The Classic and Contemporary Recipes of Yves Thuriès - Restaurant Pastries and Desserts
By Yves Thuriès


This is just one in a series of Classic and Contemporary pastry books by Yves Thuriès, best known for being not only a double winner of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (best craftsman of France) for his frozen desserts and confectionery, but also - even rarer - a Compagnon du Tour de France, for which he had to travel across the country and work with master chefs.

The problem with having "contemporary" in the title is that, although it might have been so when the book was published (1996, in this case), it won't always be. I'm not sure when the photos were taken, but they look more dated than just 17 years ago.

The recipes don't seem particularly contemporary now, either, but that's fine, because classic French desserts are classics for a reason - they have stood the test of time for their sheer deliciousness.

This is not a book for novices; many of the instructions are cursory. The recipe for genoise (a sponge cake leavened with whipped eggs) is only two short paragraphs, and tells you to bake it in a "moderate" oven. The instructions for puff pastry don't mention how long the resting times for the dough should be, or how it should be sliced.

Thuriès gives recipes for cherry clafouti; three variations of chocolate mousse; Calvados Bavarian with caramel sauce; rice pudding; strawberry Napoleon; morello cherry parfait; and caramel-raisin parfait with rum sauce.