Two New Cookbooks Perfect for the Kitchen and Coffee Table

We love cookbooks. We love casually flipping through them, letting them influence our weekly menus, getting them messy in the kitchen or keeping them pristine on our coffee table for visual inspiration. Here are two new sweet cookbooks we can’t get enough of. They’re beautiful enough to sit in your living room, but still approachable enough to be invited into the kitchen for your next baking endeavor.

Two New Cookbooks Perfect for the Kitchen and Coffee Table

For starters, acclaimed French pastry chefs Christopher Felder and Camille Lesecq have debuted a new book simply called Gâteaux. The cover image may make you think of unachievable recipes and you may want to set it simply on the coffee table, but just wait! With 150 large and small cakes, cookies, desserts and even waffles, this book needs to be in the kitchen too. If you break it down, all you really need to recreate these sweet masterpieces are flour, milk, butter, eggs and sugar. The authors and chefs break down traditionally complex French pastries into plain english for the home cook.

Two New Cookbooks Perfect for the Kitchen and Coffee TableBee Sting Cake
Two New Cookbooks Perfect for the Kitchen and Coffee TablePineapple Baba with Lime Meringue
Two New Cookbooks Perfect for the Kitchen and Coffee TableLemon Tarts
Two New Cookbooks Perfect for the Kitchen and Coffee TableNorman Lemon-Almond Cake

Check out this recipe for the Bee Sting Cake.

Bee Sting Cake
 
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THIS CAKE SHARES SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TARTE TROPÉZIENNE, A SPECIALTY OF ST TROPEZ. BUT I’M PRETTY CERTAIN THAT THE RECIPE IS CONSIDERABLY OLDER. IF YOU CHOOSE TO GIVE IT A HINT OF THE SUNNY SOUTH, FLAVOR THE PASTRY CREAM FILLING WITH ORANGE FLOWER WATER. IN THAT CASE, DO PREPARE IT A FEW HOURS AHEAD SO THAT THE AROMAS CAN DEVELOP FULLY.
Serves: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
SIMPLE BRIOCHE DOUGH
  • 4 cups (1 lb. 2 oz. / 500 g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for the work surface
  • 1½ cakes (1 oz. / 30 g) fresh yeast
  • ¼ cup (2 oz., 50 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 22/3 sticks (10 oz. / 300 g) unsalted butter, softened and diced
PASTRY CREAM
  • 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
  • 1¼ teaspoons (3 g) skimmed powdered milk
  • ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • Scant ¼ cup egg yolks (2 oz. / 60 g), about 3
  • ¼ cup (2 oz. / 60 g) sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons (1 oz. / 25 g) cornstarch
BEE STING CREAM
  • 2½ sheets (5 g) gelatin
  • 9 oz. (250 g) pastry cream
  • ⅓ cup (2½ oz. / 75 g) egg whites, about 2 ½
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz. / 25 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) kirsch
  • ⅓ cup (90 ml) whipping cream, whipped to firm peaks
ALMOND–HONEY TOPPING
  • Scant ⅓ cup (3½ oz. / 100 g) multi-floral honey
  • ½ cup (3½ oz. / 100 g) sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed orange
  • 6 tablespoons (3 oz. / 90 g) butter
  • 1 cup (3½ oz. / 100 g) sliced almonds
EQUIPMENT
  • A 9-inch (23 cm) pastry ring or cutter
Instructions
MAKE THE BRIOCHE
  1. Pour the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle beater (or dough hook). Place the yeast on one side of the bowl and the sugar and salt on the other. Begin kneading at low speed as you add the eggs, one by one.
  2. Increase the speed to high. Gradually add the diced butter and knead for a further 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Dust the work surface lightly with flour. Weigh out 1 lb. 2 oz. (500 g) of the brioche dough, and roll it to a 9½-inch (24 cm) disk that is ¾ inch (2 cm) thick.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator while you proceed with the recipe. Use the leftovers to make yourself a small brioche!
MAKE THE PASTRY CREAM
  1. Bring the milk, powdered milk, and half vanilla bean and seeds to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until very smooth. Sift the cornstarch and carefully incorporate until smooth. Whisk a little of the hot milk into the mixture. Gradually pour in the remaining milk, whisking to combine. Return the liquid to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
  3. Immediately transfer to a mixing bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the refrigerator until cooled.
MAKE THE BEE STING CREAM
  1. Soften the gelatin in a bowl of very cold water.
  2. Whip the pastry cream briskly for 2 minutes until very smooth
  3. Make the meringue: whisk the egg whites with the sugar until they hold a soft peak. Squeeze the water from the gelatin sheets. Warm the kirsch slightly in a saucepan or in the microwave oven and dissolve the gelatin in it. Spoon some of the pastry cream into the kirsch-gelatin mixture and whisk briskly. Scrape into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the remaining pastry cream. With a flexible spatula, fold in the meringue. Carefully fold in the whipped cream.
MAKE THE ALMOND-HONEY TOPPING
  1. Place a sheet of parchment paper on the work surface and have another sheet at hand.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the honey and sugar. Stir in the orange zest.
  3. Stir in the butter and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the sliced almonds and mix to coat them well.
  5. Pour the almond-honey mixture over the parchment paper and cover with the second sheet. With a rolling pin, roll it to a thickness of ⅛ inch (3 mm). Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  6. Peel off the top layer of parchment paper and cut out a 9-inch (23 cm) disk. Return it to the freezer.
TO ASSEMBLE
  1. Place the firm almond-honey topping over the brioche dough disk. (If it is not firm enough, return it briefly to the freezer.)
  2. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 hour 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F (200°C).
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sides and base are golden.
  5. Allow to cool on a rack.
  6. Cut the brioche in half horizontally. Spread a ½-inch (1 cm) layer of bee sting cream over it and place in the freezer for 30 minutes, until firm. Place the upper half of the brioche with the topping over the cream, pressing lightly so that it holds together. The cake is ready to serve!

