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This has been my first encounter with Dorie Greenspan as a food writer - and I hope it won't be the last. She captures the joy and skill involved with traditional (and modern) Parisian patisserie with enormous flair and passion.
Surprisingly there are no photos - just some exquisite line drawings and elegant typography. You just have to imagine what the creations might look like from her descriptions. But the quality of writing is enough to allow you to do this!
Not a cheap book but some lovely recipes that are appropriate for the home-baker. A treat for yourself - even better if someone else will buy it for you as a gift!
Bought this for younger daughter, a serious Bake-off fan and Francophile - always trying her hand at complicated bakes. Now I've bought it, not sure I can part with it, though! Love the recipes, the text, the illustrations and everything about the production of this little gem of a book. May be looking for a good diet / running book next ...!
If you are planning on a trip to Paris, you must get this book. If you would like to be going to Paris but can't, you should get this book.
The best bakeries are in Paris where the traditions and art of baking is well established and honoured. This book gives you a breakdown of the very best bakeries of Paris and highlights what makes each bakery, specialty item, and Master baker special and why. Brilliant!
The writing is entertaining and insightful - - the write ups of each bakery and baker are informative and interesting. The recipes are very doable, even for novice bkaers.
I've given this book to friends going to Paris and as general gifts and it's always been well received.
My family (and a few coworkers as well) are delighted that I have tried several of the recipes in this book. I have never been to Paris, more's the pity, but I have a good idea of how delicious these items would taste. I don't mind the lack of photo's, my imagination is sufficient.
I've gotten a bit jaded about cookbooks, and have weeded out my collection considerably. The only one I make heavy use of at the moment is Zachary Golper's Bien Cuit, for making bread. However, I like to have some sweets on hand for when people stop by, or for my own "tea time" in the late afternoon, and this cookbook is just the ticket. I've admired the pastries in Paris myself (and have even been making macarons and croissants), with this cookbook I can expand my repertoire. I especially like that she worked on the recipes back in New York to ensure that the ingredients we can get here - especially butter! - will work. Enjoyed her anecdotes about the various shops and the pâtissiers as well. Glad I bought this one, and as I'm doing with Bien Cuit, I can see working my way through this one from cover to cover. (The first recipe, "Punitions", I've already started - the dough is chilling in the refrigerator.)
A beautifully detailed book for those that like making and baking French Pastries. A nicely narrated text and really well Hand drawn illustrations by Florine Asch! Well worth to have in your collection for sweets!
This books is as much memoir and love letter to the bakeries in Paris as it is baking book. That's actually what I love about it - recipes, but with lots of back story, and information and writing on the amazing bakers that make Paris the mecca for bakers everywhere. The love that Dorie put into this book just seems out of the pages at me - I feel like I'm meeting these bakers myself, that I can smell the ovens and touch the brick walls of the buildings.
The recipes are also wonderful (I would expect no less from Chef Greenspan), and she keeps it to the simple yet perfect items we would find in those bakeries on a daily basis, the recipes that make good memories.
I love this book, am so happy I got it. But it may not be for the home cook looking for new muffins to try or for someone to walk you through creating a paris-brest. It does, however, have the perfect madeleines!! :-) It would be perfect for any foodie who loves visiting Paris, as well as an experienced baker who dreams of french bakeries.