Book: Rêves de Pâtissie
Rêves de Pâtissier: 50 Classiques de la Pâtisserie Réinventés par Pierre Hermé
This book is in French and it's so good, it's worth learning the language for. I'm plowing my way through it - with the help of Google Translate - and it's fascinating to see how pastry chef Pierre Hermé takes classic desserts to another level.
I would have bought this book for just one recipe: Hermé's ice-cream sandwich. His Miss Gla'Glas are sublime. On a recent trip to Paris I ate three within 45 minutes, but because the chef changes the flavours each year, I didn't get to try the version in the book - the Mahogany (with caramel and salted butter ice cream, mango sorbet and lychee and rose sorbet).
It's not just the Miss Gla'Glas that tempt - the pages of my book are covered in Post-it notes to indicate which recipes I'm eager to try. Hermé also gives recipes for his delicious croissant Ispahan (which has rose-flavoured almond paste and lychee and raspberry compote); a new version of 1950s classic black forest cake; and macarons (for which he's famous). He even updates easy-to-make desserts such as the waffle (which he makes with pistachio paste), the sable cookie (made with black olives) and the pound cake (using green tea, yuzu and azuki beans).