Grace Massa Langlois was born in Maasmechelen, Belgium to Italian parents and grew up in London, Canada. Grace lives with her two children, Liana and Matthew.
With an education in Business, Grace began a career in Finance at one of the largest banks in Canada. Grace took her experience and moved to the Automotive Industry where she spent many years as a Financial Services Manager. Much to her dismay, Grace had to retire early because of an injury she sustained in 2003. Unfortunately shortly after her injury, her husband, Maurice suddenly passed. With some encouragement from her children Grace decided to share her love of good food and launched her website, Grace's Sweet Life, in 2010. Graces shares recipes, stories about her Italian heritage, and the joy of growing up in a large, close-knit Italian family.
Grace's recipes show her talent for taking complicated desserts and breaking them down so they're accessible by the every-day cook. She shares the importance of baking with fresh ingredients and strives to share her message that by learning the basics, home cooks can enjoy restaurant-style desserts at home.
I own close to 50 cookbooks so I know cookbooks. This is NOT just another cookbook. Grace's Sweet Life is a collection of desserts and even better: dessert ingredients, that will make your mouth water. It's more than a photo and a way to cook it. The thing that for me sets this book apart is that it builds on itself. Let's show you how to make a ganache - and then as we get through the book, more recipes call for that same ganache. It's a simple way to grow your skills while learning some absolutely magnificent desserts.
Grace's book is a staple in our petit dessert creation now.
I once read a saying that describes me, it said "I exercise because I love dessert". Chocolate, cheesecake, lemon anything, cream filling, I love it all and this book has it all, cakes and cheesecakes, mini desserts, cookies, pies and tarts, pastries and fried desserts, creams, custards, mousses, soufflés, frozen, and fruit desserts and they are better than the ones you will try in most Italian restaurants. Some recipes are relatively easy and some have more than a few steps. Some do require things that I do not usually have in my kitchen, but with access to the internet they are relatively easy to find. Now I just need some ring molds and a pizzelle maker!
The pictures are beautiful (almost every recipe has a picture of the finished product), the instructions are easy to follow, and I love that all the recipes have an introduction which tells you what to expect. Sometimes I wish that there were pictures to go along with some of the instructions but this isn't a big deal.
The pastry cream is heavenly (and it is pretty easy to make), plus the variations are endless (think white chocolate, chocolate, cinnamon, espresso, coconut, etc). Italian meringue (think a light fluffy frosting), croissant dough, puff pastry, tiramisu (one of my favorites but I now wish Grace would make a raspberry tiramisu and include the recipe for ladyfingers), chocolate truffle tart with chocolate glaze, chocolate éclairs with pastry cream, and Nutella soufflé (I'm pretty sure Nutella is one of my favorite things to eat and this soufflé is delicious) . I will slowly work my way to the more complicated recipes as time allows.
I really enjoy this cookbook. I love to cook and these recipes satisfy my family's and my own sweet tooth. Thanks Grace!
I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my review. However this did not affect my opinions. All opinions are my own and my immediate family's.
This cookbook shows you how to make desserts better than those written by professional chefs. How so? Because of the love that shines through every page. Love of food, good food, and love of family. When Grace set out to write this, she also created a bonding experience with her son and daughter, which is what the best home cooking does, even if only at the table. Everything is laid out in simple steps,and the recipes themselves rely more on high quality ingredients prepared with care, than on a huge array of ingredients. You can substitute vanilla essence for the actual vanilla pods, or another flour for the high quality Italian 'doppio zero'she recommends for some pastries, but, since otherwise the ingredients are pretty straightforwards, I suspect there will be a difference in the finished dessert. Since my own cooking is generally confined to fry, barbeque, and boil,the only recipe I have tried so far is the vanilla poached pears-much more elegant in Italian-Pere al Vaniglia. Yummy. I shall be cautiously widening my cooking possibilities, now I've dabbled one toe in the water.
If you are looking for a book with authentic Italian desserts, this is the book for you! I am Italian and I can tell you these are the real deal. I made quite a few of the recipes in the book and the results were amazing. Eating these treats, takes me back to Italy. I was blown away by the Bomboloni: they were exactly like the ones I used to eat as a child in Milan. My children loved the Amaretti recipe too: it was very easy to make with kids and the cookies were delicious. I also love the way the recipes are explained, as they have very clear and easy to follow instructions. The photography and food styling are so beautiful, yet "human" and warm... they capture the essence of the dish. I highly recommend this book if you want to make authentic Italian desserts at home!
This is a MUST BUY! The Italian desserts in this book are the "real deal". Every dessert is not only described in a manner that brings the reader into its true context in terms of where it originates but the recipe is described for you EXACTLY the way it looks and tastes. AUTHENTIC in its purest form. The pictures are outstanding. The author brings you into her kitchen, shares her memories with you and leaves you with delicious treats to share with your loved ones. Wouldn't miss it.
If you like a cook book with lots of colorful, eye-catching photographs, wonderful stories, and delectable desserts, this is definitely going to be one you'd love. I'm not Italian but I certainly wish I were after reading this book. You get a real feel for the closeness of Grace's Italian family and the lovely food they shared together, and Grace's journey of preparing Italian desserts in this book.
Grace lays out carefully planned, step-by-step instructions in this book that lets even the every-day cook know these recipes are very do-able. Of course, I'm vegan so a lot of these desserts are even more intriguing to me because I can't wait for the opportunity to veganize them!
I'm looking forward to a year of delicious Italian desserts. Marly