By William and Suzue Curley
Jacqui Small, £40
Here is a book where the word ‘comprehensive' doesn't even begin to adequately describe it. Often when that's one of the first traits of a cookbook to spring to mind, you're presented with a very technical and potentially uninspiring work. Not so with William and Suzue Curley's Pâtisserie. It is truly a thing of beauty, from both a coffee-table tome and usability perspective.
The book aims to prove that creating beautiful pâtisserie is achievable in the home kitchen and, as such, each of the recipes and techniques within are broken down into manageable bite-size instructions.
Alongside is absolutely stunning photography by the incredibly talented, and sadly late, Jose Lasheras, who was also responsible for the spectacular images in Curley's debut cookbook Couture Chocolate. His photos reveal not just the finished piece of dessert art, but also the many, many steps necessary to achieve it.
The love, care and attention that has gone into pulling everything together is evident in abundance and you'd expect nothing less from William and Suzue Curley. In fact, it was almost impossible to find a featured recipe (caramel Chantilly, see opposite) that didn't require the addition of several other sub-recipes that are necessary to pull off the dessert, so checking the cross-referencing alone must surely have been a full-time job.
However, I expect PÁ¢tisserie will find more fans from the professional world than the domestic, if only because chefs are more likely to have sufficiently equipped and sizeable kitchens for this premier level of cooking.
Once you've got the necessary tools to do the job at hand, then this book's modernised takes on classic recipes can, I'm sure, demystify the processes that go
into producing intricate and exciting pÁ¢tisserie. Mastering them, on the other handâ¦ well, that will take a lot of practice.
If you like this, you might also like:
â- Couture Chocolate: A Masterclass in Chocolate by William Curley
â- The New PÁ¢tissiers by Olivier Dupon
â- PÁ¢tisserie: A Step-by-step Guide to Baking French Pastries at Home by Murielle Valette