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    $16.95 $10.24
    1. The Lady & Sons Just Desserts
    $11.16 $9.09 list($13.95)
    2. Small-Batch Baking
    $19.95 $11.92
    3. Unbelievable Desserts With Splenda:
    $11.16 $8.35 list($13.95)
    4. Cupcakes : From the Cake Mix Doctor
    $8.96 $6.55 list($9.95)
    5. Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice
    $16.95 $10.93
    6. Icebox Pies
    $22.05 $22.50 list($35.00)
    7. The Bread Baker's Apprentice:
    $23.10 $17.98 list($35.00)
    8. The Cake Bible
    $19.50 $17.00 list($32.50)
    9. I'm Just Here for More Food :
    $16.47 list($24.95)
    10. Pizza: A Slice of Heaven : The
    $10.17 $9.30 list($14.95)
    11. The Cake Mix Doctor
    $23.10 $22.86 list($35.00)
    12. The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves
    $40.95 $38.48 list($65.00)
    13. The Advanced Professional Pastry
    $40.95 $38.48 list($65.00)
    14. Baking and Pastry : Mastering
    $25.20 $23.78 list($40.00)
    15. Bread: A Baker's Manual
    $15.75 $15.37 list($25.00)
    16. The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook:
    $13.26 $12.66 list($18.95)
    17. Panini, Bruschetta, Crostini :
    $26.40 $23.78 list($40.00)
    18. Cakes to Dream On : A Master Class
    $10.40 $6.60 list($13.00)
    19. Candyfreak: A Journey through
    $55.00 $32.41
    20. Grand Finales: A Neoclassic View

    1. The Lady & Sons Just Desserts : More than 120 Sweet Temptations from Savannah's Favorite Restaurant
    by Paula H. Deen
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $16.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743224841
    Catlog: Book (2002-05-07)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 287
    Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Warmly effusive and dear yet gritty, Paula H. Deen seems mythically Southern. But this cooking luminary, proprietor of Savannah, Georgia'sLady & Sons restaurant, is the real thing. The Lady & Sons Just Desserts, her all-sweets follow-up to The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook and The Lady & Sons, Too!, celebrates the Southern sweet tooth with 120 recipes, including traditional formulas for the likes of Brown Sugar Pound Cake and Lemon Chess Pie as well as best-loved restaurant innovations like Turtle Cake, Lemon Curd Pudding, and Gooey Butter Cake. ("These are very, very rich," Deen advises, "and a little goes a long way--even for piggies like me!") Lovers of the restaurant--which grew to prominence from $200 and lots of determination--as well as those seeking easy-to-fix temptations should put this book to happy use.

    Among its wide-ranging recipes, Dessertsoffers Carolyn's Jell-O Cheesecake, Lauren's Chocolate Drizzle Pie, and Hidden Mint Cookies--recipes based on cake mixes and other convenience foods. These creditable sweets are of course work saving, but are perhaps better viewed as solidly characteristic of their time and place. Equally particular are candies like Mamma's Divinity and Uncle Bubba's Benne Candy, and "other sweet things," as Deen dubs them, such as Banana Split Brownie Pizza, Easy Homemade Oreo Ice Cream, and Fresh Apples with Butterscotch Dip. With asides by Deen family members, including son Jamie's "Food Is Love" ("I am right this minute 20 pounds over-loved," he writes), useful tips (Deen provides an "emergency" recipe for sweetened condensed milk), and plenty of piquant anecdote (after Deen had rattled on endlessly to her grandmother about her intention to open a restaurant, the older woman paused and replied, "Paula, have you lost you damned mind?"), the spiral-bound book is not only full of delectable eating, it's lots of fun. --Arthur Boehm ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pure and plain country cooking
    If I had to make a choice of all my cook books,and belive me I have a few, Paula Deens three cook books would be the one I would keep. I watch her on the cooking shows and ever thing she cook's is in her books. Now if you get mad when you cook cause you don't have every thing a recipe calls for and it just don't sound like it would be good .You flat want feel that way about Paula's. Shucks just reading what goes in it you could tare the page out and eat it right then and there. So if you are southern are not and like really easy recipes and very good ones you try Paula Deens books, all three. you want be sorry. Paula also tell about things that happend to her and how she came to cooking and I tell you I read every bit of it. The women kept me tickled all through it. Now I can go about this lady,s books but if you try them your self I promise you want be sorry. You go girl, love you Paula. Elouise

    4-0 out of 5 stars Simple Southern Sweetness
    Ms. Deen has put together a simple yet delicious group of desserts that ooze Southern charm. A lot of these I remember from growing up and others just look delicious. I have made the signature Gooey Butter Cakes and many of the cookies. The Stick To Your Mouth Chocolate Cookies are sinful! Anyone interested in either Southern Desserts or just easy to prepare, delicious ends to their meals must purchase this book. You won't be disappointed at all.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Easily Made Southern Comfort Desserts, Achingly Sweet
    If you have seen a few episodes of Paula Deen's Food Network show, then you will know exactly what is in this book, as many of the recipes in the book have been done on her show.

    For those who have not seen her show or know of her background, Paula Deen owns and operates a well regarded restaurant in Savannah where her cuisine in the restaurant and on her show is pure southern comfort food, plain and simple. More exactly, it is white southern comfort food. You will find relatively little overlap with the dishes of Edna Lewis but much overlap with the dishes in the southern cuisine cookbooks done by James Villas and his mother.

    With regard to this particular book, the 'southern comfort' easy living theme appears in spades. Paula Deen is not a baker and her dessert recipes are not something you would find in books by Gail Gand or Nancy Silverton or even Maida Heather.

    The first thing you notice is that virtually every recipe is loaded with sugar, butter, cream, cream cheese, chocolate and eggs, whole or yolks. And, aside from the occasional appearance of peaches (obligatory for a Georgia girl), bananas, and cherries for garnish, there are very little fruit products, aside from lemon juice and lemon zest.

    Before the recipe chapters is a very good short chapter on Hints and Tips. At the beginning of each chapter there are additional hints and tips for the type of dessert featured therein. Almost all suggestions appear to be sound, but may not go far enough. The claim that normal cocoa power can be substituted for Dutch Process cocoa may not pass muster, especially if baking powder is used to leaven the product.

    The recipes in the book are divided into chapters for:

    Cakes, which depend heavily on boxed cake mixes
    Pies, which depend heavily on frozen, store bought crusts.
    Cookies and Bars
    Puddings and Custards
    Candy
    More Sweet Things

    I find the instructions for making pie crusts to be inadequate. There is simply not enough detail in the instructions for keeping the ingredients cold, for resting the dough, or for chilling or freezing before blind baking. The technique Paula uses to blind bake also seems a bit idiosyncratic, using a quick run under the broiler for a few minutes instead of the more elaborate blind baking technique I have seen everyone else use.

