I am a compulsive baker with an embarrassingly large collection of dessert/baking cookbooks. For another book to make it onto the crowded shelves it has to stand out with unique recipes and techniques. While there are many excellent recipes in this collection that I am thrilled to have is there anyone out there who is thinking; if only I had another recipe for Mexican Wedding Cookies?
They are stingy with the photographs and it is very disappointing that of the pictures included none are of some of the more elaborate desserts where you would like to see what the final product looks like. Instead there are pictures of chocolate chip cookies, pots de creme, gingersnaps, flan, bread pudding, sorbet and frozen yogurt. That is just plain annoying. I would gladly pay more for a book that is well photographed.
I have a great deal of respect for David Lebovitz and was excited to be one of the first to get a look at his new title. There are some books I can say unequivocally, buy it you will love it. This one I would recommend looking through it first to see if it is something you would enjoy.
*Update: Obviously my comments on the book struck a chord among the obsessive bakers/ cookbook collectors out there. It has been bothering me though that other than my comment on the amount of recipes included that I dismissed as too common most were really complaints the publisher was responsible for. I want to update this review with a response to a question on the quality of the recipes in the discussion section for those who don't usually check in on those...
All recipes I have tried from this book do work, and they are clearly written. Many of the recipes are adaptations of classics with David's spin. I probably did a disservice to David by focusing on the book from my point of view as an accomplished baker comfortable adapting and tweaking recipes to suit my own taste. I think the real strength and value in this book is the amount of tips and advice David provides. It would be great for anyone who would like a book to teach them about baking and dessert making instead of just providing recipes. David's humorous conversational writing style is a big plus too.
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