Some people look in a pastry case and see sinful excess; others see delectable taste treats. The authors of Butter Sugar Flour Eggs see ingredients. They have named their book "after the first and most important elements of any dessert recipe.... Butter brings flavor and richness; Sugar lends sweetness and melting textures; Flour provides substance; and Eggs bring it all together. Afterward the flavorings take over: Chocolate, Citrus, Fruit, Nuts, Cheese, and Spice complete the dessert making pantry." Most desserts, the authors allow, have one strong characteristic flavor, or one strong characteristic texture that sings louder than anything else. It's how the authors have ordered the recipes in Butter Sugar Flour Eggs, a clever idea.
So, in Butter, you'll find the likes of Millionaire's Shortbread, while in Sugar, you'll find Brown Sugar Shortbread. In Eggs you'll be tempted by Mango Flan on Chocolate, but in Flour it's more likely going to be Chocolate Chip Pancakes. And that's just to get you started. Because there are chapters for all the basic flavorings, too (Oranges Simmered in Red Wine, Brooklyn Blackout Cake, Nectarine Beignets, Roasted Pecan Ice Cream, Montrachet Cheesecake, Moist Ginger Cake with Orange Icing). And then because holidays tend to pull out all the stops, there's a separate chapter for them as well. Ever get in trouble for playing with your dessert? With Butter Sugar Flour Eggs Gale Gand, Rick Tramonto, and Julia Moskin give you permission to do just that. --Schuyler Ingle
From Library Journal
Almost an embarrassment of riches for dessert lovers, here are new books from four talented bakers. Gand and her husband, Rick Tramonto, are the pastry chef and chef, respectively, of their two popular Chicago restaurants, Brasserie T and Tru. Their first book, American Brasserie, included some of Gand's delicious desserts, and now they offer a generous collection of almost 175 recipes, from Millionaire's Shortbread to Sweet-Hot White Pepper Ice Cream. The writing style is slightly precious (e.g., "Butter is a true aristocratAand a modest one"), but the recipe instructions are clear and the headnotes informative. For all baking collections. Medrich, the well-known author of Cocolat and Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts, now presents 50 delicious recipes for favorite cookies and brownies, many of them shown in mouth-watering full-page color photographs. There's a good introduction, and each chapter opens with "Here's What I Learned," a brief but informative collection of clever tips. Many of the recipes are classics, and all of them seem irresistible. An essential purchase. Purdy's A Piece of Cake and As Easy as Pie have become classics, and her two recent low-fat cookbooks, including Let Them Eat Cake, have been very popular. Her new book features recipes for all sorts of homey desserts and other baked goods, from Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding to Blue Ribbon Cherry Pie to Sour Cream Spice Cake. The recipe instructions are detailed and thorough, and there are many thoughtful technique tips and other useful hints, as well as variations. For all baking collections. Wilson is a baker and food writer, and her specialty is wedding cakes, the topic of her first cookbook (The Wedding Cake Book). Unlike her extravagant wedding cakes, a number of the desserts in her new book are fairly simple, although many of them feature a "Bake It to the Limit" version, an optional final step for a more elaborate presentation or variation. (The cake recipes, perhaps not surprisingly, are far more complicated than the other desserts.) With recipes for sweets like Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart and Sour Cherry Bars, this is recommended for most baking collections.
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