Most helpful positive review
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A baking education
on June 17, 2013
I bought this book while I was getting myself more professional material to play with. I must say I am very pleased with it.
While it does shows you the steps of a recipe independently, the book is build around "one recipe, one technique" and the teachings you get while doing one recipe will apply to many more in the future. Which also means, you can easily combine your favorite cake with your preferred glaze, without fuss. It's well organized and can easily be navigated through.
I don't get the people complaining about the lack of "troubleshooting" in this book. It is literally FILLED with all kinds of little notes and tool tips memos with all sorts of guidance. Plus, there are many pictures to show you all those tricky steps. Surely, those people must have quickly flicked the pages of this book. Also, it is important to realize as well, this book was not written for beginners, or even good home bakers. It's written for people aspiring to expert / professional level baking. How do I know ? The bad comments are what I used to complain about when my mother-in-law (a chef) would dictate a recipe to me; add enough of this ingredient, cook 'till texture is right, don't beat too much, etc. So, yes, not everything is illustrated, and yes, they are expecting a high level in their readers. But that is how professionals roll.
I have used this book for now a few years and successfully whipped out many recipes, like the crème d'or, the chocolate sponge cake, the rolled pistachio buttercream cake, and they all came out perfectly. My favorite features are all the pictures explaining more complicated techniques, all the inspiration provided, and it also helped me lots with pastries, which requires more doigté and finesse than cakes. It's an impressive book, covering a wide range of subjects, but I believe it stands strong to it's name, and provides one hell of a baking education.