    Paula cites a case where her recipe directions were inadequate for a recipe tester (an inexperienced teenager) and properly noted the correction; however, I found a few other recipes where the instructions simply left important steps out.

    I have done several of Paula Deen's dessert recipes and, as indicated by the list of most prominent ingredients, you should not be surprised to hear that I find them tooth achingly sweet without a lot of variety in texture. The typical French, Viennese, or Italian sweets shop would have a much greater variety of tastes and textures.

    All this doesn't mean this is a bad book. If you want a really good collection of recipes of the type you would get from Aunt Edna or her church lady friends, this is your book, especially at a list price under 17 dollars. Almost all recipes are really easy to make, although some minor pitfalls have to be avoided. The homey stories about Paula's career and her sons makes entertaining reading.

    If you are more adventurous and wish to try something with more challenge, go to Wayne Harley Brachman's new book on American Desserts. I highly recommend that book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very good book...
    Simple and good recipes with a lot of interesting comments and stories. Recipes are easy to follow. A word of caution, however...a lot of the recipes are high calorie and rich (which I like!). Be sure to try the "Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding" as it is very pretty and tasty.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful dessert cookbook!
    This is a great cookbook if you want good, but not complicated recipes. The Not Yo Mamma's Banana puding is so good and so easy. The book is charming as is it's author. I plan on trying many of the recipes. ... Read more


    2. Small-Batch Baking
    by Debby Maugans Nakos
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $11.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0761130357
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-15)
    Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 5753
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    Book Description

    Small-Batch Baking is how to have your cake, and eat it all too. It's baking a plate of cookies (not 4 dozen) to greet the kids when they come home from school, or a few muffins (not 12) when that's all you need for Sunday brunch. It's for the perfect tart to end a small, romantic dinner--or the indulgence of a one-bowl dessert just for you (Honey Apple Oatmeal Crisp, anyone?). Most of all, it's to bring home the joy of baking, when home is just the two of you--small batches whip up quickly, clean up quickly, and don't require hours at the oven.

    Written by Debby Maugans Nakos, who clearly possesses the Southern baking gene, Small-Batch Baking offers 200 irresistible recipes from across the baking spectrum: triple layer cakes, bundt cakes, angel food cakes; pies and tarts; cobblers, crisps, crumbles, and short cakes; cookies, bars, squares; biscuits, muffins, scones, breakfast breads; and a whole section just on Valentine Specials--Double Hot Chocolate Soufflés, Chèvre Cheesecakes with Honey Anise Ginger Syrup, Vanilla Banana Caramel Flan.

    A batch of Cream-Filled Chocolate Cookies--that yields a half-dozen. A Coconut Layer Cake, just for two. Individual servings of Cinnamon French Toast Pudding or Southern Peach Cobbler with Bourbon Cream. It's all the bewitching pleasure of home-baked, but--finally--for just one or two.
    ... Read more


    3. Unbelievable Desserts With Splenda: Sweet Treats Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories
    by Marlene Koch
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $19.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0871319640
    Catlog: Book (2001-11)
    Publisher: M. Evans and Company
    Sales Rank: 12846
    Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Now you can create great-tasting low-sugar versions of the favorite desserts you crave--cakes, cookies, cheesecakes, pies, muffins, creampuffs, smoothies, and more--with the revolutionary low-calorie sweetener that is made from sugar and tastes like sugar, Splenda.We're not talking pale imitations, but delectable desserts and beverages that look and taste so incredibly good that you simply won't believe they aren't full of sugar, fat or calories. What's more, Splenda contains no artificial chemicals and is safe for the entire family, including persons with diabetes. ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Where are your tastebuds?
    I've been cooking with granular Splenda since it became available in the U.S. and have always simply substituted it for regular sugar, measure for measure, in standard recipes, with excellent results. There never seemed to be a need for special Splenda recipes. But I thought I'd buy and try Unbelievable Desserts with Splenda to see whether specially developed recipes do make a difference. With great anticipation, I made the Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake for Thanksgiving dinner, following the recipe exactly. The result looked like cheesecake on the plate, and it felt like cheesecake in the mouth, but that's all. The dessert had almost no flavor--no cheesecake taste, no pumpkin taste, hardly any taste of spices. Even the gingersnaps in the crust lost the flavor they had had originally. The dessert was such a disappointment that diners left pieces unfinished on their plates.
    I went out the next day and bought ingredients for a pumpkin pie and then made my traditional recipe with Splenda instead of sugar, egg substitute instead of whole eggs, and evaporated skim milk instead of cream. The pie tasted delicious, and its texture was perfect. (Omit the crust if you really want to cut the calories; that works, too.)
    Just about any cook could figure out how to make the substitutions in standard recipes that this book touts. Save your money on the book and spend it on Splenda. The latter is a great product. This book isn't.

    5-0 out of 5 stars No Sugar - No Way
    I am a chef and am more than a bit skeptical that anything that is low-fat not to mention low sugar could taste like a real dessert. Then I saw the review saying there was too much sugar so I figured the answer to the good reviews was that the author used sugar only to "call" the desserts low sugar. But because my mother has diabetes, my wife is on a diet and my chef association mentioned splenda was a good product I ordered the book. Here is what I found:
    1. The desserts really do taste tremendous. In fact had I not made the "Heavenly Cheesecake" myself I would never have believed it had NO sugar and was so low in fat. My wife was thrilled at the meager 180 calories for a real piece.
    2. I found MANY of the recipes actually did not have ANY sugar. The ones that did had teaspoons or tablespoons. When you bake regular dessert recipes you use CUPS. To have the appearance and taste of these with so liitle is unbelievable.
    3. Portion sizes are real.
    4. A few chocolate chips, a little lite topping - these are the ingredients that make these desserts taste great, not dietetic or weird like health food stuff. And still the calories are low.
    Last, I have looked at many books for desserts for diabetics. Some use other no-cal sweeteners which don't taste or cook well. Some use fructose and apple juice but those are still sugar. These recipes taste great and are truly low in carb (and sugar).
    I intend to use them for all my "special" clients (and me too)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Truly Unbelievable Desserts
    Unbelievable desserts in that they are easy to make, low-fat, low-sugar and best of all taste great. This is a wonderful cookbook for anyone trying to watch their diet. The use of Splenda really allows one to bake muffins, cheesecakes, cakes and all other types of sweets. I'm known in my circle of friends and family for my cheesecakes. I made the heavenly cheesecake recipe and no one could tell that it was low sugar and low fat.

