Teatime in Paris Review

Written by on June 2, 2015 in Book Reviews And Interviews

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Teatime in Paris: A Walk Through Easy French Patisserie Recipes is a scrumptious book that explains how to make the most perfect Parisian patisseries and cakes at home. No more dreaming about cakes you can’t have because you’re not in Paris. No more wondering what a millefeuille looks or tastes like. Now you can make these delectable gateaux for yourself!

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Whether teatime is me-time for you or you spend it with friends and family, this book will help you add a little je ne sais quois to proceedings.

Jill Colonna, the author, is cake mad and she just loves the beauty of the pastries of Paris. In the book she delves into the history of the famous cakes, tells you some of her favourite places to buy them and then joy, of joys, tells you how to make them. We can’t all go to Paris but we can all eat a Parisian style éclair because Jill explains how!

If you thought it was going to be too hard to make a real Parisian pastry that will make others drool, then think again. These recipes are meant for your everyday baker, like you and me, for people who like to bake a lot or hardly ever bake at all. No one, well, no one I know, has time to spend hours making a cake but everyone I know loves to eat them. So here’s how to make them in a way that won’t take all day but they’ll taste just as good as if they did!

A friend read my copy of this book and says “bossy cake books make me quake, but not this one… I was quite shocked at how easy éclairs are to make – and even more shocked at how many I can eat. Choux pastry is a doddle. She’s not some high-handed chef making you feel small because you dropped the saucepan and forgot to shut the dog out of the kitchen.”

tea-time-in-paris-jill-collonnaJill is very down to earth; she’s spent years learning to cook in Paris with some of the best chefs in the business. And, as an expat in Paris she has adapted these classical recipes so that anyone can make them without having to spend all that time learning how from experts. If you’ve ever tried to make a cake that looks absolutely beautiful like it does in the recipe book and ended up with a soggy mess – that won’t happen here. The recipes are written simply and with lots of tips and advice so that you can make cakes that turn out like the pictures and taste absolutely scrumptious.

Everyone has a favourite recipe in the book but for me it’s got to be the chocolate Earl Grey tartlet with orange liqueur crumble puffs. Jill explains that tea shops serving pastries in Paris are so tendance (trendy) and that Louis XIV was reputed to have loved tea as much as his mistresses. The book is full of these little anecdotes from history and I don’t know how, but reading the notes makes the cakes taste even better!

The pictures are really vibrant and Jill writes as though she’s in the kitchen with you, encouraging you to give it a go. From macarons, “ a pastry with feet” to tarts and tartlets, eclairs and cream puffs, and the crème de la crème cakes – this book is crammed full of divinely delicious, sensationally yummy lush mouth-watering cake recipes…

Discover more about Jill Colonna and her cake life in Paris at www.madaboutmacarons.com

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