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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delivers So Much More Than it Promises, 7 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry (Hardcover)
OK, granted I haven't baked from it yet, I only received it today having pre-ordered it from Amazon, but I couldn't resist sharing my first impressions. At the time of pre-order there was no "Look Inside" available, the write up is fairly bland and there wasn't even a cover photo on the jacket to inspire me. As a keen home baker who's done some semi-professional baking, I was looking for a book which would give me half a chance at reproducing at home, the magnificent and perfectly presented French pâtisserie that I so love. The write up not being the most inspiring I googled Christophe Felder and found a string of accolades and gourmet credentials and decided to take a chance. The book arrived today and having had no great expectations about how good it would be I am bowled over. Entitled the "Fundamentals" of French Pastry, I was expecting a far less weighty tome introducing the basics, this is more akin to a professional pâtisserie course in words and pictures. Whilst this will never be the same as attending full-time Parisienne Pâtisserie School, I'm betting it will be as close as you can get from the comfort of your own kitchen. I've done some Masterclasses at cookery school so whilst a mostly self-taught enthusiast with a few classes under my belt, I've seen and learnt enough to be confident that this book is going to deliver.

For a start it is nearly three inches thick, so comprehensive it is. There are 207 "lessons" on 800 pages each illustrated with step-by-step detailed photos complete with guidance on how to achieve the professional standards of presentation and finish which epitomise French Pâtisserie. Thankfully in this case, the publishers have resisted the irritating norm of reducing professionals' recipes onto a single page per recipe by editing out the finer nuances that deny home-bakers the opportunity to recreate truly great cuisine. Bravo to the Editor who granted Christophe Felder the respect of typically four pages per recipe (two of text, two of photos). All those times you've seen beautiful finishing touches and thought "I wonder how they do that?" - it's all here. Divided into nine chapters it covers all the classics of French pâtisserie:

Chapter 1: Les Pâtes et Les Tartes (Basic Pastry and Tarts)
Chapter 2: Les Crèmes (Creams, Custards and Puddings)
Chapter 3: La Décoration (Decorations)
Chapter 4: Les Gâteaux Classiques (Classic Cakes and Desserts)
Chapter 5: Les Chocolats et Petites Bouchées (Chocolate Desserts and Candies)
Chapter 6: Les Gâteaux de L'Avent (Holiday Cakes, Cookies and Other Sweet Treats)
Chapter 7: Les Macarons
Chapter 8: Les Brioches et Viennoiseries (Brioches and Breakfast Pastries)
Chapter 9: Les Mignardises (Petits Fours)

In addition to pastry work, there's sugar work (from spun sugar to sugar paste and everything in between), chocolaterie, piping techniques, sponge work, producing layer cakes, syrups, you name it it's here. The index is now available on the "Look Inside" feature so I'll leave the interested reader to peruse the list of classics at their leisure or I'll be here all night.

I'll update this once I've had the chance to bake from it but I'll be extremely surprised if I am disappointed. Certainly this book does not have the coffee table beauty of Pierre Herme Pastries or Bouchon Bakery but I'll hedge my bets and predict your dinner party guests will be so busy drooling over the edible works of art this book will enable you to produce at home, they won't even notice the book on the coffee table.

Update 1: As soon as I posted this review, two further reviews from Amazon.com (USA) became visible. Since the other reviewer had problems with the Tarte à L'Orange I shall be trying that recipe first to compare my own experience with that of the other reviewer. I've currently given this a four for what it promises but will review my star grading once I've tested a few recipes.

Keep you posted!

Happy Baking!
@Tortepane
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect pastry book, 30 Oct 2013
By 
Mr. R. Thakur (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry (Hardcover)
I don't normally write reviews, but this book is utterly superb in its detail with incredible picture tutorials for every single recipe. I bought this book having been engrossed in the Great British Bake Off and having recently read the article on the BBC about Parisian Patisseries and it does not disappoint. It covers all the main techniques, patisserie classics and gives really good advice on what to do to get the best out of your ingredients. I now have new found appreciation for the art of a good Patissier!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply awesome, 5 Sep 2013
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J. Borg - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry (Hardcover)
this is good for all beginners and professionals an awesome book which has very good descriptions. and makes things look easy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good source but..., 8 April 2014
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Teresa Chagas "Therasia" (Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry (Hardcover)
I like this book, it has step by step tutorials for everysingle recipe and cover all the classics but I expected more, I would like to have an introduction to the recipes, not just the recipe, I mean some background or history so that I could know the origin of the french classics thaught in the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wot a whopper!, 25 Mar 2014
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Theresa (Sheerness, Kent Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry (Hardcover)
This is a very substantial book - and it covers a whole host of techniques and processes in detail, with lots of pictures. Measurements in cups, imperial and metric. A couple of things are a bit American - not a real problem just so long as you know things like corn syrup is the same as golden syrup.

