Cookbook Review: Scook

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I was recently sent a copy of Scook by Anne-Sophie Pic, who happens to be the only woman in France to hold three Michelin stars for two of her renowned restaurants. Scook is the name of her own cookery school and this new book is a wonderful collection of over 100 recipes that allows us to discover the wonders of French cooking in the comfort of our own homes.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am a cookbook hoarder collector but when I was offered this book to review, it occurred to me that I don’t actually own any French cookery books.  I’ll be honest, French cuisine isn’t something that’s really ever appealed to me –  I’ve never been bothered about cooking or eating French food. Which made it all the more interesting to read this book.

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This is a weighty tome. My first thought was that it would be an excellent gift for anyone who wanted to learn French cookery as it looks pretty impressive.  The book is split into five sections – Entertaining, Everyday, Classics, Homemade and For Children.  Each recipe clearly guides you through the different processes with easy-to-follow instructions.

What I also liked about this book was scattered throughout were a range of tips and tricks for helping with tricky techniques, like buttering a soufflé dish or teaching you how to make tomato concasse. These items offer step-by-step guidance alongside great quality photos.

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The idea behind Scook is that it makes the most exquisite of recipes accessibly to everyone so it can be enjoyed by cooks of all levels. There’s certainly some things I would feel confident enough to try out myself, though I’ll be honest, Mussel royale with pumpkin cream, Courgette and bay leaf savoury custard and Poached egg with snail foam are dishes that are probably never likely to appear on a Meal Planning Monday post and foie gras isn’t what I would normally call an ‘everyday’ dish but there are lots of things to experiment with.

Some of the things I would like to give a try include (and these are just an example, this book is huge!)

Entertaining;

  • Saint-Marcellin cheese croquettes
  • Roast duck breast with black cherry compote
  • Pommes soufflées reinvented
  • Cinnamon and cherry clafoutis

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Everyday;

  • Tarragon chicken with rice pilaf
  • Ravioli gratin with caramelised onions and a light nutmeg bechamel
  • Grandmothers brioche with hazlenut spread
  • Apricot macaroons
  • Lemon tart with Italian meringue

Classics;

  • Creme caramel with muscovado sugar
  • Vol-au-vent
  • Green asparagus with mint hollandaise sauce
  • My pommes dauphine
  • Iced Grand Marnier souffle

IGMS

Homemade;

  • Raspberry shortbread biscuits
  • Chocolate financiers
  • Pogne de Romans
  • Almond pannacotta with raspberry confit and crumble
  • Tandoori beef bourguignon

For children;

  • Boulangere potatoes with bacon
  • Praline cream choux buns
  • Little chocolate pots
  • Glace fruit cake
  • Lyonnaise Mardi Gras doughnuts

I know, nothing too adventurous there, and I tend to sway towards the sweet.

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I am really impressed with the breadth and creativity of the recipes in Scook but I am afraid I’m still not convinced by French food. There’s way too much game, offal, foam and jellified things for my liking!

If you’re interested in French cooking though then this book would be perfectly up your street. There is so much to choose from whether you wish to create a simple supper for the whole family, an elegant main course showstopper for your dinner party or a delicious French classic, there is something in here whatever your cooking ability.

Scook: The Complete Cookery Course by Anne-Sophie Pic is published by Jacqui Small and is available now with an RRP of £40.00.

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