Books to feast your eyes on…

Finger biscuits & swiss roll 001

Our collection of cookery books is alive and well and our ‘bookshelves’ seem to be taking on a life of their own, growing organically and rapidly everywhere (something like the natural ferments we’re busy experimenting with at chef school)…  Hmmmm, a reflection of what I do in my spare time  – spending forgotten hours at Exclusive Books getting triple doses of inspiration (never mind double doses of espresso from Seattle Coffee Shop next door)…

If you had to pop in now, you’d find cookery books on the coffee table, spread out across the 14 seater dining table, lining one of the walls of the kitchen and spilling off the counter, next to the bed and on the bed… the upside of flu, if ever there was one, is that one can lie in bed all day paging through delicious creations as I’m doing today (inbetween sipping on vitamin C drinks).

Crust – Bread to get your teeth into by Richard Bertinet www.thebertinetkitchen.com has left an impression on me that is strange indeed.  As I closed my eyes to go to sleep earlier, I found myself dreaming of a sourbread loaf!  I watched his dvd last night (that comes with the book) and felt myself falling into a deeper understanding of dough and now have an urgent need to get my hands sticky/gooey/doughy/floury as soon as I am over this flu. 

The book is beautiful and is a must if you’re into making bread, as is his book ‘Dough’.

In Crust, Richard takes one on a journey of making one’s own ferment (yeast) and demonstrates his technique of ‘working the dough’, somewhat different to ‘kneading’… whereby he lifts the dough and flaps it over, trapping air into the mix as he folds it down again.  He explains why so many people have a ‘bread or wheat allergy’.  He advises not to cut bread out of your diet before you’ve looked at what KIND of bread you’re eating…

Baking One Step At A Time by Marianne Magnier-Moreno is simple and sophisticated in its presentation of what goes into making dishes… and how.  Chef’s eye-view photos are brilliantly laid out so that one barely has to read the recipe.  Marianne gives us a lovely version of Saint Hanore Choux – all dressed up in pink and white.  She shows you how to make the choux pastry and profiteroles in a one-step-at-a-time way (without all the wordiness that you’ll find in my  ‘how to…’!).

The World’s Best Restaurants – The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards is a great gift for foodie friends.  I bought it to get an idea of the philosophies, inspirations and guiding principles of the top chefs and restaurants… great to see that Jardines www.jardineonbree.co.za in Bree Street is mentioned  (it comes in at 93rd) and that Le Quartier Francais www.lequartier.co.za in Franschoek is ranked at number 50…  both restaurants right on our doorstep, well, if you’re from Cape Town!

Back to dreamland…

The Food of France by Murdoch Books (one of our teacher’s favourites)

Rough & Flaky Pastry - Custard Pies Pigs Ears Sausage Rolls 106

Advertisements