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.