Professional Pastry Books

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I’ve always had a difficult time sourcing for professional level pastry books in Asia. Apart from direct mail order from the publisher themselves or from online book order shops like Amazon.com (which carries expensive freight charges), I’ve never been able to find decent professional level pastry books in retail book shops in the region. Eurochef in Malaysia has a very limited selection but that’s about it. That’s why I was particularly excited when I read in the local newspaper recently that 25 Degree Celsius, a retail shop dedicated to cooking and pastry books opened last month in Singapore. I checked them out this weekend and found, to my disappointment, that their pastry books only focused on the home and enthusiast markets. The books they offered were very similar to what was offered at Kinokuniya. Kinokuniya is, in my opinion, the best bookstore locally to offer the most diverse range of home cooking and amateur pastry books on the market and they occasionally have a few professional level books on their shelves as well.

My favorite specialty bookstore is in New York City called Kitchen Arts & Letters. Kitchen Arts & Letters carries the most complete range of cooking and pastry books anywhere and I have not seen any bookshop even remotely coming close to their selection of niche books in my global travels around the world. The most recent book I purchased from them was PH10. PH10 is Pierre Hermé’s latest book chronicling the last 10 years of his pastry career in which he features many recipes from his reknowned pastry shop, Pierre Hermé. The photography in this book is simply stunning and his recipes are truly innovative, always pushing the boundaries of the pastry making world. PH10 is the highly acclaimed follow-up to his earlier book, The Patisserie of Pierre Hermé, which featured recipes during his days when he was Executive pastry chef at Fauchon. Other books that I highly recommend to professional pastry chefs (or aspiring pastry chefs) are the following:

Au Coeur des Saveurs – by Frederic Bau (English/French)
Dessert Cuisine – by Oriol Balaguer (English)
Plasirs Sucrés – by Pierre Hermé (French)
Grande Livre de Cuisine: Desserts and Pastries – by Alain Ducasse and Frédéric Robert (English)
L’Art des Petit Fours: Sucrés et Salés – Joel Bellouet and Jean-Michel Perruchon (English/French)

These books are prized possessions in my pastry book collection and they are often referenced when I need inspiration in my sweet creations. They are expensive but they belong on any shelf of aspiring pastry chefs wanting to be innovators in their respective fields.

Since this is my last post before the 2007 year ends, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

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30 Responses to “Professional Pastry Books”

  1. Cedric Says:

    Hi , may i know where did you manage to get those pastry books ? I am new in this line and just started out as a trainee and this books were highly recommand by my chef @ work … esp all books by pierre herme. would be good if were able to know where in singapore i can get hold of those books ? if not would have to order online thru amzon or kino ) Thanks and hope to get your reply soon .

  2. stickofachef Says:

    Hi Cedric,

    I had purchased Alain Ducasse’s Grande Livre de Cuisine: Desserts and Pastries at Kinokuniya KLCC in Malaysia while the other books were all purchased in the USA. As I mentioned above, it is very difficult to find these type of books here in Singapore since most people are not willing to spend the money to purchase these very expensive books. The best way would be to order these books via mail order. Unfortunately, Amazon does not carry a large selection of professional pastry books but they do carry a select few. You can try Kinokuniya in Singapore to ask them if they will special order these books for you but they may or may not do so depending on how specialised the book is. Your best bet would be to order from the following places in the USA:

    – Kitchen Arts & Letters (as mentioned above)
    – Chips Books (http://www.chipsbooks.com/slds.htm)

    These two places will ship books overseas and they cater to professional chefs who want hard to find books. Please keep in mind that these books are sometimes not well written (and translated) and most assume you have a background knowledge of baking and pastry fundamentals when following the recipes. If you are new in this line, then I would recommend you start off with Pierre Herme’s home market books which are catered to non-professionals. He has one called Desserts and one called Chocolate Desserts both authored by Dorie Greenspan. They can be found locally at all good bookshops and are more reasonably priced than the professional books.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Cedric Says:

    Ghee , thanks for the info. Just another question …. does the PH10 comes in english edition ?。。Also PH10 is not the complie of his other books like Desserts and chocolate desserts rite ? Thanks again in advance.

