Carole Bloome
Bite-Size Desserts: Creating Mini Sweet Treats, From Cupcakes and Cobblers to Custards and Cookies
Apr 2009
Wiley, John & Sons

Master baker Carole Bloome’s Bite-Size Desserts is the go-to resource for any serious baker craving a variety of miniaturized dessert options. Bite-Size is stocked with elegantly simple recipes that are especially suited to a conceptually refined dessert course. Stocked with over ninety delicately decadent dessert recipes, Bite-Size boasts simple ingredient lists and gorgeous visuals to inspire the seasoned baker. So whether you’re after richly simple fare like “Green Tea Truffles” or something more complex like “Mocha Souffles with Cacao Nib Whipped Cream,” Bloome’s Bite-Size has an itsy-bitsy recipe that’s perfect for your menu.

Peter P. Greweling
Chocolates and Confections
Jan 2010
John Wiley & Sons

The splendor of a candy store window comes home in this approachable guide to the techniques and tools of the confectionary. Master Baker Peter Greweling applies his years of experience in and out of the kitchen (as a professor of Pastry Arts at the C.I.A.) to this comprehensive, but still user-friendly resource. With an introduction on the equipment and ingredients of the confectioner’s kitchen and chapters on everything from the “Master Techniques” to “Brittles, Toffees, and Taffies” to “Fudge, Fondant, and Pralines,” Chocolates and Confections could easily outfit any kitchen for the serious—and seriously sweet—business of candy production.

Julie Whittingham
50 Ways to Take the Junk Out of Junk Food : Quick and Healthy Treats to Make with Your Kids
Nov 2003
Globe Pequot Press

A collection of 50 recipes for snacks and treats that are nutritious and simple enough to be prepared in 15 minutes or less. This book offers tasty (even to kids!) alternatives to the sugar- and fat-rich snacks that nutritionists tell us form far too large a part of the diets of many American children. It provides creative ideas to reverse the unhealthy diet habits of kids who may suffer from obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, mood swings, and tooth decay. These recipes are fun, simple, and fast, and can be the start of a new tradition in family healthy eating.

Pascale Le Draoulec
American Pie : Slices of American Life (and Pie) from America's Back Roads
Mar 2003
HarperCollins Publishers

Crossing class and color lines, and spanning every state and variety of pie in the union (from Montana Huckleberry to Pennsylvania Shoo-Fly), the author discovered pie, real, homemade pie, has meaning for all of us. But in today's treadmill take-out world, our fast food nation, does pie still have a place? This book will entertain as it answers this question. And, it includes 25 recipes collected on this journey.

Marcianne Miller
Artful Cupcake : Baking & Decorating Delicious Indulgences
Mar 2004
Lark Books NC

Tempting topping, delicious cake, and a spectacular decoration to complete the pretty picture: that's what makes a cupcake such a perfect delight-and why these 32 recipes will please young and old. These recipes are relatively easy to make, and use simple, readily available ingredients. The pages brim with helpful baking advice, including tips on incorporating nuts, working with decorative sugars, and even creating your own pastry bag.

Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, Photographs by Tina Rupp
Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented
Oct 2010
Stewart, Tabori, & Chang

Whatever Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito did in their former days jobs, it’s clear they’re serious about sweets. And it’s not just because they’re wearing ties and overly serious expressions in the early pages of Baked Explorations, their second literary endeavor under the auspices of Baked. The duo are regular pastry evangelists, traveling the country in search of “pockets of regionalism in an increasingly homogeneous America,” searching for the written history of American baking, whether it’s tucked away in cookbooks, kitchen drawers or any of the small sweet shops scattered across America. Whether they’re unearthing forgotten classics of old like the Whoopie Pies or reconfiguring much-abused classics like the Chiffon Pie or Grasshopper Sundae, their aim with this ample, deliciously photographed cookbook is simple: to (re)introduce the national palate to the tender-crumbed, cream-whipped, chocolate-chipped staples of American dessert. It’s like getting a fresh baked cookie from Grandma, except it’s two grown men with a serious set of sweet teeth. In an age rich with pastry nostalgia, home and professional cooks alike should get, well, Baked.

