Macdonald is the chef-owner of Patisserie Chanson, an NYC pastry shop that transforms into a dessert bar at night. His first cookbook offers a collection of detailed recipes for classic pastries and baked goods, often followed by smart modern updates.
Ambitious home bakers can challenge themselves with Bake, but it's clear that Macdonald has his professional colleagues in mind as his primary audience. For example, Macdonald devotes four pages to component recipes and process photography for the creation of the standard Breton favorite kouign-amann, then follows with six variations, including one filled with dulce de leche, another filled with gianduja and topped with caramelized hazelnuts, and another glazed with peanut butter and Concord grape jam.
He takes a similar approach with eclairs and macarons and nimbly alternates between elegant updates of fruits tarts and crowd-pleasers such as jelly donuts. Fun and smart, without being so innovative that it loses touch with why people love dessert to begin with.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.