Miette: Recipes From San Francisco’s Most Charming Pastry Shop

cookbook-miette

Miette is not a huge well known bakery but for those who know it I am sure they love it just as much as I do. It’s a tiny shop with a fun story. It’s based in San Francisco, was created Meg Ray, and is everything you would want in as pastry shop. The store front itself is painted the perfect shade of pink like you are walking into a giant pastry box. Inside the store every treat is meticulously crafted, packaged, and stacked. The hardest part is picking just one or two things to get. 

My story with Miette did not start with a visit to her bakery. It started with looking for who I would one day do my wedding cake. I found them because of their business practices, their passion for locally sourced ingredients and their attention to detail. While digging around the internet I stumbled across a video of her being interviewed about her shop.

Then shortly after discovering them I was walking the isles at Costco and saw Miette by Meg Ray and Leslie Jonath. Being that I love to bake the cover grabbed me. This perfectly stacked layer cake of chocolate with pink icing with a single rose spoke to me. Simplicity. Perfection. Classic Style. Everything about this book spoke volumes about the pastry shop, their use of color, the balance and contrast, the font, and then there’s the scalloped edges.

This is a book for the avid baker. It’s not that these recipes are difficult but you do need some tools and you need patience. Separating eggs, boiling sugar, straining through sieves are just a few of the tasks at hand. If you happen to love to bake this book needs to be in your cookbook library. It’s a tiny book so it won’t take much room but it’s packed full go goodies! This isn’t just a cake book. This is full of cakes, cookies, candies, “afternoon” cakes, pastries, and more.

I have not done a lot with this cookbook so it’s hard for me to fairly review it. I would give it a glowing review because of the nostalgia it holds for me. By the time my husband and I were actually getting married we had moved to Iowa so having Miette do our cake was out of the question. Due to a long silly story we had decided to just get married by the justice of the peace in the park across from his office one summer afternoon. Through the comedy of this getting out our parents and a few of my mother-in-laws friends all decided to come to our impromptu wedding. So I decided why not whip up a cake! (Isn’t that what everyone would think in that situation?) So I hobbled together a cake and a design. It was based on two different cake recipes and pulled together with a whipped cream frosting, chocolate, and strawberries.

Wedding Cake

I did mention this was June in Iowa? Right? Heat. Humidity… Now, knowing what I know about frosting and finally having a sensational recipe (which I found by first making her recipe for European Buttercream and then discovering Swiss Buttercream) I would have used it instead.

The first time I used her book to make the cake featured on the cover I opted for plain vanilla european buttercream. I don’t know what I did wrong but by looking back on the pictures I am guessing I didn’t cool the meringue enough before adding the butter. All in all the cake just looked a little sad and messy. The cake part itself though was AMAZING. Rich and yet delicate this is the ultimate chocolate cake.

However, after spending the last two year working on my skills, renovating my kitchen to give me ample room to work and a new found confidence I went after this cake again. This time I did the raspberry icing. In the book she gives you the icing recipe, saying it makes about 6 cups. Then she gives the raspberry flavoring recipe saying you need 3 tablespoons of the raspberry juice for every cup. She neglects to say what the recipe will yield. It turns out the recipe only yields about 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) and if you’re trying to flavor a full batch of frosting you need 18 tablespoons (9 ounces)! I didn’t have more raspberries to I added food coloring to get the desired color. I had other issues in making the frosting but the end result was much more promising.

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Now, with my renewed confidence in this cookbook I am looking forward to trying some of her other treats too. This might not be a flawless and well tested cookbook for the home baker but this cookbook does have great recipes and is packed full of inspirations but like I said maybe my nostalgia out weighs my objectivity.

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