Our description of this book relies heavily on a description Nach Waxman wrote of the original edition, called Lenotre's Desserts and Pastries, which was published in French in 1975 and in English in 1977:
Considered one of the leading pastry chefs in post-World War II France, Gaston Lenôtre (1920–2009) modernized the world of desserts, turning French pastries into the elegant, lighter fare we recognize today. Besides owning 60 boutique pastry shops across a dozen countries, Lenôtre operated a catering business, Michelin-starred restaurants, and a cooking school with up to 3,000 students per year. The likes of David Bouley, Alain Ducasse, Alice Medrich, and Pierre Hermé all worked or studied under him at one point or another.
One of the first to use gelatin to stabilize and lighten his mousses and creams, Lenôtre understood that success in increasing production volume required inventive manipulation of the ingredients. Desserts and Pastries addresses basic batters, creams and syrups, breakfast items, cakes, pies and tarts, soufflés, and petit fours, covering serious range and laying the groundwork for a serious repertoire.
This new edition contains appreciations of the chef by his daughter Sylvie and son Alain. It has been fully re-photographed, and while it retains many of the recipes of the original edition, they have been re-ordered and modest adjustments have been made to ingredient quantities. A few innovations have crept in, such as tiramisu and passion fruit brioche (neither a part of 1970s French pastry).
While no longer the revolutionary work that it was in its first edition, this is an appealing, serious work for contemporary pastry practice.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.