|Paco Torreblanca 2|
|Publisher: Vilbo, Country: ES|
|ISBN: 9788492244355, Edition: English, Year: 2006|
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|This review is the personal opinion of the reviewer.|
Paco Torreblanca, famed far more in Europe than the rest of the world, has been named the Best Master Artisan Pastry Chef in Europe, author of the Best Pastry Book of the World twice, and is an ambassador for the Barry Callebaut Group, as well as owning Totel pastry shop.
A serious, no-nonsense book for people who take pastry seriously, Paco Torreblanca 2 focuses on integrating natural ingredients into microcosmic eye candy. Utilizing a variety of sugars, the “Picasso of Pastry” creates sugar bookmarks, envelopes and shot glasses. Of most renown in this book are Torreblanca’s liquor caviars created by injecting sugar and alcohol into a corn starch mold.
And with a Vatelesquian sensory orgasm, Torreblanca moves beyond sugar (Torreblanca also covered sugar in his out of print La Seducción de Azúcar and his more recent Colección), this book includes treatments of milk (skins, dried foams), jellies, fruit papers, and macarons.
But what sets this book apart is its lack of culinary additives and chemicals. Pectin and glucose are as far out as this book goes, challenging the chef to create the unusual with the usual. Torreblanca relies on refined and unexpected techniques to create garnish and décor with such detail and purity that they can stand on their own. Take for example his creation of a cookie made of nothing more than milk and glucose. Foamed and set to dry, the texture and lightness of his cookie could easily serve to highlight a sweet or savory dish.
The highlight of this book is something that I believe all serious cookbook publishers should emulate – an accompanying recipe book. While the main book has all of the recipes (in Spanish and English), the recipe book is simply the recipes printed on a durable plasticized paper and wire bound to allow the pages to open flat. This book was clearly designed by a chef!
Paco Torreblanca 2 has the expected flaws of a second language contribution. For example, when Torreblanca suggests decorating a chocolate box with “plata”, chefs will understand this to mean edible silver leaf, however the translator suggests “tin foil”. I’m not sure if my customers would appreciate a mouthful of foil. And a strong editor would have cleaned up the countless typos and missed spaces. But these gaffs are minor in comparison to the book’s offerings.
Take Paco Torreblanca 2 for what it is – the cleaned up notes for a culinary genius. Any serious cook who wants to add another layer of experience to a dish will find this book inspiring and useful. And as Torreblanca invites, you’ll quickly move beyond his recipes as you learn new techniques and are inspired to make them your own.
|: 4 stars. Recommended
: If the person is really interested
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