    I've also made almost all of the muffin recipes and my family loves them. They are easy to bake, easy to freeze and really easy to grab in the mornings, pop into the microwave and have a quick, healthy breakfast on the run. I love this cookbook so much, I've just bought the second cookbook Fantastic Foods with Splenda and I can't wait to try out the new recipes in that cookbook.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable Desserts With Splenda: Sweet Treats Low in Suga
    The very first cookbook to showcase a revolutionary, new, no calorie sweetener that is free of unpleasant aftertaste, safe for the entire family (including diabetics) & tastes like sugar! Unlike other dietetic sweeteners, Splenda (sucralose) contains no artificial chemicals & is a natural product derived from sugar. The 75 delicious recipes include: cheesecakes (plain, lemon, pumpkin); cookies (oatmeal, chocolate chip); brownies; muffins; cakes; pies, & smoothies. Now you really can have your cake & eat it too--without guilt.
    The very first cookbook to showcase a revolutionary, new, no-calorie sweetener that is free of unpleasant aftertaste, safe for the entire family and tastes like sugar!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not what I had hoped for...
    I suppose it's a good book in it's own right, but I bought it with the hopes of finding some good low carb dessert recipes. Instead what I found are recipes that are low sugar, not the same thing at all. In addition to cutting the sugar out, she seems to concentrate on cutting a lot of the fat out of the recipes, which tends to add carbs in some form.

    If you're on Atkins, this is not the book for you. There are a few recipes that are lower carb, but nothing that I couldn't get from straight Splenda=Sugar substitutions, and often not even with as good of results. Custard and cheesecake are 2 that pop to mind that are simple enough to do straight substitution without sacrificing flavor or texture. I didn't need to pay for this book to get those recipes.

    All in all, rather a disappointment. ... Read more


    4. Cupcakes : From the Cake Mix Doctor
    by Anne Byrn
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $11.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0761135480
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-18)
    Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 1534
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    Book Description

    The cupcake is America’s darling. It’s celebrated in upscale bakeries, on Sex in the City, on the cover of Gourmet, and in thou-sands of classrooms—where every day, it seems, a parent has sent in a batch for the kids to share. The very word conjures up whimsy, coziness, pleasure, nostalgia. Not to mention the fact that their diminutive size means you can eat a lot of them.

    Once upon a time, a family had only two recipes for cupcakes—chocolate and vanilla. Not anymore. Now Anne Byrn brings them to the next level. And who better? Recognized as the master of cake-mix baking, Anne is the author of The Cake Mix Doctor and Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor, which have a total of over 1.8 million copies in print. In Cupcakes she offers 135 tempting recipes for children and grown-ups, for special days and everyday, lunch bags, holiday festivities, and an unexpected dinner party dessert.

    You’ll never believe these artful little cakes started with a mix. Coconut Snowballs, Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes, Kiss Me Cakes, Warm Chocolate Cupcakes with Molten Centers, Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting. There are surprising additions (tuck a chocolate kiss orpiece of cookie dough into the batter). Creative toppings and easy from-scratch frostings (whipped cream spiked with Kahlua; miniature M&Ms; a creamy malted frosting with crushed malted milk balls).Terrific decorating ideas, from glittering golden dragees or elegant chocolate curls to yellow peeps for an Easter cupcake or—for Groundhog’s Day—a groundhog’s face made out of chocolate frosting and jimmies. Includes a 16-page full-color opening essay.
    ... Read more


    5. Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book
    by Ben Cohen, Jerry Greenfield, Nancy Stevens
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $8.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0894803123
    Catlog: Book (1987-05-01)
    Publisher: Workman Publishing
    Sales Rank: 607
    Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Reviews (76)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Add an ice cream maker for a great wedding present
    This is a terrific book, and it solved my perpetual problem of what to give people I know well enough to go to their wedding but not well enough to drop $800 on a wedding present. The recipes in this book make great ice cream. Toss in a decent ice cream maker, and you have a present that no one else will think of, that the receipients will appreciate, and one that they will use over time. (For what it's worth, I usually give the Donvier hand-turned machine because it makes dense, smooth ice cream that reminds me of gelato.)

    Anyway, about the book and what makes it so great: Ben and Jerry tell you how to make their most popular ice creams, and a bunch that I never saw before. They provide multiple recipes for chocolate ice cream, and write clearly about how they are different. A friend of mine once made all the choclate ice creams and had a tasting party. It was interesting to see how different they really were. (And this book taught me the secret to great chocolate ice cream taste: a pinch of salt--really!)

    If you are worried about using eggs, you will want to use a pasteurized egg product in place of the raw eggs. Other than that, this is a terrific book. Lots of good ideas, excellent recipes, and enough discussion about how to create new flavours to encourage even the most reluctant recipe-inventor to go hog wild.

    I wish there were a sequel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars CREATIVE EASY TO PREPARE ICE CREAM RECIPES
    This is a great ice cream book, full of simple no cook - no wait recipes with ample illustrations to keep your mind alert. The author's sense of humor makes it a very enjoyable read, but the recepes themselves are the stars. They share such favorites as Cherry Garcia, Mocha, Health Bar Crunch, Orange Cream, Kiwi Sorbet, Cantaloupe and Oreo Vanilla.

    My only problem with this book is because it was written awhile ago, they are still using raw eggs in their most popular/recommended ice cream base. Substitute with a pasterized egg product (Egg Beaters/Better N Eggs) if you aren't sure of the freshness/safeness of your eggs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Delicious!
    This is a fun recipe book, which will give you all kinds of confidence to make "designer" ice creams, with your home made ice cream maker. The story of Ben and Jerry is funny and endearing. They explain that it's almost impossible to make a truly "bad" batch of home made ice cream, and that has been my experience, too. The recipes are simple and include many of the Ben and Jerry's all time favorites. (Cherry Garcia, Dastardly Mash, Heath Bar Crunch, etc.) There is also a good explanation of the properties of ice cream - butterfat content, air introduction, sweeteners, etc. From this one ice cream recipe book, you'll be on your way to making the best ice cream you've ever tasted, and dreaming up flavors you *wish* you could get at an ice cream shop.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great book, but update is needed
    I received a Cuisinart ice cream maker last Christmas and, while I have come up with some great ideas on my own, I was looking for some new ideas to try. This book fits that bill admirably. I have found LOTS of good inspiration here. My only complaint is that it is a bit dated in that nearly all of the recipes call for raw eggs. I wouldn't want to substitute Egg Beaters since my favorite part of the egg (and the part that adds the richness of flavor) is the yolk, which is what EB leaves out. I'm considering cooking the base to make the base a custard-base in order to get around this problem. I will use this cookbook a lot, I am sure, but hope they eventually come out with an updated version!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book!
    Bought this book based on reviews on the Cusinart ice cream maker! Wow, have tried the Sweet Base and the Choc. ice cream (Jerry's) so far. Excellent results! Sweet Base recipe uses heavy whipping cream. Have to say it was yummy but leaves a slick coating on the top of your mouth. Think I will adjust the heavy cream or just use whipping cream which the choc. recipe used. Didn't leave that feeling at all. Also, I used Egg Beaters in both recipes. Can't wait to try another recipe! ... Read more


