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Indulge: 100 Perfect Desserts Hardcover – January 1, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Irresistible .... [has] enticed me to start measuring ingredients with a scale in the true pastry-chef fashion. (Bonnie Stern The National Post 2007-12-01)

Claire's Notes ... give the book a voice and a sense of the pastry chef's many years of experience. (The Globe and Mail 2007-12-15)

About the Author

Claire Clark is the executive pastry chef at The French Laundry, the renowned Napa Valley restaurant.

Thomas Keller is the celebrated chef, writer and restaurateur behind The French Laundry and the author of the award-winning The French Laundry Cookbook.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Whitecap Books Ltd.; 1 edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552859096
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552859094
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.9 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Indulge: 100 Perfect Desserts, by Claire Clark, is an inspiring collection of unique recipes that range in difficulty from moderate to complex. As an experienced home baker & cook I appreciated how this book challenged me to up the proverbial ante. Though recipes for things like apple and cinnamon charlotte, carrot cake and shortbread don't require too much kitchen know-how, other recipes will force you to flex your culinary muscles. A recipe for Feuilles D'Automne (which consists of layers of hazelnut meringue sandwiched with a hazelnut chocolate mousse and covered in crisp chocolate leaves) requires you to know how to make meringue, mousse, and how to temper chocolate, for instance. Clark has helpfully included a "Secrets of Success" section at the beginning of each chapter, which is filled with tips that teach you how to master many of the skills utilized in the book. She also includes a useful index of UK to US conversions (which lets you know that what she calls "cornflour" is called "cornstarch" stateside), as well as notes with most recipes, where she guides you through especially difficult steps and shares tricks she has used in her own kitchen. Under her instruction ordinary gingerbread becomes a veritable feast for the senses, with individual gingerbreads covered with crystallized rose petals, syrup and butter cream. I was especially delighted with her recipe for "dumph noodle," which is a kind of bread smothered with homemade crème anglaise. It was a tremendous hit with everyone who tried it and has been added to my list of favorite recipes.

Because the recipes in this book have such a wide range of difficulty, "Indulge" would best be enjoyed by someone with a solid foundation of culinary knowledge and a desire to greatly improve their skill.
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Format: Hardcover
Baking and Books has done a good job of discussing Indulge. My two cents: the recipes are interesting, the photography is beautiful. I plan to make the Popcorn Ice Cream (yes, you read that correctly!) This book will definitely challenge a beginner, but the author's instructions are so well written and comprehensive, that this would be a great book for a beginner with which to hone his or her skills. It will also please experienced home bakers: Clark provides measurements in both grams and cups, and lists oven temperatures in Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Gas Marks (thank you, thank you, thank you!)

Some other recipes: Lemon Posset, Battenburg Cake, Spiced Pumpkin Custard with Orange Infused Granola, Apple Strudel (check out Great Coffee Cakes, by Carole Walter for even better rolling instructions, or Desserts by the Yard by Sherry Yard). I list some of the recipes because I think it's important that someone looking for a homey, every day baking book with recipes for quickbreads, American layer cakes, etc., should pick another book. If you want interesting, old European recipes, plus some innovative desserts, this is the book for you.

Two more observations: the author is English, I believe, so some of her terminology can be confusing to Americans, but the publisher provides a helpful "translation" index at the front of the book. Finally, a number of ingredients are going to be hard to find if you don't live near a major city, so you will have to order them via the internet (examples: gelatin sheets, hibiscus flowers).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Claire Clark was living in the U.K. and dazzling the British crowds with her amazing pastry talents until she was lured by Thomas Keller to come and work at his own restaurant in the U.S. From 2005-2008 she filled her impressive resume as the head pastry chef at "The French Laundry" restaurant in California. A definite upscale clientele with sophisticated tastes.

Having "been there, done that" for so many notable gastronomic places, she decided strike out on her own and head back to the U.K. for her own chance at ownership and even harder work by wearing one more hat as proprieter.

But during her employ at "The French Laundry", Ms. Clark produced this voluminous book of sweet tastes and temptations, in 2007. It has been worth the wait, to be sure. This is such a full book of information, that I have used it as a reference guide for baking details, hints, and directions; she seems to have left nothing to chance to spoil your efforts.

In my opinion, I have found that pastry books fall into two marvelous categories: "Average Joe" or "Fancy Pants"; I didn't think I could find one that fell in between, a "marriage" of sorts. This effort has, and it has done so beautifully. At the same time, I have to admit that for me, some of the desserts were a bit too sophisticated, though not a negative thing.

The physical appearance and presentation style of the book was impressive for me. Heavy and voluminous, she spared nothing in giving 100 beautiful and beckoning desserts. The pages are a dark cream-colored paired with mostly cranberry partners. A recipe ribbon is included (don't ask me why but that is such a draw for me; it seems to shout out "fancy" and I shout right back "thank you!").
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