Master pastry chef Pierre Hermé creates desserts that look too good to be eaten. Whether your own renditions will look quite as exquisite is another question! But finding out is definitely worth the time investment. Here are Lemon Crepes to die for, a Golden Pearl Brownie cake that will send your taste buds spinning in an orgy of taste, and delicate Orange Tuiles that are so light and dainty they practically melt in your mouth. A majority of the recipes do require some more advanced culinary skills--and a patient disposition. A Warm Chocolate and Banana Tart requires that the tart's filling of chocolate and butter be cooled to 104 degrees, and then be cooked for exactly 11 minutes. Thankfully, Desserts offers a wealth of helpful information for cooks--listing the essential equipment and ingredients required for pastry perfection and a dictionary of dessert terms. Beautiful photographs make the desserts shimmer in a translucent light, crying out for you to try your hand at creating them. So, with a little endurance and love, you will be well rewarded with your choice of more than 100 heavenly desserts. --Naomi Gesinger
From Publishers Weekly
Herm?, a celebrated French pastry chef who was not only the youngest person ever to be named France's Pastry Chef of the Year but is also the only pastry chef to have been decorated as a Chevalier of Arts and Letters, exports his wizardry to America for the first time in a book that will primarily attract ambitious confectioners. Veteran food writer Greenspan (Baking with Julia) warns that the book's recipes require technical skill and patience. For Flourless Chocolate Cake Batter, the chocolate must be melted and then cooled to 114 degrees. The recipe for Genoise is "temperamental." Fragile is a word applied to Perfect Tart Dough and many other recipes that call for some tricky assemblage. Unexpected ingredients include the one and a half cups of corn in Golden Lemon Fruit Layers; the basil chiffonade garnishing Basmati Rice and Fruits-of-the-Moment Salad; the black pepper and an optional sliver of a haba?ero that spark Warm Chocolate and Banana Tart. For some, a slice of Carioca made of alternating layers of genoise and dark chocolate mousse, topped with bittersweet ganache and glazed almonds, will make all the work worthwhile. Ambitious cooks with steady nerves will find welcome inspiration here. Agent, Jane Dystel.
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