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on 1 May 2013
I am a semi professional baker and teach baking.

This is not a cake baking book - simply patisserie as it's best. Sweet delights that you see in shop windows in Paris.
Of course there are more sophisticated items too but this book is for the amateur / home baker. There are still challenges to master like Chocolate and pear buche de Noel, Chocolate and caramelized banana gateau or Tarte croustillante aux abricots.

I have baked the Honey and vanilla madeleines and they were wonderful. Even skipping the recommended 30-40 minutes to refrigerate before spooning into the pan. Got 12 as stated. Very moist. Needed more time in the oven as stated but that always depends on your oven. Right?
Did also the Fraisier but with a pistachio Creme Patisserie. Worked brilliant on two Swiss roll pans and went off the greasproof paper with such ease.
Like the Sachertorte recipe which differs a little from mine adding ground almonds but with adding the egg whites at the end to make it fluffy instead using baking powder. Very Austrian indeed.

Thank you Will for using the correct word 'Viennoiserie' instead of Danish pastry.

I wish I would have written such a great book when I was your age.
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on 4 May 2015
I am currently training as a patissier and bought this book with several others for at home practise. What a disappointment. Nothing I have made from here following it's exact instructions have worked. Such a disappointment. The concepts are lovely however no substance. Beautiful pictures with frustratingly wrong recipes.
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on 23 June 2013
The beer and chocolate has been a hit. Creme Patissiere recipe is incorrect. I was not convinced of the quantities of dry ingredients to wet to create a cream and was proved right. You could resurface the M25. Will use the book for ideas only and adapt.
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on 5 April 2013
I have many many cookery books but this is absolutely outstanding. The section on technique is very clear and explains everything well. Made palmiers already and can't wait to get cracking on the rest.
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on 30 June 2013
As previously noted, the quantities on at least one of the recipes are indisputably incorrect and this means there is no way of knowing how any other recipes are incorrect. Shame on the author and publishers for poor proof reading.
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on 27 April 2013
First up I'm a semi professional baker, so I'm writing off personal crapness is the kitchen here. I bought the book and have baked the financiers (a recipe I've made countless times before). For a start using the mini loaf tins as specified they made only five, at 60g each (raw) rather than the stated 8 - 10. They were underbaked at the time given, greasy and heavy when they were finally done.

I'm so dissapointed, it's a very pretty book, but I'm afraid it's not enough to be pretty, the recipes have to work or it's all just window dressing.
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on 19 July 2014
The book itself is rather seductive: beautiful photographs, straightforward recipes and once you work out what type of sugar is needed, clear ingredient lists. However, having now tried 5 different recipes, I've come to the conclusion that the actual recipes are flawed. I think it seems to be the ingredient quantities and having read subsequent reviews, there seems to be some consensus about this. I'm not a patisserie chef but as a home-baker, I usually do alright - every thing I've cooked from Torrent's book hasn't worked. As lovely as this book appears (and if based on looks alone, I'd be tempted to give 4 or 5 stars) I'd avoid buying it.
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Warning: Even if you don't make anything from this book it is more than capable of contributing towards weight gain. You will be thinking of wonderful cakes after looking at just a few pages from this richly-illustrated book.

The raison d'être of this book is to help take the fear factor out of French patisserie and get you making some masterpieces along the way. It manages this with aplomb yet it does not feel like a cold, heavy book that is rich on the theory. Straight away you are schooled in making key staples such as croissant pastry and ganache before being let loose on a host of many classics from the chapters covering patisserie, tarts, petits fours, gateaux & desserts and Viennoiserie.

To get the most out of this book and its easy-to-read teaching style, you should really go through it sequentially at least once as there are little hints and tips throughout that, if applied, will surely help take your culinary expertise to a new level. Of course, you can dip straight in and get good advice, but you will be missing out on a lot of things. As well as classics there are many other recipes worthy of closer scrutiny, such as chilled lemon soufflés and chocolate and beer cake (!). An index at the end of the book is fairly detailed and lets you dig deep into the book.

About the only slight concern was the quality of this book's binding, at least on the example under review, as after relatively light use it felt like some of the pages were ready to fall out of the binding. That would be a shame as this reviewer can see this book being a regular companion in the kitchen and one doesn't really want to have to resort to sticky tape in such a wonderful book.

There are certainly no shortage of books that will show you how to make such goodies yet this one has managed to carve a bit of a niche through its accessibility, informativeness and relaxed learning style. A book certainly worthy of further consideration, unless, of course, you are trying to diet.
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on 20 May 2014
Not worth buying, unless you just like photographs. Instructions on some recipes are wrong, plus the timings are wrong.
Tried to make Croissants not good results. We then checked other Recipe books and found instructions for kneeding very different.
The proof reader did not do his or her job correctly. If I put my name to a book I would want to have checked everything. Shame on you Will Torrent.
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on 29 April 2013
This book failed to enthuse. It had standard recipes that I have found in other books, so nothing new. sorry
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