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The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts Hardcover – Nov 4 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Nov. 4 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618138927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618138920
  • Product Dimensions: 26.1 x 20.9 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #191,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold on April 27 2004
Format: Hardcover
Sherry Yard, pastry chef at Spago Beverly Hills, has written the very best book for the amateur baker. If you bake, I advise you to stop reading this review and order this book from Amazon. Do it now ....
If you are still here, I'll tell you why I believe this book is so good.
First, there is the simple, illuminating organization which breaks major baking products down into twelve master recipes and explains all the things which distinguish each category from others and explains the factors which make these preparations work and which actions can lead to unsatisfactory results. There are so many good books on baking that promise this kind of systematic treatment but don't deliver. I was disappointed, for example, in reading Nick Malgieri's book, 'How to Bake' when I saw that it was not much more than an organized collection of good recipes. Another recently reviewed book did an excellent job of presenting 'modular' recipes where various preparations could be mixed and matched, yet they failed to advance our understanding of baking technique by proper grouping of, for example, cheesecake with custards rather than with cakes.
The twelve topics in this book are Ganache, Caramel, Curd, Vanilla Sauce, Pate a Choux, Pound Cake and Genoise, Financier, Cookies, Pie and Tart Dough, Brioche, Laminated Dough, and Fruit.
Second, the grouping of recipes makes learning several recipes within a group much easier than if each were tackled independently. The discussion of each preparation begins with a 'family tree' which shows the relation between different recipes which fall within that method and the variation to the method which produces the branches to the tree. The first general method, ganache, has three variations.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 19 2003
Format: Hardcover
Sherry Yard, 2002 James Beard winner for Best Pastry Chef and Executive Pastry Chef for Wolfgang Puck Worldwide has absolutely scored an A+ with this book. Forget everything you know about cookbooks - chapter after chapter organized by type of dessert or flavor with little instruction or explanation of the science involved and the inspiration behind the dish - this book is a revolution. She has organized the book in chapters based on the basics that every pastry chef needs in their repetoire. She teaches you those basics (master recipes as she calls them) and then lets you vary and combine them to make signature desserts of your own. She throws in a few signature desserts of her own just to get you started. Beautifully photographed by Ron Manville (James Beard and IACP Winning photographer) and expertly explained in terms that normal folk will not only understand but absorb. Her generous personality and infectious charm are evident throughout. The recipies are simply explained and all totally do-able. She is cheeky, irreverant, fun and entirely dedicated to her craft. I can't wait for another book from this author!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3 2004
Format: Hardcover
I love this book. And I've read it cover to cover. I'm an amateur baker, this book had given me a lot of tips that no other books had detailed. If you're a baker and would like to get serious with your baking skill, this is the book for you! The only negative comment I have for this book is; the book is organized in such a way that if you'd like to bake a fruit tart, you have to look up sweet dough, and pastry cream in different chapters. You have to really have to figure out what exactly you'd like to bake and find the pieces of puzzle in the book and put them together. That's why I've given it a 4 stars instead of 5!
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By beloved-night on Jan. 4 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book while going to school for baking. It is a fabulous book! Sherry Ward teaches you how each element of the baking process influences your final product, without making it seem like a textbook. This book is a great resource for anyone interested in casual baking and also for the more serious baker. I love that she includes recipes for elegant desserts as well as everyday items like cookies and pound cakes. I have used many recipes directly from this book, and some of my favourites are the vanilla ice cream, banana pound cake, and croissants. Every recipe I have tried has turned out beautifully, if you follow the directions. I absolutely recommend this book as a guide to intermediate baking, but even if you are very experienced I would recommend it simply for the recipes!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a WONDERFUL book for anyone who enjoys baking. Ms. Yard does an excellent job of simplifying and explaining complicated techniques that would normally send a novice baker running to the nearest supermarket for a pre-made dessert. Different degrees of difficulty are found throughout the book, and one may feel comfortable trying all. The results are amazing, and I have never received such compliments at dinner parties. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to bake and entertain. With a little patience and work, you won't be disappointed.
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