Lisa Yockelson
Baking by Flavor
Feb 2002
Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated

2003 IACP Award Winner - Bread and Baking Category; Flavor is the very essence of fine baking, the source of wonderful tastes and aromas that tempt the palate and delight the senses. In this volume, Lisa Yockelson shares flavor-boosting secrets that can make virtually any recipe burst with new vigor and freshness. This book reveals concepts and techniques for using eighteen basic ingredients--including chocolate, vanilla, apricot, and lemon--to "pyramid" flavor, layer by delicious layer.

Greg Patent
Baking in America : Traditional and Contemporary Favorites from the Past 200 Years
Nov 2002
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Taking as his starting point 1796, the year the first American cookbook was published, Greg Patent, an accomplished baker, has mined sources from across the country for exemplary baking recipes by and for home cooks. Perusing old cookbooks, journals, and handwritten diaries from libraries and private archives, he has skillfully recreated treasured recipes or used them as inspiration for his own thoroughly up-to-date creations.

Alice Medrich
Bittersweet : Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate
Nov 2003

2004 IACP Cookbook of the Year; 2004 IACP Award Winner for Single Subject Category; The time when home bakers had only one choice of baking chocolate is long passed. Today, we have an entire new generation of chocolates to choose from: chocolates with less sugar, more cocoa bean solids, and definitely more flavor. These "new chocolates"--called percentage chocolates--beg for the creation of new recipes and a fresh take on the classics. With Bittersweet, the "First Lady of Chocolate" gives the new-generation chocolates and chocolate nibs--the ground-up roasted hulls of cocoa beans that are the new chocolate chip--a starring role.

Brooks Headley with Chris Cechin-De La Rosa
Brooks Headley's Fancy Desserts
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Bev Shaffer
Brownies to Die For!: The Complete Guide for Brownie Lovers
Apr 2006
Pelican Publishing

Acclaimed chef, baker and teacher Bev Shaffer is also an avid brownie lover and in her Complete Guide for Brownie Lovers she provides a gigantic compendium of all things brownie. After a brief history of brownies, Shaffer divides her chapters by brownie type (e.g. “Classic Brownies: New and Old Favorites,” “Just a Little Fruity,” “White Chocolate Versions”) and ends with chapters on pairings, toppings, ingredient preferences, and sourcing information. The book is extremely user friendly and offers recipes that span the gamut from chewy banana brownies to a sophisticated but chipotle-flecked fudge brownie. Whether the reader wants to elevate a traditional brownie with upscale presentation or find the perfect ingredient to add an extra layer of texture, richness, or spice to a favorite recipe, Shaffer has the brownie recipe to match.

Lauren Chattman
Cake Keeper Cakes 100 Simple Recipes for Extraordinary Bundt Cakes, Pound Cakes, Snacking Cakes, and Other Good-to-the-Last Crumb Treats
Oct 2009

Former apprentice to Francois Payard at New York’s Daniel and pastry chef at Easthampton’s beloved Nick & Toni’s, Chef Lauren Chattman is a chef with serious credentials – and a serious love of cake. In this ode to cakes old and new, chef Chattman provides recipes for cakes worthy of space in the precious countertop “cake keeper.” Her cakes, from “Neoclassic Gingerbread” to “Pear Cake with Sea-Salted Caramel Sauce,” are suited to all occasions by their varying levels of intricacy, the use of modern updates, and bold flavor combinations that incorporate ethnic influences. Chattman provides a basic introduction to the tools, techniques, and ingredients common to cake baking as well as a few valuable personal tips, ensuring that every serious reader can get as serious about cake as Chattman herself.

Alice Waters
Chez Panisse Desserts
Nov 1994
Random House Publishing Group

Lindsey Shere, pastry chef at Chez Panisse since 1971, shares recipes for basic pastries, cookies, cakes, and creams grouped around their dominant ingredient--from apples and berries to dried fruits, chocolate, wine, and spirits. The subtle, surprising results complement seasonal menus. Color photos.

