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The art of French pastry
2013
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  Library Journal Review

Award-winning chef Pfeiffer (founder, French Pastry Sch., Chicago) and author Shulman (The Very Best of Recipes for Health: 250 Recipes and More from the Popular Feature on -NYTimes.com) here provide a treat for those who love baking pastries-and those who love eating them. Readers can opt to learn basic French pastry techniques or attempt making a classic French pastry. Over the course of 75 recipes, the authors expertly guide both seasoned bakers and novices through seemingly complicated but accessibly written recipes for classic pastries such as the towering croquembouche and the delicate croissant. Accompanying the recipes are attractive photographs, as well as tips and asides that offer a wealth of information, such as knowing when a pastry is done, understanding why a particular ingredient is used, and learning the history behind a dish. Pfeiffer and Shulman demystify classic recipes and empower readers to tackle the art of French pastry making. VERDICT A comprehensive, essential resource for beginning and advanced bakers interested in everything related to French pastry baking.-Cassidy Charles, Morristown & Morris Twp. Joint Free P.L., NJ (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Pfeiffer, who grew up in his family-owned Alsatian bakery, apprenticed under a master pastry chef, and founded the prestigious French Pastry school, shares his considerable knowledge and offers expert guidance through every step of every recipe. Pfeiffer starts with the fundamentals, from simple syrup and pastry cream to brioche and ganache, basics that must be mastered before tackling recipes in later chapters. Recipes not only detail each step but also explain the "why" behind combining certain ingredients first, using certain tools over others, and baking at the right temperatures. Photographs demonstrate tricky matters such as knowing when you've achieved the right consistency for choux paste or meringues. Techniques such as piping are covered at length, including how to properly fill and hold the pastry bag and how to create the desired size. Diagrams are precise and leave no doubt as to the proper approach. Classic recipes include chocolate eclairs, croissants, and three varieties of tart dough with several delectable filling options. Cookies, cakes and ice creams, and a wonderful chapter on Alsatian specialties round out this superb collection. For those looking for the definitive guide to French pastry, they should look no further than this comprehensive and user-friendly collection. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
<p> Winner of the 2014 James Beard Award for Best Cookbook, Dessert & Baking<br> <br> What does it take to perfect a flawless #65533;clair? A delicate yet buttery croissant? To pipe dozens of macarons? The answer is: an intimate knowledge of the fundamentals of pastry. In The Art of French Pastry award-winning pastry chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, cofounder of the renowned French Pastry School in Chicago, gives you just that.<br> <br> By teaching you how to make everything from p#65533;te #65533; choux to pastry cream, Pfeiffer builds on the basics until you have an understanding of the science behind the ingredients used, how they interact with one another, and what your hands have to do to transform them into pastry. This yields glorious results! Expect to master these techniques and then indulge in exquisite recipes, such as:<br> <br> #65533; brioche<br> #65533; napol#65533;ons / Mille-Feuilles<br> #65533; cream puffs<br> #65533; Alsatian cinnamon rolls / chinois<br> #65533; lemon cream tart with meringue teardrops<br> #65533; elephant ears / palmiers<br> #65533; black forest cake<br> #65533; beignets<br> <br> as well as some traditional Alsatian savory treats, including:<br> <br> #65533; Pretzels<br> #65533; Kougelhof<br> #65533; Tarte Flamb#65533;e<br> #65533; Warm Alsatian Meat Pie<br> <br> Pastry is all about precision, so Pfeiffer presents us with an amazing wealth of information--lists of necessary equipment, charts on how ingredients react in different environments, and the precise weight of ingredients in grams, with a look at their equivalent in U.S. units--which will help you in all aspects of your cooking.<br> <br> But in order to properly enjoy your "just desserts," so to speak; you will also learn where these delicacies originated. Jacquy Pfeiffer comes from a long line of pastry chefs and has been making these recipes since he was a child working in his father's bakery in Alsace. Sprinkled with funny, charming memories from a lifetime in pastry, this book will have you fully appreciating the hundreds of years of tradition that shaped these recipes into the classics that we know and love, and can now serve to our friends and families over and over again.<br> <br> The Art of French Pastry, full of gorgeous photography and Pfeiffer's accompanying illustrations, is a master class in pastry from a master teacher.</p>
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