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    Cooking Books -> Desserts

    The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts

    Yard, Sherry

    Houghton Mifflin Co
    Published: November 2003
    ISBN: 0618138927

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    Book Description
    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.

    "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

    Book Description
    Bake to Basics is a comprehensive primer that guides the cook through the world of baked goods and other desserts, from time-honored classics of the French patisserie to the inspired and fanciful creations that made Spago the famous restaurant it is today. At the same time, it advances a radically new understanding of these recipes, one that will give the baker greater flexibility and confidence in the kitchen.
    \tInstead of grouping desserts into traditional categories (pies, cakes, cookies), Sherry Yard arranges them around crucial master recipes. Starting with these recipes -- simple, basic guidelines for making caramel, chocolate sauce, lemon curd, pound cake, and brioche, to name just a few -- Yard shows the cook how to create dozens of variations. Knowing how ingredients interact opens the door to a multitude of baking possibilities. For example, cream puff dough forms the foundation for éclairs, profiteroles, and the caramel-coated tower the French call croquembouche, but understanding how and why it behaves the way it does allows the cook to create deep-fried beignets, mascarpone-filled cannolis, or simmering-hot dumplings.
    \tThis authoritative, friendly bake-shop bible contains fascinating mini-lessons on food science, illuminating bits of baking history, and time-saving tips. Newcomers to the world of baking will feel at ease with such simple, homey desserts as Banana Bread and Mississippi Mud Pie, and elaborate show-stoppers like Chocolate Brioche Sandwich with Espresso Gelato and Blackberry-Lime-Filled Doughnuts with Blackberry Sorbet and Berries will transform amateur bakers into expert pastry chefs.

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