 

Two New Cookbooks Perfect for the Kitchen and Coffee Table

The second sweets book we can’t stop staring at is Pierre Marcolini’s Chocolat: From the Cocoa Bean to the Chocolate Bar. The Belgium chocolatier fittingly debuted this book on Valentine’s Day with 170 mouth-watering chocolate recipes. The book begins with a beautiful bean-to-bar visual and written history of chocolate that is perfect for the coffee table setting. The recipes continue in a similar fashion with simple cacao and nibs recipes to more refined chocolate creams, cakes, and bars. Plus, this book touches on savory chocolate recipe like cacao-crusted cod or foie gras with cacao nibs.

Two New Cookbooks Perfect for the Kitchen and Coffee TableSavory Tuna and Chocolate

Two New Cookbooks Perfect for the Kitchen and Coffee TableThe Ultimate Brownie
Two New Cookbooks Perfect for the Kitchen and Coffee TableTwo New Cookbooks Perfect for the Kitchen and Coffee TableChocolate Soufflé

Chocolate Soufflés
 
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Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ oz. {40 g} dark chocolate {78% cacao}, preferably Arriba Nacional Ecuadorian grand cru chocolate
  • 1¼ cups {300 ml} whole milk
  • Scant ¼ cup {2 oz. / 60 g} egg yolks {3 yolks}
  • Scant ½ cup {3oz./80 g} granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons {2/3 oz. / 20 g} cornstarch
  • Scant cup {7 oz. / 200 g} egg whites {6 to 7 whites}
  • 3 tablespoons {2 oz. / 50 g} unsalted butter for the ramekins
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F {190°C}.
  2. Grease 8 ramekins with butter.
  3. Make a chocolate pastry cream: Chop the chocolate with a knife and place in a mixing bowl. Bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan. While it is heating, beat the egg yolks with the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk until the mixture is pale. Incorporate the cornstarch. Pour onethird of the boiling milk over the yolk-sugar mixture to heat it. Whisk well and pour in the remaining milk and whisk to combine.
  4. Return the liquid to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the chocolate until thoroughly combined. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Whisk the egg whites. With a flexible spatula, carefully fold them into the pastry cream.
  6. Divide the soufflé batter among the prepared ramekins and bake for 16 minutes.
Notes
Serve the chocolate soufflés with a scoop of ice cream.

 

Honest Cooking

Honest Cooking

The Honest Cooking editorial team handpicks inspiring culinary stories to share with you that we think are beautiful. As an international online culinary magazine with the ambition to truly change the face of online food media we hope to create an inspiring place for serious culinary debate, salivating recipes, interesting food news and international food-fun.

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