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Posted December 20, 2010
The Only Dessert Book You Really Need
Bon Appétit Desserts is a whole book, a huge book actually (680 pages), devoted solely to desserts. Every dessert you've ever heard of, every dessert you could ever want or need to make. All in one book. My kind of book. The book was edited by recently resigned Bon Appétit Editor-in-Chief, Barbara Fairchild. In her introduction she writes about how while growing up her family had dessert after every dinner, something sweet was included in her lunch, and how her mother always served a sweet of some kind whenever company dropped by. I like that. To me it reveals the sentiment behind this book. Desserts and sweets as part of the eating process. The 600 recipes in the book are culled from Bon Appétit's extensive archives; never-before-published recipes are also included. Well-known cooks, bakers, and pastry chefs (like Dorie Greenspan, Sherry Yard, and Susan Feniger), and Bon Appétit staff and writers also contributed to the book. If that's not enough the book also has the Bon Appétit pedigree. It's truly a reference-cookbook -- the first three chapters are 'The Desserts Pantry'; 'Equipment: The Basics'; 'Techniques: The Basics,' at the back of the book are 'Online & Mail-Order Sources,' and 'Metric Conversions & Equivalents.' Everything needed to make desserts with skill and aplomb. The rest of the book is all about the recipes. It has, in addition to the standard and expected American-style desserts, many of the classics: fools, crepes, Linzertortes, napoleons, cannolis, crème brûlées, éclairs, panna cottas, tiramisùs, pavolovas and more. I was thrilled to see a recipe for bûche de Noël! Short and to-the-point head notes are followed by well-organized recipes. A whisk rating system showing the level of difficulty (1 to 4 whisks) is included with each recipe. An easy reference 'Index of Whisk Ratings' at the back of the book allows for quick decisions on which recipe to try. Food photographer, Con Poulo's fifty gorgeous photos are sprinkled unobtrusively throughout. Recipe testing on a book of this size could take months but of the recipes I was able to try all worked beautifully. I can't recommend it highly enough. It should be part of every cook's library especially those who love to make desserts.
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Posted February 8, 2011
This Book Has It All
How fun to have a very large (689 pages) and beautiful cookbook devoted entirely to desserts by one of the premier food magazines, Bon Appetit. There are over 600 recipes in this book, most reprinted from the magazine archives but also some new ones. The photos are gorgeous and inspire me to want to head to the kitchen to create something wonderful. This is one of those cookbooks that anyone can use no matter what level of cooking experience because the recipes are well-written with plenty of explanation and diagrams. Also included are chapters on what kinds of foods to keep on hand in the pantry, equipment basics, and techniques explained. Every kind of dessert is covered: cakes and cupcakes; pies, tarts, and pastries; custards and puddings, fruit desserts, frozen desserts, cookies, bars and brownies, candy, and even a chapter devoted to cheesecake. I like that most of the recipes use regular ingredients that are easily found in any grocery store. The traditional recipes for things like classic chocolate chip cookies, apple pie, and chocolate cake can be found alongside unique offerings such as Mai Tai Sorbet, Cherry Creme Brulee, Hazelnut Macaroon and Strawberry Tart, Hazelnut Praline Cheesecake, and Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes. Whether needing a dessert for a casual pot-luck dinner or something elegant for a bridal shower or a tea, I can find it all in this one book.
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Posted January 14, 2012
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Posted June 9, 2013
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