The Elements of Dessert / Edition 1


"The world of pastry rejoices; Francisco shows us once again that there is still much to say in this profession, and this book is an honest reflection of a person who does not lose sight of tradition, even when working from a contemporary and modern perspective. Perfection, technique, philosophy, purity, and—above all—a very personal aesthetic defines this work in all of its aspects."—Ferran and Albert Adriá Barcelona, Spain

"In The Elements of Dessert, Chef Migoya displays his skillful and learned approach to producing today's most innovative pastry. Included is a plethora of new techniques, new flavor combinations, reinterpretations of form, and forward-thinking design—overall, a pleasure to behold."—Enric Rovira owner, Enric Rovira Xocolates de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

"The Elements of Dessertis a work that goes well beyond techniques and recipes; it will help the reader understand how and why things work. The greatness of Chef Migoya is his ability to explain the complicated in a simple way. This is one of the most detailed, reliable, and honest books ever printed about dessert."—Olivier Fernández Director, EPGB (Escola de Pastisseria del Gremi de Barcelona—The Guild of Barcelona Pastry School), Barcelona, Spain

"Francisco Migoya has presented us with this compilation of the knowledge accumulated over decades, and distilled it with his brilliant eye. The Elements of Dessertwill be an indispensable book in the kitchens and libraries of gastronomes everywhere."—Andoni Luis Aduriz chef and owner, Mugaritz restaurant, Errenteria, Spain

"The Elements of Dessertis the book I searched for as a young cook, looking for answers and inspiration, and the book I will now turn to for the same reasons. Chef Migoya has created a powerful new tool for our trade and has a masterful way of explaining and presenting techniques and ideas."—Johnny Iuzzini pastry chef and head judge, Top Chef Just Desserts, New York, New York

"Every page makes you stop and think twice. Francisco Migoya's books always push the envelope on the most cutting-edge techniques and ingredient combinations. Behind the elegant plating and the simple organization, every recipe has great depth and is a great source of inspiration for chefs and serious cooks alike."—Dominique Ansel chef and owner, Dominique Ansel Bakery, New York, New York

"I knew of Francisco Migoya's work before I met him in person. He and his work are fully interconnected and in perfect balance: in him is an image of what he does, and his work shows us who he is. He is a great source of information and knowledge, and he will continue to delight us with his advice, techniques, recipes, and presentations. I want to thank you, Francisco, for what we have seen and for what we have yet to see."—Carles Mampel chef and owner, Bub Pastisseria, Barcelona, Spain

Winner of the 2014 IACP Cookbook Award for Professional Kitchens

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Without a doubt, the must-have gift for the serious baker, professional or aspiring pro-pastry chef on your holiday list is Francisco Migoya’s Elements of Dessert. How can I say that with such confidence? Two reasons: 1) Having seen the way other accomplished pastry chefs interact with Francisco Migoya at different industry events over the last three years, such as StarChefs and Top 10 Pastry Chef Awards–Migoya is clearly someone they admire and respect. And 2) Because none other than Michael Laiskonis, Creative Director of the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) and generally regarded as one of the top pastry chefs in the US told me

“Francisco Migoya is probaby the most important pastry chef in America right now”– high praise indeed!

Part pastry school textbook, part coffee table book, this is a monster 537 page volume that provides the “blueprints” for hundreds of different desserts in every dessert category. Aside from the recipes and guidelines for petite fours, pre-desserts, dessert buffets and cakes, the book also has many adventurous and fun plated dessert recipes, such as “Warm pandan leaf -infused caramelized cream, black sesame genoa bread, hibiscus glaze, popcorn shoot (all part of the same dessert).

The book truly covers all the bases. As the review on StarChefs, who recently named it one of the top books of 2012, notes:

“[the book] delves succinctly into the creaming method, the custard method, the time and place for a meringue, the proper approach to composed cheese courses…The starkly beautiful pictures of Migoya’s modernist creations are, so to speak, the icing on the intricately composed cake”

As I mentioned, Migoya is frequently sought after for his advice on both the technical and aesthetic aspects of pastry. Joseph Baker, a well-known pastry chef and a Pastry and Baking instructor at Le Cordon Blue in Dallas TX, who is often consulted on advanced baking issues himself, said this about Migoya and his book

“He [Migoya] is actually the reason I now teach. He shares his creations and improves the overall landscape of food. Chef Migoya is a true pioneer in our industry and his book, The Elements of Dessert, is a perfect guide to contemporary pastry… any Migoya book is a must have.”

One of his former students at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) echoed those sentiments:

“[Migoya] brings an intensity [to his work] that few of my other instructors could match in my time there. So much so that I was afraid of him for some time!” —Dessert Buzz

Even in a long career, it's never a bad idea to brush up on the basics, especially when it comes to pastry. The Elements of Dessert does just that, and no wonder. It's written by CIA Chef Instructor and International Chefs Congress Presenter Francisco Migoya, who delves succinctly into the creaming method, the custard method, the time and place for a meringue, the proper approach to composed cheese courses, and the various types of dough. Heck, it even has a short section on “the method for tasting food,” in case you were doing it wrong (hint: you might have been, as Migoya offers a spreadsheet on flavor compatibility and “frontal versus background flavors”). But it also offers hundreds of brilliantly confounding and innovative recipes, from plated desserts to mignardises and entremets and even dessert buffets. The starkly beautiful pictures of Migoya’s modernist creations are, so to speak, the icing on the intricately composed cake. by Nicholas Rummell —StarChefs

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118764657
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/12/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eTextbook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 544
  • File size: 127 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Francisco J. Migoya is a professor at The Culinary Institute of America, teaching the Café Operations class for the baking and pastry arts degree programs. He is also in charge of the Apple Pie Bakery Café, the CIA's busiest public restaurant operation. Before joining the CIA, he was executive pastry chef at Thomas Keller's The French Laundry, Bouchon Bakery, and Bouchon Bistro. He has also worked as a pastry chef at such New York City restaurants as Veritas, Ilo, and The River Café.

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering bachelor's and associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts, as well as certificate programs in Latin cuisines and wine and beverage studies. A network of more than 44,000 alumni has helped the CIA earn its reputation as the world's premier culinary college. The CIA, which also offers courses for professionals and food enthusiasts, as well as consulting services for the foodservice and hospitality industry, has campuses in Hyde Park, New York; St. Helena, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Singapore.

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Table of Contents



Ch1 The Basic Elements 1

Ch2 Pre-Desserts 105

Ch3 Plated Desserts 163

Ch4 Dessert Buffets 261

Ch5 Passed-Around Desserts 331

Ch6 Cakes (Entremets) 381

Ch7 Petits Fours (Mignardises) 449




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