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Pierre Hermé Pastries [Hardcover]

Pierre Hermé , Laurent Fau
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, March 1 2012 --  
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Book Description

March 1 2012

After divulging the intriguing histories behind 50 iconic desserts, master pastry chef Pierre Hermé shares his tried-and-tested recipes for the great classics of French pastry and other definitive desserts from around the world—and then he reveals how to reinvent them. Rose-scented almond paste and a compote of raspberries and lychees fill Hermé’s croissants; his Saint Honoré cake combines green tea, chestnuts, and passion fruit; and caramelized mango adorns his foie gras crème brûlée.

The luscious photographs and 100 recipes featured in Pierre Hermé Pastries flaunt Hermé’s mastery of technique and the talent for combining textures and flavors that have earned him the reputation as one of the world’s most skilled and inventive pastry chefs.
 

Praise for Pierre Hermé Pastries:

 

"There are cookbooks, and there are coffee table books. Pierre Hermé Pastries (Stewart, Tabori & Chang; $50) is more the latter than the former, though that shouldn’t detract from its value to those who are captivated, maybe even obsessed, by beautiful desserts." —Washington Post

 

"The photographs are stunning. The recipes are the stuff of custard-rich dreams." —Publishers Weekly

 

"This is a cookbook that a passionate pastry lover will want, not only to replicate Hermé's own recipes but to be inspired by, as well. And for anyone who loves a good story to go along with the food, you'll appreciate reading about the history behind each recipe." —Epicurious.com

 

“Read it cover to cover, and you'll have a very good idea of how French pastry got to where it is today . . . Intense cookbook porn ahead: don’t say you weren't warned.” —Eater.com

 


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About the Author

Pierre Hermé is a master pastry chef with his own line of shops in Paris and Tokyo. He has published numerous books, including Desserts by Pierre Hermé and Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Consider Before Buying March 26 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book has the following format, repeated 50 times for a total of 100 recipes: Introductory page, beautiful picture, basic recipe, very imaginative recipe, beautiful picture. Each repeat of these 5 items addresses a classic form of pastry/dessert, for example ice cream, crumbles, strudel, etc. The cautionary note to be made is that there has been a difficulty with each recipe I have tried so far. These difficulties suggest that there were some issues, possibly in translating from French to English and from Celsius to Fahrenheit, or possibly in properly verifying the transition of the measurements from the commercial to the household, or possibly in the verification of each recipe in a home kitchen. The book cautions that the measurements, which are given by weight, be strictly followed, and I took this also to mean strict attention to time and temperature. Here are some example experiences. First, all recipes ask for baking in a convection oven. I have a commercial grade gas Wolfe, so no problem, but if you don't have a convection oven, you will have to make trial-and-error adjustments. The recipe for Sablé Diamont Vanille called for 15 minutes at 340F. Odd temperatures in Fahrenheit, vs. something more conventional, such as 325 or 350, are due to precise C to F conversion and reinforce the idea that precision is important. Unfortunately, 15 minutes fairly burns these cookies. A later recipe for Sablé Azur calls for 6 to 8 minutes at 340F, and that is much more reasonable. The recipe for Chou Infiniment Citron requires you to prepare a Pâte Sucrée and a Pâte à Chou. It goes into great detail about how to bake the latter, but it never tells you what to do with the former. You make it, roll it, chill it, cut it, and then you forget it. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts... Aug. 17 2012
By Reader Writer Runner TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
With his first English-language cookbook in 10 years, acclaimed French patissier Pierre Hermé shows how desserts have changed over time. This larger than life tome uses the following format: brief discussion of the origin and history of a well-known pastry (éclair, meringue, mille-feuille etc), basic traditional recipe, more complex or modern riff. Wash, rinse and repeat 49 more times.

Out of 100 recipes, very few seem universally accessible. Ingredients include pistachio paste and fleur de sel de Guerande and instructions require bakers to work with gelatin, make puff pastry, temper chocolate and use a piping bag. Additionally, many of the specialized molds and pans Hermé uses may prove difficult to source and substitutions would require careful thought. Baking directions may need tinkering as Hermé uses a convection oven.

Apparently, the book contains many translation and measurement conversion errors and the publisher is set to come out with an errata sheet. Not what you want to hear when embarking on a recipe like Agape, which requires the cook to produce gingerbread, meringue “tears,” a coffee miroir, orange marmalade and two kinds of lemon cream. Ultimately, the appeal of this book lies not in its recipes but in its informative prose and stunning photos.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
84 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars mistakes that make you wonder? Feb. 18 2012
By T. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book and I also have a number of other Pierre Herme books. However, like the first reviewer, within a few minutes of looking through the book I discovered a mistake in a recipe. The mistake is small and not like the one mentioned in the other review (chocolate cake recipe where the measured amount of sugar is 2+ cups and the weight given is half that amount at 220 g). So which is it 220 g of sugar or twice that amount.

