“At Home with The Culinary Institute of America”
I have a lot of cookbooks, many of which are candy and dessert books. I’ve been freelance (just do it!!) cooking for most of my life, including having made pull-taffy with my mom as a child. Over the years, I have had good and bad luck with various attempts at candymaking. Some of my divinity comes out perfect, some is dry. Pralines that are creamy, some that are grainy. Fudge that is perfectly made and some that is hard and short. What gives? This book does. It has a full explanation of all techniques to be used at the beginning of each chapter, before you even get to the recipes. This is great because it helps you resist the temptation to just jump into trying something; after all, it must be important for you to know a technique if they tell you before they give you the recipe in which you will use that technique. It actually repeats everything for you because before the recipes, it goes through the entire process without measurements so that you can’t make it at that point! I found that I actually read the entire book, cover to cover, before even attempting anything. My chocolate tempered perfectly, which was the first thing I did. Next will be either cherry cordials or maybe more divinity.
I feel much more confident in my ability to create perfect confections. Perfect every time. There are also a lot of recipes for confections I’d never considered, as well as ones I’d never heard of. All because I don’t just know what I want to do, but how to do it, and why it works. Lots of history, interesting asides, and very clear instructions. All in all, a definite must-have.
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