    6. Icebox Pies
    by Lauren Chattman
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $16.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1558322132
    Catlog: Book (2002-06)
    Publisher: Harvard Common Press
    Sales Rank: 237346
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (6)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Retro Pies Without an Oven
    The description of no-bake and no-fail pies is a bit misleading, since about half (if you exclude the ice cream pies) of pie fillings have to be cooked in a pot on the stove. However, it is true that these pies always work no matter how clumsy you are in the kitchen. You must leave these pies in the refrigerator or freezer for several hours to finish the recipes. Most of all, they taste good and are easy to do, since you never bake them.

    I am glad somone wrote this book. The whole spectrum of old fashioned pies that do not get baked has virtually disappeared; to get a recipe, you will need to consult a cookbook that is at least 30 years old. This is ashame, as many of these pies are easy to do and taste fabulous, and are definitely worth doing in your home (but probably not as a restaurant dessert). There is a lot of history in this collection of pie recipes.

    The first chapter has 15 recipes for pie crusts. Fortunately for us clumsy people, all of them are based on cookies or crackers that you crush in a food processor. No doughs or rolling pins here. You just press it into a pie pan and bake for a few minutes. My complaint here is that all of them are either very sweet (from using packaged cookies, which is very clever) or strongly flavored (from graham crackers). I could not find one that was relatively neutral in flavor.

    There are roughly 70 or so pie recipes. They include mousses and custards (20), chocolate (17), fruit (10), ice cream (17), showstoppers (7). The crusts and finishing touches are listed as suggestions at the end of each pie filling recipe, so you get to choose what you want and can vary them if you want. The fillings are mainly based on cornstarch (custards and pastry cream), whipped cream (cream pies), whipped egg whites, and gelatin (variously bavarian cream, chiffons, mousses, etc., although the author does not always use these terms as appropriate). There are many varied fillings, including a few cheesecakes and some fruit pies.

    My complaints are few. Some of the caption texts are pastel colored fonts which are sometimes hard to read. Some of the cooking procedures are unusual and called for extra steps, but are easy to follow and always worked. There is also an occassional lack of detail in the procedures, such as making caramel or mixing melted chocolate into a cold substrate like whipped cream.

    5-0 out of 5 stars ice box pies
    tasty combinations, wonderful pictures and yes you can convert to low calorie desserts espectially weight watchers style. All you need do is exchange lite cool whip for heavy cream, and in some pies use the pre made low fat crust in the stores.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Cookbook!
    I collect cookbooks and this is one of the best! It's easy to follow and the "no-bake" recipes are just outstanding. I truly love the photography in this book (by Duane Winfield--an obvious talent). The strawberry cheese cake pie on page 36 is-to-die-for and so simple! My pie almost looked as good as Mr. Winfield's picture!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary toppers to daily family dining
    Just in time for the summer season of family gatherings and backyard barbecues comes Lauren Chattman's Icebox Pies: 100 Scrumptious Recipes For No-Bake No-Fail Pies. From Coconut Cream Pie; Toasted Almond Semifreddo Pie; Rocky Road Pie; and Frozen Milky Way Pie; to Mango and Coconut Ice Cream Pie; Coffee Health Bar Ice Cream Pie; Blueberry Icebox Pie; and Chocolate-Almond Icebox Pie; these are desserts that would be the perfect topper for any warm weather dining experience, indoors or out! If you are looking for a special dessert for a special occasion, or just some extraordinary toppers to daily family dining, then check out Lauren Chattman's Icebox Pies!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very fine cookbook on a sorely neglected subject
    Lauren Chattman is going for maximum nostalgic gusto here--note the term "icebox" instead of "refrigerator" or "fridge." With her delightful "Icebox Pies," Chattman turns the spotlight on a sorely neglected dessert subject--and rightly so. The pies herein are scrumptious to look at, and I can attest to the fact that they are easy as, well, pie, to make!

    Chattman has a loosey-goosey, conversational style in her text, but this is clearly a woman who knows her way around the kitchen. When she tells the reader what to do, she doesn't just say, "Do it"--she explains her thinking and experience behind the directive. This makes you feel that you're in capable hands, as indeed you are.

    I really liked the additions of crust and sauce recipes. I was particularly intrigued by the inclusion of a crust recipe which uses crunched-up ice cream cones as the main ingredient--what a simple yet brilliant idea (wish I'd come up with it myself!). There are old favorites in here, as well as desserts with a new twist: Pumpkin Mousse Pie, Piña Colada Pie, White Chocolate Ganache and Banana Pie, Ricotta Cream Pie with Blood Oranges, Couscous and Apricot Pudding Pie, and so on. The more traditional pies include Rich Chocolate Mousse Pie, Chocolate-Mint Sorbet Pie, Coffee Heath Bar Ice Cream Pie, and even a yumilicious-looking S'Mores Pie.

    This slim but well-researched volume is an excellent choice as a hostess gift for the folks with whom you're going on vacation--or as a special treat for your favorite dessert-maker. Everything in here looks do-able, and the results are very, very good in every way. ... Read more


    7. The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread
    by Peter Reinhart, Ron Manville
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $22.05
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1580082688
    Catlog: Book (2001-12-01)
    Publisher: Ten Speed Press
    Sales Rank: 1455
    Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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    "A bread baker, like any true artisan or craftsman, must have the power to control outcomes," says Peter Reinhart, author of The Bread Baker's Apprentice. "Mastery comes with practice." As in many arts, you must know and understand the rules before you can break them. Reinhart encourages you to learn the science of bread making, but to never forget that vision and experimentation, not formulas, make transcendent loaves. The Bread Baker's Apprentice is broken into three sections. The first is an amusing tale of Reinhart's visit to France and his discovery of pain à l'ancienne, a cold-fermented baguette. The second section comprises a tutorial of bread-making basics and Reinhart's "Twelve Stages of Bread." And finally, the recipes: Ciabatta, Pane Siciliano, Potato Rosemary Bread, New York Deli Rye, Kaiser Rolls, and Brioche, to name a few. All recipes include bread profiles and ingredient percentages. Reimagined for modern bakers, these mouthwatering classic recipes are bound to inspire. --Dana Van Nest ... Read more

    Reviews (46)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Baking heaven!
    For the past week, my kitchen, my whole house even, has been filled with the lovely smell of bread. My bread has always been dense and cakey; after years of trying I had given up on the idea of bread making. But now, using Peter Reinhart's wonderful wisdom, my bread is light, airy, chewy, crusty and just amazingly delicious. Much longer fermentation, real bread flour, far less yeast, and minimal kneading! It's magic. It's more in the method than the ingredients. You must try it and see for yourself.

