Over the years the term â€œfusionâ€ in culinary terms, has meant heretofore unimagined delights a blend of cultures through savory meats, spices, vegetables and starches, exotic noodles with homey spices. Not so much fusing of the Candied Chestnuts with the humble Green Tea Muffin, Yule logs and Stolen from South Korea or a Green Tea Chiffon Cake.
Let me explain, when Pastry Chef Young Mo Kim was a boy in South Korea, the price of flour was very high and western style desserts were meant only for the very wealthy. At the age of 17 when he decided to work with desserts and touched the flour for the first time he knew, this was his destiny. It was in a small bakery in Seoul, hearing the praise of the customers for his beautiful work, Kim dedicated his life to the pursuit of learning, mastering and teaching the art of pastry. He now has the designation of being the president of the Korean Bakers Association, lauded as one of the most successful and artistic bakers in Korea. He has four bakeries and a café, is a celebrity television chef in Korea and with this, his third baking cookery book is the first in English.
As a teacher of both professional bakers and home bakers Chef Kim has transformed many of his prized formulas for the small batch baker, the home baker. Rather than being intimidating, his book shows the true mark of a great teacher with over 1000 pictures and step by step instructions and cool clear formulas. For the fans of Anime, there are sweet characters from the bakery â€œNavieâ€ to enchant younger bakers while stating helpful hints for the first time baker.
Chef Kim's training in Tokyo, France and Germany influence his formulas. Light, clean Asian flavors and alternative ingredients pair up with the lush richness of European desserts and breads. A Collection of Fine Baking is divided into sections, if followed will ease the novice baker into a sure footed expert baker! In the hands of a professional or accomplished home baker, the combinations and subtleties will expand the repertoire with impressive results.
â€œSimple Delightsâ€ opens the book with formulas for cookies, brownies and something I have not seen in many years, the lovely Petite Four, Honey Financier. Moving on to the next selection â€œA World of Breadsâ€ in which you will find a Basic Croissant with excellent step by step explanation of Lamination and the proper sizing and rolling for the perfect Croissant followed by Anything but â€œbasicâ€ Muffins, Bagels, Bread, Brioche and even Gugelhuph.
For desserts â€œFantastic Dessertsâ€ brings the baker into the finer things in life Choux Paste to Soufflé with Peppermint Pudding in the mix. Now what I love about the layout of the book is that you get the basic American Pie dough and Mille-feuille in the same chapter. You can see the relationship between basic and advance dough's, batters and techniques.
â€œCakes for Special Occasionsâ€ again builds upon the basics, the Genoise method of sponge cake blossoms into a masterpiece with sumptuous creams, fruits and meringues. â€œValentine's Dayâ€ and â€œHoliday Treatsâ€ round out the book with Pave, Chocolate Tempering and the most adorable winter holiday treats. The decorations on the Special Occasion Cakes were more sophisticated than those of the Holiday Treats, perhaps to encourage family activity during a special time of year!
Whether you are a hands-on learner or inspired by visuals or just love to follow a solid formula, Chef Kim has shared his knowledge in a most thorough manner. A Collection of Fine Baking, the recipes of Young Mo Kim, is a wonderful book that anyone with a desire to bake will find indispensible!