Dominique Ansel makes some of the most creative and painstaking pastries anywhere in the world. The inventor of the Cronut is a master of technique and in 2017 was crowned the World’s Best Pastry Chef. Of course, he’s more than just the Cronut. So he has released a brand new cookbook sharing his extensive knowledge. However, this isn’t some impenetrable tome. In Everyone Can Bake Ansel provides the building blocks every home baker needs to create delicious desserts and confections.
He divides the sections into Bases, Fillings, Finishes and Assembly. With Bases you’ll learn about cakes, cookies, tart shells and more. In Fillings you see how to make pastry cream, lemon curd, chocolate ganache and soft caramel. With Finishes, that focuses on frosting, glazes and other last touches. Then for assembly you find out how to put the elements all together. What’s great about the book is that it gives you the building blocks to understand why recipes work, and then gives you the tools and the confidence to customise the recipes to your own tastes.
In this episode of Robb Report’s Culinary School, Ansel shows how you can make a chocolate mousse that goes great in cakes but can also be eaten on its own.
Odds and Ends and Additional Links
Of all the recipes Ansel has shown off on his Instagram the last month, the most popular has been his decadent banana bread.
The Cronut may have made Ansel famous, but the Kouign Amann is his true love.
Ansel’s bakeries in London and New York are currently open for takeout and delivery, and his newest café, Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel in Hong Kong, is open again.
A great tip that he offered on the livestream: For more precision in your baking, you should definitely invest in a scale. Measuring out your ingredients by weight instead of volume will make your final product better because you’ll be more accurate in your portioning.
When it comes to chocolate to bake with, Ansel is a fan of Valrhona.