Paris Sweets: Great Desserts From the City's Best Pastry Shops Hardcover – Nov 12 2002
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Dorie Greenspan's most vivid memory of her first trip to Paris doesn't have anything to do with the Eiffel Tower, but rather a heavenly strawberry tartlet. Overwhelmed by its extraordinary flavor, texture, and appearance, Greenspan was "hooked on Paris and hooked on the city's sweets." Paris Sweets is the result of 30 years of searching for the most delectable, delicious, awe-inspiring pastries she could find, and then convincing their creators to part with the recipes.
Scattered throughout this delightful book are whimsical illustrations and beautifully written stories about each of Greenspan's favorite pastry shops and the chefs who created them. Some of their recipes, such as Boulangerie Poilane's sweet, buttery, bite-size cookies called Punishments, are quick and easy enough for even a novice baker. And with Greenspan's clear, step-by-step, detailed instructions, Robert Linxe's Grandmother's Creamy Chocolate Cake, an elegant fudgy decadence, and Poujauran's rich, nutty-flavored Financiers, become child's play. Greenspan manages to demystify even the complicated multilayered Opera Cake from Dalloyau.
From the most perfect Crème Brulee and Coffee Eclairs to the stunning Fresh Strawberry and Marshmallow Tart, made with homemade strawberry marshmallows, Greenspan will have you torn between making Paris Sweets at home and going there yourself. And in case you can do both, she's included all the addresses you need. --Leora Y. Bloom
From Publishers Weekly
Greenspan, the author of Baking with Julia and a frequent contributor to the food pages of the New York Times, here compiles recipes from "les bonnes adresses," collecting secrets for perfect madeleines, macaroons, apple tarts and other classic French desserts. She embellishes her cookbook with anecdotes and histories, explaining that, for example, crème brulee is actually a Spanish invention (known there as crema catalana) and that Saint-Honoré is the patron saint of pastry chefs. Greenspan also includes descriptions of some of her favorite Parisian bakeries, introducing American readers to the pleasures of Laduree and La Maison du Chocolat. The recipes themselves often involve numerous steps and a certain amount of technique; although Greenspan writes with a reassuring tone, most of this cookbook is not for beginners. Even the "simple cakes" require practice to perfect. But even if you don't intend to concoct a twelve-step cake called "Bacchus" ("it could send a hedonist's heart racing into overDrive") any time soon, simply reading Greenspan's transporting cookbook might be the next best thing to dessert.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Greenspan (Baking with Julia) has done it again - another book that deciphers and presents some complicated recipes into approachable masterpieces. The recipes work (at least the ones I've tried), and I have foisted them on some of my French friends, some of whom immediately identified it and the shop the recipe came from (Earl Grey Madeleines, from Mariage Frères, for example). That constitutes success.
The book is organized cleverly, with the simpler recipes in the front, and more and more complex recipes as you work your way through. Though Greenspan does not say she is doing this by design, it is clearly the case. After each recipe, she has some tips and suggestions she calls "An American in Paris," in which she tells you things she does to make the recipe more in her own style, as an American living in Paris.
This is not a primer on French pastry, however, and you will learn little about technique; although there are many classic desserts in this book, it is not comprehensive, by any means. But that does not lessen its value.
There are some nice touches at the end of the book, too. Places to buy ingredients that might be hard to find, and of course, addresses and contact information for all the pastry shops that contributed to the book. Get out your Paris street map and start planning your next trip...
Most recent customer reviews
Contemplating recipes in this new book from Dorie Greenspan, subtitled 'Great Desserts from the City's Best Pastry Shops' is much like shopping for antiques in that furniture whose... Read morePublished on May 1 2004 by B. Marold
I love France, their cutlure, and their food. This book gives little stories about how and where the foods originated from and I absolutely love the book. Read morePublished on Dec 27 2003
I don't know how Ms. Greenspan charmed these renowned bakers into giving her their treasured recipes. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2003 by Cobas