Most helpful positive review
Good Things in Small Packages
on July 5, 2003
I like this "little" baking book very much. It is an entire book dedicated to the magic art of petit-fours, or small, french, bite-sized bits of desserts and sweets. There are some books on the subject, mostly professional. However, here is a simple, easy to follow book ideal for the home baker to make these wonderful little things.
The author has been a successful caterer for many years. She knows what is easy to make, and are also very popular things that people just love. Here is a collection of those recipes that meet both requirements. It is a baking book you will probably use very often. Be warned, however, that these wonderful little gems are very labor intensive. You will be slaving over the proverbial hot stove for rather long perions of time per recipe. Multiply that by three or four recipes, and it all adds up to a very long time. Fortunately, the author supplies proven, time-saving organizational tips in the last chapter. I also note that her hints and suggestions for decoration can be skimpy at times; decorating things this small is not an easy task.
My complaints are mostly organizational. Several basics, like cake or crust recipes, are used in multiple recipes, but are buried in the middle of chapters or embedded in one particular recipe. These should always be the first recipe in the relevant chapter on their own, or given a separate chapter by themselves. Also helpful would be a cross reference chart, so that one glance will tell you how many different petit-fours you can make with the same basic cake or crust recipe. It does have some charts at the end, but these are not organized by the base recipe. There are some pictures, and each one tells you what page the recipe is on; however, the reverse is not true: a recipe may have a picture, but you won't know it unless you check the pictures each time.