7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely Fabulous and Surprisingly Versatile,
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This review is from: Roland Mesnier's Basic to Beautiful Cakes (Hardcover)
So far I've tried the Hazelnut Dacquoise Cake, Coffee Genoise, and the Summertime Strawberry Cake. Mr. Mesnier layers recipe over recipe, which has actually enabled me to be more versatile. The hazelnut meringue cake layers can be made in smaller sizes for the best tasting cookies you've ever eaten, and you can stuff them with the sinfully delicious freezable chocolate mousse (the best I've ever had) and serve as "ice cream" sandwiches. The pastry cream for the Strawberry cake (without Grand Marnier)is perfect for eclair filling. Great instruction on how to make ganache and how to temper chocolate. I do have two suggestions for any who attempt many of the cakes in this book- there is A LOT of folding of ingredients. Do yourself a favor and buy a large folding spatula, and! try freezing your egg whites the day before and defrosting them to room temperature when ready to make your cake. A proper spatula and this nifty freezing trick will keep your batters or meringues from deflating. And I'm pretty sure that you'll want to have use of a stand mixer, bc some of these (cake) recipes will not be easy w/o it. Mr. Mesnier gives you a list of supplies at the beginning of the book, too. Everything I've made from this book has been exceptional.
Update: I thought I'd note for the vanilla custard sauce that goes into the hazelnut dacquoise cake- Messnier says that egg must be cooked up to 160 degrees to reach the safe zone, but I have found that in order for this sauce to thicken, it must reach about 180 degrees. Also, for the Summertime Strawberry Cake- do not try and fold the flour mix into the egg mixture while it's in the stand mixer bowl AND the flour should be added slowly (I sift small amounts at a time) and fold. Kind of tricky :)