Susie Norris
Chocolate Bliss Sensuous Recipes, Spa Treatments, and Other Divine Indulgences
Oct 2009
Ten Speed Press

Pastry chef, instructor, TV producer, chocolatier, cookbook author and general guru of all things chocolate Susie Norris delivers a gem of a book dedicated to the culture and cuisine her favorite subject. Not only does Norris provide chocolate recipes to sate even the most demanding choco-philes, she offers an introduction to the world of chocolate that opens up the much-loved, if oft underestimated, ingredient to a wider appreciation. Norris wants her reader to get to know chocolate on a more intimate level, whether that reader is pastry chef, fellow chocolatier, or mere enthusiast; she offers instructions on setting up a “tasting flight” for chocolate after the fashion of wine and provides lists of online resources useful for purchasing and further education. In addition to a wealth of savory and sweet recipes featuring chocolate, Norris’ book delves into the varieties, origins, and uses of chocolate, as well as its health benefits, gift-giving potential, and topical quotes from fellow chocolate lovers.

Michele Urvater
Chocolate Cake : 150 Recipes from Simple to Sublime
Oct 2001
Broadway Books

From the trendiest destination restaurants to home kitchens all over the country, the popularity of chocolate cake never wanes. Now virtually every favorite rendition of this beloved dessert is available in one luscious cookbook. Join noted author and pastry chef Michele Urvater as she reveals the secrets of creating cakes that live up to your richest fantasies.

Marcel Desaulniers
Death By Chocolate, Revised and Expanded
Oct 2003

Ten years after its original publication, Death by Chocolate remains the ultimate chocolate dessert cookbook. It won the James Beard Award, inspired a television show, and has sold over 100,000 copies. All of the original mouthwatering recipes remain, now supplemented by many new recipes carefully crafted by master chef Marcel Desaulniers.

Elizabeth Falkner
Demolition Desserts
Sep 2007
Ten Speed Press

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.

Jacques Torres
Dessert Circus:Extraordinary Desserts You Can Make at Home
Jan 1998
HarperCollins Publishers

Jacques Torres explains it all in clear, plain language, like a teacher at your side. Revel in Homemade Peanut Butterc Cups. How about Decorative Shortbread Cookies or Old-fashioned Macaroons? But that's not all. Jacques has included recipes for all his signature desserts. Every recipe is accompanied by a color photograph of the finished dessert and step-by-step photographs where appropriate.

Pamela Sheldon-Johns
Gelato! Italian Ice Creams, Sorbetti and Granite
May 2008
Ten Speed Press

With the new ice cream machines available and Sheldon-John's detailed instructions and 60 recipes, gelato lovers will finally be able to satisfy their craving for Italy's most beloved dessert without even leaving home. Lower in fat than American-style ice cream and easier to make, homemade gelato is the perfect antidote for those who find themselves longing for the taste of summer in Italy.

Kim Boyce with Amy Scattergood
Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours
Mar 2010
Stewart, Tabori, & Chang

Kim Boyce’s revelatory cookbook on whole grains pairs a wide range of whole grain flours by flavor profiles and textures to appropriate (and tempting) recipes. Amaranth, for example, “pairs very well with strong-flavored sweeteners like honey … as they temper the boldness of the flour without masking its flavor.” The recipes that follow meld the sophisticated palates of seasoned professionals (Boyce counts Nancy Silverton and Sherri Yard among her mentors) with a maternal hominess. She elevates simple dishes like muffins, pancakes, and cookies with unusual flavor profiles—waffles are spiced with ginger, carrot, orange, and corn-flour; bran muffins enlivened by amaranth, molasses, and dried fruit. Whether your goal is to broaden the flavor range of your pastry program or lure a more health-minded customer base, Boyce’s insights on whole-grain pastry will be a great asset.

Nadia Roden
Granita Magic : Rediscovering the Pleasure of Ices in more than 50 Grown-Up Recipes
Jun 2003
Artisan Publishers

Granita Magic is a collection of innovative sweet and savory sensations that can be made with just a fork, a saucepan, and a little spare space in the freezer. And they can be served at any time of the day. Light, easy, flavor-intense granitas are a great way to begin, refresh, or end any meal. Here's the first book of recipes for this glittering icy treat.

