Cookbook review: Chloé S Cupcakes and gourmet recipes

Cookbook review: Chloé S Cupcakes and gourmet recipes

You may know my attachment to cupcakes, these funny make-up cakes to please girls more than boys? Despite everything, because it was the Miss Cupcake from Paris, that her book had just come out, I took my courage and my pastry bag with both hands to test the work of Chloé Saada Les Cupcakes de Cloé S et Recettes Gourmandes by Hachette Cuisine, dedicated to all the delicacies in which it floods the capital from its address on rue de Pigalle. I warn you, there will be a lot of pink in the following lines, but also a lot of butter and surprises.

The contents

By opening Chloé Saada's Cupcakes and gourmet recipes, there is an atmosphere of feminine blogosphere floating in the air as evidenced by the preface by Delphine Desneiges alias Deedee. Then comes the introduction signed by Chloé Saada, who briefly explains what we will find in her book. I have always wondered if the authors of culinary books known for a single specialty really give us their secrets, at the risk of being subsequently imitated or even surpassed. Chloé Saada assures us that she is for sharing and that she does not cheat, that the recipes will give us all the tips to make high-flying cupcakes (13 cupcake recipes in all, sweet but also savory). But it is not limited to that since it also offers whoopies, cake pops, "big" cakes, a few savory cakes and two cupcake recipes offered by Jean-François Piège. The extras are quite basic: you will find a reduced list of good addresses and, more original, a playlist of songs to listen to depending on the cake prepared.


Chloé Saada is a bit of the Lady Gaga (teaux) of pastry because it is not only a question of making us buy cupcakes, the young woman knew how to create a world of her own that we find in her cupcakery: -girly, vintage, glam, sweet and feminine. The pin-up with butter has of course sought to transcribe this atmosphere in his book and you have to fully adhere to appreciate. In the case of the cover for example, I am divided: we can indeed see a pin-up pastry chef who greedily presents his cupcakes but even by squinting, I can not help but see a nurse Eastern country which uses dukeface to invite us to not very catholic things. Nevertheless there is a bias that we can only welcome even if we are not sensitive to it, everything has been studied to make the whole coherent from the first to the last page. For those who are attracted to the world of Chloé Saada, the book will inevitably delight them. For the others, including myself, it is a somewhat unreal excursion as we are not used to going to the imaginary country.

The choice of ingredients

This is what also contributes to the success of cupcakes: if you have butter and chocolate, you are practically out of the woods.

Recipe didactics

In Chloé S Cupcakes and gourmet recipes, the recipes could have started with "Once upon a time" but in reality, they start with the name of a song. Then come the name of the cake, a short introduction to explain the origin of the recipe, then the progress of the recipe. The ingredients are placed in a box on the left, always separated between the base and the topping. The recipes are short, except for large cakes which require more preparation and which, for some, have a step by step, especially on the work of the sugar paste. Regarding the base, there are no particular difficulties but during my test, I still found some inconsistencies: a tea bag in the ingredients which disappears in the preparation, dried fruit which must be mixed in the dough but which we forget to tell us what to do with the rest ... For the toppping, I found that the explanations were rather sketchy. If the recipes for butter creams are rather easy to make, it is not the same with the training: there it becomes freestyle and it all depends on your ability to handle the pastry bag!

The test

To test the book Les Cupcakes de Chloé S et gourmet recipes, I was not alone. My mother, a great pastry specialist, also helped out. Tempted by the adventure, she wanted to try (almost everything) and so it was not a cupcake recipe that we tested but three! As the recipes are given for 15 to 20 cupcakes, we therefore started by redoing the measurements. We start with a calculator and you can not imagine how difficult it can be to divide by 4 the content of 1.5 jars of yogurt powdered sugar. My mother, as the big boss of the organization, wanted us to prepare all the ingredients for the different cupcakes before starting the manipulations. Suddenly, it gets a little scary, like when you are given the equivalent of a soda in pieces of sugar.
If you know how to make muffins or soft ones then you will be able to make cupcakes. Correction, you will be able to make the base of the cupcakes. The most complicated part, the topping, remained a mystery to me. In general, you will have the following indication "Transfer this preparation into a pastry bag with a star-shaped tip" but not at all the same result as in the photo (at least, in my case). When it had to go up, my topping crashed. When it had to be airy, my topping showed signs of heaviness. But let's talk about the tasting. Finding myself with fifteen cupcakes, I stirred the family (I don't have many friends on Facebook myself) so that they give me an objective opinion on these delicacies. A sentence came back on everyone's lips "It's good, but I'm not going to manage to finish". On the three cupcakes made, we still erected a cake above the others: Spartacus, a chocolate cupcake, speculoos cream heart (the recipe is available online here). With his melting heart, his really soft chocolate, he won all the votes.

The verdict

You really have to be a fan of the genre. Love liberty, Detox tea and complicated buns. You also have to love receiving your friends unless you are training to become the biggest cupcake eater with 15 cakes per batch. So if you are both a fan of the genre and a friend of many friends on Facebook, this book is probably for you. Nevertheless I must warn you, make sure you have previously mastered the secrets of the pastry bag because the book Les cupcakes de Chloé S et gourmet recipes is above all and above all a pastry book, and the cupcake is above and above all a dining decoration. In my opinion, this book therefore sins by its lack of didactics in terms of topping, everything that makes the salt (sugar) of the cupcake. Chloé Saada played it a bit tricky by quickly passing on the decoration techniques. I would have appreciated for example that the book devotes a few pages to the technique of the socket as well as to the various decorative elements which adorn these little sweets. So we are a little hungry, which is even a shame when we talk about cupcakes. Chloé's Cupcakes. S and gourmet recipes, Hachette Cuisine, 96 pages, € 12.50 incl. VAT Book offered by Hachette Cuisine.