Nancy Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery

Nancy Silverton, Author Villard Books $37.5 (416p) ISBN 978-0-375-50193-7
Passionate bakers will find Silverton's latest collection of recipes as absorbing as this year's hottest potboiler: ""What happens next?"" is the question after each page is turned. Here, the answer is one enticing pastry after another: ""quickcakes,"" quick breads, savories, cobblers and crisps, muffins, tarts, doughnuts, confections. Fans of Silverton's La Brea Bakery fare will want to know how she makes her fudge-swirled Almond Poundcake and incomparable Cinnammon Buns; and what's the secret of those famous Bran Muffins? (Pureed Raisins) Hers are ""rustic"" but elegant creations--straightforward, but evocative of browned butter and vanilla, toasted pecans and ricotta. Breakfast Pastries, for example, include Russian Coffeecake, laced with chocolate and sour cream, and lush, brioche Sticky Buns. Although this is a book for the serious cook, its brisk, encouraging tone and intelligently written instructions could help even a novice turn out memorable Chocolate Madeleines, Ginger Scones or Lemon Picnic Tarts--while experienced cooks can dive into puff pastry or croissant dough, as well. Anyone would be thrilled to sample this combination of pastries, and Silverton's excellent teaching skills make this volume accessible to almost everyone. Photos by Steven Rothfeld. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/2000
Release date: 10/01/2000
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