978-1-57965-208-1 / 9781579652081

In the Sweet Kitchen: The Definitive Baker's Companion





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About the book:


It's the ultimate comfort food. A simple crumble, with all its memories of childhood. A slice of still-warm blueberry pie. That chocolate truffle with just a hint of chestnut melting away so mysteriously. Yet many cooks are intimidated by the idea of preparing these delights themselves.

Professional pastry chef Regan Daley maintains that baking is no mystery. Anyone, she insists, can make a fabulous dessertas long as the ingredients are chosen with care. The components of most desserts are few, so they must be of the highest quality. She knows firsthand how fresh butter or the right chocolate can transform a simple cake. She knows the stunning difference between a silky lemon curd made from the juice of fat lemons and one made from bottled juice, that shortcakes made with bland, pulpy strawberries shipped three thousand miles can't compare with those made with rice, red local fruit and fresh cream.

In the Sweet Kitchen will help you navigate through the world of sweet cooking, providing extensive information on hundreds of ingredients, from vanilla beans to rose water to durian fruit. It explains how to select, store and best use baking elements as common as cornstarch or flour and as unusual as cloudberries or manuka honey. It unlocks the simple secret of truly great dessertsknowing your ingredients:

the best kind of cocoa to use for dark, fudgy brownies

the differences among cream of coconut, creamed coconut and coconut and coconut cream

which vanilla bean is best in poached pears

This ultimate cookbook/reference volume makes it all clear, and also provides hundreds of invaluable tips and techniques Regan mastered during her professional career.

In addition, Regan offers practical advice on equipment: Do you really need a state-of-the-art apple corer? Will using nonstick pans affect the outcome of your baked goods? Indispensable tables such as the Baking Pan substitution Chart and the Cake Troubleshooting Chart help you modify your recipesor figure out what went wrong. And the unique Flavor Pairing Chart is a must for inspiration and a list of great partners.

Regan shares more than 150 of her favorite desserts, both simple and seductive. Thick slices of Toasted Hazelnut Pound Cake are perfect for a picnic; Oven-Roasted Pears with Red Wine and a Gratin of Goat's Cheese make a sensational finale to an elegant dinner party; Pumpkin and Orange Breakfast Cake with a Fresh Orange Syrup is great any time of day. There are homey desserts with special twistsGuava Cheesecake, the World's Sexiest Sundaenot to mention addictive brownies, mouthwatering pies, nostalgic cobblers, mousses, ice creams, quick breads, fritters and more.

This is the essential reference for home bakers and professional patissiers alike.

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