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Pâtisserie at Home

cookbook review Patisserie at Home Not many will recognise the name Will Torrent although that’s not through his lack of respect within the food industry, more shortage of a TV series exposing him to the public at large, and that truly is an oversight. Evidently Will is already one of those quietly appreciated chefs, but this book will surely introduce him to a wider audience.

Will Torrent started early. At 16 he was cooking at The Fat Duck restaurant with Heston Blumenthal and then later, at university, he worked with some of England's renowned chefs such as Brian Turner and William Curley, our home-grown chocolatier. He has graced the kitchens of Claridges and The Dorchester, as well as The Lanesborough.

Will has already had a glittering career and has been Young Chef of the Year, an Acorn Scholar, has appeared on television, become a pâtisserie consultant for Waitrose, and an ambassador for several high-profile products, companies and organisations.

Although a rising culinary star, Will is no arrogant, knife-throwing terror. He is charming, natural and thoughtful. If, as some suggest, success in the kitchen depends upon the mood of the cook then this man’s future is assured. Read an interview here.

Pâtisserie at Home offers just what one would hope from a book with such a title. Yes, there are plenty of recipes, in fact more than 60 of them, but Will also offers inspiration. One can make the recipes in their entirety, and you will want to do that, but many of these sweet delights have elements that can be made independently and adapted.

There are a host of classic pastries here but also lots of new temptations that will have the home cook trying different techniques and ingredients, and new concepts, but there is nothing over-taxing for the enthusiastic cook. Practise a few of these recipes and the lucky recipients of your labours will swear you have been attending a Parisian catering college since last you met.

I wouldn’t turn my nose up at any of these confections should they be presented at afternoon tea or as a dinner party finale, and I’ll likely work my way through the whole book just to impress the in-laws, but I do have some favourites with which to start.

White chocolate and almond truffles are sophisticated and easy to make. White chocolate has a bad press but I rather like it. OK, so it’s not really chocolate but it doesn’t have to be. These truffles would be great additions to the selection of sweets at the end of a meal, or as edible gifts at almost any time.

Salted caramel is trending just now so Will’s salted caramel and chocolate tartlets are bound to be popular. They are individual desserts and we all know how good a ‘whole’ something to oneself is, somehow more decadent than a slice of a shared cake or tart.

Another must-try recipe is that for Cassis pâté de fruits. These are very adult jellies that would be just perfect along with a cup of green tea at the end of a Japanese meal – delicate and mouth-watering. I am sure one could use the basic recipe but change the fruit purée for a completely different colour and flavour. I’ll be trying a blackberry version later in the year.

Pâtisserie at Home opens the door to the mysteries of beautiful and delicious French fancies, and de-mystifies the art. We all want to make delicious desserts and baked goods, and Will Torrent gives the gift of know-how and confidence. This book is amazing value, coming in at just under £20.00.

Visit Will Torrent here

Pâtisserie at Home
Author: Will Torrent
Published by: Ryland Peters & Small
Price: £19.99
ISBN-10: 1849753547
ISBN-13: 978-1849753548

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