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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Baking Bible: The Dessert Architect
The Dessert ArchitectA Pastry Bible
Chef Robert Wemischner's new book is geared to the serious pastry-chef wannabe.
By Tim Fischer | Thursday, 11 February 2010 | 15:00

If you've ever thought about becoming a pastry chef or want to know how a restaurant dessert makes its way from an idea to the kitchen to the plate and ultimately to your table,...
Published on February 17, 2010 by Tim Fischer

versus
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars missed chance
The title,description and frontcover of the book are promising. There are many recipes, listings, charts and the nice thing is that many american pastry chefs say their word on pastry.
The colorscheme of the book(pale avocado/lime green) is not really appetite raising, nor are the pictures.
The presentation of the desserts on the plate is next to the worst I...
Published on January 9, 2010 by C. Douglas


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Baking Bible: The Dessert Architect, February 17, 2010
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This review is from: The Dessert Architect (Hardcover)
The Dessert ArchitectA Pastry Bible
Chef Robert Wemischner's new book is geared to the serious pastry-chef wannabe.
By Tim Fischer | Thursday, 11 February 2010 | 15:00

If you've ever thought about becoming a pastry chef or want to know how a restaurant dessert makes its way from an idea to the kitchen to the plate and ultimately to your table, Robert Wemischner's, "The Dessert Architect" would be a wonderful addition to your library. Wemischner has taught baking and pastry at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College for 18 years. He has written four culinary books, was a pioneer in the gourmet-to-go trend and is a regular contributor to Food Arts and Pastry Art and Design magazines.

Written for pastry students but accessible to anyone interested in learning the essentials, "The Dessert Architect" (available at [...]) is an informed look at what it takes to work in the business today. Featured throughout the six chapters are sidebars from several professional pastry chefs like Gale Gand, Claudia Fleming and Pichet Ong, writing about personal experiences in their own kitchens, offering inspiration and helping to expand this clearly written book into a satisfying baking tool.

Wemischner begins with a chapter on the four cornerstones of pastry: flavor, texture, temperature, and contrast. He uses charts to categorize each, demonstrating, for example, ingredients that are dominant flavors (chocolate, hazelnut), sour (lemon, cranberry), and pungent (ginger, cardamom). As a result, readers are better equipped to understand how the layering of these elements can make a dessert complex. The chapter's final recipe, "A Couple of Doughnuts," incorporates all four cornerstones: caramel coated poached white peaches with white doughnut peach and violet mousse, and a highly recommended buttermilk spiced doughnut precariously perched on top. I have never made doughnuts before so I was eager to try this part of the recipe. With a beautiful assortment of spices including mace, nutmeg and cinnamon, and straightforward instructions that were easy to follow, I could not have been happier with the final results. Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with a gallon of spiced frying oil.

Other chapters focus on ingredients and equipment, creating a dessert menu, beverage pairings, and particularly interesting, plating. Wemischner establishes guidelines on how much sauce to use (too little can be just as bad as too much) and illustrates basic shapes for cakes and ice creams. The tip that I found most useful for home bakers is to draw your design before you put the dessert on the plate.

The book's more than 50 meticulously detailed recipes (you'll need your kitchen scale -- ingredients are measured by weight) are accompanied by full-color photographs by Elon Schoenholz. Recipes, designed for restaurants, are comprised of several components. For instance, the Chocolate Melting Moments Torte Flavored with Assam Tea includes the chocolate tea torte, malted milk chocolate ice cream, a tea-infused plating sauce and an Isomalt (a sugar substitute) and tea garnish. As a home baker, I find it extremely helpful that alongside each recipe is a list of equipment needed and the order in which to make each component. After finishing a recipe, Wemischner challenges his students to think of ways to create that same dessert using the recipe only as a guideline and incorporating alternate flavors or different techniques.

The appendix is filled with information on ingredients, specialty produce, equipment, a concise glossary, and website addresses for spots like the Culinary Institute of America, the French Culinary Institute, even King Arthur Flour, that offer educational opportunities for students.