    ... [I'm making] rich, decadent cinnamon buns (using the RICH man's formula) are undergoing final proofing before being popped in the oven. They have risen phenomenally, sitting as they are atop a 1/4 inch layer of homemade caramel. I cannot remember having made a dough so light, bubbly and elastic. ...

    What I love about the book is that, while giving you "formulae," as he calls the recipes, he NEVER FAILS to encourage to experiment. He may have a formula with little fat, but he'll tell you what'll happen if you put a bit more or a bit less, if the fat is lard or butter. You make the final call in your kitchen.

    There is something odd, though. There is a formula that calls for 5 1/2 tablespoons of butter and 6 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, for example. Couldn't this have been rounded to 1/4 or 1/3 cups? I suppose it gets important when scaling up, and although the calculations maybe easy had the metric system been used, the ornery imperial system is very unfriendly for this purpose.

    The photos are fantastic; sometimes they are indeed worth a thousand words. I look at the photo, and as I feel my bread I know what to "shoot for" so to speak.

    Ah well, gotta go! Those sweet cinnamon rolls must be just about ready now. Buy the book!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Work hard and reap the benefits
    I bought this book after carefully researching it, trying to decide if it would be a book I would use or a book that would sit on my shelf and collect dust. The recipes in this book look more time-consuming than those found in my other bread books, and I finally decided that, based on other reviews of this book, it was worth a shot.

    Almost all of the recipes in this book require more than one day to make; the author bases a great many of his recipes on some form of starter, whether it's a stiff dough or a liquid sourdough starter. He asserts that this style of baking brings out the most flavor in the flour. He's right. The recipes I have tried [so far] in this book do indeed have a better and stronger flavor, in spite if the fact that the base ingredients are the same as that of other recipes in other books.

    The author does more than provide a bunch of good recipes (he refers to them as "formulas"). He describes the chemistry behind the ingredients and how they react to one another when mixed. He also shows, with photographs, many different shaping methods and intermediate steps that are required in making bread dough.

    The author writes the techniques and recipes in this book like a man who has a deep interest in the subject, not just a desire to crank out another cookbook. He demonstrates, through his discussion in the book, his deep understanding of the art of breadmaking. For this man, bread making is a joy and a pleasure, not just a profession. When reading this book, the reader gets pulled along into the excitement the author has for his topic, which makes the process of breadmaking even more pleasurable.

    This book is not for the lazy baker. If you want to make breads that are fast and easy, look for other titles. But if you want outstanding breads, and you're willing to work for it and be patient, then this book is a superb choice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you love good bread, this is worth every penny and more
    This book is a real education in bread baking. You'll learn the science behind the process; as another reviewer stated, you'll feel like you are sitting in one of the author's classes at Johnson & Wales University. You'll learn various dough-shaping techniques, including tips that I otherwise would never have known, like how to create surface tension so that the loaf will rise up and not just out. Basically, you will learn everything you need to know to create really great bread and you'll learn it in an engaging, easy-to-read manner from a person who obviously has a real (and contagious) love for good food.

    You may find as I did that to begin with you will have to do a lot of flipping back and forth in the book, to review particular processes. However, once you learn how to shape a baguette or how to judge the dough's gluten development, as examples, you won't have to keep going back to review that information and you'll be able to follow the recipes with more flow.

    The Poolish Baguettes are to die for. I often make a batch when I have company (since a good deal of the work is done the day before) and let me tell you, if you want to see people REALLY SAVOR their food, give them a warm loaf of this bread!

    Of the other recipes I've tried so far, my other favorite is the foccacia.

    Another reviewer felt like you had to have a state-of-the-art kitchen to use this book. I must disagree, as I felt Mr. Reinhart went out of his way to teach the user how to recreate (to a reasonable degree) the commercial baking process, including steaming the loaves to create that delectable crunchy crust.

    If you love good bread and want to know how to achieve superior results baking it yourself, don't hesitate a moment to buy this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the way!
    I have purchased this book and have no experience in baking, go figure. But I have successfully baked breads that 99% of homemaker bakers dont even know is possible. What an eye opening experience, and the little bit of science of bread baking is extremely interesting. There are a few books out there that are the real deal and this is one of them. Sadly so many books printed are garbage written by wanna be yahoos. This book is a gem. nuff said.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you love to bake then you knead this book
    If you are out there searching for a bread book like i was, take my advice and buy this book. It is a well written collection of Peter Reinhart's recipes, but also of his experiences. As you read this book you will find that you feel as though you are sitting in one of his classes at JWU. These recipes are clear and concise and the steps that lead up to it allow you to produce exactly what he says you will. Also checkout the back of this book to see other great books that he recommends. I must go purchase a second copy for a friend, happy baking! ... Read more


    8. The Cake Bible
    by Rose Levy Beranbaum
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0688044026
    Catlog: Book (1988-09-20)
    Publisher: Morrow Cookbooks
    Sales Rank: 2061
    Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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    Rose Levy Beranbaum is a kitchen chemist extraordinaire--this, afterall, is the woman who wrote her master's thesis on the effects of sifting on thequality of yellow cake. In The Cake Bible, she explains the sciencebehind types of leavening, the merits (or not) of sifting, melting chocolate,preheating ovens, and more. There are precise and detailed instructions forintricate wedding cakes as well as cakes that can be mixed and in the oven infive minutes. In addition, nutrition information is included with every recipe.Cake scientist Beranbaum doesn't forget the art, either; pencil drawings teachnovice bakers how to create a garden full of flowers from royal icing andmushrooms from piped meringue. It's no wonder that the International Associationof Culinary Professionals picked The Cake Bible as their cookbook of theyear for 1988--this book has something to teach bakers at every level. ... Read more

    Reviews (107)

    4-0 out of 5 stars "Too much butter?" Yes, it is possible...
    This book is the source of the single-most-baked-cake in my household: the white chocolate whisper cake. Rose Levy Berenbaum shows her genious in this one simple recipe. Not only does the white chocolate add wonderful flavor, but because it melts at a different temperature than butter, it stands up better to icing and cutting while still melting in your mouth! This cookbook is full of such wonderful gems--recipes that produce not good cakes, but *amazing* cakes.

