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Au Coeur Des Saveurs [Hardcover]

Frederic Bau
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 23 1998
Brand new

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the professional, or near-professional March 7 2004
Format:Hardcover
Contents: cakes and tarts(including orange/tea charlotte, red fruit charlotte, passionfruit/cocount cake, raspberry tart, canneles, banana cake, apple tart, chocolate napoleons, almond milk chocolate cake, and so on). Plated desserts, and chocolate candies. Also, Bau gives his philosophies of desserts.
Good: This book is written at a high level. If you think the books that Dorie Greenspan writes are easy (for example), then this book is your level. Bau gives interesting perspective on making pastry - for example that cakes are hard to handle, and need to have more "safe" recipes", Plated desserts can be more imaginative, storage properties of candies, and so on. There are beautiful photos on every page. The section on making chocolate candies is the best I have seen in this type of book. There are a lot of chocolate candy recipes, including raspberry, praline, white chocolate/coconut, tea/orange, gianduja/orange caramel, and so on. Bau has a lot of info on keeping chocolate in temper, keeping ganache smooth, and so on. This is the book's strongest section.
Bad: If you do not already know how to make pastry, you are toast. For example, this is the recipe for Creme anglaise: "Boil together the milk and cream. Next, and taking the usual precausions, pour over the yolks, previously combined with the sugar. Do not whip. Cook until the preparation coats the spoon, at 84-86 C. Strain and use at once". Many of the cake recipes do not give a baking time! He assumes you already know. All of the recipes are scaled to ~3-4 cakes, so you have to scale down. All of the recipes gives amounts in grams, so you have to know the conversion in your head (ie 200g sugar=1 cup).
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5.0 out of 5 stars a passionate work by a skilled and imaginative chef March 29 2009
Format:Hardcover
This book is a passionate work by a skilled and imaginative chef, Frederic Bau. He is an expansive writer - he goes through every ingredient and how it is useful, explains how to look for the best quality, what to look for in the product, components, qualities and so on. He also expounds on important foundation recipe techniques, such as neutral glaze; and chapters such as "The Inner Architecture of A Cake" combine the philosophical and the practical in a highly personalized style. The photography is top-notch, gorgeous and enticing.

I use this book often - it was a real breakthrough for me, revealing pastry in a totally new light, and encouraging me to take my craft to a higher level.

The chocolate recipes are really excellent; as a matter of fact, this is probably the best book I have ever read about chocolates. Bau reveals many behind-the-scenes 'secrets' of his art, and goes into details on such topics why you use inverted sugar, how to temper chocolate, or how to prevent crystalization or mould from ruining your work. Very, very useful information.

The section on plated desserts is highly innovative, and experimental - for example, red pepper compote with almond ice cream! He takes french classics and adds new delicious twists, like saffron with chocolate. Every recipe I have tried has worked very well.

One warning, though - this book is highly technical, and not suited for a novice. Bau does not have any patience for step-by-step description, and can be vague when he feels the reader should already know enough about pastry technique to fill in the blanks.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the professional, or near-professional March 7 2004
By Eric J. Wu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Contents: cakes and tarts(including orange/tea charlotte, red fruit charlotte, passionfruit/cocount cake, raspberry tart, canneles, banana cake, apple tart, chocolate napoleons, almond milk chocolate cake, and so on). Plated desserts, and chocolate candies. Also, Bau gives his philosophies of desserts.
Good: This book is written at a high level. If you think the books that Dorie Greenspan writes are easy (for example), then this book is your level. Bau gives interesting perspective on making pastry - for example that cakes are hard to handle, and need to have more "safe" recipes", Plated desserts can be more imaginative, storage properties of candies, and so on. There are beautiful photos on every page. The section on making chocolate candies is the best I have seen in this type of book. There are a lot of chocolate candy recipes, including raspberry, praline, white chocolate/coconut, tea/orange, gianduja/orange caramel, and so on. Bau has a lot of info on keeping chocolate in temper, keeping ganache smooth, and so on. This is the book's strongest section.
Bad: If you do not already know how to make pastry, you are toast. For example, this is the recipe for Creme anglaise: "Boil together the milk and cream. Next, and taking the usual precausions, pour over the yolks, previously combined with the sugar. Do not whip. Cook until the preparation coats the spoon, at 84-86 C. Strain and use at once". Many of the cake recipes do not give a baking time! He assumes you already know. All of the recipes are scaled to ~3-4 cakes, so you have to scale down. All of the recipes gives amounts in grams, so you have to know the conversion in your head (ie 200g sugar=1 cup). Some of the ingredients are hard to get (Praline is hard to get, cocoa paste is impossible). Some of the English translations have "character" (ie Praline with 50-70% "fruit" means 50-70% nuts).
Overall:
This is a great book, but if I prefer "The Patisserie of Pierre Herme" (for a book at this level). Don't even think about buying it unless you already know what you are doing. Alternate books at a more intermediate level are "Desserts by Pierre Herme" and "Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme".
Bau's section on plated desserts is more "experimental" than some other books. For example, fruit consomme with ravioli, rhubarb and white chocolate desserts, red pepper compote with almond icecream, and so on. Whether or not you like this depends on your personal taste. Overall, Pierre Herme's book is more "conventional" (which I prefer). Comparing the two a little further, Herme's book is almost 100% recipes, whereas Bau's is 85% recipes, 15% technique and philosophies.
So, if you are looking for a book written at an extremely high level (there are not that many!), I recommend this book. But I recommend Pierre Herme's book first.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational book, but not for the average cook June 26 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The is aboslutely the best pastry and chocolate book I have seen, with incredible recipes and photographs. However, you need to be petty experienced to understand the recipes, which are a bit vague, temperatures given in Centigrade, sometimes not the best translation from French, etc. The book gets knocked down one star for being very unclear on how much each recipe makes, a real issue for the home cook, if not the professional.
5.0 out of 5 stars The must-have book for serious cooks and chefs. Nov. 17 2013
By Hildette - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A comprehensive exploration of the very highest level of cuisine, with clear scientific information that makes the reader understand the properties of ingredients. The very heart of flavours is explored.
12 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellence, outstanding and the finest...... Aug. 11 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
it is one of the BEST pastry book in the world market now. As a proffesional point of view.
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