Someone please explain to me why so many books written by highly acclaimed chefs/bakers have such poor recipies? If I published a recipe you better believe it will be spot on taste and texture wise. I would never want someone to mix up or bake a dry or tasteless recipe and assume that the product my business produces is the same? I have to believe these are faux recipies or some variation of their original but not the ones used by themselves.
I've noticed this. I sometimes feel like they want to seem like they're sharing but still keep their recipes proprietary. Elisa Strauss' cookbook has some recipes with strange volume to weight conversions that don't seem to be consistent between recipes.
You are right, though, that if I make a cake from their supposed recipe and it tastes bad, my first assumption is that THEIR cakes also taste bad.
Could you be more specific?
I have found some great recipes from published books. So I'm a little confused. It sounds like you tried something and it didn't work.
I know I have a pastry cookbook from which I have been able to actually use 3 recipes. None of the others I've tried have come out. And not to toot my own horn but I can cook/bake, so it's not me. There's also a certain Food Network celebrity whose recipes I won't go near with a 10 foot pole after multiple failures.
One problem with cookbooks--especially pastry books--is the recipes they usually get from the professionals are usually just that professional recipes that sometimes they have to be scaled down in size and then have their measurements converted for general use (as most bakers/pastry chefs use metric weights for their recipes and the public--in the US at least--prefer imperial/volume measurements). However, it's not usually the chef that does the scaling and converting. The publisher has someone in front of a computer or conversion chart do all of the conversions and (when necessary) scaling of all of the measurements, and while the chef who wrote the recipes may have tested them over and over in their original form, when you convert from metric to imperial it's not always a perfect conversion, and the recipe SHOULD be re-tested, and adjustments made with the new measurements, but that is rarely the case.