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Miette: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop Hardcover – June 22, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Meg Ray is chef and owner of Miette and Miette Confiserie. She lives in Oakland, California.

Leslie Jonath is the author of several cookbooks, crafting, and children's books. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Frankie Frankeny is one of Entertainment Weekly's "100 Most Creative People in the United States" and a frequent photographer for Chronicle Books. She lives in San Francisco.

A Note About Errors
The first print of Miette contained some minor errors. While subsequent printings have been corrected, some copies already in circulation may require an errata slip (a correction of the book, which can be downloaded here). If you're unsure whether your version requires the errata slip, please refer to page 167. If your version lists "1/4 cup fleur de sel" in the ingredients list, please download the errata sheet.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 5.9.2011 edition (June 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811875040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811875042
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Meg Ray is the chef and owner of Miette. She is a self-taught baker and lives in Oakland CA.

Modern, cheerful, and always delicious, Miette is San Francisco's most charming pastry shop. Their impeccable cakes are traditionally American & birthday-party perfect. A modern interpretation and the finest, unrefined ingredients available have made Miette one of the top ten pastry shops in the world, according to Conde Nast.

Miette started at the Berkeley Farmers' Market in the fall of 2001 with a passion for cakes & pastry, Meg's influences range from candy shop windows in Vienna to the wild blackberries growing on her island home. Being located in Northern California provides the finest and freshest ingredients in the world, coming from local, family-owned farms and mills, which are, whenever possible, organic & sustainably produced. Miette is the French word for "crumb," and aptly describes the the scale of our petite pastries and minimal decoration.

The shop located in San Francisco's historic Ferry Building offers a seasonal selection of cakes and cupcakes, tarts, cookies, confections, cake stands, and other vintage dessert ware. The Hayes Valley shop is filled with old-fashioned candy, confections from around the world, treats made by local artisans, and made-to-order organic cotton candy. Outside of San Francisco, there is a small shop connected to the bakery in Oakland and a soon-to-be-opened boutique in Larkspur Landing.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

374 of 385 people found the following review helpful By Ginkgo on July 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Miette was one of several bakery recommendations from one of the best bakers in Portland, Oregon. After discovering that all of the other bakery recommendations were excellent, and baking the wonderful Miette's Tomboy Cake recipe in Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum, I excitedly pre-ordered Miette's cookbook.

Near Great: As other reviewers have written, this is a very pretty cookbook. The author has a wonderful artistic eye that shows on the dust jacket, the end papers, the scalloped edges, the food presentation, and the colors in the book. The photographs are beautiful, which is to be expected from Frankie Frankeny. My only minor complaint is that one needs to turn the page to complete some recipes. But this happens with most cookbooks. For looks and layout, the book deserves almost 5 stars.

Failure: With food, presentation is only one half of the equation. The other half is taste. And without well-written recipes, presentation becomes either impossible or lost in the first bad tasting bite. This is where the book fails due to extremely poor technical editing.

First, the conversion from volume to weight is inconsistent. I usually bake using weight. If a book does not offer weights, I convert it myself. However, this book does give measurements in both volume and weight. When making my first recipe, the Lemon Shortbread Cookies, I noticed that it called for 2 cups or 8 ounces (227g ) of flour. Usually, if using unbleached all-purpose flour, the weight of 2 cups would be 280g. But I went ahead with the recipe using 227g. The cookies tasted wonderful, but they spread and looked terrible. I froze some of the dough and then baked the cookies, but they still spread. Would this have happened if I had used 280g of flour?
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129 of 132 people found the following review helpful By lapis VINE VOICE on June 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to this book, but it is so riddled with errors that I cannot recommend it until the book is fixed in another printing. A couple of other reviewers pointed out some errors, and I came across another major one today when I made the caramels. After the caramel is poured into an 8 x 8 pan, you are supposed to wait 15 minutes and then "sprinkle" 1/4 CUP of fleur del sal over it. One-quarter cup of salt over a small pan of caramels is patently absurd (and the picture they have of these great caramels is laughing at that measurement) -- they probably mean 1/4 teaspoon, though who knows for sure.

Not sure what is more important in a recipe book than the correct measurements. I feel bad for the author, because the publisher has done a disservice to the book. I'm going to contact them and ask for a replacement for when they fix the errors.

What's good about the book: great-looking recipes, especially the small sizes of the cakes. The variety is also stellar. They include not only a wide range of cakes, but also cookies, candies, and basics like frosting and curd. The pictures are lovely and the overall layout of the book is good. I also appreciate that the author has provided the recipes to many of what seem to be her signature items. That is a generosity many other authors with their own stores do not provide. But there are so many errors, it's difficult to trust any recipe.

I didn't have the heart to give this book fewer than 3 stars because the caramels were great and the author clearly spent time figuring out how to make these recipes in a home kitchen. But the publisher needs to put out an errata because it's not fair to those of us in the kitchen to have to guess our way through careless errors.
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106 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Grandma TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Miette: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop is one of the prettiest books it has been my pleasure to come across. While there are not a huge number of recipes (more is not always better), the recipes that are included cover a wide and very well chosen spectrum. Among the goodies I was delighted to find were both homemade graham crackers and the wonderful chocolate wafers, now nearly unobtainable commercially, that were such a big part of my childhood.

Perhaps the thing I liked best, though, was the scale of the recipes. I love to bake, but now that I live alone a full-sized cake or pie is simply too much for me to consume. Ray's recipes, however, are all scaled to small. The cakes run to a mere six inches, the tarts to seven. Her instructions are detailed and easy to follow, making this a book that newer bakers will enjoy using. Highly recommended.

PS - Miette: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop, together with a Wilton Decorator Preferred 6 by 2 Inch Round Pan and a set of pretty pot holders would make a perfect bridal shower gift!

One final note: I've spent several hours searching high and low for 7-inch tart pans as specified in the book, to no avail. While I did find a straight-sided version in silicon, I do not care for silicon bakeware. On rereading the book, I find that Ray does state that the recipes have been tested for either 7 or 8 inch tart pans or 3.5 inch tartlet pans.
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