If you’re not planning a trip to Paris in the near future, there is no reason to miss out on all the delicious pastries that the city has to offer – and let’s face it, the pastries are a big part of the draw of Paris (that, the art and the Eiffel Tower, n’est pas?)! In Dorie Greenspan’s book, Paris Sweets: Great Desserts From the City’s Best Pastry Shops you’ll find some great recipes for some of the most popular sweets at some of the most popular bakeries in the city.
The appealing thing about this book – aside from the little notes about the bakeries and bakers themselves – is that the recipes have been converted by Greenspan for an American audience. This means that the recipes are given by volume, not by weight, and you don’t need to have extensive baking experience to have success with the recipes, as they are all well-explained in great detail. Shortcuts, such as using the food processor for mixing, are given when applicable. The recipes generally range from easier to more difficult and the book starts out with a chapter on cookies, saving the more involved pastries and cakes for later chapters.
This is probably not the ideal book if your goal is to become a champion pastry chef, as this book does not focus primarily on traditional techniques in the way that a pastry school textbook might. It will, however, turn out some delicious pastries and might even make you feel like you’ve taken a little trip away from home and to the City of Lights for the afternoon. There are no photos in the book, so if you feel like you want to get an idea of what something is supposed to look like before trying it out, you might want to google the names of the french pastries (some can have unusual names or shapes). That might inspire you to want to take a trip, too!