Carole Walter
Great Cookies : Secrets to Sensational Sweets
Nov 2003
Crown Publishing Group

2004 IACP Award Winner for Bread, Other Baking and Sweets Category; Carole Walter, the author of the award-winning Great Cakes and Great Pies and Tarts, now draws on her skills as a master baker and the knowledge she's gained through years of teaching to help novices and old-hands alike bake the perfect cookie every time. Great Cookies is the ultimate compendium of everyone's favorite treat, packed with 200 incomparable recipes, 150 tantalizing full-color photographs, and expert tips and techniques.

Evelyn Tribole
Healthy Homestyle Desserts: 150 Fabulous Treats with a Fraction of the Fat and Calories
Oct 1996
Penguin Group (USA)

Award winning nutritionist Evelyn Tribole expertly trims the calories and fat from over 150 scrumptious desserts. A nutritional scorecard gives before- and -after information on calories, fat, and cholesterol; flavor and health tips are sprinkled throughout; and helpful indexes categorize recipes according to fat and calorie content. In the words of the editor in chief of Shape magazine, "Best of all, Evelyn does not compromise in the taste department". As proof, her low fat muffins placed second out of seventy in a Washington Post taste test.

Paula Figoni
How Baking Works, Third Edition
Dec 2010
J. Wiley & Sons

Most professional pastry chefs and bakers are well aware of the idiosyncrasies and necessary exactitude of their chosen craft. The same ingredients, the same measurements, and the same methods might yield different results in different kitchens, with different equipment, at different altitudes, or on different days. But Paula Figoni is here to help. She’s been here, in fact, a food scientists and associate professor at the International Baking and Pastry Institute at the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University, for years. And this is her third edition of How Baking Works which, despite its title, is far from a beginner’s primer on the basics of the bakeshop. Figoni delves into the technical aspects of baking, from the logic behind the various applications and kinds of baking powder to more esoteric food science like Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (basically a measurement of a food’s antioxidant activity). Whether she’s delving into the chemical structure of a starch molecule or offering techniques to guarantee the highest quality low-fat product for your customer, Figoni is full of practical, professional advice for the contemporary, chemistry-savvy kitchen.

Regan Daley
In the Sweet Kitchen : The Definitive Guide to the Baker's Pantry & Craft
Sep 2001
Artisan Publishers

2001 IACP Cookbook of the Year; This professional-quality, 704-page reference was singled out by the International Association of Culinary Professionals as the best cookbook of the year, in addition to being chosen as the best book of its category (Bread, Other Baking and Sweets).

Andrew Garrison Shotts
Making Artisan Chocolates: Flavor-Infused Chocolates, Truffles, and Confections
Jan 2010
Quarry Books

Formerly a pastry chef in New York City, Anrew Garrison Shotts currently runs the prolific Garrison Chocolates, a confectionary company that creates new flavor combinations five times a year. In Making Artisan Chocolates, this authoritative candy man brings the fine art of the chocolate confectionary to the uninitiated. Garrison Shotts outfits his reader from the ground up, with equipment recommendations, a run down of key ingredients, and a program generally meant to inspire creativity and ownership of the process. For a kitchen looking to incorporate house-made truffles or a chef looking for the best resource for chocolate-making at home, Making Artisan Chocolates is a serious book for serious chocolate-lovers.

Christina Tosi
Milk: Momofuku Milk Bar
Oct 2011
Clarkson Potter

Milk is like the sweet cookbook complement to the spice (and sass?) of David Chang’s Momofuku empire. Put together by Christina Tosi, the genius behind Momofuku’s smartly off-brand brand of nostalgic treats, the book teems with recipes (and mouthwatering pictures) for things like “Red Velvet Ice Cream,” “Cinnamon Bun Pie,” and, oh yeah, “Cornflake-Chocolate-Chip-Marshmallow Cookies.” Tosi isn’t just on a nostalgia kick; her recipes are an answer (the correct answer) to the deep-seated American hunger for classic flavors done up with exquisite technique—ideally with no regard for the prospect of overindulgence. Tosi shares her pastry prowess with a “Techniques” section designed to not only help fellow chefs and ambitious home cooks recreate the specific, crave-worthy taste and texture of her treats, but also to get them into the habit of best Milk Bar practices (gelatin in ice cream, scraps-foraging, and a pervasive policy of no-sifting). The bonus? Work your way through the book, done up in the “real talk” style of Momofuku’s work-hard-play-hard professionalism, and you’ll be one of the gang—a certifiable “hardbody” ready for battle in the bakery.