Can't wait to get started - just need to decided what to try first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing recipes, but some kitchen confidence is needed., 24 Mar 2014
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A. Field - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry (Hardcover)
This book has some wonderful recipes and I am slowing trying to make my way through all of the chapters via my blog: [...]

Most of the easy recipes can be attempted by anyone, regardless of their ability and this is what you would expect. However when you make your way to the intermediate and advanced recipes, there are some real problems with the quantities and details in the recipes.

I've had some issues with cakes not stretching to the quantities they should and other recipes where I have had far too much left over. I've also struggled with the size of some of the gateaux recipes. The average size is 40cm x 30cm, I struggled to find tins and cake rings of this size. They also only just fit in my domestic oven and I struggled to fit them in my freezer to chill.

Despite all of these annoyances, this is a great book with some great tips and recipes. My only advice would be that you need to be prepared to do your homework for a lot of these recipes. If anyone has any questions I'd be more than happy to help on my blog.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 7 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry (Hardcover)
I bought this for my husband who is a keen cook/baker for Christmas . . . he loves it! I have put on a stone since Christmas! :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a really great book!, 1 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry (Hardcover)
I bought this book as quite a beginner to pastry. I'd only made a few quiches and a few pies out of basic short crust pastry. 'Patisserie' has taught me the precision, accuracy and discipline involved in making French pastries. I am growing more confident and getting quicker at making tarts. There are obviously a huge amount of different recipes, set out as lessons, and I started off following every recipe through in order, but now I've diverged from this and enjoy choosing which recipe to follow next. The book isn't necessarily set out basic to advanced through all the lessons, but more divided into sections, which makes more sense (Tartes, Les Cremes etc). There are a lot of photos to go along with the steps in the recipe, and these show the important things like how the texture of something should look so that your pastries turn out right!

Some things that might be helpful to know are:
- A lot of the recipes contain almonds as in traditional French pastry
- A lot of these aren't particularly quick recipes, with tart pastry requiring 2 hours chill time

although these things don't bother me!

Also, I struggled to find all the correct sized pastry rings the recipes sometimes ask for, but the book gives alternatives such as using a tart pan with a removable bottom instead, the same is given for vanilla essence instead of pods, so it is pretty accommodating!

The book contains every thing you could want to eat and make in a Patisserie, from tartes to macarons to croissants and pretty much everything in between...

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn 'the Fundamentals of French Pastry', it is a brilliant book, and will keep me busy and happy for a long time!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book is simply wonderful, 7 Nov 2013
This review is from: Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry (Hardcover)
This is my first written review on Amazon but since I've been baking C.Felder's recipes for a while now I just think he's the best Chef when it comes to writing recipes for professional but also amateurs.

Since I usually read his recipes in French it just goes faster but I moved to London and found that the English version is cheaper so I ordered it. I just love the book..It also saved me money because some of the recipes in this book are scattered in the other books but because I bought this compendium I don't need to buy the others..

The only thing I would have appreciated would have been an introduction for each recipe, even a tiny one..

I'm familiar with some of his recipes(croissants, puff pastry and choux) and they're instant hit but I recently tried his lemon tart..a classic one but very good.
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4.0 out of 5 stars because I would have liked to learn to use French t45 and t55 flour, 15 July 2014
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Mr. H. E. Mcmorran (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry (Hardcover)
A shame the book only has an American-English version, because I would have liked to learn to use French t45 and t55 flour. I know Felder sometimes uses a mix in the French version, but all you get in this book is: American all-purpose flour!

On the other hand, I am lucky to have this great translation; excellent in all other respects.
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Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry
Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry by Christophe Felder (Hardcover - 26 Feb 2013)
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