Life ***** right now, someone mentioned that they got their copy of Hermes book already. So I desided to treat myself this morning with a new book and get my mind off this past horrible week.
I saw it right in front, but I went past it and looked thru four isles of cookbooks looking for more goodies to go with my known purchase of Hermes' book. After spending so much time looking thru tons of other books I finally opened Hermes book and... I'm so bummed out! He's making brownies and eclairs, come on.! Their were only 2 items I would have made, his black forest looked interesting and his chocolate puff pastry.
I thought it was a dumbed down approach that I didn't expect from him. It's like he was competing with Pillsbury...
I didn't buy anything and that's the crazy part, I wanted to, not only for me but I know how important spending is right now. I tried to buy a quilt I've had my eyes on (sold out). I tried to buy some pillows for my new sofa (back ordered). Been looking for some new shoes, came away empty handed... I can't seem to give my money to a store. Perhaps it's my attitute, it's impossible to feel up-beat.
You guys posted so many different baking books due on the market soon that I can't wait for... nothing but Herme was in. I shouldn't have bad mouthed it, it just wasen't a pro-baking book I could see using.
Maybe October will have more finds. Martha releases her new wedding magazine issue and her holloween book. Who else?
Maybe you should have spent more time looking at Pierre's book. I bought it, and have made a couple of things out of it already. I have to make my brother's wedding cake in a couple of weeks and the lovely bride wants daquoise, and white chocolate. He's got recipes for everything I need in there. And some of the coupes are mouthwatering. There's one with Deep Chocolate Cream, Espresso Whiskey Granite and caramelize Rice Krispies that looks soooo good. I made the chocolate rice pudding with the rice krispies but had to use corn flakes and it looked terrific.
Isn't it wonderful; the multi-faceted opinions found on this board are very helpful and valuable to me especially in this instance, as I haven't had the time nor opportunity to examine the book myself!
Had to come back here and say thebighat was right, I'm wrong (par for the course)!
I did buy Herme's chocolate book. Your words made me re-think and realize I should have a more open mind. I was just dissapointed that it wasen't like his probook and it was more like his other book with Dorie Greenspan. I had wanted something different.... but there is value in what it is. I picked on the one really obvious mistake (putting a photo of his brownie that looks horrid) and didn't read enough where there weren't photographs.
Sorry, but thanks bighat for making me re-think and realize a quick glanze is stupid and wrong!
I was looking at Sweet Seasons the other night. That's the stuff I wanted to learn in school,, but that plated desserts class was a struggle for me. I aced it, but when she sent us off to design desserts I really would draw a blank. I always say, when it comes to creativity, thank the Goddess I have good technical skills. I need to look at it some more for that price, but I'll bet I buy it. I've seen him on the Great Chefs thing.
THB who wrote the plated dessert book? I haven't seen that at any of the stores in my area yet.
I love plating desserts...I think that drawing designs on paper is a very helpful tool. I study the Chocolatier books and Friebergs plating (Plus several other sources) and it all really breaks down to a couple designs. I was sent to a one day class (I don't even know who sponsored it) about 12 years ago (from my 1st club pastry job). Anyway, it was really above my head at the time...
The instructor gave us his notes and diagrams of his planned lecture and he had drawn out about 6 full plate designs that could be used to create your own stencils. Plus he drew out several layout for arranging. Do they do this in schools (To teach plating)? I found it very inspiring! (Actually I'd love to teach that somewhere...)
Which book are you taking back Isa?
I didn't buy Gand's book, I have all those recipes already! I thought it was a joke.
I did buy then return Flemmings book. Just can't sell that kind of work.
Passed on Sweet Seasons, pretty basic stuff.
I did go back and buy Medrichs' 'A Year In Chocolate' although there's only a couple recipes I'm interested in....
And I do have Wayne Glissens book, like it alot!
I did buy 'Designer Desserts' by Philippe Durand. His recipes don't really excite me but his book is a good reference for plated desserts...
I'm keeping The Last Course and returning Gale Gand's book. I've been trying to tellmyself it's a wonderful book. I wanted to like it because of the subject, I love making miniature pastry, you should see my moulds collection. At first glance, I put in many little papers to mark recipes that interested me. Unfortunatly when I started to read the recipes I was quickly disappointed. Beside the recipe for Whippet, there is not much I like.
Recipes for Chocolate That Are a Joy Forever
By RUSS PARSONS, TIMES FOOD EDITOR
A well-written recipe is a thing of beauty. Without going all postmodernist on you, that's true quite apart from how the dish it describes tastes. Theoretically, you could have a perfectly written recipe for how to prepare a perfectly awful dish. Well, come to think of it, that's not really all that theoretical, is it?
What brings this to mind is Dorie Greenspan's new book "Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme" (Little, Brown and Co., $40). Well, obviously it's not just her book. After all, Herme is one of the most famous pastry chefs in France, and the dishes are undoubtedly his creations.
But the descriptions of how they are made are Greenspan's, and that is what separates this from so many other big-deal chef books. Greenspan is one of the few recipe writers who is able to convey an actual sense of voice. Read her instructions and you sense a real person there, someone who is a good cook, who has prepared this recipe before and who is there to help you should you stumble. This comes across in a series of asides that fit seamlessly into the directions. When you're mixing the batter for the "saucer-sized spicy chocolate sables," for example, Greenspan is at your elbow with a warning: "This is a delicate dough and you don't want to overmix it, so stop as soon as the last speck of flour disappears. You'll have a very soft dough."
Then there's the canny advice in the recipe for creme brulee: After you've beaten some of the hot milk into the yolk mixture (to "acclimatize" them), "rap the bowl against the counter to burst any bubbles, then pour the custard through a strainer into a pitcher." Isn't that a neat trick?
For cookbook fans--or should I say "recipe-writer fans"?--this is not news. Greenspan has a history of taking on such projects, starting in 1996, when she wrote the recipes for the companion book to Julia Child's PBS series "Baking With Julia." In 1998 she did "Desserts by Pierre Herme"; in 1999 it was "Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook."
In fact, it's a little scary to think about what "Chocolate" might have been like without Greenspan's hand. The dishes are probably delicious, and the photography by Jean-Louis Bloch-Laine is sumptuous--dessert getting the kind of carefully lit, strikingly composed treatment usually afforded only to movie stars and new cars.
But given all that, without Greenspan's calming influence, the recipes seem the type to induce fainting spells among readers who are not professional pastry chefs (or who didn't just buy it for the pictures). These are all-day undertakings, for the most part, requiring the preparation of several sub-recipes. They're as much construction projects as desserts.
But hey, who buys a book by a French pastry chef if they're not interested in putting in some quality kitchen time?
And look at it this way: All that work just gives you the opportunity to more deeply appreciate what a beautiful thing a truly well-written recipe is.
Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2002
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