30 review for The Secret Recipes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    What a great cookbook. The first half is filled with gorgeous photographed pastries and as you read the stories behind the creation of each dessert, you are thinking, "I'm glad they didn't put actual recipes in this book, since I'd never make any of these things..." Then you keep on reading; about half way through you start thinking, "Hmmmm, maybe I wish Ansel DID put in the recipes - maybe I'd make some of these things..." A few pages later, voila! The "secret" recipes are revealed in order of What a great cookbook. The first half is filled with gorgeous photographed pastries and as you read the stories behind the creation of each dessert, you are thinking, "I'm glad they didn't put actual recipes in this book, since I'd never make any of these things..." Then you keep on reading; about half way through you start thinking, "Hmmmm, maybe I wish Ansel DID put in the recipes - maybe I'd make some of these things..." A few pages later, voila! The "secret" recipes are revealed in order of difficulty preparing them. It takes a lot these days for me to go beyond looking at great and inspiring cookbooks to wanting to make what I see. I bought a copy at half.com about thirty seconds after re-reading this library book a second time! Some decadent sweets are definitely in my future.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Reem

    Hands down my favorite dessert book. Dominique's stories were inspiring and the recipes are amazing!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jocelin

    On page 98 of this cookbook is a recipe that is called :"What Purple Tastes Like" -Purple Tart. This is a definitive dessert choice because it is comprised of blackberries, dark plums & concord grapes. Just the thought of those 3 fruits together makes me think; indeed this is what purple tastes like. Most of the recipes in this book were given there own story as well as recipe. The photography made you want to lick the pages of the of this cookbook. There were tons of fun recipes that looked On page 98 of this cookbook is a recipe that is called :"What Purple Tastes Like" -Purple Tart. This is a definitive dessert choice because it is comprised of blackberries, dark plums & concord grapes. Just the thought of those 3 fruits together makes me think; indeed this is what purple tastes like. Most of the recipes in this book were given there own story as well as recipe. The photography made you want to lick the pages of the of this cookbook. There were tons of fun recipes that looked like zany works of art. There is even an "Angry Birds" dessert. This is a must have for anyone who is an avid baker.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth George

    This book is a delight. Not only are the recipes great, but there are articles about various desserts at the beginning which are whimsically written and offer interesting perspectives. Read the book for these, if not for the recipes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Katia

    Great essays and fantastic looking recipes. Can't wait to bake some stuff this weekend.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Ansel, known widely as the creator of the cronut, runs a popular bakery in NYC, and his stated goal of this book is to teach not recipes but the ability to create good and hopefully innovative pastry. Ansel starts with a series of short essays on a given pastry like the macaron, but the essays are really designed to communicate his ideas. One of the key ideas he communicates is that some recipes allow shortcuts and others do not. Pastry is often in the later category. Another lesson, everything Ansel, known widely as the creator of the cronut, runs a popular bakery in NYC, and his stated goal of this book is to teach not recipes but the ability to create good and hopefully innovative pastry. Ansel starts with a series of short essays on a given pastry like the macaron, but the essays are really designed to communicate his ideas. One of the key ideas he communicates is that some recipes allow shortcuts and others do not. Pastry is often in the later category. Another lesson, everything has its time when it is at its best; serve it then. Food is connected to memory and experiences. Pictures are lively and vibrant making you want to gobble up the vivid treat on the page. He spends the first half of the book explaining his creative process through short essays and vibrant photos. The recipes are clearly written with measurements in cups and grams. Recipes indicate if they are gluten free, skill level (though some beginner recipes seem too difficult for beginners like the hollowed out egg peeps and the caramelized apples), time and yield. Generally, the ingredients used are accessible to most cooks but tools can be more difficult. Ansel frequently provides a number for a piping tip, asks for a mold for a cookie or uses hollowed out eggs and egg scissors. Some recipes are very complicated with multiple parts, and they can be very time consuming. This seems to be a cookbook for people with lots of baking tools and experience who want to venture past the usual dessert offerings. The finished products look amazing but I think I’ll have to wait until I get to NYC and can buy them. What Ansel very powerfully captures in this cookbook is that cooking is a gift to the eater (or it can be), and he challenges the cook to think just what do you want to invest in that gift? If you cook from this cookbook, you need to be ready to invest a lot

