Saturday, November 6, 2010

Review of the book: Ready for Dessert By David Lebovitz

As I promised,  this is the review of "Ready for Dessert" by David Lebovitz. It's really hard for me to read through the book without rushing into the kitchen to create something that I read about ^^.

The book starts with  sections about 2 of the most important things in making delicious desserts, the ingredients and the equipment without them, we can't make anythings. 
The ingredient section is a long list of the basic (and not basic, haha) things, like alcohol, baking powder, flour, butter, chocolate, and etc. I love the way that he talks about how to select the ingredients, because the most important thing you have to remember is choosing the one that you love to eat (or drink), not the one that is the most expensive. Plus in this section, you will find the tip and trick of handle the ingredient like melting and chopping the chocolate, how to toast the nut, and etc.
For the equipment section, the basic of the equipment lists and well, admit it it's a long list, haha. Even he try to tell us that we don't have to buy the most expensive but many of his suggestions are quite expensive, ^^".
But I don't think it's a bad thing to follow him, the equipment in the kitchen is like an investment, choose the good quality and they will last as long as you live, and if you get everything in his list (I'm still can't) you will be able to make a lot of different dessert. 
Even you don't have all of them you still can make many things, but you will need more adaptation.
For the recipe sections, the book starts with "Cake".
And when talk about cake, there are a lot to choose from this book, 29 varieties from chocolate cake, cupcake, layer cake, loaf cake to semifreddo ^^.
Most of the recipes are simple and straight forward, no complex technique require, most of them come with story (how the recipe created, come from or the trick to make it more delicious). I can see how much he loves chocolate, there are 6 of chocolate cake recipes in this section. And there are a lot of cake recipes which use fruits, like persimmon cake, Nectarine- Raspberry Up-side down Ginger bread or Peach-Mascarpone Semifredo, I think it's a good way to use fruit in baking.
Next section is Pies, Tarts, and Fruit Desserts
And when talk about fruit the most important thing is use the one in the season, and he has a lot of recipes for us to choose from, banana, lime, butternut squash, mixed berry, grape, apple, pear and etc., so you name it and you'll find the recipe here ^^.
I like the way he talks about the fruits, I feel that he has a respect for the nature, and yes the season which is a good thing to do and by following his way you will get a reward "the delicious desserts" for sure.
And what will you do when you need a lot of comfort, just turn to the next section, Custards, Soufflés, and puddings.
I think this section is a bit short only 16 recipes, but many of them look great, you can choose from Coffee-caramel Custards, Chocolate Pots de Crème, Chocolate mousse, Crème Brûlée, Apricot Soufflés, Chocolate-Caramel Soufflé, Creamy Rice Pudding and etc. It's not to much to choose but I think they can give us a lot of comfort ^^.

Now, comes one of my favorite section, the Frozen Desserts
If you still hesitated about buying his other book on ice cream,(Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments), this section will give you a lot of delicious ice cream recipe too (I already got the ice cream book and try many recipes, they are great, you can count on him when talking about the ice cream). 
There are 32 recipes in this section (I think he really love it, haha), from the basic Vanilla ice cream, Chocolate- Coconut Sherbet, Wine grape Sorbet to Frozen caramel mousse, Frozen Sabayon and Baked Alaska.

For many people, good desserts mean simple delicious cookies and well this section is for you, Cookies and Candies section.
25 recipes of the cookie and 5 recipes of candy, well, I think for home bake it's quite good. I already made Peanut Butter Cookie, and it's yummy. 
I still want to try many recipes in this section, Chocolate chocolate-chip cookies, Chocolate chip cookies, Black and White cookies, Brown sugar-pecan shortbread, Orange-poppy seed sandwich cookies, Green tea Financier (I love green tea), and etc. So, I don't know how you feel but for me, I really really love this section!

For the last section, it's very important section, Basics, Sauces, and Preserves section.
36 recipes of basic things, like pie and tart dough, Pâte à Choux, sponge cake, frangipane, pastry cream, 13 kinds of sauce, candied fruits, jam and etc.
I really believe that the most important thing for making better desserts is really know how to make the basic. When you know the basic, it acts like a key that will open your world to imagination, you will be able to mix and match and making your own and original recipe that suit your taste ^^.

Most of the recipes are tempting, but the down side is many of them doesn't come with photo, so for anyone, who love to see the picture before following the recipe, will be disappointed. But for the people who love to read, this book is great, he is a real story teller, and I can see his passion about desserts from his words. So, if you ask me about this book, I have to say "I love it" and hope you will love it too.

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