Sponge cake, cookies, pastry cream … Three books to learn or resume the basics of pastry

Apprentice pastry cooks often testify to bitter experiences in the kitchen when starting out. “Many books are written a bit quickly, give approximate recipes or are primarily used by chefs to make their communication., notes Nina Métayer, award-winning chef who has created a digital pastry shop (Delicatisserie.com). However, when you start baking, there is not the instinctive side of learning to cook. And if the quantities are not precise enough, or a step is missing, failure is guaranteed! ” Here are two books (including his) that focus on pedagogy. And another, also useful … to learn to taste the sweet.

Taming cookies, from dacquoise to cookies

In 2019 came out My little pastry (La Martinière), a very accessible book for mastering the classics of the genre: cakes, flans, waffles… Christophe Felder (former pastry chef at Crillon) and Camille Lesecq repeat this time by tackling cookies more precisely. Founders of Les Pâtissiers boutiques in Mutzig and Dorlisheim (Bas-Rhin), they offer a repertoire of no less than 190 cookies grouped into broad themes. We thus find “children’s cookies” (chocolate peanut cookies, homemade Oreo …), “Christmas cookies” (braided pretzels, Brussels, Swiss croissants …) or even “travel cookies” to be made in less than thirty minutes and to slip serenely into your pocket (lemon rolls, coconut sticks, etc.).

The book is valuable for at least two good reasons. First of all, there is no hype surrounding the recipes, but just the essentials to succeed. Then, the first 50 pages of this voluminous book are entirely devoted to basic recipes. You will never miss a dacquoise or a sponge cake again. Neither a homemade hazelnut spread or a creamy (lemon, vanilla, chocolate…). Associated with the volume published in 2019, this effective book should satisfy your sweet tooth for very long years!

My little biscuit factory, by Christophe Felder and Camille Lesecq (La Martinière, 384 p., € 35).

Create sweets from breakfast to afternoon tea

Elected pastry chef of the year 2017 by Gault & Millau after having worked with a few greats (including Camille Lesecq at Meurice), Nina Métayer now provides training in “haute pâtisserie” all over the world. But she also keeps the desire to share her knowledge with as many people as possible. “I also wanted to address beginners and create a recipe book that can correspond to all times of the day”, she explains. And it fully achieves its objectives with this large book allowing you to prepare sweet pleasures for breakfast, at the table for lunch or dinner, for afternoon tea or during moments of celebration. In all, 60 recipes are gathered for all levels: from the chocolate cookie (which his little daughter Anastasia is able to make) to the very sophisticated wedding cake, including the galette reproducing a cathedral stained glass window!

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