Bake Like a French Pastry Chef: Delectable Cakes, Perfect Tarts, Flaky Croissants, and More
by Nick Harman - Sunday December 9, 2018 3:12 pm
If you’ve always wanted to be a boss at baking, this book may well be your key to non-soggy bottom success.
Bake like a French Pastry Chef? Sure, why not. The windows of any French Patisserie are always stunning displays of the most remarkable and toothsome artistry.
The French take it very seriously and on any day you’ll find customers loading up with pastries, all beautifully packed into pretty boxes to be then carefully carried home.
It’s not easy making great patisserie though, not easy at all. Which is why a patisserie chef is dedicated to the craft and nothing else.
The authors of this book started from scratch having left successful careers in banking and marketing (don’t they all?) and have today created a bit of a baking empire with around 100 employees spread across Paris, Lyon and New York in their ‘Michel et Augustin’ outlets.
The book is a distillation of their pastry workshop teachings and learnings.
Now it has to be said this book’s style won’t appeal to everyone - it’s self-consciously madcap, irreverent and determinedly kooky. The authors sound like teenagers who eat nothing but sugar all day, but as it is very ‘bloggy’ it will appeal to millennials.
Underneath all the dressing, the lessons are sound though, taking you from basics all the way to pastries that, if you pull them off, will astound the lucky eaters.
The style does make a change from most patisserie books, which can be more like the manuals for flying the Space Shuttle - a sea of numbers and calculations. Not that you can afford to be anything but precise when making patisserie, but at least here it’s not presented in a frightening way.
Indeed, if you’re the sort of person who casually employs phrases such as ‘deep dive’ and words like ‘passion’ and starts sentences with ‘so’ you will feel right at home.
Basically, then this is a bit of a love it or hate it book. Personally, it irritated me so much I actually threw it across the room at one point, but maybe it’s my age.
What they call ‘engagement’ I call ‘patronising’. Don’t talk to me like I am a child that needs to be told his mistakes are ‘learning curves’. And don’t pat me on the head either, I’ll bite your hand off.
If pictures of pretty girls gurning in an Instagram way are your thing, if you like to be regularly told you’re ‘awesome’, if you follow teenage YouTube cookery stars, you’ll love this book.