Cheryl Wakerhauser, the award-winning chef and owner of Pix Pâtisserie in Portland, Oregon puts a unique twist on French desserts in her first cookbook Modern French Pastry. From Crème Brûlée Cookies to Not Your Grandmother’s Bûche De Noël, each recipe breathes new life into traditional French favorites. Port-soaked figs, chai cream and spiced pecans are just a few star ingredients that elevate both appearance and taste.
Go beyond a sugar rush into a world where dessert is an art form and honored tradition. As Cheryl writes in the introduction, “Aside from their beauty, it is the layering of many textures and flavors you get in every bite that sets French pâtisserie apart from other desserts. It is this multidimensionality that makes them complex and so enjoyable, a bit like a fine wine.”
That complexity is showcased in the sweet creams and crunchy bases that accompany recipes such as The Oregon Get Down (sweet tart dough, caramelized pears, hazelnut cream and hazelnut nougatine décor) and Bye, Bye Pumpkin Pie (chocolate almond cake, caramel, garam masala pecans and pumpkin Bavarian cream).
According to Cheryl, the secret to a successful pastry lies in proper technique, quality ingredients and the right equipment. With Cheryl’s help, the challenging techniques of beautiful French pastry can be easily mastered. Beginners and experts alike will be guided through an exploration of Cakes, Tarts, Coupes, Entremets, and Petits Fours with every dessert broken down into easy-to-follow sub-recipes that can be done in advance for convenience, and even interchanged with other recipes to create a signature dish.
Cheryl Wakerhauser is an award-winning chef and owner of Pix Pâtisserie. She trained at the prestigious pâtisserie of Philippe Urraca, located in southern France. She has been featured in Food & Wine, Food Network Magazine, Sunset, Wine & Spirits, and the New York Times. She lives in Portland, OR.