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Four-Star Desserts Hardcover – October, 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"I bake desserts because it makes people happy to eat them," explains Luchetti (Stars Desserts), former pastry chef at San Francisco's Stars restaurant. The 150 sophisticated, unfussy recipes here will make people happy twice over?as they cook and as they eat. Luchetti believes a dessert should have only three primary flavors, and she creates intriguing flavor combinations such as Pineapple Banana Compote with Mango Sauce; Warm Bittersweet Chocolate Tartlets with Spiced Almonds; and Raspeberry Lemon Buttermilk Pie. Of note is the organization of recipes, most of which are arranged by principal ingredient into such chapters as "Citrus and Tropical Fruits," "Summer Berries" and, of course, "Chocolate." Luchetti's range is extensive, embracing the elegant and inventive (Triple-Striped Chocolate Semifreddo with Chocolate Caramel Sauce; White Chocolate Mousse with Raspberries; and White Chocolate Raspberry Brittle), the light (Souffleed Crepe with Mixed Berries), the time-consuming (Mocha Hazelnut Torte) and the simple (Peach Blackberry Cobbler; Bing Cherry Dumplings). There is a section on making garnishes like Candied Cranberry Clusters, Caramel Strawberries and Chocolate Nut Bark, as well as cookies such as Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies and Orange Pecan Florentines. A final, reference chapter includes recipes for pastry doughs, sauces and ice creams. The appealingly designed pages display ingredients listed on one side next to directions in a wider column; most fit on a single page and include presentation tips and ahead-of-time notes. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC/Good Cook selection; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Luchetti's first book of delectable desserts, Stars Desserts (LJ 10/15/91), appeared when she was executive pastry chef of Stars, the acclaimed San Francisco restaurant. Her new "four-star" collection is equally mouth-watering: Chocolate-Caramel Bread Pudding, Spiced Cheesecake with Walnut Crust, Orange Pecan Cream Sandwich. Luchetti goes for flavor above all, disdaining those architectural creations some pastry chefs are so fond of, and her desserts are unusual without being trendy. Recipes are organized by major ingredient (Chocolate, Summer Berries, etc.), with a separate chapter on cookies and candies; the instructions are straightforward and concise. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (October 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060173157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060173159
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,330,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
THIS BOOK IS OUTSTANDING FOR THE PASTRY LOVERS AROUND THE WORLD. I AM A PROFESSIONAL CHEF WITH OVER 9 YEARS EXPERIENCE AND I GIVE FOUR STAR DESSERTS AND HER PRIOR PUBLICATION,"STAR DESSERTS" A MUST HAVE IN ANY SERIOUS PASTRY LOVERS COLLECTION. I.E. LEMON CHEESECAKE W/BLUEBERRY COMPOTE. OR THE ORANGE MARMALADE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE FROSTING. WORTH EVERY PENNY.
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Format: Hardcover
A photograph in Four Star Desserts of a blackberry roulade, unadorned and pure, was the reason I bought the book. I must have baked that cake six times over the next week. Everyone thought I was crazy. I used her technique (for almond ice cream) of steeping almonds in milk to make an almond-infused brioche bread pudding, and her chocolate "brulee" topped my coconut custard. This book has given me pleasure and has sparked ideas for my own inventions. I am a pastry chef, too, and I can't get enough of Emily Luchetti.
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Format: Hardcover
These receipes are flawless and nearly fool-proof! Over a dozen of these sweets have become family favorites. Emily Luchetti's desserts are simply stunning in flavor and simple to prepare. She gives comprehensive instructions that are easy to follow, always resulting in a wonderful treat. Her receipes must be well tested for the home kitchen, because I have never had a problem producing the desired result. For a cook who is more at ease making savory dishes, Emily makes sweets enticing and approachable. When you consistently get great results, you are ever-encouraged to try another and another and another dessert until you can master many! By far, her two books on desserts are the best I have discovered for sweets. Look no further!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like Ms. Emily's style. Her desserts are simple yet delicious and gorgeous. I also got her Ice cream book (as a present from a pastry chef that had the pleasure to work with Ms Emily). am converted. She is one of my favorites.

Thanks to you Molly!!!
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By Maria Rawley on October 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book looks almost brand new and the desserts it contains are scrumptious. Have used it three times and I have three winner desserts....
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Format: Hardcover
Having read the first book "Stars Desserts", I found this collection of recipes to be a bit disappointing in comparison although it is still very good.
The author writes in her introduction that she likes to create desserts with no more than 3 flavors and she offers many good recipes that fit this profile. Examples include chocolate desserts like eclairs with pear-flavored filling and chocolate glaze, mocha hazelnut torte, and chocolate souffle with coffee caramel sauce. Just as in her first book, she continues to shine with her egg-based desserts like the souffles and icecreams. The chestnut crepes with orange honey icecream and the baked apricots with vanilla icecream and almond praline were comforting and earthy while other choices include the pumpkin souffle with apple caramel sauce or the Grand Marnier souffle with chocolate caramel sauce. Caramel as a flavor is obviously a favorite of Ms Luchetti as it is prominantly featured in this book as well as the original "Stars". She continues with traditional desserts with a twist like baked apples with caramel rum-raisen sauce and figs simmered with honey and Marsala wine, served with a ginger cream sauce. Other favorites of mine were the cherries jubilee with brandy and almond icecream, blueberry lemon cheesecake with cornmeal crust, and the banana cardomon cake.
This book was excellent on many counts however, was marred by some not-so-great recipes. For all of the recipes I wrote about above, there were an equal amount of recipes that didn't appeal to me at all. The problems seem to be centered around the presentation in assembly. The desserts just didn't seem to be designed well.
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