The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion

Overview

The acclaimed pastry chef’s long-awaited collection of stunning-to-behold yet simple-to-make desserts for every occasion.
Most of us don’t have the time to make dessert, and when we do, it is for holidays, birthdays, or a special brunch. Here, selected from his personal repertoire of five thousand recipes, are the eighty best desserts Bill Yosses has ever made, each tailored to our contemporary lives.The Perfect Finish is playfully organized by occasion: “I’ll Bring Dessert” ...

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Overview

The acclaimed pastry chef’s long-awaited collection of stunning-to-behold yet simple-to-make desserts for every occasion.
Most of us don’t have the time to make dessert, and when we do, it is for holidays, birthdays, or a special brunch. Here, selected from his personal repertoire of five thousand recipes, are the eighty best desserts Bill Yosses has ever made, each tailored to our contemporary lives.The Perfect Finish is playfully organized by occasion: “I’ll Bring Dessert” features recipes easy to pack for potlucks; “Straight from the Oven” includes fruit pies best served warm; and “Pick-Me-Ups” spotlights brownies and chocolate chip cookies that will brighten your day. For the adventurous, Bill groups his guaranteed-to-impress desserts—including his signature warm vanilla cake—in a chapter inspired from his days in one of Manhattan’s finest restaurants, Bouley. Bill also demonstrates technique and unfamiliar ingredients and explains how to store and transport desserts. This is a book for every taste and every experience level, with color pictures of nearly all the beautiful finished desserts.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Yosses, executive pastry chef at the White House, and Clark, a noted New York Times food columnist, showcase elegant, luscious desserts suitable for a variety of occasions from brunch to potlucks to fancy celebrations. Recipes are well-detailed and easy-to-follow, even for the novice, and potentially unfamiliar techniques or temperamental ingredients such as segmenting oranges, varieties of yeast, making great meringue, and how to avoid crystallizing caramel are highlighted. With flat and chewy chocolate chip cookies, blood orange squares, grand old-fashioned blueberry jelly rolls, and orange-scented olive oil cakes with fleur de sel, there is something for every palate. The authors include a section on restaurant desserts that can be made at home that includes warm molten vanilla cakes, butterscotch-dulce de leche pudding in teacups, and Bouley banana chocolate tart. They also include recipes for confectionaries such as cardamom nut butterballs, sandy pecan pralines, and coffee toffee. Each recipe lists special equipment needed, and there’s a handy baker’s minimum equipment list for those who want to increase their tool arsenal. Enhanced by more than 100 delectable color photos, this book is a must-have for all serious bakers and the only book those with a passing interest in baking will ever need. (June)
The New York Times Book Review
“The Perfect Finish passes my first test for a cookbook, which is: Does it make me daydream about the dinner party (or brunch) at which I’ll serve these recipes? In this case, the “yes!” came from the retro-fabulous Bouley banana-chocolate tart, which derives its cleverness from fruit caramelized with lime juice. Or maybe it was the creme-fraîche pancakes, the chocolate-caramel tart with sea salt or the chocolate-chunk cookies goosed with Nutella.... Their useful tips...make cooking from this book a reassuring experience, like having a fairy godmother in the kitchen. I hope the Obama girls are taking notes.”
Daniel Boulud
“In the world of dessert books, this one is worth buying. Bill’s creations deliver exceptional taste and are written for the home baker.”
Dan Barber
“For the past thirty years, Bill Yosses has gained a quiet, unsurpassed celebrity among chefs and pastry enthusiasts. The Perfect Finish is the summation of that career, and it’s the most impressive homage to baking I've seen in a long time. It’s beautiful—a testament to his flawless artistry. It’s practical—organized to suit both the spontaneous and the occasion-specific baker. And it’s wise—full of Bill’s unimpeachable skill and knowledge. It’s perfect, really—an accomplishment that would be remarkable, were it not so predictable.”
Alice Waters
“Bill Yosses knows how to rise to an occasion. If it is a State Dinner or a simple supper he knows exactly the sweet note it should end on. The Perfect Finish represents Bill’s generosity perfectly and shares with the reader a lifetime repertoire of clever tricks and techniques in the pastry kitchen.”
Thomas Keller
“I had the honor and pleasure of working with Bill Yosses many years ago as young chefs at the Polo Restaurant in New York City …needless to say, he has achieved so much since our early days together. His current work The Perfect Finish lives up to his reputation of being in the forefront in the world of pastry today. His interpretation of classic American desserts is timeless in its simplicity and execution.”
Christine Muhlke
…passes my first test for a cookbook, which is: Does it make me daydream about the dinner party (or brunch) at which I'll serve these recipes?…[Yosses's and Clark's] useful tips…make cooking from this book a reassuring experience, like having a fairy godmother in the kitchen.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393059533
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/7/2010
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 298,789
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Yosses has been a pastry chef for over thirty years. He has served apprenticeships in France and worked under chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller at the Polo Restaurant in New York City. He was executive pastry chef at Joseph Citarella in New York City and at the 4-star Bouley Restaurant and Bakery. He currently lives in Washington, DC, and is the executive pastry chef at the White House.

Melissa Clark writes a weekly column for the New York Times and is the author of many cookbooks. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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