  4. stickofachef Says:

    Hi Cedric,

    No, there is no PH10 English edition. From what I understand, there is no intention to print an English version either. PH10 is not a compilation of his older books. Rather, it’s a professional level book featuring his unique creations from his last 10 years of his Pierre Herme business.

  5. Cedric Says:

    Thanks for the info … PH might be coming to my school next week for a talk ( maybe ) … maybe i will ask him about his PH10 english edition 🙂 … thanks alot for the time n info , Thanks

  6. mary Says:

    hiya..i find yr blog very interesting read and ver lucky to have a wide collection pf pastry books. I dont think i can afford them as they are quite expensive…lol
    May i ask if in the book Ph10 ..is there a macaron recipe as i’m interest to learn the piere herme version. Is it okay to sent it to me email..thanks
    take care
    rgds

  7. stickofachef Says:

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks for dropping by. There are many macaron recipes in PH10. You can find a translated version of the Macaron Azur online here:
    (http://iamdearpig.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!AC3CD4EB0080519A!753.entry) Depending on your skill level, PH10’s recipes are all catered to professional production quantities and are not practical for home bakers. If you are a home baker and would like to learn Pierre Hermé’s home version of his chocolate macaron, then you can refer to his Chocolate Desserts book written by Dorie Greenspan.

    Hope this helps.

  8. mary Says:

    thank you for yr reply and the link. As my family have sweet tooth…i did try baking the Dorie Greenspan aka Chocolate dessert and also Macaron Azur before ..i found both the recipe online as well cause i don’t have the book. The thing is both given me inconsistence result..lol
    Its always first timer luck for me as its sucessful but after a few times..all resulting in failure..20 more times to be exact! Therefore i was reaaly happy u mentioned that PH10 has many macaron recipe..as i would like to try them all to see which will give me a more consistence result..if u don’t mind and have the time . Btw is the Ph10 recipes differ from both the recipes above stated? My email mrry_lim@hotmail.com
    thank you
    rgds

  9. stickofachef Says:

    Hi Mary,

    The base recipe is basically the same for all of PH10 macarons so if you had no success with the Macaron Azur recipe, you won’t have success with the other macaron recipes in the book as well. If you insist on working with PH10’s professional recipe, then my recommendation would be to focus on perfecting the Macaron Azur recipe first. If you would like to get some tips on making macarons, you can go to egullet and read this thread which should give you some pointers on what you are doing wrong:
    http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=24767

    You can also get some excellent tips from this link as well:
    http://www.syrupandtang.com/200712/la-macaronicite-1-an-introduction-to-the-macaron/

    Good luck

  10. mary Says:

    hiya ..thank you for both the link..forum egullet was the first forum i been when i started getting to know about macs a year ago..the are indeed very helpful but way too many recipes to choose from..lol
    The second link i have also read about recently but have not tried it yet..will soon.
    The macaron Azur is indeed a very good and stable recipe because it uses the Boiled sugar syrup aka Italian meringue method. I do get good result but i do find its way too sweet and also very messy boiling the syrup n washing up after is a mad job..lol
    I personnally prefer the french method of beating the egg whites+ sugar together thus was hoping that PH10 provides a recipe which uses the French Method …its makes a lot of different cause its by Piere Herme..the master himself.

    Thanks again for taking the time to read n replying back.
    rgds

  11. stickofachef Says:

    Hi,

    PH10 uses only the Italian meringue recipes so if you prefer to stay with the French meringue method, then you should practice with the chocolate macaron recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé.

    Happy baking.

