in some fruit coulis. Sounds like you do it differently, I'd love to know how? The ladies parties like a meringue shell filled with lemon curd and fresh berries on raspberry sauce in my area...they think it's light..., oh well.
I do tons of meringue items, it's always popular (p.s. I adore meringue cookies).

My job really is updating old favorites. I always wonder when I read Pastry Art & Design and the chefs say what was their big seller and what was under appreciated dessert, how they can get away with selling those items? Some of them are so far out there I wouldn't taste them unless they were FREE.

I used to put out alot of buffet/sweet tables for my last job. We had to place name tags infront of each dessert because they liked to serve themselfs (at a country club). Anyway I'd stand in the back and hear them read the names of items to each other and they'd say what they thought the item was...they were wrong about 50% of the time if not more often. These were people who travel and eat out ALOT who don't know what a roulade means..... When customers come up to meet me I'd rather have them say "you make a great chocolate cake". Than say "oh that was interesting" or "what was that?" and never order it again.

I think fine dining restaurants can get away with more nuevo menus because those people are coming for a dinning adventure. The rest of us are are there to give them what they like, want and know already. Actually I really prefer that, it's harder to do, meet and pass their expectations for something they're familar with then take it into a modern presentation. Different just to be different doesn't make something good.

P.S. I'm very long winded on this subject, I think about it daily when I make a conscience choice to be the type of pastry chef I am and strive to be.
;)
 
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This discussion has suddenly got extremely interesting... A. and I always wonder why it's so hard to find restaurants we like.

Generally, we eat out for one of two reasons:
1) We're in a rush, and need something very fast and reasonably healthy that we can put in our faces right away and get on with it. Answer: Usually Subway.

2) We're eating out for fun, and want a taste adventure. And if we're doing that, we don't WANT the tried and true. Speaking not just of pastries, but of anything... one, we're vegetarian, and generally health conscious, and the tried and true, sadly, usually isn't. Second, if we're paying money for it, we want something interesting, exciting, something we couldn't do better at home, or something we might not have thought of that we can try at home.

We don't eat out much in our home town, because it's staid and Germanic and listens to top-40. Most of the restaurants are of the steakhouse/roadhouse variety, plain or fancy. When we do go out, it's usually to ethnic places -- and even if we've been before, and enjoyed something good, we usually make a point of ordering something we've never tried, and have no clue about (after making sure that it's meat-free).

I guess the difference is, though, that eating out is not part of our lifestyle; it's still something special, an occasion, a treat. All your comments go far to explaining why some of my favourite items (which tend to be on the odd, spicy, exotic side) have such a depressing tendency to vanish from the menus of my favourite eating places!

I love reading you folks talk.
 
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Pastry--Chef: Pavlovas are one of my favourite desserts. I was actually introduced to them back in Grade 6 in a very small town called Houston,BC (supposedly the steelhead capital of the world). I was fortunate enough to have an exchange teacher from Australia. The pavlovas on your website look absolutely scrumptious. I've never seen pavlova presented that way before. I usually see more of a nest structure rather than the cup or egg structure.

[ October 03, 2001: Message edited by: Risa ]
 
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