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Eric Kayser's Sweet and Savory Tarts Hardcover – May 8, 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Éric Kayser is a food consultant and a third generation Parisian baker. His inherited taste for traditional French bread and pastries has resulted in thirty bakeries worldwide. In 2004, Kayser opened Bread Bar, his first shop in the U.S., which will be followed by a second in Los Angeles in summer 2006. His book 100% Pains, published in French, sold over 15,000 copies. Christian Lariat is a photographer who specializes in interior design and cuisine; he contributes regularly to the magazine Art & Décoration.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Flammarion (May 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2080305565
  • ISBN-13: 978-2080305565
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 11.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a superior tart book both for technique and a well-organized array of recipes with some excellent flavor combinations. For the knowledge of the chef, the quality of the recipes and the photography, design and layout of the book I would give it 5-stars.

HOWEVER, hopefully the US publisher will do a little heavy lifting on corrections for the next printing: my advice would be to make a trial run of each recipe before preparing one of these tarts for public presentation, use your best baking judgment on ingredient amounts, and use the weights listed for more accurate measure. Originally published in French, this English language edition does not credit any translator and I would venture a guess that the translator is not a baker, nor did they consult one. Suggested volume equivalents are often glaringly off (e.g. Pate Brisee), and technique for assembly is often better guided by the superior photographs than by the meager written instructions, which can lead to not-so-spectacular results. For example, the recipe for the apricot pistachio tart instructs the baker to use half of the filling mixture to to spread on top of the apricots...if you do this, you will not see any gorgeous golden glistening apricots in your finished product.

It's a little sad when publishing companies "buy-in" a superior foreign published book with excellent technical credentials, but don't bother to invest the time in verifying the technical translations. People will and ought to buy this book for more than the pretty pictures, but they had better know what they are doing in the kitchen until the publisher gets cracking on the corrections.

PUBLISHER: test bake these recipes and correct them.

NOT recommended for beginner bakers.
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Format: Hardcover
This high quality book (as is usually the case with Flammarion titles), features what may or may not be Eric Kayser's favourite tarts. Have no illusions, pastry chefs rarely develop a recipe for a product to sell in their shop and then just publish it for the general public!
This work has beautiful photographs, gloss paper, artistic presentation and a very easy to use layout. Each recipe is alloted a full page photograph and in most cases there are photos of the procedures.
Mr Kayser is not a pastry chef but first and foremost a baker. His tarts reflect this as they are rich, hearty affair with a generous rustique appearance. The simple but hearty presentation makes one's mouth water.
As other reviewers have mentioned, we are dealing with a somewhat dodgy translation here. The Metric weights and their volume equivalents are not the same in way too many recipes. Case in point the chocolate short pastry: It sais 400g of cake flour and the volume is stated as 4.5 cups. 4.5 cups is about 600g or more(!) thus transforming the otherwise balanced recipe to a sandstone!
Also some recipes do not correspond to the photos. On page 66, the artichoke,tapenade and parmesan quiche asks for 400g of pate brisee and in the adjacent photo of the product the pastry is bread dough. On the same recipe the 400g are stated as 1Lb in the volume measures, while 1Lb is exactly 454g. Similarly the apple and raisin tart on page 121 calls for puff pastry, but the photo of the product shows what looks like a shortbread base. I don't know if this is a mistake of the original or of the translation, but considering all the other mistakes I lean towards the latter.
Let this not prevent you from buying the book though.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I made several tarts from this book, all of them using almond shortbread pastry dough or plain shortbread pastry dough. I had a bit of a trouble with the dough but I don't think it was the recipe's fault. I would blame it on the flour. The only cake flour readily available to me is Pillsbury Softasilk. It's bleached, and for that reason alone I bet chef Eric would not have chosen it. But I still made it work. Another key ingredient that makes a big difference is the butter. Most of the butter available is 17% fat. Sometimes one can find European butter or European style butter that has 18% fat content. That's the one to use because it contains less liquid, and produces markedly better dough. Anyway, my favorite recipes from this book - and they are to die for! - are Apricot Pistachio Tart, Normandy Apple Tart, Blueberry Tart, Cherry Clafoutis Tart, Pear and Grapefruit Tart, and Damson Plum Tart (I used Italian Plums instead). Everybody who tried these tarts can't believe I made them. Just beautiful and absolutely delicious! They are actually not very difficult to make at all if you have a food processor like Cuisinart. I haven't gotten into the savory tarts yet. I am much more into desserts but savory tarts look very intriguing too. Try this book. You'll love it if baking is your thing.
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Format: Hardcover
The book is a delight to look at, but a disaster to cook from. As other reviewers suggest: there is no index and no table of contents. The measurements do not work in an American kitchen, and ALL the cooking temperatures are too low and ALL the cooking times are too short. The instructions are minimal at best, and misleading at their worst. There is no way the product of these recipes is edible.

If an experienced baker, such as I am, cannot reproduce any recipe in the book, why bother?
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