Sunday, August 12, 2018
The Fine Chocolates: Gold Hardcover – January 20, 2017 by Jean-Pierre Wybauw (Author), Serdar Tanyeli (Photographer)(Lannoo Publishers)(IBECookBooks)
An exceptional book, and no one can dispute the talent or creativity of the author, Jean-Pierre Wybauw. The book offers Water Activity (Aw) levels for all recipes, useful for shelf life guidelines on finished product. There is a detailed discussion on ingredients. The book starts by offering recipe sections grouped by shelf life, but oddly this is abandoned in some areas, which can lead to frustration when left with an Aw value but no prediction on how long the confection will last..
His editors however did him a disservice, as many recipes are missing information (example: Lavender recipe on page 333 which is in the section containing alcohol and says it contains alcohol, in fact makes no mention of alcohol). Other recipes omit steps (such as straining when having infused liquid with finely ground solids, ie:coffee). This is sometimes apparent after careful reading and rereading if one has experience in working with chocolate.
All of the chocolates are beautifully decorated, many in unique manners not readily apparent, but sadly how the decoration is achieved is often not illuminated, leaving one frustrated . It is because of these editorial inconsistencies and omissions that I have not given the text the five stars it would otherwise deserve.
If you are used to a detailed explanation and clearly vetted/proofed text, Greweling's Chocolates and Confections may serve you much better. It will give you a foundation from which you can then use the outstanding information contained in Mr. Wybauw's text.