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Dessert FourPlay: Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef Hardcover – December 30, 2008
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—Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking
“Dessert FourPlay is as exciting as it is appealing, instructive, and generous. Each dessert is a tour de force of imagination and I’m crazy about the section called Building Blocks, which has dozens of simple recipes for ice cream, cookies, cakes, and sauces to mix-and-match.”
—Dorie Greenspan, author of Baking from My Home to Yours
“Johnny Iuzzini is one of the most talented pastry chefs in America. He is experimental and creative, but his originality and wit are carefully balanced by his classic pastry training. Johnny’s first book, Dessert FourPlay, will be a great inspiration for anyone who has a love of sweets.”
—Daniel Boulud, chef/restaurateur
“From the first day I met him, I knew that Johnny would make a significant contribution to the pastry world. In Dessert FourPlay, you can sample some of his four-star desserts and feel like a rockstar while making them. Johnny's playfulness and desire to push limits in the kitchen are an inspiration to anyone who loves to create.”
—François Payard, chef/owner of Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro and author of Chocolate Epiphany
“Johnny Iuzzini is a serious sugar freak and his enthusiasm comes through on every page. Here’s a guy who can whip up any classic dessert and also show you a cutting-edge technique for making flourless doughnuts. Johnny has always stayed ahead of the curve, and this book proves it.”
—Wylie Dufresne, chef/owner of WD-50
“Y'all, every recipe in this book is deliciously decadent. I just love a man who knows his way around some chocolate!”
—Paula Deen, Food Network host and bestselling cookbook author
“Johnny’s desserts are a mix of tradition, science, humor, and art that are beautifully balanced in his quartets. Be prepared for your senses to explode; expect nothing less.”
—Jean Georges Vongerichten, chef/restaurateur
“Dessert FourPlay is a blockbuster cookbook bursting with mouthwatering recipes, innovative ideas, and breathtaking photos. Many recipes have ‘Make it Simpler’ suggestions that enable the home cook to prepare four-star desserts like a pro. A stunning edition.”
—Carole Walter, author of Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More
“With this impressive collection of seasonal recipes, Johnny Iuzzini reveals his versatility not only with classic techniques, but also with contemporary ideas. He is truly among the country's premier pastry chefs.”
—Eric Ripert, chef/co-owner of Le Bernardin
About the Author
ROY FINAMORE, a publishing veteran of more than thirty years, has worked with many bestselling cookbook authors. He is the author of three books: One Potato, Two Potato; Tasty, which won a James Beard Foundation award; and Fish Without a Doubt.
Top Customer Reviews
I've made a couple things out of the book, and I've had no problem with the directions. While the recipes often call for ingredients that may not be available in smaller markets, those ingredients, with few exceptions, are not "weird." By that I mean that the overwhelming majority of Iuzzini's recipes do not fall into the realm of molecular gastronomy, thereby requiring foaming dispensers and other chemical agents. A small number of them do, but most do not, which is something that I appreciate because I'm cooking for a small family, and not a restaurant. One of the problems I've had with a few other "chef" books is that you really need to invest a tidy sum of money in chemical agents to make full use of the recipes in those books, and professional pastry books produce HUGE quantities of desserts, requiring you to do a lot of math to scale things down. Iuzzini's book does not suffer from either of those problems.
Each major dessert is comprised of 4 mini dessert portions - you can either make one of them, or using the book as a guide, prepare all 4. The instructions are very clear and include both metric and standard US measurements, although he highly recommends that you invest in a scale. The author gives oven temperatures for both a standard oven and a convection oven. When he calls for chocolate, he notes his preference in detail, for example, he doesn't just say 40% cacao, he will say "preferably Valrhona Jivara 40% cacao." There are some recipes that fall into the realm of "molecular gastronomy," but those are only a small percentage of the book.Read more ›
Several weeks later, FourPlay, is still on my kitchen table - not covered in a film of dust as I might have expected, but doused in sugar, caramel and tuile batter. FourPlay turns out to be quite a clever book; it's a book that you can actually use...
Let's start back at the beginning.
Johnny Iuzzini is the Executive pastry Chef of the three-starred Michelin Restaurant Jean Georges in New York. At Jean Georges, Johnny's desserts arrive as four mini tasters served together. These creations may be inspired by a single ingredient or by the season, each a collection of delicious tastes, textures and techniques.
His desserts in FourPlay follow the same methodology as those at Jean Georges, so, when you look at the pictures in the book you might think that you are set for a visual feast and nothing more. But when you look a little deeper, the chef has written a book that puts the creative ball in the reader's court. It's a book of options.
You can choose to recreate one of the many quartets such as the Strawberry FourPlay; Strawberry Soda, Strawberry Ice Cream with Strawberry-Lavender Leather, Strawberry Shortcake with Roasted Strawberries & Strawberry Gelée, Coconut Cream & Crispy Chocolate or follow a simpler route and be inspired by one these components each of which shape up to be a great standalone dish.
I have used several of the recipes in the book over the past few weeks each of which have been accurate, well written and tasty.
Johnny Iuzzini has published a unique cookbook, one that serves up a magnificent concoction of style and substance - what appears to be a "lookbook" is, actually a cookbook!
He has tons of exceptional ideas, and executes them with the skill of a true master. Everything looks and sounds delicious, and each recipe is unique. I only wish I had thought of them myself!
It should be noted, however, that the recipes in this book are not for someone who is looking to cook for the first time. Some of the techniques are advanced, use ingredients that you certainly aren't going to find in your local grocery store, and several recipes have multiple parts gone over elsewhere in the book. Luckily for the layman, he offers several simple replacements for a good number of ingredients in several of the recipes.
If none of that phases you, then get this book. You will not regret it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Recipes are strange, including unusual pairing of ingredients. As a former foods instructor, I cannot recommend this book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Millicent Conklin
I enjoyed looking at and reading this book and it shows well on the Kindle Fire . The recipes are probably more than a little to elaborate and esoteric for most of us mundane... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Peggy Jentoft
My wife uses this often for reference for work. Bright photos and solid recipes.Published 5 months ago by Robert & Mollie S
The concept of dessert with this book is fantastic. The best way to present dessert to family and friends! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Amazing book! If you like something that is innovative and high class, I would reccommend this to any experienced patissier.Published 12 months ago by Amanda