The mistake I found was for the Infinitely Lemon Choux. There is a sweet tart dough listed as the first preparation for the recipe and instructions to put it in the freezer and then 20 minutes later take it out of the freezer and cut into 2.5 inch rounds and then........ nothing. That is the last mention of the dough. It doesnt seem to go with the dessert, it doesnt show up in the photo and there are no instructions at all, following the cut it into rounds, indicating what is to be done with this ingredient.

The sugar for the chocolate cake is a big mistake. The sweet tart dough a small mistake and maybe intended to be a variation on the theme. However, for us to now assume that other than those two items there are no other recipes with editing or recipe testing or proof reading mistakes for what turn out to be expensive and time consuming creations would not seem to be a prudent approach for the "precise" art of pastry nor an appropriate representation for Pierre Herme who is considered by many people to be one of the best pastry chefs in the world.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy editing and a healthy challenge for the experienced home baker March 10 2012
By f bos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A truly beautiful if not a little unhandy book to handle in the kitchen. And that is maybe the core of what is good AND bad about this book. It looks great on the coffee table, with great photography, and insightful back ground info on the recipes, but it disappoints when one is actually trying to bake out of it.

Trying to tackle the Dalloyau's Opéra multi layer cake I ran into sloppy editing in the ingredients. For instance: according to the list you end up using 20 grams of coffee powder, whereas it is in fact 10 grams of which you hold back 10 grams after DILUTING it into water to process later. Sloppy indeed, and double the coffee taste.

In the very first paragraph, Hermé stresses to use a fat free and clean bowl and whisk to proceed with "add melted butter to the bowl" The two separate bowls of batter never come together in the description.

The amount of discrepancies in the conversions is mind boggling. I found 9 conversions to be incorrect in the ingredient list for the Opéra. Some of them were off by a considerable percentage.

It might very well be the case that a lot if not all of the recipes will work after re-adjusting and tweaking. Not being able to trust the basics will make it a less enjoyable experience though, and a bit more of a challenge.

Having said that: Even for leafing through it, reading the back stories or lusting on the pictures, this book is worth purchasing.

Conclusion: Sloppy converting set aside, this is a great book. It's a great looker on the coffee table, and baking out of it is a healthy challenge for the experienced home baker but better left for later if you're a novice.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Return your copy to Amazon and await the reprint! Sept. 26 2012
By BakingFan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book is out of stock for a reason. Abrams, the publisher is reprinting it with the corrections.

I contacted them last April requesting an errata sheet. They first had the nerve to tell me to send them errors as I came across them. I indicated that I did not spend over $30 on a cookbook to test out recipes and be their unpaid editor. They indicated they would be issuing an errata sheet in a few months. No errata sheet ever surfaced.

I contacted Abrams again on Sept 25 and they indicated that they are not issuing an errata sheet for the first edition. Rather, they are reprinting the book (due out in November 2012) with all the corrections. I called Amazon and they indicated that I could send the book back to them (they graciously provided the prepaid label) and then reorder the book when it's been reprinted and is back in stock.

Shoddy way to handle the problem on the part of the publisher, but kudos to Amazon for issuing a refund. If you're in the same boat, stuck with the first edition that is unusable as is, contact Amazon or your bookseller and request a refund or a trade in.
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still going through it, but noticed a mistake already. Feb. 18 2012
By Mitchell Pollock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have many books by Pierre Herme, in French and English, plus one in Spanish. He is my mentor from afar, as a pastry chef. I have been reading through the recipes, seeing what is there I don't have already (not much, as it has mostly been published before). I didn't get it for new recipes though. I am always looking to glean that little something to make me better. FWIW, the editors have missed a measurement in the Chocolate Cake. They list the sugar as 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp., but state that this is 220g. It actually double that gram weight. 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. is roughly 450-460 grams (depending on the grind of your sugar), which is roughly a pound. This was the first recipe I looked at to see what version of Chocolate Cake this might be. It is similar to all of the molten chocolate cake recipes out there, but fully baked through.

Here's to hoping there aren't many other mistakes. This one I could do without, being that I have many other books by Herme.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars beautiful but frustratingly innacurate. July 15 2012
By antoro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you spend good money on a book like this with beautiful pictures, great background info ...you expect the recipes to be correct.
The very first cake I made was the opera slice.
The mistakes in the recipe and instructions are just incredible.
Amounts incorrect. Processes incorrect. By the time I'd realised while blindly following the recipe, (silly me) Id wasted god knows how many eggs.
I found the correct quantities and instructions by then googling the opera cake and making a comparison.
Now Im unsure whether to follow any of the recipes or research them elsewhere before attempting it.
Whats the point of the cookbook if you cant trust the recipes.
Disappointing.
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