Book Review: The Square, The Cookbook Volume 2: Sweet

16 August 2013
Book Review: The Square, The Cookbook Volume 2: Sweet

The Square, The Cookbook Volume 2: Sweet
By Philip Howard
Absolute Press, £30
ISBN 978-1906650827

I was very pleased to be asked to review this book because, although I have never worked professionally with Philip Howard, I was extremely fortunate to cook by his side during our time together on the BBC TV programme Great British Menu.

For me, Phil is an absolute legend, a very talented and clever cook who has been at the top of the tree for an incredible 21 years at the Square in London's Mayfair.

He's also a top bloke, by the way, so when I heard that he was bringing out not one, but two books that were going to explain some of the secrets from his world-famous restaurant, I was pretty excited.

So here I am with my beautiful copy, which is well constructed and laid out in a simple and easy-to-understand format.

The recipes are clear and concise and the brilliant visuals are the work of the "main man", Jean Cazals, with whom I have had the benefit of working in the past.

The book starts with an introduction, which gives a fascinating insight in to Phil's career and his love for all things sweet. After a description of how to use the book, it moves on to the main event, which is divided into 12 sections, from Pre-Dessert to Chocolate and Desserts in a Glass to Petits Fours.

The sections are packed full of amazing dishes that look very pleasing to the eye and, being Phil's, they ooze technique. Most importantly, you know they are going to taste damn good.

The panna cotta with rhubarb and a warm rhubarb ripple soufflé are particular favourites. I also love the sound of the roasted pears with the date cake and sherry vinegar ice-cream. And who wouldn't be impressed by the pristine soufflé section for which the Square is famed?

In all, this book is another masterpiece, which I am now fortunate to have on my bookshelf next to The Square, The Cookbook Volume 1: Savoury.
Phil has told me of his epic experience in producing such a dynamic duo of books. I know it was immensely hard work, but I can say that it was worth it. The results are classic.

By Simon Rogan, chef-proprietor, L'Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria

If you like this, you may enjoy these:

The Square, The Cookbook Volume 1: Savoury Philip Howard
Beyond Essence: New Recipes from Le Champignon Sauvage David Everitt-Matthias
Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian Sat Bains

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