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CIA's New "Baking and Pastry" Book


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I was just nosing around Amazon and noticed that the CIA has come out with a new professional book "Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft". Just published on March 1, 2004 and I haven't seen it in stores yet, so I was just wondering if anyone had heard anything or flipped through it to see what the deal is - Must have reference with best of class recipes, or dated, middle of the road stuff that's covered everywhere else already?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Neil,

I just got my copy, had to have it since I graduated from there and just really want to know what they are teaching the students. Not half bad, but not awesome by any means.

I also just got "Creative Cakes and Compositions in Pastry" by Heidel...that I must say is great but a few ingredients I cant figure out

"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

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I did'nt like the way it was set up, its got all the baking science info at the beginning, then each chapter is pretty much just recipes. Ideally I'd rather have a chapter on say....ice creams, talk about the science of it, then give some recipes. Also, they never mention Pate Sucree anywhere in the book, instead they have "321 Cookie Dough" or something like that, I didn't look at it that close, so I'm not sure if its the same thing or not, probably is, but I'd rather have the classic version.

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Brian if you have a moment can you give more details on those books? I didn't realize you were a CIA grad. cool!

Any reccomendations from the book? Are you actually using any of those recipes? Like.....what's good work in it..............

Yeah Bri, I would too love to hear more about the Creative Compositions book. :biggrin:

It is on my list of books to consider getting, but I am always weary of books that I can't see for myself in a local bookstore. You are the first person to speak of it, so your opinion on this book ( heck, your opinion on ANYTHING pastry! :smile:) will always be considered valuable to me.

The insight given on other books that I have considered purchasing but am unable to look at myself in my hands, ( By Bau, Balaguer, etc.. ) is always appreciated - especially with the price that they go for. :laugh:

Thanks again,

Jason

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I got a chance to see it at a "pre" publish viewing, and thought that it was pretty good compared to the things explained in my school textbook "Professional Baking" by Wayne Gisslen. As much as a like "Professional Baking," I liked to format of the recipes in the CIA book and the CIA book goes more into depth in certain areas . . such as sugar and chocolate work. (some of the recipes in Gisslen arent very good either)

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It seems to be the same course overview given when I attended in 91. I assume that it will their teaching text. I ahvent had the chance to really disect it but it did bring back memeories. I have an apprentice at my shop who is starting the baking pastryprogram @ CIA in september. I told him to get real familiar with the text. As I work it some more I'll update you guys.

I love the Heidel book, real informative and great German Pastry Chef ( I was taught by some really talented German pastry Chefs....not given as much respect as the French, but just as hard working and knowledgeable)

"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

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I was a bad girl yesterday and bought the CIA book. I was pretty supprised it was at my local book store............and well, typical me, I just had to have it.

It's very different upon first glance in that there really aren't that many recipes compared to similar books. I was busy last night and didn't get a real chance to study it, but I didn't notice any note to make variations on the base recipe.

I'd LOVE your reviews of any of the recipes?!

They generally look very simple, very sparse in ingredients: this makes me a little nervous-plus wheres the photos? One recipe per page, written very cleanly broken into percentages too! That is a nice look. But the simplicity makes me very nervous....., they don't seem to do anything special, totally the basics, tell me it's alright-that the recipes are really good?

I actually have had several sucesses with Gisslens book, more so then from any similar high volume teaching text. I'm wondering specificly what you didn't like lepatissier? Help me stear clear of those, please?

I ditto your opinion of German bakers Brian! They're recipes are sometimes sort of heavier then the French but I really like them (maybe cause I'm German, I don't know, I've never been there, but I like really "rich" items) they don't take a back seat to the French in my opinion. It's different then French, but your right it does deserve more respect and comment.

Can you detail what you like in the composition book? Is it the look of the finished work, the components-is anything unique, what makes it interesting?

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The compositions book gears towrads production, freezing etc... molding and unmolding just a really nice clean approach

"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

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  • 2 weeks later...

I teach Culinary School and I think the new CIA book is quite refreshing. The book is layed out in a way that is easy to follow and contains enough good recipes to amply cover each area of study. I have tried 5 or 6 of the recipes and they seemed to be right on. The fact that there are no variations of the recipe is part of what I like about it. Too many students get confused when they have to go back to the original recipe and change 2 or 3 items.I know some of the items might be outdated but compared to Professional Baking this book is miles ahead. I particularly like the Chapter on Chocolates and Confections. It covers a variety of recipes and contains much more information than any book in its category. The chapter on Décor, basically sugar, chocolate and wedding cakes all rolled into one, although somewhat limited, does cover more than enough information than is needed in an introductory pastry class. Remember this is a school textbook. Is this a book that I might buy if I were a Restaurant Pastry Chef? No. But when compared to other textbooks it is by far my favorite. I have been teaching from Professional Baking for over two years and I wish I could switch to this book tomorrow.

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Glad you joined us gibfalc! Where do you teach? We have other teachers that participate here too, I hope you'll find interesting.

Do you have input as to which book your school uses? Your post made me think about how hard it must be to teach. It supprised me that you didn't want variations listed......but if makes sense if confuses students.

So mainly you like the CIA's teaching style? But this pro bought the book (can you ever own enough? NO I don't think so), so any chance you could mention which recipes you've baked and liked specificly? Is there any recipe I might want to add to my file that's better then average? Thanks

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Welcome gibfalc!

I was wondering how the technical/scientific info is in the new CIA book? Is it as good or better than McGee's "On Food and Cooking"? That was actually one of our textbooks in school and I found it very helpful, though the I wish there was more pastry specific content, especially on chocolate and tempering.

