The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts Hardcover – Nov 4 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
With an air of authority and an enthusiastic tone, Yard sets out to prove that pastry making need not be a complicated affair. Yard, the executive pastry chef at Spago Beverly Hills, has an easy didactic style that comes across in her spunky text and straightforward recipes. She divides her book into 12 master recipe chapters (such as Ganache, Vanilla Sauce and Brioche) instead of sticking to the conventional sections on cookies, cakes and tarts. This refreshing approach brings to light the relationships between certain recipes-how, for example, the chocolate and cream in the Master Ganache can be transformed into Campton Place Hot Chocolate, with minor adjustments in ingredient quantities and cooking methods. Yard also is generous with variations, offering a handful of optional approaches to most recipes. Her desire is to teach the reader the fundamentals, and then apply them to more complicated (but often very doable) dishes. Headnotes are peppered with encouragements like "Remember, whisking by hand burns calories." Sometimes, the text can become cumbersome with scientific explanations, such as the pH scale discussion in the Curds chapter. But as Yard explains in her introduction, "I show you how the ingredients interact with one another, so you'll know the reasons behind the steps you're following." A wide range of recipes makes the book accessible to all levels, allowing novices to become comfortable with pastry basics and professionals to combine multiple recipes to create more complicated impressive confections.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"A sensational sweet treat . . . A practical paean to premier pastries." Bookpage
"Yard gives us the lowdown on how to make restaurant-glamorous desserts at home. What a treat to be let in on the secrets of one of L.A.'s best pastry chefs." Los Angeles Times
"Immensly appealing...Detailed and clearly written...Yard's book is approachable enough for the novice and even challenging enough for the experienced baker." Library Journal Starred
"likely to be as influential for the next generation of pastry chefs as that of her fellow Angelena Nancy Silverton."-New York Times Book Review
New York Times Book Review Notable Book
"The tone of Sherry Yard's book makes her feel like a new best friend who just happens to be the pastry chef at the most famous restaurant in tinsletown.....she takes the well-codified genre of desserts and sets it down in a new way, using recipes and techniques as building blocks....I'm not a pastry chef, but I find this volume almost empowering" -- Gourmet Gourmet
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
I was hooked when I viewed the Buttermilk Birthday Cupcakes...so simple, yet so inspired (p. 156). They look like fairy cakes. My daughter's birthday is fast approaching and I have been looking for a fast, simple dessert with panache!
This is the best dessert book for the cook who wants to make an impact on her guests without disrupting her busy schedule.
Most recent customer reviews
I own quite a few cooking books (close to 90!) and I rate The Secrets of Baking among the best! Recipes are easy and written in a simple, yet well organized way. Read morePublished on June 26 2004 by Paola Costa
I ordered this book because the ratings were so good - and I love baking. This book did not match my expectations: Recipes are too complicated and way too european. Read morePublished on May 23 2004
This book is a blessing - I have been a fan of Sherry Yard's for years. Not only has she delighted me and my friends with yummy desserts, she has now solved my holiday gift giving... Read morePublished on Dec 2 2003 by Arlene Winnick