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Comment: Condition: Excellent condition., Excellent condition dust jacket. Binding: Oversized Hardback. / Edition: First Edition, 1st Printing Publisher: Little, Brown / Pub. Date: 24 October, 2000 Attributes: 399 p. / Stock#: 2063520 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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The Dessert Bible Hardcover – October 24, 2000

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The Dessert Bible + The Cook's Bible: The Best of American Home Cooking + The Kitchen Detective: A Culinary Sleuth Solves Common Cooking Mysteries With 150 Foolproof Recipes
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (October 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316496987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316496988
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.5 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The best part of The Dessert Bible is not the recipes--although they are wonderful--it's that Kimball, the founder and editor of Cook's Illustrated, shares his discovery process. You feel as though you are standing right next to him in his kitchen while he puzzles out the best lemon bar recipe. How do you make a bar that's zippy but not too sweet? How far should a Fallen Chocolate Cake fall? Can you substitute nondairy creamer in Crème Anglaise? (A resounding no!) Step by step, Kimball walks you through his experimentations, sharing both the triumphs and the failures. Cornstarch may beautifully thicken your lemon curd but it'll taste metallic. Each recipe is fronted by several paragraphs or pages of Kimball's baking process. He tells you which ingredients he tried and what happened. After each recipe are variations and a section called "What Can Go Wrong?" that points out common mistakes and misconceptions. The Dessert Bible covers cookies; brownies and bars; cakes, frostings, and glazes; brioche and fritters; pies, tarts, and fruit desserts; soufflés, puddings, and custards; frozen desserts; and restaurant desserts to make at home. In addition, several chapters offer tips and techniques on baking, baking sheets and pans, utensils, and kitchen appliances. "If The Dessert Bible provides you with a solid knowledge of dessert making," says Kimball, "you will gain the confidence to think for yourself in the kitchen, balancing a healthy mistrust of recipes (even mine) with enough common sense to rely on your own experience." --Dana Van Nest

From Publishers Weekly

Devil's Food Cake is a classic American dessert that every serious baker should know, but it is also one of the most challenging recipes to authenticate. In his new book, Kimball (The Cook's Bible) thoroughly demystifies this timeless treat and many others, with an occasional history lesson and a food-lover's commitment to quality gastronomy. Those familiar with Cook's Illustrated magazine (of which Kimball is founder, editor and publisher) will recognize his meticulous approach. Test charts neatly display the results of empirical equipment and ingredients tests. Techniques are described in great detail and illustrated masterfully with simple yet precise drawings. The recipes include humble basics like bars and cookies, standards like pies and cakes, and more difficult items such as souffl?s, custards and even famous restaurant-style desserts. Kimball begins by defining the essence of a particular dessert, often citing recipes from other well-known baking authorities. He then carefully deconstructs each of the basic elements, explains alterations and still manages to respect different tastes. The final master recipe combines great teaching skill and a fresh, unpretentious style to deliver a truly authentic pleasure. Seasoned bakers will appreciate his zeal to learn "what makes desserts work, what makes them fail, and why." The detailed knowledge base and solid master recipes in this valuable instructional compendium will inspire many.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Chris Kimball founded Cook's Magazine in 1980. Now known as Cook's Illustrated, it has a paid circulation of 900,000. He also hosts America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country, the top-rated cooking shows on public television. A regular contributor to the Today show, CBS's The Early Show, and NPR's Morning Edition, he lives in Boston and Vermont. Fannie's Last Supper, the film of the dinner that Kimball served in his 1859 townhouse, airs in fall 2010.

