Bake the Book: Bouchon Bakery

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[Photograph: Deborah Jones]

In the pantheon of modern chefs, Thomas Keller has carved out a unique niche for himself. A signature combination of passion and whimsy infuses his work, making his vision edible. His genius lies in drawing upon and combining influences both new and old to develop food that is experienced as much as it is eaten.

The Bouchon Bakery cookbook, co-authored by Keller's executive pastry chef Sebastien Rouxel, is an amalgamation of French and American baked goods. Contained within are recipes for the highly popular, well-loved TKO cookies (our first recipe feature), and Oh Ohs (reverse the letters), as well as recipes showcasing his more fanciful side, like Marshmallow Eggs.

His French roots are also clearly evident throughout the book, with Crepe Cakes and Lemon Meringue Tarts done in the classic style, with grace and care. This is where co-author Rouxel shines: in this book, Keller is the idea man, but Rouxel is all about technique. Each recipe features some little flash of enlightenment to improve or explain the task at hand. The photos, while stunning (it's a huge book) are also educational—a two-page layout of a dozen photographs of an eclair being assembled comes to mind.

It's as much of a pleasure to pore through Bouchon Bakery as it is to bake from it. Any effort you make will be richly rewarded.


Win A Copy!

Thanks to the generous folks over at Artisan
Books, we are giving away five (5) copies of Bouchon Bakery this week.

All you have to do is tell us your favorite French dessert in the comments section below.

The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.

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