The prize-winning author of Baking with Julia (more than 350,000 copies sold), among other cookbook classics, celebrates the sweet life with recipes and lore from Paris's finest patisseries.
Like most lovers of pastry and Paris, Dorie Greenspan has always marveled at the jewel-like creations displayed in bakery windows throughout the City of Light. Now, in a charmingly illustrated tribute to the capital of sweets, Greenspan presents a splendid assortment of recipes from Paris’s foremost pastry chefs in a book that is as transporting to read as it is easy to use.
From classic recipes, some centuries old, to updated innovations, Paris Sweets provides a sumptuous guide to creating cookies, from the fabled madeleine to simple, ultra-buttery sables; tarts, from the famous Tatin, which began its life as an upside-down error, to a delightful strawberry tart embellished with homemade strawberry marshmallows; and a glorious range of cakes–lemon-drenched "weekend cake," fudge cake, and the show-stopping Opera. Paris Sweets brims with assorted temptations that even a novice can prepare, such as coffee éclairs, rum-soaked babas, and meringue puffs. Evocative portraits of the pastry shops and chefs, as well as information on authentic French ingredients, make this a truly comprehensive tour.
An elegant gift for Francophiles, armchair travelers, bakers of all skill levels, and certainly for oneself, Paris Sweets brings home a taste of enchantment.
Greenspan, the author of Baking with Julia and a frequent contributor to the food pages of the New York Times, here compiles recipes from "les bonnes adresses," collecting secrets for perfect madeleines, macaroons, apple tarts and other classic French desserts. She embellishes her cookbook with anecdotes and histories, explaining that, for example, creme brulee is actually a Spanish invention (known there as crema catalana) and that Saint-Honore is the patron saint of pastry chefs. Greenspan also includes descriptions of some of her favorite Parisian bakeries, introducing American readers to the pleasures of Laduree and La Maison du Chocolat. The recipes themselves often involve numerous steps and a certain amount of technique; although Greenspan writes with a reassuring tone, most of this cookbook is not for beginners. Even the "simple cakes" require practice to perfect. But even if you don't intend to concoct a twelve-step cake called "Bacchus" ("it could send a hedonist's heart racing into overDrive") any time soon, simply reading Greenspan's transporting cookbook might be the next best thing to dessert.