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Unforgettable Desserts Hardcover – September 28, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (September 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470186496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470186497
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,274,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Baking expert and public television cooking show host Dede Wilson helps you create show-stopping desserts that will make a lasting impression

If you're looking for a little wow factor to liven up the end of a meal, this is the book for you! Dede Wilson gives you a collection of desserts that are exotic, extravagant, and absolutely unforgettable-and you don't have to be a pastry chef to make them.

Many of the recipes are deceptively simple, such as the gorgeous Matcha Tea Leaf Shortbread and the amazing Hot Chocolate Truffle Bombs, made with just three ingredients. Others are more adventurous, such as the Chocolate-Glazed Marzipan Cake with Cognac-Soaked Apricots. Filled with surprises for the eye as well as the palate, the desserts you make from this book will be sure to keep guests talking long after the party is over. An ideal resource for holidays, birthdays, or any special occasion, Unforgettable Desserts

  • Features 150 recipes for unforgettable cookies and bars, cakes, pies, tarts, custards, mousses, frozen desserts, candies, confections, and more
  • Offers precise, easy-to-follow instructions and valuable tips
  • Contains over thirty stunning color photographs of finished desserts
  • Includes recipes for all skill levels
  • Is written by the host of public television's Seasonings with Dede Wilson and the author of Wedding Cakes You Can Make

If you're looking to take your baking to the next level, Dede Wilson gives you desserts that take the cake-and the cookie, the pie, the pudding, and much more!

Recipe Excerpts from Unforgettable Desserts


Amazon-exclusive: Glazed Fresh Strawberry Tart with Champagne Sabayon

Brown Sugar-Buttermilk Snack Cake with Blackberries and Caramel-Walnut Drizzle

Concord Grape Gelée Panna Cotta Parfait

From the Inside Flap

Dessert is always a pleasure, but sometimes you want to up the ante a little, to make your guests utter a blissful sigh and lick their spoons. Packed with intriguing recipes and invaluable advice, Unforgettable Desserts helps you do just that. Baking expert and cooking show host Dede Wilson has created a collection of desserts that range from simple and elegant to exotic and extravagant. They are all absolutely unforgettable—and you don't have to be a pastry chef to make them. In Dede's hands, even the simplest, homiest treats like brownies and rice pudding become showstoppers. Dazzle your friends and family with treats such as:

Breakfast, Brunch, and Snack Cakes Celebrate morning—or snack time—with Lemon-Ginger Scones, Butter and Cream Sugar Crunch Cake, and Gianduja Banana Baby Cakes with Hazelnut Streusel.

Cookies and Bars Imagine serving elegant Matcha Tea Leaf Shortbreads, Almond-Apricot Brownies with Tart Cherry Ganache, and Pistachio Butterballs.

Fruit Desserts A little embellishment elevates fresh fruit into something truly special, whether it's Summer Berry Vacherin with Crème Fra?che or the ultimate Strawberry Biscuit Shortcakes.

Cakes From straightforward to spectacular, cakes that taste as incredible as they look: Ricotta Cheesecake with Clementine-Cranberry Marmalade, Chocolate Mango Cloud Cake, and Toasted Coconut Cake with Lime Curd and Mount Gay Rum.

Pies and Tarts Rustic or refined, from reimagined American classics to new takes on traditional European desserts: Red and Purple Plum Tart with Marzipan Crumble, Espresso Black-Bottomed Pie in a Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust, and Deep-Dish Sour Cream– Apple Pie with Lemon-Cardamom Streusel.

Custards, GelÉEs, Mousses, and Puddings Smooth, spoonable delights like a ring mold filled with Champagne-Cassis Mousse, Warm Chocolate Velvet, and even The Giant Cream Puff.

Frozen Desserts and Sauces Swoon-worthy

treats made from store-bought ice cream or from scratch—no ice cream machine needed! Try Browned Butter Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches with Pan-Roasted Blueberry Ice Cream or Espresso-Stracciatella Semifreddo with Kahlúa-Caramel Sauce.

Candies, Confections, Truffles, and Tidbits A little something to surprise and delight: Chocolate Raspberry Bliss Bites, Hot Chocolate Truffle Bombs, and Fleur de Sel Caramels.

Separate chapters give valuable information on equipment and ingredients, and provide basic recipes for pie doughs, cake layers, and cream fillings. Throughout the book, Dede offers expert advice on everything from choosing the right chocolate to keeping cookies crisp to making her recipes your own.

Luscious and instructive, Unforgettable Desserts gives you everything you need to make the last part of the meal the most memorable part.