After finishing Wemischner's book, readers will have a much clearer understanding of what it takes to be a part of a pastry kitchen. But what I enjoyed most about "The Dessert Architect" is Wemischner's commitment to his students: He never lets them stray too far from the fundamentals, and always encourages them to push harder.

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Tim Fischer managed The Cook's Library in Los Angeles, named one of the "Top 10 Cookbook Stores in the World" by Saveur. He also has been a judge for the IACP Cookbook Awards for four years.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars missed chance, January 9, 2010
By 
C. Douglas (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dessert Architect (Hardcover)
The title,description and frontcover of the book are promising. There are many recipes, listings, charts and the nice thing is that many american pastry chefs say their word on pastry.
The colorscheme of the book(pale avocado/lime green) is not really appetite raising, nor are the pictures.
The presentation of the desserts on the plate is next to the worst I have ever seen. No sense of colour, no sense of structure, pictures taken at the wrong angle. The one-on-top-of-the-other style of presenting is passé. An architect has to be able to combine shape, colour, flavour and the combinations made here are simply not the best.
Bookfillers of 4 pictures of coffeebeans; we all know what a nutmeg and cinnamon look like. Tonka bean is one of the many things I miss here. Pictures of peanuts walnuts and almonds, but though mentioned, no picture of coquitos. A picture of a bowl with maple syrup(could have been honey or whiskey), but no word on the different grades available.
Though the single recipes of the items are okay, I do not rave about this book and if it wasn't such an effort, I would have returned it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Dessert Architect", July 26, 2009
This review is from: The Dessert Architect (Hardcover)
An essential book for the intermediate baker and professional who is ready to kick up their creative juices. Robert Wemischner offers yet another exceptionally photographed recipe book with over 50 recipes designed for inspiration. This book is both a feast for the palate and a feast for the eyes, providing step-by-step details for each recipe. The tips are exceptional, for presentation ideas, decoration, and even variations ensure that this book will be frequently used and a favorite.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The I.M.Pei (or is that I.M Pie) of dessert design, July 19, 2009
By 
LA Fundraiser (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dessert Architect (Hardcover)
I have just had the pleasure of attending a book signing and tasting for Chef Wemischner's new cook book. Among the desserts from the book that were prepared for the event the "Broiled Fresh Figs, Goat Cheese-Marsarpone Crema with Sweet Basil Sauce and Pine Nut Tuile" was outstanding. The book is full of clear instructions and ingredient lists to prepare high flare delicious desserts and pastries. The Dessert Architect's photography is beautiful enough to serve as a coffee table volume in the living room of any foodie.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real winner for any library catering to professional-quality cooks, October 12, 2009
This review is from: The Dessert Architect (Hardcover)
THE DESSERT ARCHITECT is a guide to building versatile, creative desserts and developing a balanced dessert menu geared to neo-professional cooks. From pairing beverages with desserts and locating ingredients to essential kitchen equipment and photos of each completed dessert - including step-by-step shots - this is a real winner for any library catering to professional-quality cooks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, May 11, 2014
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This review is from: The Dessert Architect (Hardcover)
I know the publisher of this book and he is a friend of mind. He is a great artist when it comes to baking and desserts. I love his book. Very instructional. Buy it.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars boring, April 9, 2012
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This review is from: The Dessert Architect (Hardcover)
A terrible book, the pictures look like they were made by a home photographer and the recipes made by a home baker. Not the professional book i was hoping for. The general feel of this book it that it was cheaply made and printed. Very disappointing.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice desserts, October 1, 2010
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This review is from: The Dessert Architect (Hardcover)
This book has some very nice (and impressive) desserts. Not edited very well, but full of useful content.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a stunning book for making plated desserts, July 30, 2009
By 
K. Harnpatanakit (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dessert Architect (Hardcover)
Very informative book. Exciting combinations will tempt you to try on making everything on the pages.
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The Dessert Architect
The Dessert Architect by Robert Wemischner (Hardcover - June 16, 2009)
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