OP: Traite General de Confiserie Moderne
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Chez L'Auteur, Paris, 1908. Hardcover. Very Good. Second edition.
Originally published in 1905 by French pastry chef Émile Duval, Traite General de Confiserie Moderne would have been an enormous asset to any pastry professional working at the beginning of the twentieth century. At 900 pages with nearly 2000 recipes, photographic inserts, and 300 engravings, this remarkable—and hefty—tome was a self-proclaimed, much-needed update to the literature on chocolate and confectionery work.
Particularly addressing advancements in technology over the course of the previous 50 years and the increase in production volume facilitated by those advancements, Traite proves to be far more than a simple recipe book. It is an invaluable reference for high-end pastry chefs working on an industrial scale.
Beginning with basics like the scientific properties of sugar, the description and usage of common and specialty ingredients, and a discussion of equipment used in chocolate and confection production, Duval then proceeds into instruction on manufacturing dragées, confits, fondants, caramels, bonbons, etc.
The latter part of the book covers showpieces and elaborate sugarwork—such as a basket woven from pulled sugar. Stencil outlines for piping and cake decorating are also included.
Ours is a 1908 revised and expanded second edition. It is bound with a leather, gilt-stamped spine and mottled boards. Despite scuffing to the exterior and wear about the edges with some loose leaves, it remains a handsome piece of craftsmanship. Some pencil marginalia but largely clean and sturdy. Scarce in any edition. In French.
This copy comes from the Sontheimer Foundation Library, bearing a bookplate on the front paste down, stating “This book is a gift from The Sontheimer Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut.” Carl Sontheimer (1914–1998) invented the original Cuisinart food processor.