review Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, Simone Beck “Growing up, I didn’t like eating – how ironic. But later on, after I was married, I began to see it as a means to getting together and having fun. When Julia Child came out with her book, I became fascinated, but I knew nothing. At the time, America wasn’t in to food too much. We used a lot of canned ingredients; there wasn’t much technique to it. What I was after was the technique.”
3 Books to Help You Become A Goddess (or God) of Pastry
After 23 years in business, Helen Fletcher closed her bakery, Truffes, in 2009. Yet she kept one of her most important accounts: being Tony’s pastry chef, trading in her own commercial kitchen for the one inside the fine dining restaurant. Between baking at Tony’s; maintaining her blog, The Ardent Cook; and writing her second cookbook, European Tarts (out this winter); Fletcher clearly isn’t interested in retirement. Here are her recommendations for keeping your kitchen filled with pies, cakes and cookies.
The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum “Rose asked me for one of my recipes for this book; she also inscribed my copy to ‘Helen, Goddess in Pastry,’ but that’s not the only reason I love her. Rose’s recipes work, and I like her format. At the time, people weren’t printing in both grams and ounces. It’s a tremendous boon for anyone interesting in baking.“
Understanding Baking by Joseph Amendola and Donald Lundberg “In cooking, you can correct a lot of mistakes, but in baking you can’t. This book taught me the science of baking. It’s like the Bible; it gives you guidelines, not recipes – like why you needed baking soda, not just when.”
A scale “When you bake, accuracy is very important. Flour can pat down; when it’s shipped, it jiggles. If you just put a cup in, you might have up to an ounce and a half more of extra flour. The only way to get a true measurement is to weigh it.”
online exclusive Helen Fletcher isn’t the only local chef finding her name on the slick cover of a new book recently. This month, we take a look at four local culinarians whose books are on shelves right now, from Annie Gunn’s Lou Rook and Stone Soup Cottage’s Carl McConnell to Sanctuaria’s Matt Seiter and the goddess of pastry herself Helen Fletcher. Every Tuesday on the blog at SauceMagazine.com, check out By the Book, where we cook and share recipes from these books. Then, enter to win a copy to add to your collection.
22 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com
photos by jonathan gayman; illustration by vidhya nagarajan
Cook’s books: Helen Fletcher's favorites