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Pierre Herme pastry books


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I was in Paris recently and visited the Pierre Herme pastry shop. Gorgeous stuff - expensive, but there was a line of customers out the door (admittedly, though, it's a very small shop). The pastries are beautiful and really delicious. Anyway, they had his book, La Patisserie de Pierre Herme (in French/English) selling for 114 euros, so I bought it (it sells on Amazon for $179 so I saved about $50, but damn, was it heavy!!). Anway, I liked it so much I was interested in his other books, "Desserts" and "Chocolate". Does anybody have all three? are they very much the same? I don't want to buy them if they're too similar.

thanks...

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I do own all three, and enjoy them all. The only real overlap is in some of the base recipes like pastry cream and puff pastry. "La Patisserie" is written specifically for the professional chef and therefore has much more complex and difficult recipes and the directions are shortened to the bare minimum - it is assumed you already know how to make creme anglais and turn puff pastry. Dorie Greenspan actually wrote the other two books aimed at the home cook, and while the items range from simple to fairly involved, the directions are very detailed and everything is spelled out.

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That's a pro book, aprilmei, and specifically a pastry shop/patisserie book.

For me, the book I appreciate the most--still an underappreciated gem--is "Plaisirs sucres" from 1997 which is French only and roughly analogous to the first Dorie book. I find Plaisirs more creative, more interesting, more evocative of Herme--and also much better visually. Of course, it is in French. Have you seen that book yet Night? I paid 65 bucks for it from Kitchen Art & Letters.

I was one of those slightly underwhelmed by the first Dorie/Herme book. The writing and thought behind the project was superb. But the text and recipes, no matter how evocatively or clearly written, were dumbed down to volume only--scant cups of this and 3 and 1/2 tablespoons of that. One difference between the first Dorie book and the second Dorie book is the recipes in "Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme" have weight.

It was a lost opportunity, however, that even in this smartly conceived and executed second book for the US home audience, there was not a discussion of weighing ingredients--a brief paragraph explaining why Pierre and all pastry professionals in France AND the US weigh ingredients even if doing small batches--and that you at home should as well.

Note that recipes in "Paris Sweets" include weight as well.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Well, the Herme book I appreciate the most--still an underappreciated gem--is "Plaisirs sucres" from 1997 which is French only and analogous to the first Dorie book.  I find Plaisirs more creative, more interesting, more evocative of Herme--and also much better visually.  Of course, it is in French. Have you seen that book yet Night? I paid 65 bucks for it from Kitchen Art & Letters.

I've never been able to find "Plaisirs Sucres" anywhere for any price. I would love to have it. It's been awhile since I looked, so I may try searching again.

OK, I just Googled and it looks like Barnes and Noble has it for $125. A little steep for my budget right now. I'll have to see if I can find it cheaper. Does Kitchen Art & Letters accept phone orders and ship out of state?

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I recently bought a copy of Plaisirs Sucres in France in a new, small format. It's still hardcover and all the pictures and copy are the same, but this book would fit in a glove compartment or purse. It's even smaller than your average paperback. I think I paid about 40 euros for it. It's very convenient for chefs.

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I'd also point out that the La Patisserie book, befitting its status as a pro book, calls for the use of a number of ingredients that are difficult to obtain for the home cook. I know the Pierre Herme Desserts has a few adapted recipes from the La Patisserie book beyond the base dough recipes, like the Mozart cake and coconut domes. There may be a few others.

The other issue with La Patisserie is that the recipes are not necessarily sized to make say, one cake or one tart, as are the recipes in cookbooks for home use.

Edited by rickster (log)
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Night:

You can order it from amazon.fr for about 40 euros with shipping, which is about 43 bucks I think

BLESS YOU! I didn't even think of looking on the French Amazon site. I just placed an order (I hope, since I don't read French) and it came out to a little less than 40 euros. Thanks so much for the tip. :smile:

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aprilmei-

I have the 2 Dorie Greenspan books and I love them both-especially the first one.

As a home cook/novice at pastry, I am able to get really impressive results from both books.

Nice pictures, too. :smile:

I am envious of the French speakers who can take advantage of all those beautiful Herme books on Amazon.fr. They look gorgeous!

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helenas redirected me to Amazon Canada (via PM) for "Plaisirs Sucres" where it was actually cheaper than the French site, so I quickly cancelled my first order and replaced it at Amazon.ca. I also thought I'd toss in "Secrets Gourmands" while I as at it, since I don't have that one either. Total will probably be about $75 US for both books, including shipping. They probably won't show up for at least a month, but I'm in no hurry.

Thanks Helen. :smile:

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You're getting good prices on the books ordered from amazon.ca. Plaisirs sucres sells for 39 euros at the PH shop, and Secrets Gourmands is 83.85 euros. But that's probably the original version, not the smaller size.

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  • 2 years later...

I agree. I don't know much about book publishing, but you have to figure they're going to publish an English/French version anyway, so why not just do it from the start?

Always speak your mind. Those who mind don't matter and those who matter won't mind.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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