The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets is finally here! It was an absolute pleasure to contribute a chapter on French desserts, but an even greater pleasure to have the complete book in our office. This comprehensive encyclopedia contains detailed descriptions on everything from laddu to layer cake, this is a must-have title for any kitchen.
“France became one of the first countries to explore the possibilities of sugar when cheap supplies came flooding in from the Caribbean and South America at the start of the seventeenth century… France is the home of petits fours, a term that first appeared in Patissier francois in 1653 and referred to the little ovens that had been invented, designed for baking miniature versions of almond cakes, puff pastries, and small cookies. These dry little cakes are often sold in bulk for nibbling at home, the nearest thing to cookies for the American cookie jar.” (Anne Willan, The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets)