When I purchase a baking book, I expect that the recipes it contains were fully tested, multiple times as written and that the ingredient weights are accurate, especially when it comes with a $50 price tag. Bakers, using Bakers Percentage, should be able to easily scale their formulas for home use quantities. The Bouchon bakers state that the recipes were tested multiple times and were scaled down from those used daily at Bouchon Bakery.
I was alarmed to read of your disappointing baking experiences with this book. Although I have had my copy since before Christmas, I have yet to bake from it. I found the recipe for “Bouchons” on page 102 and assumed that this is the one to which you refer. I read that a “Bouchon Mold” baking pan is required, exclusive to Williams-Sonoma and is priced at $29.95.
I decided to check the accuracy of the individual gram weights to the volume measurements using my own self generated equivalent chart and the one found in The King Arthur Flour “Whole Grain Baking” book beginning on page 584 where volume measurements are given in ounces.
•Butter 141g/5-oz. // 141g = 4.97-oz.
•AP Flour 50g/ ¼ C+1 ½ T. // 1 C AP Flour = 4.25-oz.(120g) therefore, ¼ C = 30g, 1 ½ T (120g/16= 7.5, times 1.5= 11.25g. OR 30g+11.25g = 41.25g- a discrepancy of 8.75g
•Cocoa 50g/ ½ C + 2 T // ½ C = 1.5-oz.(42.5g), 2 T (3-oz./16 = .1875-oz. times 2 = .375-oz.(10.6g) OR 42.5g + 10.6g = 53.1g- a discrepancy of 3.1g
My can of Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa states: "1 tbsp. (5g)" which is consistant with ½ C (8 T) + 2 T = 10 T times 5g = 50g. So it seems that Hershey’s cocoa weighs the same as Valrhona.
There will always be discrepancies between gram weights and supposed volume equivalents and it is essential that a gram scale accurate to 1 gram be used to achieve consistent results. This is pointed out on page 24. I can’t speculate what went wrong when your 50g of weighed cocoa became nearly two huge bowls. Though, I will be diligent when I begin baking with this book to see if I uncover any errors in the gram weight amounts. I will, as always, ignore the volume measurements.
A check of Amazon reviews for this book show seventy-nine(79), 5 star reviews out of a total of 92. One(1) 1 star review because “Fois Gras” was mentioned. Two(2) 2 star reviews both stated that the book was too heavy. Happy Baking!