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Mead

    Warning: reading this book will make you hungry!! The photographs are stunning and the descriptions of food are incredible. To my surprise I found a lot of insight into the world of creativity and art tucked away in the pages of this book. Never thought I'd be taking notes on creativity from a cook book with the mind of applying them to the craft of writing. But it was a delightful surprise and I will be going back this book again in the future to pull out more snippets of wisdom.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline Amuso Dolby

    Beautiful and inspiring..... This cookbook is just gorgeous! The stories about these recipes were inspiring. I love reading about the chef and not just getting the recipes. I also loved the gluten free tag on some of the recipes as I have Celiac Disease. The pictures helped in recognizing what recipes are supposed to look like at different stages of the recipe.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ietrio

    Some good quality photos and some pointless text that was somehow supposed to make the author seem deep. Not much of a recipes book either.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elenasi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thanks

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cong

    Some of the essays are intriguing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Olivia-Petra Coman

    I fell in love with the first part of the book, but I believe that the way in which the recipes are presented - in the second part - is a bit difficult to grasp.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Miles

    It doesn’t happen all that often but when it does, it takes your breath away! The latest cook and bakery book to arrive is Dominique Ansel’s The Secret Recipes, creator of the world famous Cronut - published in the UK in March by Murdoch Books. For those who haven’t heard of this delightful delicacy it’s a rather ingenious cross between a croissant and a doughnut and although I’ve never had the chance to eat one, they do look incredibly tempting. An ideal combination meal of breakfast and brunch, It doesn’t happen all that often but when it does, it takes your breath away! The latest cook and bakery book to arrive is Dominique Ansel’s The Secret Recipes, creator of the world famous Cronut - published in the UK in March by Murdoch Books. For those who haven’t heard of this delightful delicacy it’s a rather ingenious cross between a croissant and a doughnut and although I’ve never had the chance to eat one, they do look incredibly tempting. An ideal combination meal of breakfast and brunch, lines form every morning at Dominique’s New York bakery to buy them. Dominique includes a home version in his book in the advanced section, not the ones on offer in New York – I am yet to attempt it! Let’s not mess about here; this is without doubt a beautiful book and one that will take pride of place on my bookshelf for years to come. The Secret Recipes is one of those books that oozes quality and I knew it was going to be a good book before I’d had the opportunity to open the cover and turn to the first page, it just feels right, it looks right! A go to book full of irresistible recipes and must bakes, the book takes into consideration three levels of home baker – beginner, intermediate and advanced so there’s something here for everyone and something for the beginner and intermediate to aspire to. The one thing this book does – and I’ll certainly testify to this – is make you want to bake immediately. You’ll devour the recipes, make a few notes on a shopping pad and rush out to buy ingredients for your first attempt! That’s exactly what happened to me on Saturday! I am that man! Once I’d finished my gym session I headed to my local superstore and bought the ingredients required to make chocolate pecan cookies. One of the interesting things about this book are the notes accompanying each recipe. Dominique encourages you to try new things and if something isn’t working with a recipe; don’t be afraid to try something different, the instructions guide you through each process from beginning to end in simple steps. The recipes are easy to follow and set out in such a way that as long as you read the recipe before you begin, gather everything you need then you won’t go far wrong! http://www.milorambles.com/2015/02/20...