Oh, and how are the ice cream and sorbet recipes? Do they use stablizers, emulsifiers, and powdered glucose with scientifically based formulas, or are they more traditional?

Edited by nightscotsman (log)
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I actually am not that sure what the CIA teaching style is. I have taught in 2 Culinary Schools at different times during my career and CIA was not one of them. You should know that I was really comparing the book to what I have used in the past before. When getting an associates degree in Culinary Baking and Pastry is just one small part of what you study. I was relating the book to an introductory Baking and Pastry Course. Pastry is just a small part of getting a culinary degree. Many of the students go on to other specific areas of culinary arts. Unfortunately most students do not specialize in pastry. If you go on to be a line cook or a hot food chef for example what you will learn about pastry in school is enough to give you a solid basic skill set. There is no real specialization. We do have an advanced Baking and Pastry program that is much more in depth. This book would not be good for that class. Because of the accreditation needed to grant a degree most schools have to follow the same criteria. When I went to culinary school I remember sharing notes with a friend who had just graduated from CIA. We might as well been in the same class, our notes were almost identical. As for specific recipe reviews I’ll wait until I find one that is special. As for the technical aspect of this book it is somewhat limited but does cover the topics it must. Usually the chef will elaborate on the rest. There is a fairly new book out called How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science that is probably worth a look. As for the sorbet and ice cream recipes they are pretty much straight forward. Not a lot of balancing going on.

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Hello all,

Went to my local Borders bookstore and saw that they had the New CIA book. Took a quick glance inside and was impressed, very much lile "Professional Baking" by Gisslen.

I also happened to see a copy of "Professional Baking " by Gisslen, although it looked different to me. I have a copy at home , but could not remember what edition it was. When I went home, I saw that I have the 3rd edition, and the one in the store was the 4th edition, so this means a new book.

I will try to get back there to see if there is any new stuff in the 4th edition, although it looked pretty similar to the 3rd edition. ( I know Bo Friberg's editions of his " Professional Pastry Chef" are like that, with very little "new" stuff compared to the previuos edition)

It would seem to me that putting out 2 books that are very similar in purpose

( The CIA's and Gisslens ) would be hurting both, but maybe some competition is good. I haven't worked much from my edition of " Professional Baking', but the CIA book looks a little more of interest to me. ( although I have no intent of purchasing, it does look good for someone who is starting out or thinking about getting into Baking and Pastry.

Bye for now,

Jason

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I'm not a professional baker so with that in mind....I scouted a copy of this at the bookstore a week ago, and it does look like a good textbook--lots of recipes but limited introductions and background--presumably the teachers would be expected to give more details on that. But I was surprised to find things like the guide to equipment that just mentioned what the item was and what it was supposed to do--without any guidance to choosing your own: no mention of what variations in composition or design make one tool superior to another. But the food safety section was very impressive, as befits a professional text, and I was impressed by the variety of formulas offered.

It looks like a good textbook and reference guide but not a substitute for a good teacher.

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There is a fairly new book out called How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science that is probably worth a look.

Lucky me....I had Paula Figoni for classroom instructor for Baking Formula Technology. How could you not be irresistibly drawn to someone who described a picture of a test muffin as "perky." She must be the rising star of the food scientist circle, as she has appeared in a sidebar in Cook's Illustrated. I had to take the class to get an A.A.S. in baking and pastry arts and I found it to be invaluable.

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I took the class at Johnson and Wales in Providence. Basically we took each major baking ingredient and dissected it in the classroom and then did an experiment with it in a bakeshop lab. Things like hypothesizing how you could replace sugar in a cake with invert sugar and what you might expect when it was baked. Or changing a leavening, or how much gelatin was needed to stabilize whipped cream. I've got a whole three ring binder full of that stuff, and my guess is that her book is based upon the class notes we took. She's also published a bunch of articles in Chef Magazine with Martha Crawford.

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Thanks for the reply. The class sounds very interesting and I’m sure invaluable for any baking and Pastry students. If you don’t mind telling me, how long was the class and how far into your Baking and Pastry program did you take it? Was this a mandatory class or was it an elective? I would love to get a class like that going at my school.

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  • 11 months later...

I too am interested in that course! Only that I could teach such a course (I would need a lot of info before hand, preferably in the form of a class like you describe.

My textbook has been the Gisslen book until recently when we had to revamp our courses due to accreditation. Now I am using On Cooking and hoping soon to be using the On Baking book. I do have the CIA book and have done several things out of it. In fact the hit of our ACF dinner competition last year was the page 680 Grapefruit Mousse with Sauternes Cream and our Christmas party guests especially enjoyed the page 716 Pasion Fruit Truffles. Keep in mind that my students are only here 12 weeks, so their expertise is not great or accomplished. These were quite easy to prepare.

I think the book is good, although the critique above is accurate. The Professional Baking has more than one recipe that is less than good. I just try to work around them and I give my students a substantial packet of handouts.

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I too am interested in that course!  Only that I could teach such a course (I would need a lot of info before hand, preferably in the form of a class like you describe.

Well, you're little bit sol right now. I just typed a reply with the course outline and objectives, then my big fat fingers did something stupid on the keyboard, and I lost it.

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I own the new pastry book, and it's okay. There are a lot of recipes in it that are messed up... ingredients are not what or where they should be, stuff doesn't make sense, etc...

It's a first edition and that's the problem. The layout is nice, the pix are great (my pastry chef fiancee is in several of the pix because she was a teaching fellow during the making of the book!!!).

I love the CIA, had a wonderful time there and everything, but I would reccomend waiting until the next edition comes out.

Stephen W.

Pastry Chef/Owner

The Sweet Life Bakery

Vineland, NJ

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