  12. mary Says:

    hiya..i thought that maybe the Chocolate desserts by Pierre herme uses the French method so preferably that PH10 also uses the same method not the italian method..lol
    I have tried the chocolate one before and is indeed very yummy but very inconsisitence results as well..hahaha
    Will keep on trying and update u with my adventure.
    thanks again
    rgds

  13. Cedric Says:

    Hi hi , just like to say thanks once again …. got 3 books from kitchen arts & letter ( dessert , chocolate dessert and The Patisserie of Pierre Hermé. ( check with both company , chip books dun have the first 2 books and the 3rd is more expensive .. also postage is more exp though … thanks once again for the info 🙂

  14. stickofachef Says:

    Hi Cedric,

    Glad you got the books you wanted. I’m always happy to help. I’m sure these books will provide inspiration and will complement your current studies in cakes and pastries. 🙂

  15. Cedric Says:

    Hi Peter , Can i check with you , was just browsing around and saw these books from Bo Firberg , there is 2 books , one for the basic and the other the advance … would like to know ur advice is these book worth investing ? as me still quite new …. would be good if got more advise from ppl like you. Thanks

  16. stickofachef Says:

    Hi Cedric,

    Nice to hear from you. Although I do not own these two books, I have flipped through them a number of times in the past and found the information contained in these books to be very valuable. These books make great foundation books for students like you who are studying to be pastry chefs. I believe these books will be a nice complement to the formal education you are getting in the pastry curriculum. Another book you may want to consider looking into as well is Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft by CIA (Culinary Institute of America). You can read the reviews about the book here (http://www.amazon.com/Baking-Pastry-Mastering-Art-Craft/dp/0471443824). You can also find this book in major bookstores in Singapore. Browse through it and see what you think.

    Either way, Bo Friberg’s books or CIA’s, you can’t go wrong with either of these choices. It may be a hefty investment to make on the onset but I think you’ll benefit in the long run since you are building your pastry and baking foundation skills with these books.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

  17. jack Says:

    I’ve much enjoyed your passion for pastry, as well as your knowledge of fine books! May I suggest one of my favorites…sorry if you already have it…it’s “ART & GASTRONOMIE” by S. G. Sender. Sender is a franco/belgian patissier who has assembled a famous bibliotheque gastronomique. The two volumes of “ART & GASTRONOMIE” profile dozens of pastry chefs and their work, starting with Careme, Urbain-Dubois, Bernard, Gouffe, Garlin and ending with the patissiers-M.O.F. of today. Though mostly French, Sender profiles a few pastry chefs from Italy, Belgium, Spain, England, and Switzerland. This isn’t a book of recipes: Sender’s text and his book’s color photos feed the souls of people like you and me. Expensive (250 euros)…but if it’s at all possible, you won’t regret buying it. Order on-line from FNAC or http://www.librairiegourmande.fr. Check out other cookbooks for chefs from the publisher of “ART & GASTRONOMIE” (Deliceo)…they’re now publishing the twelve volumes of Yves Thuries as well as a short list of gorgeous titles, but “ART & GASTRONOMIE” is the jewel in their crown!

  18. Cedric Says:

    Thanks … hope you dun mind me asking u these type of qns anytime soon again … cos as me still very new , and can see that u value good books , so first thot of my mind will think to drop u a qns , hope u dun mind 🙂 thanks again for all the help n advice given 🙂 cheers , take care

  19. stickofachef Says:

    Hi Cedric,

    I don’t mind at all. Knowledge is meant to be shared and I’m happy to help you in any way I can.

    All the best.

  20. stickofachef Says:

    Hi Jack,

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. It’s always great to meet well versed readers like you. We certainly do have a few things in common with respect to our passion for everything pastry. Your articulation of the books and topics above tells me you are certainly no stranger to the world of pastry chefs.

    I do not have Art et Gastronomie and was not aware of its existence. It sounds like a fantastic book. I very much appreciate your recommendation for this book and I will certainly consider purchasing it in the near future. I’ll also head to http://www.librariegourmande.fr to check out their other cookbooks as well.

    Thanks again.

    Cheers!

  21. joeel1 Says:

    hey there…

    i notice you mention Baking and Pastry Book by CIA. what do you think anyway about Professional Baking by Wayne Gisslen? i was considering the CIA book before end up buying Gisslen book. the reason was, Gisslen book has europe style discussed, while CIA book mainly discussing about american style baking. what do you have to say about this?…

  22. stickofachef Says:

    Hi joeel1,

    Thanks for writing in.

