Demolition Desserts

San Francisco has proved itself a hotbed of interesting pastry, the path to which was laid in part by Elizabeth Falkner, a spiky haired rebel of a pastry chef with a reputation for spiking her sweet with savory, and vice versa, and for cheeky dish titles (like “Waking Up in a City that Never Sleeps,” and “Battleship Potemkin,” named for the Sergei Eisenstein film, which certainly made more of an impression on Falkner than on the thousands of Film Before WWII students that sit through it each year). Her desserts at Citizen Cake are famous in San Francisco and beyond, and Demolition Desserts stays true to her character and style, with illustrations, gothic lettering, and occasionally playful layouts. The prose is written for home cooks, and there are plenty of baking basics, but the stars of the book are Falkner’s cleverly composed desserts, like “Tiramisushi” and “Lovelova,” with beautiful full-page photographs of each dish.