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The French baker

If you have travelled to France, you probably returned with an abiding memory of that country's breads, cakes and pastries. They all seem so perfect, so complex that it is easy to see them as some sort of culinary magic, unattainable to the likes of us. Luckily, at last, one of Australia's most experienced patissiers has taken pity on us and offered to share his baking secrets. 

Jean Michel Raynaud states it this way: I have provided you with all the technical information you might need, not only to help you make the recipes, but to give you the confidence to experiment, create and motivate you to further your journey into the rewarding world of baking.

From this springboard you will be equipped to tackle any of the book's 95 recipes, sweet or savoury. There are breads, cakes, pies, tarts, pastries, as well as jams and spreads. In short anything you need to create a party, afternoon tea, or just a regular parade of goodies for the family.

The book is filled with photographs to help cooks visualise what they are striivng for, and Chef Raynaud is generous with tips and hints to make the processes easier. Pay good attention to these as he truly knows his craft, having been Head Chef at Sweet Art and Planet Cake and now in preparing sweet delicacies for Renaissance Patisserie and Baroque Bistro in Sydney's The Rocks district.

The French Baker, by Jean Michel Raynaud, published by Murdoch Books, May 2015, hardcover, rrp A$49.99

- reviewed by Sally Hammond




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