    I’ve flipped through the “Professional Baking” book by Wayne Grisslen quite awhile ago so I’m going on memory here. I found Grisslen’s book very good for learning the fundamentals of baking and pastry. CIA’s book is geared for professionals or for students learning to become professionals. I wouldn’t say that CIA’s book is focused on American style baking since many of the base recipes are very classical French. CIA’s book goes more in depth into topics about professional production environments and may be a challenge for home bakers who tries to decipher many of the terminology and concepts in the book.

    If memory serves me right, Grisslen’s book provides recipes that are more geared towards home bakers while CIA’s recipes are all written for large production environments.

    You’ll also find an interesting discussion on both books here at egullet.

    I think Grisslen’s book is a fine book to own and I’m sure you will get great mileage out of it. Ultimately, the type of book you choose in the end has to fit your comfort level with future ambitions to go beyond your current skill set.

    Hope this helps.

  23. joeel1 Says:

    hi there…

    thanks for your reply….
    i’ve checkout egullet.
    nice discussion they have there…

    for your information, i’m a hobbyist.
    in fact i just starting baking.
    i dont think at this point i will get the CIA Baking and Pastry book, but i do have the other CIA book, home baking book.
    do you think “The Patisserie of Pierre Hermé” will be good for my next book?.
    or should i get some other book 1st?

  24. stickofachef Says:

    Hi,

    If you are looking for Pierre Hermé books for home bakers, I would suggest “Desserts” and “Chocolate Desserts”. Both of these books have been written for hobbyists like yourself. The Patisserie of Pierre Hermé” is a professional level book that requires you to have in depth knowledge of pastry making to be able to work with the recipes in the book.

    I think the CIA home baking book is a good start for you and you should be able to pickup a lot of skills from this book.

    Good luck with your new baking hobby!

  25. joeel1 Says:

    thanks for the suggestion….

  26. Cedric Says:

    Hi … my classmates bought more books after me … they got book from PH n Alain Ducasse .. all thanks to u again 😛 … “The Patisserie of Pierre Hermé” was really the best book so far … even though really not for ppl who dunno how some thigns works … i got prob too …. due to the transalation. But so far no complaint with the receipe . But seriously i much prefer this then the other 2 books , i guess pictures to me play a part too ,… esp the cross section of how the cakes are assemble. Think be a long time b4 i spend on books again …. BROKE !!!

  27. stickofachef Says:

    Hi Cedric,

    Yes, The Patisserie of Pierre Hermé (TPPH) is expensive and well worth the purchase if you value not only the pictures but the innovative combinations of ingredients PH uses in his creations. Many of these recipes may seem common and outdated now but you must remember that these recipes from PH`s Fauchon days were revolutionary and highly sought after. PH was very much ahead of his time in the pastry world during the 1980`s and 90`s.

    This book will become one of your foundation books when you progress further in your pastry career. I`m sure you will draw inspiration from many of the recipes and techniques in the book.

  28. Adri Says:

    Hey every one! I must say you guys are missing top 1 pastry chef. PACO TORREBLANCA, his considered by relais dessert as the best pastry chef in the world. He trained Oriol Balaguer and other big name pastry chefs.. Check out his latest books, he is a true artist of the modern pastry!

    In his website you can read more about him and see his books.

  29. Evan Says:

    i agree, there aren’t really much professional pastry books in english but i’m happy to hv found johnny iuizzini’s dessert fourplay as well as frozen desserts by francisco migoya by CIA except they focus more on plated desserts. and since i can read chinese i normally go for the chinese-translated japanese cookbooks like the super chef or super patissier series. they’re available from the chinese section of books kinokuniya or pageone vivo city and i really like them! they even hv le cordon bleu ones 😀

    • stickofachef Says:

      Hi Evan,

      I would imagine your pastry book collection is probably worth a fortune considering these books are not cheap! 😉

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