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Ansel is very interesting; he expands past the food and talks about life (for example, how even though saving the best for last sounds good in theory, we should seize upon the opportunity before it's gone). He describes the food first and lumps all the recipes at the back of the book; I personally don't like that, as I would like to reference both side by side, but that's just me nitpicking. I like that he doesn't dwell on Cronuts; that's not all that he has, and it's not even close to the most Ansel is very interesting; he expands past the food and talks about life (for example, how even though saving the best for last sounds good in theory, we should seize upon the opportunity before it's gone). He describes the food first and lumps all the recipes at the back of the book; I personally don't like that, as I would like to reference both side by side, but that's just me nitpicking. I like that he doesn't dwell on Cronuts; that's not all that he has, and it's not even close to the most inventive, whimsical creations he talks about here. I like that he has beginning, intermediate and advanced recipes; I assumed that this would contain solely complex recipes, as the bakery is known for its intricate work and because his descriptions at the front of the book are only of the delicate, time-consuming ones. I really appreciate that he has both volume and metric measurements (I know I should use metric, but I get so lazy when I have to locate both batteries and my scale). His recipes are very detailed and clear, so they're easy to follow. I don't see myself making anything from this book anytime soon, but it's a great cookbook to peruse if you're bored with your baked goods.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This book is way too daunting for the beginner baker. Half the book is stories about the recipes & the other half are recipes split into beginner, intermediate, & advanced. After I started to read this book yesterday cover-to-cover, I then skimmed to the recipes in the back as I love to browse cookbooks and look at food porn. But I started to get overwhelmed thinking about these recipes that take multiple days to prepare & many kitchen gadgets I do not own. Even the beginner recipe This book is way too daunting for the beginner baker. Half the book is stories about the recipes & the other half are recipes split into beginner, intermediate, & advanced. After I started to read this book yesterday cover-to-cover, I then skimmed to the recipes in the back as I love to browse cookbooks and look at food porn. But I started to get overwhelmed thinking about these recipes that take multiple days to prepare & many kitchen gadgets I do not own. Even the beginner recipe of hot cocoa calls for cocoa paste- I don't even know where to find that! Before I knew it, last night I was having nightmares literally about this cookbook and all the pressure I placed on myself to become an amateur pastry chef. I woke up and immediately pulled out my bookmark and rested it with the other cookbooks for another day when I feel more brave.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I was really interested in reading this book because I love food, and I love making food. I have tried a version of the cronut and I was curious as to how to make it. I quite liked reading this one as there are a few chapters that feature stories about how Dominique Ansel came up with the ideas of some of his creations. There are also a tonne of pictures that look amazing. The recipes are really easy to follow as well. They're classed as beginner, intermediate and advanced recipes so if you need I was really interested in reading this book because I love food, and I love making food. I have tried a version of the cronut and I was curious as to how to make it. I quite liked reading this one as there are a few chapters that feature stories about how Dominique Ansel came up with the ideas of some of his creations. There are also a tonne of pictures that look amazing. The recipes are really easy to follow as well. They're classed as beginner, intermediate and advanced recipes so if you need to, you can start at the beginner's stuff and work your way up to advanced. There are also a lot of very clear instructions, so that you can know what you're doing each step of the way. I enjoyed reading through The Secret Recipes and this is definitely one I will be adding to my collection of recipe books.

  17. 5 out of 5

    S Coulter

    This cookbook is above anything else a fantastic read. I love baking and found reading about the inspiration behind Dominique Ansel's famous creations and love of the craft has sparked a passion to get back to baking! That's a lot to say for a cookbook! The recipes are beautiful creations and I look forward to giving them a try. They are arranged by difficulty level and the more complicated recipes have helpful timing tips (I.e what to make ahead of time) which I am usually surprised by when I This cookbook is above anything else a fantastic read. I love baking and found reading about the inspiration behind Dominique Ansel's famous creations and love of the craft has sparked a passion to get back to baking! That's a lot to say for a cookbook! The recipes are beautiful creations and I look forward to giving them a try. They are arranged by difficulty level and the more complicated recipes have helpful timing tips (I.e what to make ahead of time) which I am usually surprised by when I attempt complex recipes.

