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3.4 out of 5 stars
Miette Bakery Cookbook: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2012
I thought this book looked so gorgeous and imagined it being packed full of delicious recipes. What a disappointment! The first thing I see when I open the book is a card with a list off all the errors in the book and there are a lot. I think most of the recipes have errors in them. Then there are the recipes, nothing that exciting, a couple of recipes I might try but most just seem to be slight variations on recipes I already have. This is a book you should not judge by its cover as you will think it is much better than it is. If you already own a few books about baking then I don't think this will give you anything worth paying for.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2011
This is a beautiful book, the pages are scalloped and wonderfully decorated. However, it comes with an insert that states, "throughout this book, there are inconsistencies in the weight of flour and sugar measurements". Guidelines are given to correct the errors but to be honest I want to be able to open the page and follow the recipe. As this is not a book I would use on a daily basis, I wonder how many times I would forget to adjust the quantities, resulting in disaster! I would definitely purchase a later edition of this book if all the inconsistencies were corrected.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2011
I have eagerly awaited receiving this book and so far have not been disappointed - the design of the book is perhaps what first thing that grabs your attention. Beautiful photography and the scalloped pages draw you into it before you can say no. And why would you want to?
The section explaining basic techniques, etc. is worth taking the time to read and will make the rest of the book easier to follow.
The recipes themselves are mouth watering. Some may appear a little adventurous for the home baker but I am willing to give them a go. For UK readers the recipes are given in American cup sizes, etc. but these can easily be converted with a little searching on-line.
My only slight criticism would be that not all of the recipes include a photograph, which would have been helpful when trying to recreate at home, but on the whole this book would be a pretty and practical addition to any keen amateur bakers collection.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2011
I have waited a long time for this book and was very excited when it arrived this morning and whilst this is a beautiful book I was surprised, to say the least, that it also comes with separate note from the publishers making corrections on some of the recipes! For example it gives you alternative instructions on how to make Vanilla buttercream - surely someone should have proof read the book before it went to print. There are also fewer pictures than I would have liked especially from a bakery that prides itself on presentation and specifically says that they like the french way of baking which means appearance is just as important as flavour. I am yet to make any of the cakes but very much look forward to trying something new.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2012
Perhaps it is unfair of me to write a negative review of a cookbook after only trying four of its recipes; however, I am a semi-professional baker with quite a number of years of experience and the main projects I've attempted from this book have failed spectacularly, despite my following the directions to the letter. My vanilla buttercream - the laborious "European" style involving five egg whites and careful cooking using a candy thermometer - turned out like pink soup. The cheesecake base turned out soggy, the cake itself crumbled and stuck to the sides of the pan, and the sour cream "glaze" simply poured down the sides of the cake after it was removed from the pan, rather than standing in a beautiful layer as in the photo. I can't help but feel that steps or ingredients had been omitted.

I am willing to accept the blame for my mishaps, but failed recipes using expensive ingredients aren't my only complaint. Due to the author's being "fond of small things" most of the recipes in this book require the purchase of all new, six-inch bake ware for those who only have "standard" sizes in the cupboard. Further rationale behind "small things" is that "Making a 9-inch organic cake costs twice as much as the same at 6 inches"; however, the author goes on to say "The master recipes provided in this book all produce two 6-inch cakes, so each time you bake, you will end up with an extra base...and enough batter to make a 9-inch cake (plus a few cupcakes)". Huh?

I find the author's self-promotion and touting of her San Francisco shop quite irritating. She makes frequent references to the all-important "Miette versions", "Miette philosophy" "our must-have cakes" and "true Miette cakes" and prefaces her fiddly recipes with warnings such as "Assembling this cake is more difficult than it looks..." and makes references to "cries of panic" from the classes she teaches. This certainly doesn't instil confidence in the home cook.

There are positive aspects to this book: it is lovely to look at and has a nice design, the double chocolate cake recipe used in the Tomboy cake pictured on the cover is delicious, and the graham crackers turned out nicely (though the recipe obviously leaves out the addition of sugar to make them sparkle as they do in the photograph). Those things are not enough to make this a book I would recommend.

Frankly, if baking was as difficult as this book makes it, I would never enter the kitchen again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Meg Ray's Miette brings the famous San Francisco bakery of the same name to your kitchen; famous for her signature mid sized cakes, especially those like the one on the cover with triple layers and frosting, this book is one of my favourites of the year.

Scalloped edges to the pages make it stand out! Sadly it's only been published with American cup sizes but I intend to make lots of things from this in the new year.

However, I am put off by reports of mistakes in the ingredients. My copy arrived with an error sheet in the back but it's a nuisance to have to refer to this and makes me anxious stuff won't work properly. And it is a disappointment how few photos there are.

I'm kind of hypnotised by the cover though. I wonder if this title had extra advertising budget on Amazon as I couldn't get away from it in search results last summer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2011
I got stuck in on baking from this book as soon as I received it. In fact, I made 5 of the cakes over the weekend. The precision needed for some of the recipes takes careful advance planning but the results are worth the effort and the extra washing up. Even though the pictures are sparse for a baking book (I am assuming this is not for beginners), I found the thorough descriptions very useful as a guide as to how to decorate. The simplicity of flavours for the cakes is refreshing as they are not overshadowed by too much icing/frosting. This lends to a very continental/European flare. Even though there were quite a few mistakes in this first edition, I did not think it a problem. Having published myself before, I know how difficult it is to get your books right the first time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2013
Utter rubbish, don't be fooled by a pretty cover.

The recipes start by saying they are difficult to follow, they were not joking! I wanted to bake a cake not read an essay on baking cakes!

The layout of the recipes is atrocious, who wants to spend time flicking between pages in the book to make one cake? To make the lemon cake you start with a basic cake mix at the front of the book, the syrup around page 100, the icing at the end and then the assembly back where you started.

My other serious irritation is that the book only gives the recipes in american weights and measures, if selling in the UK the book should at least provide an appendix with a conversion table.

Lesson learnt- never cheat on Nigella!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2012
I was lucky to receive a recently printed book, so no inlay in this one. The recipes are thoroughly explained, and the baking results look very elegant. I was surprised to see that this American-based baker uses the (more European style) Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which is also my favourite frosting. So much better than the normally used mixed butter-sugar one. I'm really happy with my purchase. One small point: living in Holland I use gram and milliliter, it would have been extra easy if this was used as well in the recipes...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2011
I love the website which enticed me to make an order for this book... the recipes look yummy! However, was so disappointed to see so many mistakes for a recipe book I find this unexceptable...what happens if i loose the insert with the corrected qty's !?? do I need to write on this very pretty book - I work for a publisher and am very disappointed the author hadn't checked the recipe's at final proofs before sign off - unless the wrong PDF's went to press! Should have been a recall!
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