Macarons et Gourmandises
Paperback: 189 pages
Publisher: Hachette Pratique (4 Jan 2010)
This little book packs a hefty punch in terms of quality content.
Yes, it is in French - but it is accessible to anyone with a bit of knowledge of the language, access to Google and some cooking experience.
The majority of the book is dedicated to a wide range of macaron recipes and what I particularly like is the way that it is both shell and filling that get flavoured. Too many books are just filling recipes with instructions on what colour to add to your shell. Here you get ideas for adding spices and other things to create more complex and exciting combinations.
This is probably not the book for someone new to the macaron game - the instructions for creating your batter are quite slim and not illustrated. However there are plenty of excellent online tutorials that can give you all the help you need.
Alongside the macs are a range of other French patisserie delicacies - financiers, madeleines and many more.
For the price, this is an outstanding book. Almost worth learning French for it!!
Doughnuts - Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Sasquatch Books (Oct 2010)
Doughnuts are clearly a good thing. Very few days can't be enhanced without that combination of dough, filling and topping in a handy parcel of yumminess.
Making them at home is often seen as a challenge - but this book makes it clear that it really is not beyond the scope of most home bakers.
Although it is an American book, cup measurements are all given with a metric equivalent - so this should not be a barrier to getting stuck in! The vast majority of the ingredients are readily available from all supermarkets - which can sometimes be a challenge with some US titles.
The content is broken down to a solid introduction to the techniques and necessary equipment, some good base recipes (including gluten-free and vegan options), toppings and then some very tasty recipes for a range of sweet treats. All of the 'complete' recipes give you various options for bases from which to create your finished dish. Not all of them require deep-frying - I think many would be surprised at the range of oven-baked doughnuts you can create.
There are recipes from all round the world to explore alongside the more traditional styles and I must admit to have already selected a few to try. The Apple Cider doughnuts look yummy as do the Creme Brulee ones.
You don't need to be Homer Simpson to enjoy doughnuts!
As with the Recipes, I am going to arrange things into various categories as well as maintaining a general index of the reviews I am adding.
(and other cuisines when the need arises!)
There will probably be more categories as I go along - but these are the key areas of my collection so far.