Spago Desserts

Spago Desserts

by Mary Bergin
     
 

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Mary Bergin's fabulous desserts have helped make Spago, winner of the 1994 James Beard Award for the best restaurant of the year, a landmark the world over. Now, in these pages, Bergin tells us her secrets. First, start with basic recipes: Chocolate Chiffon Cake, Buttermilk Cake, Cheesecake, Brioche, Shortcakes, Puff Pastry, and Pie Dough. Then, as Bergin shows us

Overview

Mary Bergin's fabulous desserts have helped make Spago, winner of the 1994 James Beard Award for the best restaurant of the year, a landmark the world over. Now, in these pages, Bergin tells us her secrets. First, start with basic recipes: Chocolate Chiffon Cake, Buttermilk Cake, Cheesecake, Brioche, Shortcakes, Puff Pastry, and Pie Dough. Then, as Bergin shows us, you can vary these basics to produce such wonders as Austrian Chocolate Cake, Lemon Buttermilk Cake, White Chocolate Rum Raisin Cheesecake, Apricot Rolls, Peach and Berry Cobbler, Apple Pear Tarte Tatin, Fresh Cherry Lattice Tart, and many, many more.

The unique ability of Mary Bergin and Judy Gethers, Wolfgang Puck's longtime collaborator, to break down even the most complex recipes into simple basics makes this book perfect not only for seasoned bakers, but also for enterprising novices. To aid beginners, the authors include an extensive glossary of ingredients, equipment, and techniques, as well as numerous practical illustrations that clarify and complement the written text. The instructions are clear and simple, replete with helpful tips and advice.

In Spago Desserts, you will find everything from Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies to Cherry Clafouti. Great Spago staples, such as the sumptuous Opera Cake, are intermixed with simple pleasures -- Brownies, Spago's Old-fashioned Apple Pie, muffins of all shapes and sizes -- and not-so-simple pleasures, such as Tiramisu, Fresh Berry Napoleon with Caramel Sauce, and Chocolate Truffles with Brandied Apricots. For those who wish to indulge less sinfully, the authors have also included a few superb fat-free recipes, such as Grapefruit Vodka Sorbet andStrawberries in Port Wine.

Bergin and Gethers have worked for years with Wolfgang Puck, Spago's chef and owner, and have mastered the rare blend of classical teaching and innovative spirit that have made Spago in Los Angeles and the new Spago in Las Vegas among the best restaurants in the world. Spago Desserts is a brilliant addition to the Spago line of cookbooks, and, like its predecessors, it is sure to become a modern classic. Now you can make these desserts, whether fat-free or sinfully delicious, at home, exactly as they are prepared in the Spago kitchens.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Bergin is the executive pastry chef at the Las Vegas branch of Wolfgang Puck's acclaimed Spago restaurant. With coauthor Gethers, a food writer, she presents the favorite Spago desserts, from Austrian Chocolate Cake to Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles. The authors have made a real effort to make even their most complicated recipes accessible to the home cook, with thoughtful explanations of various techniques, clear recipe directions, and substitutions or adaptations when necessary. Puck's cookbooks (most recently, Adventures in the Kitchen, LJ 12/91), like his restaurants, are popular, and this one from his pastry chef is likely to be too.
Barbara Jacobs
Disregard the trendy origins of these 144 desserts, because underneath the lemon curds, the brioche, and the strawberry bavarian creams lies a very interesting idea: that desserts can be layered, altered, and modified much like articles of clothing. Under the tutelage of pastry chef Bergin, of the Las Vegas branch of Spago restaurant, a chocolate chiffon cake becomes an Austrian chocolate cake, and a brioche is transformed into a sticky bun, apple bread pudding, or a ricotta fig tart. Both novel and traditional desserts appear with upscale variations; rather dry explanations of equipment, cooking terms, techniques, and ingredients are intended to reassure novice bakers that this is all just a piece of cake.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679422488
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/08/1994
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
7.72(w) x 9.59(h) x 1.24(d)

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Meet the Author

Since 1987, Mary Bergin has been head pastry chef at Spago, where her duties have included designing desserts for the late Irving "Swifty" Lazar's annual Oscar-night parties. In 1992, she moved to Las Vegas to open the new Spago restaurant there. She has appeared several times on ABC's Home Show and has contributed to various cookbooks, including Wolfgang Puck's Adventures in the Kitchen. Her recipes and desserts have been featured in Bon Appetit, the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, and on ABC's Good Morning America. She encourages her two children, Jackie and Anthony, to play an active role in tasting and experimenting in the kitchen.

Judy Gethers grew up in and around restaurants. Her family has owned Rather's, a landmark restaurant in New York City, since 1905. Her first cookbook was The World Famous Ratner's Meatless Cookbook. Since then, she has written The Fabulous Gourmet Food Processor Cookbook, Italian Country Cooking, and The Sandwich Book. Gethers cofounded Ma Cuisine, a cooking school associated with Ma Maison restaurant, and worked with Mark Peel, chef and owner of Campanile Restaurant, on his latest cookbook. She collaborated with Wolfgang Puck on his most recent cookbook, Adventures in the Kitchen, and is now working with him on a new book.

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