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The International Dictionary of Desserts, Pastries, and Confections: A Comprehensive Guide With More Than 800 Definitions and 86 Classic Recipes for Paperback – February 1, 1995
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From Library Journal
Bloom, author of the excellent Truffles, Candies & Confections (LJ 8/92) and a cooking teacher, has compiled an impressive reference work that covers more than 800 international pastry and confectionery ingredients, terms, and equipment. Interspersed throughout the dictionary entries are recipes for luscious, predominantly classic European pastries, such as Paris-Brest and Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse Cake, highlighting essential baking and candy-making techniques. Also included are numerous useful charts and tables, a source guide for ingredients and equipment, and a worldwide listing of schools offering courses in pastry making and confectionery. Bloom's exhaustive research and the broad scope of her dictionary make it a valuable resource for pastry professionals, candy makers, and home bakers alike. Highly recommended.
Susan Lantzius, formerly pastry chef, "San Domenico," New York
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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This handy little reference book is probably less useful than it seems to be. If you already have a few pastry and baking books on your bookshelf, this would be a good, but not a great addition. You get a dictionary of around 800 definitions, and a few dozen recipes.
Note carefully what this book is not. You will not get a comprehensive encyclopedia full of pictures, diagrams, and recipes for just about everything under the sun, written by a diverse panel of distinguished and world renown pastry chefs. If you need a picture of something or a specific recipe, you will probably not find it here.
What you will get is a quick and handy reference to look up specific words and pastry names and get a brief, dictionary-style definition written by a respected but solitary author. Most entries are half a dozen sentences. A few major entries, such as sugar, will barely get a page. One can nit-pik here and there, but the the information is reasonably objective and level-headed.
The recipes are common ones easily found in any standard baking/pastry book, but it is a collection of fairly good recipes. The ones I tried worked very well. "Beat" and "blend" are important techniques, yet receive a couple of useless sentences each, and similarly for "fold". Certain important, specific procedures and skills, surprising, receive scant attention. I also object to the cooked sugar chart: her categories are significantly different from standard texts on the subject, making it dangerous to use as a reference for a different cookbook. She also does not give the standard advice that cooked sugar should always be judged by the thermometer, and not these old-fashioned finger tests (cookbooks that do use these categories in recipes will usually have a chart giving exact temperature equivalents; if not, you need to get a different cookbook). The definition of Swiss and French meringues is backwards. Mirliton is also a Cajun word for chayote. The definition for cornet (paper pastry cone) is missing.
Carole Bloom describes the process of making such a dessert in detail. My grandmother first taught me the delicate art of creating choux pastry. The funny thing is it never worked when she was not supervising the process.
I later learned that you cannot eat any of the flour/butter mixture (which is very tasty) before adding the eggs. No recipe will work if you do - this is my warning! The recipe is not too difficult if you know the basics.
The alphabetical listings are easy to locate and the recipes look tantalizing.
~The Rebecca Review