Top critical review
28 people found this helpful
For inspirational use only!
on 13 November 2011
This is a beautiful coffee table book, containing incredible photography and flavour combinations that are truly inspirational. However, I don't feel it's very useful for the average home baker (other than those wanting a career as a pastry chef). The recipes for the highly-innovative macarons aren't too bad, but get past that chapter and you'll find that very many of the cakes, gateaux and desserts contain between 5 and 8 different components, all of which require their own individual recipes. These are not concoctions you can knock up in an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon!
Furthermore, the recipes frequently call for ingredients that are completely unavailable to regular home cooks and the quantities required go beyond the capabilities of normal digital scales (eg 1.8g of an ingredient). The ingredients may be available online or in speciality shops, but sourcing them could make the recipes that use them somewhat expensive. I've got umpteen baking books and am experienced baker, but I have never heard of or ever seen for sale calcic, algin, gellan, iota, pandan extract or yuzu juice (not to mention titanium dioxide - apparently only available from wholesalers, ie large quantities). Fortunately there is a glossary at the back of the book.
Certainly there are some recipes that don't contain these unusual ingredients, and others whose component recipes could be cooked relatively easily, but for me this book's recipes involve way too much time and expense for them to be practical. I've given 3 stars for the beauty of the book and its inspirational qualities.