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Indulge: 100 Perfect Desserts Hardcover – January 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


Irresistible .... [has] enticed me to start measuring ingredients with a scale in the true pastry-chef fashion. (Bonnie Stern The National Post 2007-12-01)

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Whitecap Books Ltd.; 1 edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552859096
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552859094
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.9 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By VTS on December 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Indulge: 100 Perfect Desserts, by Claire Clark, is an inspiring collection of unique recipes that range in difficulty from moderate to complex. As an experienced home baker & cook I appreciated how this book challenged me to up the proverbial ante. Though recipes for things like apple and cinnamon charlotte, carrot cake and shortbread don't require too much kitchen know-how, other recipes will force you to flex your culinary muscles. A recipe for Feuilles D'Automne (which consists of layers of hazelnut meringue sandwiched with a hazelnut chocolate mousse and covered in crisp chocolate leaves) requires you to know how to make meringue, mousse, and how to temper chocolate, for instance. Clark has helpfully included a "Secrets of Success" section at the beginning of each chapter, which is filled with tips that teach you how to master many of the skills utilized in the book. She also includes a useful index of UK to US conversions (which lets you know that what she calls "cornflour" is called "cornstarch" stateside), as well as notes with most recipes, where she guides you through especially difficult steps and shares tricks she has used in her own kitchen. Under her instruction ordinary gingerbread becomes a veritable feast for the senses, with individual gingerbreads covered with crystallized rose petals, syrup and butter cream. I was especially delighted with her recipe for "dumph noodle," which is a kind of bread smothered with homemade crème anglaise. It was a tremendous hit with everyone who tried it and has been added to my list of favorite recipes.

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.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cookbook Gal VINE VOICE on January 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Baking and Books has done a good job of discussing Indulge. My two cents: the recipes are interesting, the photography is beautiful. I plan to make the Popcorn Ice Cream (yes, you read that correctly!) This book will definitely challenge a beginner, but the author's instructions are so well written and comprehensive, that this would be a great book for a beginner with which to hone his or her skills. It will also please experienced home bakers: Clark provides measurements in both grams and cups, and lists oven temperatures in Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Gas Marks (thank you, thank you, thank you!)

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).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Terzis on May 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There is something 'different' when a british pastry chef writes a pastry book. It is maybe the marriage of Anglosaxon conservatism and tradition with French flair and influences in pastry that makes the British pastry chef to just create!
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.
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