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Indulge: 100 Perfect Desserts Hardcover – January 1, 2010
Cooking in the New Year
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Claire's Notes ... give the book a voice and a sense of the pastry chef's many years of experience. (The Globe and Mail 2007-12-15)
About the Author
Claire Clark is the executive pastry chef at The French Laundry, the renowned Napa Valley restaurant.
Thomas Keller is the celebrated chef, writer and restaurateur behind The French Laundry and the author of the award-winning The French Laundry Cookbook.
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Top Customer Reviews
Because the recipes in this book have such a wide range of difficulty, "Indulge" would best be enjoyed by someone with a solid foundation of culinary knowledge and a desire to greatly improve their skill.Read more ›
Some other recipes: Lemon Posset, Battenburg Cake, Spiced Pumpkin Custard with Orange Infused Granola, Apple Strudel (check out Great Coffee Cakes, by Carole Walter for even better rolling instructions, or Desserts by the Yard by Sherry Yard). I list some of the recipes because I think it's important that someone looking for a homey, every day baking book with recipes for quickbreads, American layer cakes, etc., should pick another book. If you want interesting, old European recipes, plus some innovative desserts, this is the book for you.
Two more observations: the author is English, I believe, so some of her terminology can be confusing to Americans, but the publisher provides a helpful "translation" index at the front of the book. Finally, a number of ingredients are going to be hard to find if you don't live near a major city, so you will have to order them via the internet (examples: gelatin sheets, hibiscus flowers).
This book continues the line of good British pastry books like the ones by Gary Rhodes, Gordon Ramsey and others.
The recipes are in both Metric and Imperial and the temperatures in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.
Recipes range from simple to elaborate and they include gingerbread cake, orange pistachio syrup cake, battenburg, bakewell tart, lemon tart, jalousie, meringues, creme caramel, mousses including a baked chocolate mousse, jellies puddings and ice cream among many others. I find the best section of the book to be the Cookie/Biscuit chapter. I particularly like the shortbread recipe.
This book would do for an amateur baker but not all recipes are approachable.
Most of the recipes are for restaurant not pastry shop desserts.
The author gives sufficient intructions at the beggining of each chapter and of each recipe to facilitate any user. There are tips on the side of every recipe, with extra instructions, suggestions or variations.
The decoration of the finished products is a marriage between British conservatism and French modernism, that is it's not as bad as the British and not as good as the French, but it is good none the less.
Many of the combinations are too weird for my taste eg 'Spiced pumpkin custard with orange infused granola', but that's just my taste and this is my review.
One thing that put me off a bit is the general atmosphere of elevating the author, that makes itself felt throughout the book. To quote the backcover flap, describing the author: "...where she established herself as one of the world's greatest pastry chefs." In the continent, you can get pastry chefs of this level a dime a dozen.
All in all, this is a good book and I am not sorry that I bought it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Claire Clark is a genius, plain and simple, great desserts awesome ideas and technically was an amazing book for a Pastry studentPublished on April 14, 2013 by Drew98
Just the wine and chocolate cake that embellish the book cover is reason enough to buy this gorgeous book. Read morePublished on July 25, 2012 by Carmen Adorno
Claire Clark was living in the U.K. and dazzling the British crowds with her amazing pastry talents until she was lured by Thomas Keller to come and work at his own restaurant in... Read morePublished on July 8, 2011 by Toni
I was wondering if anyone could answer this question? The amounts of baking powder for the scones (page 54) and the carrot cake (page 34) call for 1 3/4 oz and 1 oz baking powder... Read morePublished on December 7, 2009 by Texas
In this book, Clark gives us a taste of her favorite pastry recipes from her 25 years of experience as a pastry chef. Read morePublished on July 8, 2009 by Mark Manguerra
I am a very good home cook and baker, but this is a book for a professional chef. I showed it to several other "good home cooks and bakers" and they all thought that it would be... Read morePublished on August 17, 2008 by foodiefuddie
100 Perfect Desserts? No, more like some cookies, some British stuff, and two or three new ideas. I'm sure Ms. Read morePublished on April 5, 2008 by pastry girl
This book presents formal, restaurant style desserts. Most of the desserts are ones I have in other cookbooks, with slight variations. Read morePublished on March 7, 2008 by PLF