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Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2010

    What You Expect from David Lebovitz

    This is a fantastic collection of recipes sure to make any avid baker gain a few pounds - I have already flagged about 20 recipes that I have to try soon. You would of course expect recipes from David Lebowitz to all sound delicious, but they're also clearly written and easy to follow. The book contains classic recipes but mostly a lot of one-of-a-kind desserts, separating this from many of my other baking cookbooks. An added bonus is the recipes for accompaniments to the desserts at the end and a special section on caramelizing sugar - it provides clear instructions and explanations for a task that often goes from delicious to burning in a matter of seconds.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    Above and beyond the standard dessert recipes

    Here are the recipes I have already made, my thoughts on those recipes in particular, and my thoughts on the book as a whole:

    Soft-Candied Lemon Peel and Candied Orange Peel- I'd never tried this and since a recipe was in the book I thought I should give it a try. The peeling was obviously the time consuming part of this project but now I have two jars in the fridge waiting to be used this weekend when I make the Guinness Gingerbread Cupcakes (as a garnish).

    Candied Ginger- I've bought this but never thought to make it. It was a tedious and drawn out process. Blanching three times, boil in lots of sugar water to the appropriate temperature, let rest, drain, dry, dip in more sugar, dry some more. Several things to note, the end product is way better than any store bought candies ginger I've ever tasted! Second, I used the sugar water left over from boiling the ginger as he suggested by sweetening homemade lemonade. Wow, it was the best!

    Gingersnaps- I love gingersnaps and there are two recipes in the cookbook, one nonfat. I made the regular recipe but added some of the candied ginger (how could I not???) even though it wasn't called for. This is the first gingersnap recipe I've ever made that called for freshly ground pepper! My husband and I agreed this was our favorite recipe thus far.

    Banana Soufflés- (see picture) This was only my second soufflé I've ever made and it tasted pretty good. The original recipe calls for pastry cream which he has a recipe for later in the book. However, I didn't feel like scaling the recipe down to a fifth and adding that much more time to the end dessert. So, I followed his variation suggestion and replaced it with sugar, making it less rich. I also followed another one of his variations by adding dark chocolate to the mix before baking. Because of the variation it was sweeter than the standard soufflé but was quite tasty.

    Apple Pear Crisp with Grappa Soaked Raisins- Since I was serving this to Japanese dinner guests I omitted the raisins, they don't eat them. I followed the recipe, using pecans for the nut and cornmeal in place of the polenta. My husband and I both agreed we enjoyed the apple pear mixture more than the standard apple crisp recipes. However, we are partial to my crumb topping with oatmeal from a different recipe.

    Pistachio-Cardamom Cake- A friend came over to cook Indian food for us so I thought I should make an Indian inspired dessert. The most time consuming part of this cake is shelling the pistachios and for me breaking cardamom pods open for the seeds (I only had pods on hand). It was easy to put together and looked lovely. I was worried it would be too strong but was pretty good (slightly dry though, I think it could have used less time in the oven). Our Indian friend loved it, he had two pieces!

    Overall take of the book: I ended up pretty much skipping the entire Frozen Desserts section because I don't have an ice cream maker at the moment and don't plan on picking on up until later this year. You'll find some normal recipes like gingersnaps and chocolate chip cookies, but the majority of the recipes are unique. I love how he gives variations to some of the ingredients as well as proper storage (how long it's good for and how to keep it). Some recipes would cost a fortune to make, especially ones that call for liquor that you don't keep on hand and wouldn't use again. David Lebovitz surely knows his desserts and the book itse

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 1, 2012

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