I must admit, I bought this cook book mostly because I thought it was pretty, but also because I really was intrigued and determined to learn french pastry. When I purchased it a few years back, it came in a box that looked like a box of fancy chocolates. then you get to the petite padded pistachio colored book that is wonder to hold. Soft and velvety. The pages are guilded with bright gold around the edges.
Anyone who loves to eat and make french pastry knows the story of Lauderee in Paris which began in 1862 now known for its signature ‘fashion’ look of pastels and feminine touches in its decor. Pastry Chef Philippe Andrieu is the author of the book and celebrates his contribution to the iconic shop that is Laduree.
I have never visited the famous French pastry shop in Paris, yet! But I had the pleasure to visit the one that just opened here in Los Angeles. I had 3 flavors of the french macarons. Orange Blossom, Hazelnut, and Passion Fruit. The Orange Blossom had a very intense citrus flavor. So good. They were all good.
Back to the cookbook.
I love almost any pastry made with frangipani or as in the book also known as Cre’me d’ Amandes (Almond Cream). A heavenly combination of butter, eggs, almond flour, confectioners sugar, and rum that when put in a Pate’ Sucre’e crust and topped with any fruit will make the most delicious and reliable dessert every time once perfected. I have made this time and time again. It also can be frozen for those impromptu occasions.
I have also tried the Madeleines. This recipe didn’t turn out so well for me the first time. They kind of melted in the pan. Not sure what I did wrong but I tried them again with a little orange zest added and they came out fragrant and lovely.
Other notable recipes are the Pistachio Financiers, Pain Perdu which we know as French Toast. The photo doesn’t look very appetizing to me , just buttered toast, but we are used to a more sugary version dripping with maple syrup. The Pate’ Brisee tart dough is a basic for quiche and other savory tarts. We can’t forget the Macarons. You will get recipes for raspberry, citrus, almond and chocolate. More basics like Creme’ Patissiere, Creme’ Anglaise, Raspberry Coulis and Chantilly Cream. I always had in my mind that Chantilly cream was some unachievable sweet cloud, but is really just a basic recipe for whipped cream.
There are a few more recipes I haven’t gotten around to like Petits Pots de Creme a la Rose, Verbena Ice Cream, Vanilla Eclairs, and Canneles. I plan to make a banana version of this!
I think that even though this book was printed in 2009, the classic recipes it contains will never go out of style. Those basic recipes can be transferred to many of your own versions and it looks pretty on your cookbook shelf too.
Of course there are many pastry cookbooks on the market that can go more in-depth, but I think this is a good one to add to your dessert library. If you already own this book, let me know what you have tried and the results you had!