3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Think Masterchef, rather than Come Dine With Me,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Square: Sweet: 2 (Square: the Cookbook) (Hardcover)
I've been salivating over the arrival of this book for what seems like a life time! After the first amazing publication.
On first inspection As you would expect for a total perfectionist as is Phil Howard is the book is absolutely stunning.
The photography is stunning and there is a picture of the finished dish to accompany each recipe. The recipes within cover pre-desserts, souffles, sorbets to bread and everything else in between. It's clean, crisp and so very professional.
Three recipes from The Square - Volume 2: find out how to make Phil Howard's Lemon posset with a blueberry compote and warm vanilla beignets; Nougat; Blackberry sorbet with Granny Smith granita.
A home cook with a small amount of knowledge may find looking at the recipes, rather than the pictures, the book becomes very daunting, but please stay in there as it is all possible...
A more in-depth perusal will make you realise though, once you can get your head round the complexity of some of the recipes, it's actually very cleverly laid out. If you're serious about challenging yourself with some Michelin-class dessert-making, then this is the book to ease you into it.
Each recipe is calculated to serve eight people and while that is more guests than most cookbooks would aim their recipes towards, in this case it makes sense. It's not an everyday cookbook. These are the types of recipes you would undertake for a really special occasion for a lucky group of friends. It's a proper show-off dinner party book.
Think Masterchef, rather than Come Dine With Me. I'm not sure I'd want the bother for any less than eight people - if you're gonna do, do it properly! They deserve careful handling and attention to detail... Your friends, and the recipes.
The layout covers some main headers - words of introduction and overview; a "focus on" section which gives extremely useful tips about the things you should look for in your ingredients (such as use older eggs whites for soufflés as they will whisk up better), or advice on preparing your equipment (butter your moulds well to ensure your soufflés rise properly); a list of the key components for the recipe; and finally an invaluable section on timing, as well as the order in which to prepare things. All in all, if you follow the instructions as given, then it's fail-safe. Very clever.
The Christmas section is such a fantastic idea....particularly mouth-watering. The Christmas pudding soufflé with a 21-year-old whisky and malted milk ice-cream anyone? It would make Santa weep.
Throughout the book, Phil has put forth his thoughts on topics such as seasonality, provenance and how food makes him feel. This book has clearly been written from the heart of someone who lives and loves food, already evidenced by the success of his restaurant.
In summary, if you're not afraid of a challenge, want to learn how to make some truly unusual and impressive sweet dishes, can muster up equipment such as a sugar thermometer and have adequate space to concurrently prepare enough recipe elements without your stress levels rising too much, then this may be the book for you.
Its also a very sexy coffee table edition but hey why waste such a work of art.....Enjoy