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The Home-Made Sweet Shop: Make Your Own Irresistible Sweet Confections with 90 Classic Recipes for Sweets, Candies and Chocolates Hardcover – 15 Nov 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Aquamarine (15 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903141842
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903141847
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 1.8 x 29.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Originally from California, Claire Ptak worked as a pastry cook and later pastry chef for Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley before moving to London with her husband where she started Violet which has been selling cakes at Broadway Market since late 2005. In 2010 Claire opened Violet Cakeshop in East London.

Product Description

About the Author

Claire Ptak trained as a pastry chef for Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, before moving to London with her husband, where she started Violet Cakes, her stall at the popular Broadway Market in East London. Since 2005, She has sold cupcakes and other treats to a loyal following, including Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Thomasina Miers. Claire styles the weekly Ottolenghi column in The Guardian Weekend and writes seasonal recipe blogs for The Guardian website.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Lesley on 20 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having trawled through quite a lot of sweet making books I pre-ordered this one (mmmm and now it is in the sale...drat should I have waited?). It finally dropped through my post box last week.

I wasn't disappointed. It is a well presented book with a nice and useful introduction, a couple of sections on the history of sweets, chocolate etc, and some pages on equipment and so on before moving on the actual recipes.

Well laid out, the recipes are in sections each dealing with different types of confectionary (fudge/taffies/truffles and so on). There are also inspiring photo's and I was pushed to know what to start with so much was tempting. I played safe with the mini gooey chocolate brownies. Scumptious has been the verdict. Am now onto lemon drops, marshmallow, nougat - good old rhubarb and custards are beckoning.

I think this is a really useful book, practical to use and the results have been very good. So far I have been able to find all the ingredients easily and found everything simple to make.

If you like making your own presents then I think you will find this a great addition to your cook book shelf, and I would not be surprised if some of the items became firm family favourites. Ideas for a lot of occasions. A very happy purchase for me!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By C. North on 17 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover
I love making sweets and treats as presents so I bought this book the moment I saw it. Aesthetically, it's a lovely book to sit and look through and the introduction about the history of sweets is very interesting.

However, I'm very sorry to say that the actually recipes range from fantastic to complete disasters. I thought I'd just put in a list of some of the ones I've tried and issues I've had so that anyone who has bought or is thinking of buying this book can consider whether to attempt them.

Lemon Drops: Complete fiasco. There is something dramatically wrong with the recipe, I followed it to the letter (which involved investing in some expensive additions to my sweet-making kit) and instead of being a pliable syrup when poured onto my slab it hardened immediately into a hard, brittle substance. I also found that even with high quality extract, it didn't taste in the slightest bit lemony.

Salted Caramels: Wonderful! The recipe wasn't too hard to follow (although it was definitely a two person job to time it right) and the results were absolutely delicious. Honestly, this is a lovely recipe.

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows: I found it a bit odd that the powdered gelatine was measured in mls, but otherwise a nice, straightforward recipe. I've tried other recipes for marshmallows and this one was neither better nor worse; I ended up with some very tasty marshmallows.

Liquorice Sticks: Yeah... Something was definitely not right with the recipe. On the plus side, I ended up with what I described as liquorice toffee in my Christmas hampers, and it was really tasty. However, it flat out wasn't liquorice.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By SueC on 13 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book, with a great range of recipes. I had never tried making sweets before, but found the recipes easy to follow, with detailed instructions and pictures. So far I've made blackberry jellies, marshmallows and espresso-macadamia fudge. Each one turned out perfectly.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Karla on 18 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Oh how I love this book! I cannot believe I have lived so long without it. It is extremely good value for money, full to the brim with beautiful photos of confections and written in an informative but easy to follow manner.

I frequently just sit and drool over it. I plan all kinds of fabulous gifts for my loved ones then admit to myself that I would probably have to eat them all, just to be on the safe side.

Some equipment is needed before starting, such as a sugar thermometer and large pan, but the rest is everyday stuff we have in our kitchens. Some things require a marble slab to work on, but I will be buying a granite worktop saver instead as a more affordable option.

Probably the easiest thing to start with would be the chocolate bark, but the lemon sherbert and rose cremes look pretty good too!

Christmas is coming and what better way to save some money and give lovely things than with home-made sweets and chocolates. Can't beat it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bodinator on 4 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book. I bought it for my sister who loves making sweets. She has made several of the recipes, and has only struggled with one of them, and that was the fault of the sugar thermometer - as soon as she got a digital one, she had no more issues. It comes highly recommended from me, but do make sure you have a good quality digital sugar thermometer for best results!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By warkwarkwoo on 3 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is well presented with the first section being on candy making basics like tempering chocolate. A sugar thermometer is a must for most of these recipes, and though it can be judged by other methods, I like to know just how hot the mixture is- especially as I use both gas and electric hobs. Surprisingly, though it takes slightly longer to heat up electric hobs seem to give more control.

There's plenty of pictures and detail in the recipes, though as someone else said, it sometimes feels like there's a slight detail that it's not telling you. The sectioning of the book is well thought out and the ingredients widely available.
I'd also recommend double checking you have everything you need for a recipe and enough time to see it through at the end.

As a warning this product is essentially the same as the old fashion sweet shop recipe book by the same author, but with a different cover, so be careful not to double buy.

Excellent book overall.
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