Most helpful critical review
23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful to look at but not terribly practical
on 25 June 2014
You only need to look at the cover shot to realise that this is not a book for novices or indeed for keen amateurs. It requires a lot of specialist equipment and a huge amount of time and ability. I run a cookery school and teach patisserie classes and I wouldn't put this level of complexity into the recipes I teach. For example the chocolate, banana and peanut caramel bar requires pate sablee, chcocolate sponge, alcohol syrup, dark choc mousse, peanut tuile, salt caramel, peanut paste, dark spraying chocolate and gold leaf. The end results are beautiful, they are the sort of patisseries that grace the shop windows in Fauchon or other top end Paris bakeries but to get results as good as these they require a level of experience and dexterity that only professional pastry chefs have. Many recipes require 12-15 small photos of the stages of construction and because of the number needed the photos are small (5 x 5cm) which is too small in my view. They've also done that really annoying design thing of printing instructions over a large background photo which renders the print virtually impossible to read (if you're in a book shop, check out page 121, it's like a nightmare eye test!). I'll keep it because the patisseries are beautiful and some of the decorating techniques are useful but at £32 I'd think carefully about whether to invest in this.