More About the Author

Dede Wilson is a popular food writer and television personality with her own public television show, Seasonings with Dede Wilson, in wide distribution throughout the U.S. and Canada. An additional show, The Holiday Table, began airing in Fall 2006 and will run through 2009; the 90-minute Holiday Pledge Special that she produced for PBS in 2005 was re-broadcast throughout the holiday season in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Wilson has been a spokesperson for KitchenAid, making frequent live and televised appearances around the country for KitchenAid products. She is also a prolific cookbook author and a contributing editor for Bon Appetit magazine. Wilson has appeared on all the major TV networks, and has been invited frequently to appear on shows including Today, The View, and Live with Regis and Kelly. She has also appeared on QVC to sell her cookbooks, has been featured on Bon Appetit podcasts, and makes personal appearances at Bon Appetit events around the country. Currently she hosts a monthly Bon Appetit segment on the CBS's Early Show.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By S. D. Fischer VINE VOICE on December 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have cut out quite a few of Dede Wilson's recipes in Bon Appetit magazines so I had hopes for this book. She did not disappoint (except for the lack of photos for each dessert).

Dede provides clear & detailed instructions for "More than 140 Memorable Dessert Recipes for All Year Round." She offers tips throughout the book to help the reader achieve the best results.

The recipes range in difficulty. While a beginning baker should be able to make many of these delights, others seem rather challenging and involve quite a few steps. For instance, the Chocolate-Glazed Marzipan Cake with Cognac-Soaked Apricots involves baking two cakes, coating them in syrup, spreading the apricot spread, applying a marzipan circle, frosting with buttercream, topping it ganache, and then making apricot roses to use as decoration with marzipan roses, leaves and tendrils. This is an example of one of the recipes which really should have been accompanied by a photograph (but was not).

The first chapter, the Basics, includes "building block" recipes which are used throughout the book such as:
* Butter piecrust
* Sugar tart crust
* Blitz pastry crust
* Dark and moist chocolate cake
* Dark chocolate ganache
* Italian meringue buttercream (and vanilla variation)
* Pastry cream (and liqueur variation)
* Lemon cream
* Whipped cream
* Marzipan

The next chapter covers Ingredients, Equipment, and Techniques. Many of the ingredients are likely to be found in the average cook's home kitchen but I have to admit I am missing several (such as cacoa nibs, rose water, and gianduja as well as edible gold luster powder and 22-karat gold leaf).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Thomas on February 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a really beautiful book, and I am a sucker for beautiful food pictures. Some things I wish I knew before buying:
- it has a lot of recipes combining fruit and chocolate

The techniques in here are great, and I am eager to try them out. I did try the chocolate cake recipe out and was excited because it contained no eggs. The batter was fabulous, so you can imagine my surprise when the cake was awful!(Even the kids wouldn't eat it) It looked beautiful with the chocolate ganache glaze.(also from the book, which was really good) It was dry and just ...blah.

I don't have the courage to try another thing in the book right now. I am thinking of donating of to the library after I try a few of the techniques.

Dede Wilson does an excellent job of writing, and stressing types of chocolate you need to use. She makes recipes very clear, and easy to follow. I'd love to go to a class she is teaching. I would definitely buy her books again, I just wish I could've looked through this one first!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has a range of desserts from simple to intimidating to make, and including a little of every dessert type (cakes, cookies, frozen desserts, pies, puddings, etc.). The first two chapters on "Basics" and "Equipment, Ingredients, and Techniques" were helpful for me as a beginning baker for general baking knowledge. Several recipes contain either chocolate or fruit, or both. There are recipes for many types of fruits, including apples, blackberries, blueberries, clementine oranges, cherries, mangoes, pears, strawberries, and mixed fruits: something for every season.

So far, I have made: 1) the brown sugar-buttermilk snack cake with blackberries and caramel-walnut drizzle (easy to make, a great coffee cake for my co-workers); 2) browned butter-almond brunch cake with blueberry sauce (easy; I liked the almond flavor and texture); 3) almond-apricot brownies with tart cherry ganache (decadently rich, complex, wow!); 4) latticed browned butter-vanilla bean pear pie (excellent, and smells amazing); 5) deep-dish sour cream apple pie with lemon-cardamom streusel (the cardamom adds an interesting flavor); and 6) blueberry creme fraiche tart with poppy seed crust (great blend of berries & tangy creme fraiche, and looks impressive).

I agree with the other reviewers in that I wish there were more illustrations -- especially for the recipes that I am unfamiliar with, and the more complex recipes. "A picture is worth a thousand words" may not be accurate, but they are helpful.
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful By sweetpastry89 on December 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm a pastry chef meaning I'm always looking for ideas. I've been noticed to sit in the book store staring at the dessert books, writing in my notebook the recipes. When I find a book that has several recipes that I would like to try out, I usually purchase the book, but not until I get home onto Amazon. I liked a few of these recipes. I only had 2 cons.
1) I am a huge picture person for my cookbooks
2) I wish they were in weights not cups, the new thing is to buy a scale and be more accurate.
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