Customer Reviews

Definitely recommend it if you are looking to increase your repertoire of yummy goodies!
I made the pie crust recipe in both a low-elevation humid climate and a high elevation dry climates, with success each time.
I always feel confident that my baking will come out right the first time because Kimball has done all the testing for me.
Stephanie Mann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jenny du Pont on November 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have had The Dessert Bible for a number of weeks now, and have meant to write a review for at least as long, but each time I sit down with the book to gather my thoughts, I get lost once again in the crisp writing, the tips, and the odd bits of knowledge and inside information that Christopher Kimball provides along with his excellent recipes. This book is terrific simply to sit down and read for pleasure and edification (how can I resist such things as Case # 48 on beating egg whites, entitled "Better Whipping Through Chemistry"?), but it is also great for hands-on cooking. I am not a very accomplished cook, and not a particularly brilliant baker, but the recipes I have tried from this book have come out really well, without the pain and angst than I might have thought necessary. In part this is due to the fact that the recipes (delicious) have been thoroughly tested and improved upon, in part it is due to the general guidance provided by the author, and the theory he offers to support his practices and methods; I find knowing how and why things work or don't contributes to my sense of confidence in cooking, and especially in making desserts, which is for me esspecially daunting. I particularly love the charts detailing his experiment results, and the "What Can Go Wrong?" sections, and I find the drawings and illustrations of techniques to be a welcome relief from posed pictures of beautiful food that taunt one with their perfection!
This is an excellent dessert cookbook, aptly named a "bible," and it would make an inspired Christmas present for a thoughtful, creative person, regardless of his or her talent in the kitchen. Highly recommend it.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By RP on October 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The two best things about this book are that I can understand the reasoning behind the instructions and that ALL of my favorite dessert recipes are finally in one book. I have 1/2 a dozen dessert cookbooks, each having a few recipes I really use and like. In this book, they are all here and there is enough information that I can make it right everytime.
About the flour measurement mentioned in another reader's review: the issue didn't even occur to me as I cooked my way through this book. I read the instructions on flour measurement and that seems to have done the trick. I made the pie crust recipe in both a low-elevation humid climate and a high elevation dry climates, with success each time. Kimball tells me what is important and what isn't, so I decide whether I can make do with what I have on hand or not. I'm not a culinary whiz, and these are recipes I can count while I try new things. I even cooked a new recipe for guests without worrying whether it would work.
Besides, who can resist a cookbook with recipes like Apple Pandowdy, fallen chocolate cake (which tastes better than you can imagine), and mango sherbert all in one place?
It's all here. It's hugely readable. You'll learn something. And the best part is: you get to eat it at the end. All my other dessert books are being donated to the library tomorrow.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I'm an avid cook and, while I no longer subscribe to "Cooks Illustrated" magazine, I respect Chris Kimball and his expert kitchen team and have had good luck, more or less, with their recipes which, if followed EXACTLY, are virtually foolproof. I also never fail to learn something from their informative kitchen commentary. All in all, his recipes and advice are beneficial to both novice and experienced cooks.
That having been I have to point out that taste is, of course, subjective. For instance, I've found, from trying a number of Kimball's recipes, that he is a salt-a-holic. I prefer to cook with little or no salt, as I find the taste harsh and unpleasant, and if I followed Kimball's recipes exactly I'd be drowning in the stuff. I prefer pepper and tend to double or triple the often meager amounts Kimball calls for in his recipes (usually he calls for four or fives times more salt than pepper, and I tend to reverse those ratios).
The recommendations too, are, of course, all one man's opinion. He speaks harshly of Le Creuset, which is my favorite cookware, despite the expense (don't listen to Kimball: the enamel service is as good or better than non-stick), and frequently raves about plain cast iron which, while I'm sure can be great, takes a great deal of patience to properly season (I've NEVER had any luck doing so), can't be washed in a dishwasher (big downfall, in my opinion) and can easily destroy an induction cooktop (something Kimball fails to even mention).
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By jerry i h on October 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most interesting cookbooks I have ever read. There is much here to criticize, but there is much more to admire. All things considered, this book is a valuable addition to your bookshelf.
The main problem here is the title of the book. It should be called a Baking Bible, because it covers all the major areas of baking, including cakes, pies, cookies, custards, frosting, tarts, soufflés, puddings, and ice cream. The word "dessert" I do not think conveys the proper comprehensiveness of this cookbook.
Another rather irritating problem is that the recipes are unusually finicky. They have more steps and are more involved than most other recipes. There are extra instructions and steps you usually will not find elsewhere. The author also adjusts standard recipes to suit his own tastes. For example, he often cuts back the amount of sugar, but when I do them, I have to add the sugar back to get the "right" taste. He likes chewy brownies, but when I did the recipe, the texture sort of reminded me of that colored modeling clay we played with when we were kids. So, when you do one of the recipes, make sure you read the header information so you know what he is changing and why. Also, since he is fiddling around with standard recipes, some of them no longer, strictly speaking, qualify for the classic definitions. The frozen lemon soufflé, for example, belongs in the chapter with the Bavarian cream (since that is what it is, regardless of the name).
On the other hand, your chance of success when doing any of the recipes is very high. The author has a good feel for what works and what does not, and also what the average home cook is and is not capable of.
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