    This book is aimed at someone with a bit of experience in the kitchen. Pretty much everything is measured by weight, as is normal with professional pastry chefs since it's much more accurate than measuring dry ingredients by volume or eggs by number of eggs. Some of the more complex creations will require experience, an artistic hand, and/or specialized equipment, but even if you don't want to make those, the basic recipes are stupendous. The fruit sauces meant to go with the cakes, for example, make us swoon! Try serving that white chocolate whisper cake, for example, with a raspberry sauce.

    My one complaint about this cookbook is the icings. Buttercream icings, in my experience, come in three varieties: lots of shortening (blech!), lots of butter, or lots of sugar. I'm really not fond of the lots-of-butter variety, as I find that it unpleasantly masks the flavor of the cake beneath. Unfortunately the buttercream frostings in this cookbook are of the lots-of-butter variety.

    Do keep in mind that many of the recipes in this cookbook are *not* aimed at beginners. It's a great primer, though, for anyone who wants to make a true exploration into the world of cake-baking!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mixed Results
    I have had mixed results with this book. The cakes that turned out well (downy yellow butter and golden almond, for example) were among the best cakes I've ever tasted. The ones that didn't, however (including the white spice pound cake and chocolate genoise) were dry and tasteless. I recommend this book for the intrepid experimenter: you will probably not like all the recipes in this book, but the ones that you like, you will love. The directions are extremely clear and detailed; I am an intermediate baker and I learned a lot from this book. Two words of advice: 1. Start checking your cakes a good 5-10 minutes before the suggested baking time; many of these cakes dry out in a heartbeat and are best just a touch underdone (and my oven temperature is perfect). 2. Berenbaum's buttercream is not for the faint of heart (4 sticks to frost one cake)! You might want to look elsewhere for buttercream recipes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cake baking primer
    This is a wonderful book and tho in possession of 2 bookshelves full of baking books, this is one i always return to. Her instructions are always very detailed, leaving no guesses for the beginner to the advanced baker. All her recipes that I've tried seem to be foolproof (and appreciated at all my german in-laws functions) and the range of cakes in this book (catering to bakers of all levels) lives up to its name - a real cake bible (unlike some other cake book authors). From basic pound cakes to cheesecakes, chiffon and angel food cakes to the more complicated tortes, Rose's got a variety for her readers to choose from. I won't trade this book for any other book in my shelf.After having this book, I won't buy any Sara Lee pound cake anymore - even when I'm screaming for time. Rose's pound cake tastes 10 times more heavenly. In fact, this book's so well-loved and used that I've got to get 2 more copies - one for my mom and another to replace a tattered copy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Finally, High Altitude Recommendations!
    I live at an elevation of nearly 5,000 feet and this is the first book I have found that addresses baking at high altitude! I have been trying to teach myself to bake cakes for about 4 years now and they have been a disappointing 4 years--until I found this book. I searched many baking books only to be disappointed with their lacks of high altitude recommendations. As soon as I read the section of recommeneded adjustments for baking at high altitude in The Cake Bible I quickly made the sour cream cake and it turned out FABULOUSLY! The crumb was perfect! I decreased the leaving and increased the flour. Finally, success! No more wet cakes that cave in the middle.

    There are soooo many cakes I want to try in this book and now I have the tools necessary to bake with success. Thank you Rose!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love the Cake Bible, outstanding!
    I spent the first three days I had the book just reading it from cover to cover. My sister owns the cake bible also. We have both made many of the recipes, such as the Downy yellow butter cake and the white cake, domingo chocolate cake and the wedding cakes, and must not forget the delicious cheese cake. The lemon curd is to die for. We both loved all of those. I did not like the egg based butter cream at all. It tasted like I frosted the cake with a stick of butter, and had a nasty after taste. My sister and I have made three special occasion cakes that served 100-150. We received rave reviews by our friends. The cakes all disappeared which did not happen before we started using the cake bible.

    I have incorporated some of her methods in my other baking as well with improved results. I like the fact that she explains the why's and what for's of baking. She has an excellent trouble shooting guide on page 476. One thing I found was that you need to use the size and depth pans that she recommends. I started with three inch deep pans, since then I have purchased the 2" deep pans that all most all her recipes call for. Make sure you have a good oven thermometer and that you use the exact temperature she recommends. If you don't have a 5 quart stand mixer you will be frustrated with these recipes. I started out with a kitchenaid 5 speed hand mixer. My first cakes tasted great but all fell in the middle. It was rather frustrating. My sister bought me a kitchenaid stand mixer and since then my cakes have been beautiful. (With Rose's help)

    I have ordered the Bread Bible and the Pie and Pastry Bible as well. I hope my results with those Books will be as good as I have experienced with the Cake Bible. ... Read more


    9. I'm Just Here for More Food : Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking
    by Alton Brown
    list price: $32.50
    our price: $19.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1584793414
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
    Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang
    Sales Rank: 76
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    10. Pizza: A Slice of Heaven : The Ultimate Pizza Guide and Companion
    by ED LEVINE
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0789312050
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-08)
    Publisher: Universe
    Sales Rank: 1318362
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    Book Description

    Pizza is the single most popular food in the world, and wherever you go in America you can always find it. In fact, we consume 33 billion dollars worth of pizza annually from the 63,873 pizzerias in America. That's a lot of slices.
    This year's pizza centennial is a milestone laid claim to by Lombardi's Pizza, which opened its doors in New York in 1905. Celebrating this anniversary is Ed Levine's A Slice of Heaven:The Ultimate Pizza Guide and Companion, in which Levine and some of America's best writers and cartoonists set out to answer every cosmic question involving this beloved food: Is Chicago pizza really more of a casserole? What makes New York pizza so good? Is the pizza in New Haven better than anything found in Naples? Is the best pizzeria in the world found in Phoenix, Arizona? What and where is the Pizza Belt? How good can homemade pizza be? Why was Nora Ephron petrified that her very first date would take her to a pizzeria? How did someone named Fats Goldberg end up being New York's preeminent thick-crust pizza maker? Is there an American pizza aesthetic? How does one go about judging pizza?Is there such a thing as a good frozen pizza? All these questions and more will be answered in A Slice of Heaven by Levine, along with some of his favorite writers, including, among others, Calvin Trillin, Ruth Reichl, Roy Blount, Jr., Arthur Schwartz, Mario Batali, Jeffrey Steingarten, and Eric Asimov. A Slice of Heaven tackles the profound questions and never-ending debates that invariably come up whenever the subject of pizza is brought up in polite company.
    ... Read more

    11. The Cake Mix Doctor
    by Anne Byrn
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0761117199
    Catlog: Book (1999-11)
    Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 680
    Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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    Cake mixes are undoubtedly convenient, but do they produce good cakes? They can, says Anne Byrn, author of The Cake Mix Doctor, if you know how to tweak them. Doing this involves the addition of ingredients to enrich the mixes and flavorings to enhance and, in some cases, conceal questionable tastes. To prove her point, Byrn offers more than 175 recipes for mix-based cakes and other desserts, including formulas for frostings that, Byrn maintains, must be made from scratch. The results are convincing; readers interested insatisfying, dependable desserts prepared quickly and with little fuss should welcome the book.