  18. 4 out of 5

    C

    Rating this as an art object, not as a recipe book. It's a testament to the photography of The Secret Recipes that I even picked up this book in the first place -- I don't particularly love desserts, and I dislike making them even more. But the photos in this book are just absolutely dreamy and Ansel's descriptions of the inspiration behind each dessert are weirdly inspirational. The second half of the book is all recipes, of which even the ones labeled "beginner" are completely out of my Rating this as an art object, not as a recipe book. It's a testament to the photography of The Secret Recipes that I even picked up this book in the first place -- I don't particularly love desserts, and I dislike making them even more. But the photos in this book are just absolutely dreamy and Ansel's descriptions of the inspiration behind each dessert are weirdly inspirational. The second half of the book is all recipes, of which even the ones labeled "beginner" are completely out of my league. Still. Gobbled this up. Kudos to photographer Thomas Schauer, who is a genius.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Half of this book is kind of fluffy--big colorful shots of pastries and essays on inspiration. The rest of it is recipes arranged in terms of skill level: beginner, intermediate, and advanced recipes. I made one of the beginner recipes for Superbowl Sunday (chocolate pecan cookies) and they were just fine, not revelatory. The recipe assured me that they wouldn't spread, but they totally spread. I photocopied the recipe for the chocolate caviar tart just in case I want to try something harder in Half of this book is kind of fluffy--big colorful shots of pastries and essays on inspiration. The rest of it is recipes arranged in terms of skill level: beginner, intermediate, and advanced recipes. I made one of the beginner recipes for Superbowl Sunday (chocolate pecan cookies) and they were just fine, not revelatory. The recipe assured me that they wouldn't spread, but they totally spread. I photocopied the recipe for the chocolate caviar tart just in case I want to try something harder in the future.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    Though beautiful, this falls into the category of cookbooks that I will likely never besmirch with floury fingers. But! I think I need to find something (other than a Cronut) to put the whipped lemon ganache in...because that stuff sounds awesome! It's like lemon curd but with white chocolate, and gelatin for stability. Piped into tiny little tart shells? Smeared between two rounds of Victoria sponge? Maybe when it's raspberry season.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Beautiful photos and the recipes are rather daunting, especially for a novice. But I found every word enticing and will try several of the recipes. Reading the book reignited my desire to make canneles, even though my customers never caught on when I tried them before. I think I secretly hoped they wouldn't buy them, as I wanted to eat them. Next time, I won't be so selfish.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maxime

    I received this book via goodreads in exchange for an honest review I love this book! A beautiful book wonderfully laid out in sections from beginners intermediate to advanced recipes a gorgeous book that looks great on display and I cannot wait to try out the mouth watering bakes. If you love baking and love a cookbook this is the one for you!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    Enjoyed the story of pastry chef Ansel and his unique twist of classic pastries and desserts. The photos were gorgeous and the recipes included were brilliant albeit difficult! I don't know if I have the skills to even try the beginner recipes, but I will give it a shot!

  24. 4 out of 5

    pianogal

    If I was a pastry chef in real life, I'd want to be one like Dominque Ansel. His creations are fun. I haven't tried to Cronut yet, but I will get to it. This book is not for the faint of heart. There are some hard recipes in here, but I like a challenge.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Chapman

    This is the most wonderful recipe book, if you have many hours to spare to cook. Most of the recipes you make over 2 days, some taking 5 hours. The photos are amazing and although the book and recipes are beyond my skills, it does give you many ideas to adapt to your own level and timings.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    Just as pretentious as I expected.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Beautiful photographs, beautiful recipes, and beautiful stories from a zen master of baking

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ginny

    This is a fascinating book. Dominique Ansel weaves a vision and you experience being in the kitchen with him. While I may never cook from this book, I loved reading it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  30. 4 out of 5

    Beth K

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