Chapters covering chocolate cakes, tortes, madeleines, dacquoises, buche de noel, clafoutis, savory cakes, and much more follow. All are rooted in classic techniques that serve as blueprints for myriad variations based on the season or what’s in the cupboard. Her recipe for Quatre-Quarts, the French version of pound cake, includes 52 spinoffs that involve no more than a tweak or two: Apple and Calvados, Lemon Thyme, Matcha, Poppy Seed.
Whether it’s tying a silk scarf or rolling a genoise, she writes, the French continually fall back on the time-tested methods that embolden them to improvise. “When you know what you’re doing, there’s no need to overthink it. It looks easy because it is easy.”
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.
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