    Beginning with a useful discussion of cake mixes, their history andcomposition, and an outline of the mix-transformation battle plan, the book then presents the recipes in chapters such as "Chocolate Cakes," "Cake-Mix Classics," "Special Occasion Cakes," and "Incredible Bars and Comforting Cookies." Among the most successful offerings are Deeply Chocolate Almond Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, Banana Cake with Quick Caramel Frosting, and Lemon Buttermilk Poppy Seed Cake. A chapter devoted to crumbles, crisps, cobblers, trifles, and even a dessert pizza shows how to use the mixes in innovative ways, and "Lighter Cakes" presents "healthier" offerings, such as Pear and Toasted Pecan Buttermilk Cake. With sidebars such as The Legendary Pillsbury Bake-Off and tips for success throughout ("Cinnamon is one of the great tools to use when doctoring up cake mixes," begins one), the book explores every aspect of cake-mix fixing while revealing the unexpected richness that the process can yield. --Arthur Boehm ... Read more

    Reviews (143)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must for The Cake Baker!
    As an avid baker as well as cookbook collector, I am always on the lookout for new cookbooks on baking. I was, however, somewhat skeptical about a cake baking cookbook that relies primarily on boxed mixes. What a surprise! I love this book so much I can't stop trying new recipes and have been giving the finished goods away just so I can try a new recipe! The introductory comments are extremely helpful, especially in explaining why one would choose to use a cake mix, rather than bake from scratch. Each recipe's ingredient list is typically short and the prep time is next to nothing, so you can really turn out baked goods on a moment's notice. I have now tried a number of the recipes all of which have turned out fabulous. The only drawback is that this cookbook focuses on basic cakes and doesn't include any fancy type ingredients or frostings that one might find in other baking cookbooks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great cakes!
    This is a fun cookbook. I often look through it for ideas and am always impressed with Byrn's creatvity. The ideas are unique and quite varied. She offers tons of chocolate recipes, cheesecakes, cakes with fruit and a chapter of cakes (Such as Red Velvet that you might not make all of time, but are still intersting).

    Every cake that I have baked has turned out beautifully. There are photographs (albeit small ones) of every recipe that are quite helpful in assembling the cakes. The instructions are clear and easy for bakers of all mastery levels to follow. The chocolate cakes are very rich, but of course very tasty.

    I wish she offred more variety with some of the cakes that a 13x9 pan. I would like to see more than one way some of the cakes could be prepared. Despite this, the cakes really are good and you would never guess that a mix was invovled.

    The author inludes lots of sidebars that offer baking hints- very helpful. I also likes the section about the history of baking mixes. I think this book would be a great way to get kids hooked on baking as well. I love this book and plan to buy the sequel!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favor and buy this book
    This book has made me a cake lover. Every cake comes out perfect and yet the best part is that every recipe starts with a boxed mix. However, you would never guess as each cake is decadent. The pictures of each cake listed in the front of the book is a bit cheasy but can be really fun if you let friends pick which cake they want for thier birthday based on the pictures. This book rocks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
    This is an excellent cookbook! Any recipe I have made- cakes, frostings, bars, comes out wonderful. They always get rave reviews! It also has great tips on all aspects of cake baking. I am so glad I have this cookbook, and I use it all the time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dessert Lover's Dream Come True!
    I love this cookbook! It is full of easy recipes that take just minutes to prepare; and require ingredients I almost always already have in my pantry. Anne Byrn also made it interesting reading by filling the book with facts about the recipes and the cake mix industry. I have tried many of the recipes and so far have only found one "bad" recipe...don't use her Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, it is more like a sauce than a frosting. ... Read more


    12. The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens
    by Daniel Wing, Alan Scott
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1890132055
    Catlog: Book (1999-07-01)
    Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 24721
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    In recent years, a revived and burgeoning interest in wholesome, locally baked bread has swept the country, with bakeries springing up in small towns and major urban areas alike, producing an astounding variety of interesting, crusty, tasty, handmade breads. The Bread Builders explains the grains and flours, leavens and doughs, the chemistry of bread, and the physics of baking in a big book filled with helpful drawings, photographs, recipes, and tips. In a unique angle for a book on baking bread, it also includes detailed diagrams and instructions for building your own masonry bread oven from scratch.

    As Laurel Robertson, author of The New Laurel's Kitchen says, "This book is ice cream for a baker! We visit legendary bakeries, meet wonderful people, learn all sorts of fascinating scientific information with practical usefulness in bowl and oven, and best of all, get the skinny on masonry ovens, the cherished fantasy of us all." The enthusiasm of the authors in their search for the perfect loaf of bread permeates this detailed but lively and accessible book, and will offer much of use to both amateur and professional bread makers. --Mark A. Hetts ... Read more

    Reviews (14)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A joy for the serious bread baker amateur, or professional.
    I've been a serious amateur bread baker for more than thirty-five years. In that time, I have learned that magnificient bread can be made of the simplest of ingredients. Often, I have found it difficult to convey to friends that wonderful bread is "built" (to use the term in the book's title) upon the subtleties of technique rather than on the complexities of recipes.

    Dan Wing and Alan Scott have provided bakers with a wonderful book that teaches these techniques and the principles that contribute to their success.

    In addition, they provide detailed information about building that masonry oven I've been dreaming about for years. I think that it will soon become a reality.

    Rarely have I felt so appreciative of a new book.

