Dessert FourPlay: Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef

Dessert FourPlay: Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef

3.6 13
by Johnny Iuzzini, Roy Finamore
     
 

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Consider the strawberry: its familiar flavor and texture; its fresh, sweet smell. Now imagine the same fruit distilled and carbonated for a refreshing soda, slow-roasted for a reinvented strawberry shortcake, made into a creamy strawberry ice cream and a chewy strawberry leather, and combined with coconut cream and crisp chocolate pastry. Alone, each dessert is a… See more details below

Overview

Consider the strawberry: its familiar flavor and texture; its fresh, sweet smell. Now imagine the same fruit distilled and carbonated for a refreshing soda, slow-roasted for a reinvented strawberry shortcake, made into a creamy strawberry ice cream and a chewy strawberry leather, and combined with coconut cream and crisp chocolate pastry. Alone, each dessert is a taste of paradise, but together this “fourplay,” or tasting, created by Johnny Iuzzini, superstar pastry chef of the celebrated four-star restaurant Jean Georges in New York, is a sophisticated explosion of a familiar flavor that begins with the taste of strawberry rich on your tongue and ends with an effervescent tingle in your nose.

Far from the conventional slice of cake at the end of a meal, Johnny’s seasonal creations—four mini desserts in a quartet of complementary flavors and textures—are a culinary adventure. In Dessert FourPlay, he shares his secrets and inspirations, delivering standout recipes for incredible desserts that can be served alone or combined into his signature fourplay groupings, creating the perfect sweet finale for any meal.

With the home cook in mind, Johnny offers tips on simplifying professional recipes and provides basic recipes for transcendent cakes, cookies, tuiles, ice creams, sorbets, granités, and more. These building blocks can be used to create magnificent multifaceted desserts, or they can be perfect desserts by themselves. Some recipes have surprising versatility: the shiny smooth chocolate glaze Johnny uses to ice cakes doubles as the ultimate hot fudge sauce; a lemony madeleine batter becomes a layer in a cake.

Iuzzini pairs cool with hot, crispy with creamy, sweet with spicy, and the expected—chocolate, strawberries, and cinnamon—with the unexpected—chiles, beets, and chocolatey puffs. The result: desserts that refresh, inspire, and satisfy beyond expectations. Dessert FourPlay invigorates all the senses and inspires home cooks to create innovative desserts of their own.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The first time I tasted Johnny’s creations, the profusion of delicious flavors in familiar and unfamiliar forms was like nothing I'd ever experienced in a dessert course. In this long-awaited book, Johnny shares the thinking, the cutting-edge techniques, and the flexible recipes that make his approach to the end of the meal so fresh and engaging.”
—Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking

Dessert FourPlay is as exciting as it is appealing, instructive, and generous. Each dessert is a tour de force of imagination and I’m crazy about the section called Building Blocks, which has dozens of simple recipes for ice cream, cookies, cakes, and sauces to mix-and-match.”
—Dorie Greenspan, author of Baking from My Home to Yours

“Johnny Iuzzini is one of the most talented pastry chefs in America. He is experimental and creative, but his originality and wit are carefully balanced by his classic pastry training. Johnny’s first book, Dessert FourPlay, will be a great inspiration for anyone who has a love of sweets.”
—Daniel Boulud, chef/restaurateur

“From the first day I met him, I knew that Johnny would make a significant contribution to the pastry world. In Dessert FourPlay, you can sample some of his four-star desserts and feel like a rockstar while making them. Johnny's playfulness and desire to push limits in the kitchen are an inspiration to anyone who loves to create.”
—François Payard, chef/owner of Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro and author of Chocolate Epiphany

“Johnny Iuzzini is a serious sugar freak and his enthusiasm comes through on every page. Here’s a guy who can whip up any classic dessert and also show you a cutting-edge technique for making flourless doughnuts. Johnny has always stayed ahead of the curve, and this book proves it.”
—Wylie Dufresne, chef/owner of WD-50

“Y'all, every recipe in this book is deliciously decadent. I just love a man who knows his way around some chocolate!”
—Paula Deen, Food Network host and bestselling cookbook author

“Johnny’s desserts are a mix of tradition, science, humor, and art that are beautifully balanced in his quartets. Be prepared for your senses to explode; expect nothing less.”
—Jean Georges Vongerichten, chef/restaurateur

“Dessert FourPlay is a blockbuster cookbook bursting with mouthwatering recipes, innovative ideas, and breathtaking photos. Many recipes have ‘Make it Simpler’ suggestions that enable the home cook to prepare four-star desserts like a pro. A stunning edition.”
—Carole Walter, author of Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More

“With this impressive collection of seasonal recipes, Johnny Iuzzini reveals his versatility not only with classic techniques, but also with contemporary ideas. He is truly among the country's premier pastry chefs.”
—Eric Ripert, chef/co-owner of Le Bernardin


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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307351371
Publisher:
Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony
Publication date:
12/30/2008
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
510,317
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Dessert FourPlay

Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef
By Johnny Iuzzini

Clarkson Potter

Copyright © 2008 Johnny Iuzzini
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780307351371

Johnny Iuzzini’s Chocolate Soup
Serves 8 on its own or 16 as part of a FourPlay

When I was growing up, chocolate milk was a treat, and the chocolate milk that ended up in a bowl of Cocoa Puffs when I had those for breakfast was the biggest treat of all. This soup is chocolate milk made cool and grown up, with quality ingredients and a contrast of textures. It reminds me of home.

For the Cocoa Puffs:

   • 8 ounces (250 g) milk chocolate (preferably Valrhona Jivara 40% cacao), chopped
   • 1 cup (7 g) Cocoa Puffs


Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, or melt in a double boiler. Roll the Cocoa Puffs in the chocolate, coating them completely. Lift them out with a fork, letting the excess chocolate drip off, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet to set. Store in a cool place.

For the Chocolate Soup (makes about 4 1/2 cups):

   • 4 cups (960 g) milk
   • 4 teaspoons (7 g) juniper berries, crushed in a mortar or coarsely ground in a spice grinder
   • 9 ounces (150 g) bittersweet chocolate (preferably Valrhona Araguani 72% cacao), finely chopped


Put 1 cup of the milk in a small saucepan with the juniper berries. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and let the juniper infuse for 25 minutes. Have the chopped chocolate ready in a heatproof bowl, and, remember, the finer you’ve chopped the chocolate, the better.

Bring the milk back to a boil, then strain into a measuring cup. Add some of the remaining 3 cups milk, if needed, to make 1 cup. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate, let it sit for a moment, then whisk to melt the chocolate and make an emulsion.

Pour in the rest of the cold milk, and froth the soup with an immersion blender. Transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

For the Devon Foam:

   • 2/3 cup heavy cream
   • 1/2 cup Devon cream (available at gourmet markets and specialty stores)
   • 1/2 cup milk, plus additional if needed


Whisk the heavy cream and Devon cream together in a bowl until thick. Whisk in the milk, then froth with an immersion blender (add additional milk if you need to). Transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

To Serve:

Thin the chocolate soup with some cold milk if it’s too thick to sip, and froth it again with an immersion blender.

Divide the soup among sixteen small glasses (for tasting portions) or among eight coffee cups. Drop in a few of the Cocoa Puffs, then spoon on a layer of the Devon foam. Top with a few more Cocoa Puffs.

Continues...

Excerpted from Dessert FourPlay by Johnny Iuzzini Copyright © 2008 by Johnny Iuzzini. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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