I’m a big fan of Chef Gabriel Gâté, born in the Loire Valley in France who moved to Australia with his Melbourne-born wife in 1977 (for me, growing up in Australia, his name was very familiar). He’s written 24 cookbooks and for the past 35 years, he’s been presenting television shows (notably ‘Taste Le Tour with Gabriel Gaté’, a series featuring food and wine from the regions the Tour de France passes through in July every year). Today, total sales of his books exceed 1.1 million copies, making him the highest-selling Australian male cookery writer.
Being a big sweet tooth, I was obviously excited to take a look at So French, So Sweet (originally published in 2012 under the title 100 Best Cakes & Desserts).
From the publisher:
So French So Sweet is Gabriel Gatés love letter to pâtisserie, baking and sweet treats. An irresistible collection of French classics and Gabriel’s most treasured sweet recipes, it brings together exquisite cakes and tarts, refreshing sorbets and fruity desserts, scrumptious ice creams, mousses and crèmes and heavenly warm desserts. With a focus on fresh seasonal ingredients and home-style cooking, Gabriel shows just how simple it is to create delightful treats for everyone to enjoy.
The book includes chapters on all the sweet things you could possibly want to make: Cakes, Tarts and Pies, Crèmes and Mousses, Fruits, Sorbets and Ice Cream and Hot Desserts and there’s also a chapter of Basics (i.e. basic pastry recipes, sauces, coulis, ganaches, praline, meringue).
The recipes obviously speak to Gâté’s heritage (there are alot of classic French techniques and recipes) with a nod to his adopted country – there’s a Pavlova with Exotic Fruits, a Lemon Delicious Pudding (classic from my Australian childhood) and lots of passionfruit-based recipes (yum!). You can tell this is an Australian book, too by some of the ingredients (double cream which I know because I grew up in Australia but which I also know I can’t get here in Canada, at least not easily) so that’s something to be aware of. I really appreciated the note at the front of the book specifying the size of the cups and tea/tablespoons used (did you know that they are different depending on what country you are in? It’s why baking by weight is best and Gâté also makes sure to strongly suggest using a digital scale when you bake for most accuracy and successful results).
The book is written in an easy, conversational style that makes everything feel so very do-able. In addition, none of the recipes take up more than one page (there are a few “two part” recipes but nothing multi-step). Not every recipe includes a photo which some people might miss (that would be me!) but this is a minor issue. It’s a delightful book to flip through – the photos are bright and simple and really let the food shine – and I’ve marked a lot of recipes “to make”.
If you’re a fan of classic French pastries and desserts and are a bit of an experienced home baker, this is a wonderful book to add to your cookbook collection.
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Disclosure: I received a review copy of So French So Sweet from the publisher. I was not required to review this book, nor am I receiving compensation for doing do. All opinions my own.
MY BOOK! In the French kitchen with kids releases July 31, 2018! Click here for pre-order details!