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The Caterer

Book review – The New Pâtissiers by Olivier Dupon

18 April 2014
Book review – The New Pâtissiers by Olivier Dupon

Thames and Hudson, £35

The New Pâtissiers covers a wide range of pâtisserie and desserts from 38 globally renowned chefs, based in Europe, Japan and the US. Hence, the book is packed full of a wide range of cultural influences.

I particularly like the recipe for dalliance, hazelnut pound cake, candied/confit orange, vanilla caramel mou from Nathaniel Reid, executive pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel St Louis, Missouri. The well-assembled cake with a nutty binding and citrus flavours combine to make an attractive treat for the eyes and tastebuds.

Among the chefs who stand out for me is Shigeru Nojima, executive pastry chef at the Peninsula in Tokyo. He showcases an attractive chestnut cake and a nicely textured alya. There is also Christophe Roussel, who runs a number of Parisien pâtisseries. I particularly like his modern take on the religieuse (formed from two choux pastry cases) and his tarte piège à fruits.

The British are represented by Julie Sharp, pastry chef lecturer and consultant, who provides a contemporary interpretation on desserts with her roasted caramel peach and a chocolate, raspberry and lychee parfait.

This is a vibrant and colourful book. The photography is clean and crisp and it shows off the desserts in a stunning light. The recipes are well laid out and, for a basically trained chef, are fairly easy to follow. I like the inclusion of indicators to highlight the difficulty of a recipe and preparation time, which is good for newer chefs who want to know which recipes to start with.

Some of the most eye-catching dishes include the red curry, black garlic, yogurt and cucumber, as well as grilled celeriac, malt, espresso, Seville orange. Although I won't be trying these in a hurry, I will give Parisien pâtissier Sébastien Gaudard's gâteau Saint-Honoré a go.

The layout of the book is easy to follow, with lots of basic steps to each recipe to avoid any confusion. As the book encompasses lots of different styles, there is something available to suit everyone's taste.

The images and biography of each chef provides an insight into pâtissiers around the world that I wasn't previously aware of.

The growing trend for dessert bars, as highlighted by Janice Wong of 2am:dessert bar in Singapore and Sarah Jordan of Boka and GT Fish & Oyster in Chicago, was intriguing to read. Sarah shared her take on the old American classic, key lime pie, while Janice included a great recipe for shades of yellow, orange poppy seed cake, yuzu white chocolate ganache, lemon zat.

By William Curley, pâtissier-chocolatier

If you like this, you may enjoy these:

Couture Chocolate: a Masterclass in Chocolate by William Curley

Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry by Christophe Felder

World's Best Cakes by Roger Pizey

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