Warning: This book may induce spontaneous squeals of sweet delight.
Meg Ray, owner and chef of Miette, has published her first cookbook ($28). With its scallop-edged pages and images of lavish treats finished with swirls of pink icing, candied flavors and pretty ribbons, the book is as adorable as Ray's three Bay Area pastry and candy shops.
The book begins with a helpful description of baking essentials and ends with a petite treatise on ingredients, special equipment and useful sources for places to find the same high-quality stuff used in the bakery.
But it's the recipes that matter, and the 100-plus in the Miette cookbook are as smooth as French buttercream. There's a project for every skill level: brownies (click here for the recipe) and peanut butter cookies for the recipe rookie, and princess cake and fleur de sel caramels for the pastry proficient. The signatures are in there too, including meringue kisses, Tomboy cake and Ray's remarkably delicious graham crackers.
Lest you think you could never produce Miette's picture-perfect creations, rest assured that this book is more than just good-looking--the recipes are detailed enough to follow with ease, yielding brilliant results.
A pastry book that's both practical and pretty? Now that's something to indulge in.
Miette, 1 Ferry Plaza Marketplace, 415-837-0300; 449 Octavia St. (at Hayes St.), 415-626-6221; 85 Webster St. (at First St.), Oakland, 510-663-1300; miette.com
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