Albert Adria
Natura: elBulli Desserts
Oct 2009

Natura features portraits of organic, otherworldly pastry landscapes, works of textural and visual art created by former elBulli pastry chef Albert Adrià. Starting with Snow cristal, created in 2003 to honor visiting Japanese restaurateurs the Hishidas, Adria has compiled years of creativity into this homage to the craft of pastry. “It is not my intention for Natura to be a style or line of work for professionals to find inspiration in,” says Adrià in the book’s afterword. “My only aim,” he insists, “is to show the beauty of this trade.” But inspiration seems inevitable when perusing the pages of Natura, with its detailed, close-up photographs of Adrià’s freeform, nature-mimicking creations. Composed in the catalogue style of the elBulli yearbook, Natura focuses on 49 desserts—or morphs, as they are called at elBulli—born out of Adrià’s unchained, fertile imagination. A DVD contains recipes for every morph and in the afterword Adrià describes his experience with the main techniques. Whether he’s using dehydrated egg powder and a “minted” water cloud to make an ethereal “moss” or cocoa streusel powder to coat and flavor plain cookie crumbs for a vividly realistic “volcanic earth,” Adrià pushes the boundaries of pastry texture, flavor, and composition. Natura at once celebrates and exemplifies the unbounded potential of the craft of pastry.

Jackie Sheehan & Betsy Wray
Pillsbury Healthy Baking
Dec 1994
Viking Penguin

In Healthy Baking , the Pillsbury bakers provide more than 200 lower -fat versions of favorite home-made foods. Elegant sweets and breads for entertaining, special holiday confections, desserts for all occasions, and after- school snacks are all here. In addition to the mouthwatering recipes- all triple tested in the Pillsbury kitchens-homebakers will reap the most up-to-date nutrition information, including dietary exchanges for every recipe and "Health Notes" that clarify misunderstandings about health and diet.

Wayne Gisslen, Mary Ellen Griffin, Le Cordon Bleu
Professional Baking , 4th Edition
Mar 2004
Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated

The classic professional baking reference—now completely revised and updated This Fourth Edition of the 2002 IACP Cookbook Award Winner for Best Technical/Reference gives professional and home bakers peerless up-to-date coverage of the theory and practice of baking. Keeping pace with current trends in the field, the new edition includes new chapters on artisan breads and baking and pastry equipment, plus 125 new color photographs and 50 extra illustrations showcasing more procedures and finished dishes. Complete with more than 750 classic and creative recipes to explore—including 150 from Le Cordon Bleu—Professional Baking offers an excellent foundation for mastering the art and craft of baking.

Alice Medrich
Pure Dessert: True Flavors, Inspiring Ingredients, and Simple Recipes
Jan 2007

The emphasis is on flavor in this collection of “simple, ingredient-driven recipes” made from “fresh, artisanal, organic, natural, or otherwise distinguished ‘real’ ingredients.” You won’t find any frosted, sweet-enough-to-rot-your-teeth creations here, but the results of these recipes will be delicious, inventive, and more than enough to impress any guest. How could you go wrong with a Milk Chocolate Sorbet or a Plum and Almond Tart? With the full-color photographs, original suggestions and advice, you will be trading in your store-bought frosting for a jar of honey in no time.

Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson
Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More
Jan 2010
Ten Speed Press

Whether it’s the bushels of summer peaches and strawberries filling farmers market stalls, Autumn’s bountiful apples and pears, or winter’s preserved berries and citrus, there’s never a shortage of sweet, sumptuous fruit deserving of the right crumbly, buttery crust. And with Rustic Fruit Desserts, chefs Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson provide a wealth of traditional options, from the Brown Betty to the lesser-known—awkwardly named—Grunts and Buckles of yesteryear. But Schreiber and Richardson aren’t writing a historical cookbook. Rustic Fruit Desserts defines and showcases the potential of these “old timey” preparations with serious emphasis on quality and modern baking practices. Recipes are divided seasonally, with recommendations and descriptions for the best seasonal produce. And helpful Kitchen Hints, versatile recipes, and creative ingredient combinations make this a valuable resource for the committed baker, especially one who hasn’t yet tested their skills on a classic pandowdy.

Sherry Yard
Secrets of Baking : Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts
Nov 2003
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

2004 James Beard Award Winner for Baking; 2004 IACP Award Nominee for First Book: Julia Child Award; Secrets of Baking is a comprehensive primer that guides the cook through the world of baked goods and other desserts, from time-honored classics of the French patisserie to the inspired and fanciful creations that made Spago the famous restaurant it is today. At the same time, it advances a radically new understanding of these recipes, one that will give the baker greater flexibility and confidence in the kitchen.

Donna Pliner Rodnitzky
Slim Smoothies: Over 130 Healthy and Energizing Recipes Without All the calories
Jan 2003
Random House Inc.

Energizing, delicious, and low-cal frozen delights for smoothie devotees who are watching their calorie intake--and anyone looking for a super-healthful, delicious treat.

Johnny Iuzzini with Wes Martin
Sugar Rush: Master Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Sweet Baking
Clarkson Potter
Michel Richard
Sweet Magic: Easy Recipes for Delectable Desserts
Nov 2010
Harper Collins Publishers

Although his latest cookbook may advertise itself as a housewife’s companion, Michael Richard pays homage to precision and technique with every recipe. To say the recipes are easy is not to say that they are simple: crème brulée and Galette des Rois appear in all their glory. The recipes are “easy” because of the assertive and clear directions provided by Richard, who also updates classics—like the “Chocolate Saint-Honore Lulu,” which adds a chocolate glaze to the Parisian favorite—and introduces bold flavor profiles found in the dishes like “Corn Cookies with a Smidgen of Curry.” Coupled with simple line drawings of the dishes that evoke Saint Exupery’s Le Petit Prince, Sweet Magic: Easy Recipes for Delectable Desserts is an asset to the kitchen professional and amateur baker of lazy Sundays, thumbing through her favorite recipes.

Edward Notter, Photographs by Joe Brooks and Lucy Schaeffer
The Art of the Chocolatier: From Classic Confections to Sensational Showpieces
Jan 2011
John Wiley & Sons

Master chocolatier Edward Notter’s got an embarrassment of pastry competition gold medals and a pastry school to his name (literally—it’s the Notter School of Pastry Arts). Add to that his 35 years in the business, the admiration of his peers, and his latest effort, the seminal The Art of the Chocolatier, and you’ve got a standard-bearer in the pastry and confectionary arts. A proven pastry maven, as comfortable with a classic dessert as a sugar showpiece, he’s known industry-wide for his mastery of chocolate, and here he shares his extensive knowledge with passion and precision. Notter’s got everything you want to know about all level of techniques, from enrobing and tempering methods to creating transfer sheets and texturing molded shapes; his expertise ranges from “ganache troubleshooting” to creating chocolate tubes by hand. And that’s the beauty of the book—made manifest in the luscious photography of Joe Brooks and Lucy Schaeffer—it’s chocolate from A to Z, clean, precise, impeccably organized. So whether you want to craft the perfect truffle, get comfortable with gelatin molds, or need some aesthetic or structural pointers for a chocolate showpiece, Notter’s got you covered. Or, should we say, enrobed.

Robert Wemischner
The Dessert Architect
Jan 2010
Delmar, Cengage Learning

Self described “peripatetic pastry chef” Robert Wemischner has worn many hats in his career: itinerant food writer, gourmet retailer, and instructor in baking and pastry at LA Trade Tech for over 18 years. And with regular contributions to Food Arts and Pastry Art and Design, Wemischner rounds out his profile as one of the more prolific and generous pastry experts in the country. For those who can’t reach his classrooms in Los Angeles comes The Dessert Architect, the crystallization of Wemischner’s extensive knowledge and deeply held respect for the ingredients, techniques, and compositional beauty of the pastry arts. The pastry chef, says Wemischner, “is a composer and conductor, creator and presenter,” who must have both knowledge of and control over the elements of his craft. In his new book, Wemischner breaks down those elements with meticulous care, from the basic components of flavor and palate development to elaborate plating guidelines. Thoughtful questions, instructive recipe guidelines, and comments from chefs around the country make the book an invaluable resource to the cook or pastry chef looking to strengthen his or her ownership of the craft.

Maricel E. Presilla
The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Cacao with Recipes
Nov 2009
Ten Speed Press

With a background in cultural anthropology and a native familiarity with cacao production, Maricel Presilla brings both an expert’s authority and a life’s experience to this comprehensive guide to chocolate. Combining its rich cultural history with its evolution through the ranks of modern production, Presilla makes chocolate as we know it a full-fledged centerpiece for the culinary library. Especially in an age of origin-conscious cooking, Presilla’s discussion of cacao farming, including its genetic varieties and agricultural prospects, provides an invaluable link between the chef or pastry chef and his or her cacao source. And a further discussion of cacao’s many flavors and the influences that ultimately affect the finished product will further educate the chef on how to choose from among the increasing variety of single-origin and single-variety chocolates available in the marketplace. Presilla provides recipes that span the gamut from updated Mayan Kekchi Cacao-Chile Balls to Valencian-inspired Chilled Cacao-Almond Horchata, describing the impact and usage of the particular chocolate in each preparation. And a professional glossary and resource index in the back of the book allow chefs to source cacao products to suit their particular culinary needs.

Maria McBride-Mellinger
The Perfect Wedding
Jan 1997
HarperCollins Publishers

Bridal expert Maria McBride-Mellinger answers all the questions as well as the countless choices and details involved in planning a wedding. From the engagement, to the dress to the flowers. The Perfect Wedding is a comprehensive, knowledgeable text, illustrated throughout with beautiful color photographs, offers advice and creative ideas every step of the way.

Dominique Ansel
The Secret Recipes
Simon & Schuster
Adam Ried
Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes
Jun 2009

As much a trip down milkshake memory lane as a foray into the modern world of blended beverages, Boston Globe columnist Adam Ried’s new how-to for everything “milkshake” is sure to please all comers. With such classics as a “Caramel Malted Milkshake” to a crème anglaise-infused “Duckfat Vanilla Milkshake” (named for the restaurant Duckfat), the book proffers potables of a decidedly indulgent variety. With equipment breakdowns and ingredients explanations, Ried takes his readers on a comfortable tour of milkshake history, all the while projecting some of the glint of milkshake future with his own innovative and decadent concoctions.

Dede Wilson
Unforgettable Desserts: More Than 140 Memorable Dessert Recipes for All Year Round
Oct 2009
Wiley Publishing

Despite the obvious pun, dessert is not something to be trifled with, argues Dede Wilson, author of this ode to sweet indulgences. Too often dessert is seen as a mere culinary addendum, an after-dinner option for diners with a penchant for sugar. But dessert, done right, is complex, a culinary entity unto itself, deserving of careful preparation and unforgettable presentation. “The flavors should unfold in our mouths,” says Wilson, arguing for greater sophistication – resulting in greater satisfaction – for desserts. In this gorgeously illustrated cookbook, Wilson offers an array of dessert recipes that span the gamut, from the sumptuously simple “Classic Shortbread” to the layered “Cassata with Chocolate, Cherries, Orange, and Almonds.” Wilson breaks down the basics from techniques and equipment to fundamental pastry recipes, even providing a chart on chocolate types and tips for oven placement, all designed to put control of the process firmly into the baker’s hands. Uniting the recipes is Wilson’s above-and-beyond approach, which is accessible to new bakers but just as handy for pastry chefs looking to take their desserts to the level of the unforgettable.