    I offer these highly skilled authors my sincere thanks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amateur Artisan Baker's Bible
    This is a great book for the amateur artisan baker and it fulfills its two primary goals admirably. For the artisan baker, it provides the stoichiometry behind baking naturally-leavened bread - allowing one to adapt the basic formula and create new recipes that work! For those of you who, like me, try to recreate that hearth-baked bread flavor and texture in a conventional oven (only to fail), this book provides detailed plans and step-by-step instructions on constructing your own masonry oven! I have many bread cookbooks but this one is a real treasure! Buy it now!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Don't hesitate, just build it ...
    If you want to know how to make sourdough bread, this is THE book to get. It not only tells you how, but equally importantly (at least for me) why. My sourdough bread has turned from a heavy, unappetising brick, to a loaf that my friends and family are actually enjoying. Even better than the bread, if you want to know how to build a wood-fired oven, then look no further - this book has nearly everything you need. With discussions on fundamental design guidelines, required tools, materials and one set of plans in the book, anyone with a little "handyman" experience should be able to build a robust and reliable oven. But don't expect everything to be laid out in the form of fool-proof instructions - YOU will have to do a bit of work in figuring out what size you want the oven, (dome height, door width, floor height), exactly how things will fit together and how many bricks, how much cement, aggregate, etc. you will need. But for me, doing this was part of the challenge, even if I did spend 6 months reworking my plan a dozen times or so. The only thing I'd change in this book is to add just one example of how you could do a chimney - this caused me considerable torment, although what I've done seems to work just fine. So if you want a wood-fired oven, and are thinking of building one - don't hesitate, just build it ...

    2-0 out of 5 stars Missing Plans?
    The authors make several references to a set of plans and list of materials that are included with this book but these appear to be missing. I would not try to build a masonry oven with this book but it is a good start.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Where's the dough!
    I was expecting something more like a SUNSET magazine type presentation...this book is not a "how to" manual on building an oven. In fact, the directions given were so poorly presented that it felt like I needed to hire these guys to do the job. Outlines, guidelines, drawings or anything else one would expect for buildiing a brick oven were completely lacking. The bread portion of the book is well...okay, but it has been better written and done elsewhere. I would pass on this book and keep looking ... Read more


    13. The Advanced Professional Pastry Chef
    by BoFriberg, Bo Friberg
    list price: $65.00
    our price: $40.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471359262
    Catlog: Book (2003-02-21)
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 8040
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Up-to-date, advanced techniques for the professional pastry chef and serious home baker
    The Advanced Professional Pastry Chef brings up-to-date coverage of the latest baking and pastry techniques to a new generation of pastry chefs and serious home bakers. This book covers advanced material and--like chef Bo's classic The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, Fourth Edition (Wiley: 0-471-35925-4)--contains contemporary information to meet the needs of today's pastry kitchen. This volume contains nearly 500 recipes, which emphasize the techniques and presentations offered in top restaurants and bakeshops today. Topics covered in depth include decorated cakes, modernist desserts, wedding cakes and holiday favorites, sugar work, marzipan figures, and chocolate decorations. Illustrated step-by-step instructions demystify even the most complex techniques and preparations, while over 100 vivid color photographs bring finished dishes to life.
    Bo Friberg (Greenbrae, CA) is a Certified Master Pastry Chef and Executive Pastry Chef at the San Diego Culinary Institute. He has more than forty years of experience in the industry and has received numerous awards and honors for his work.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Praise for Bo Frieberg
    This is an amazing book full of color pictures of many of the itmes to be made. However, I do advise you, that this is not a book for beginners. I came to realise this after attempting the Chestnut Puzzle Cake. I knew it was going to be a tough task to accomplish, so I tried it with boxed cake mixes, and frosting from a tub at first. ( No one knew the difference). The instructions are worded so that anybody can make the recipes, and some have illustrations to aide in the task. They are time consuming, but the extra effort is worth it in the end. If you plan on purchasing, and making the recipes, I reccomend taking a picture of it before you consume.

    5-0 out of 5 stars SUPER Book...ONLY book you will need!
    This book is a MUST!!It has TONS of information on chocolate, pies, cake..etc. Was impressed with the simplicity of the directions and the process of making the recipes. I know alot though about pastry, so if you dont know alot, you will learn!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know about baking is in this book.
    The pictures are very detailed and it shows many variations on several of the popular desserts. It even tells you about presentation. With hundreds of recipes to choose from, this book is a must for any baker, whether you are a student, or work in a bakery or in a restaurant.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love the details in this wonderful baking book
    I am a student studying to become a professional pastry chef. This book has great details and pictures of every advance cake and pastry you can think of. I just took the Certification test for baking, and have decided to purchase the Study Guide for Baking: Key Review Questions and Answers with Explanations to help me pass. I also bought the Study Guide for Advanced Baking. These books have very similar questions to what's in class and on the test. I highly recommend it to every student and professional whom want to become certified. ... Read more


    14. Baking and Pastry : Mastering the Art and Craft
    by Culinary Institute of America
    list price: $65.00
    our price: $40.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471443824
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-19)
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 6929
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This insightful book presents 350 recipes, along with expert reviews of valuable techniques, for creating mouthwatering breads and desserts. The use of volume and metric measurements suit the needs of large operations, small bakeshops, home kitchens, and classrooms. More experienced bakers can find advanced tips about chocolate, confections, and wedding cakes, as well as the CIA's approach to plating and decorating desserts. Hundreds of full-color photographs introduce the baking ingredients, offer step-by-step guidance through important techniques, and feature finished products. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Authoritative Answers to Most Baking Questions
    Like almost all other Culinary Institute of America books, this volume, 'Baking and Pastry Mastering the Art and Craft' is primarily written as a textbook for culinary professionals. Even as a textbook, I would not recommend this book to non-professionals as a means of learning how to bake. For baking hobbyists who simply want to learn more in a systematic fashion about baking, I would strongly recommend that they get a copy of Sherry Yard's new book 'The Secrets of Baking' and read it from cover to cover.

    This does not mean this is a poor book. Only that it is pretty seriously oriented to teaching professional pastry chefs. And, there are ways in which professional chefs do things, which are not and should not be done by the home baker who prepares baked goods for their family and friends. The most obvious symptom of this fact is that most recipes are scaled to make many more pieces than a home baker is likely to want, unless they are baking for a church bake sale.

    This also does not mean that the book has no value for the home baker. If you are a serious baker for your own consumption, this book is an excellent reference for just about any pastry preparation of which you can think. Not only will it have authoritative recipes for staple preparations such as batters, Panna cotta, sabayon, crème broulee, caramel, buttercream, chantilly cream, lemon curd, glazes, royal icing, pate brisee, pate a Choux and dozens of other standard recipes, it will have recipes for some preparations for which you may have a difficult time finding any place else. My favorite discovery is a recipe for strudel. I have made strudel with frozen philo dough, but I am not very happy with the result. But, I really like good strudel, so now all I have to do is find a counter large enough to prepare it.

    Another serious asset in this book for the home baker is its explanation of why baking processes work the way they do. The explanations are very practical, generally easier to understand than the explanations you may find in a book by Harold McGee. The only puzzle I found in the book's background information is the fact that they said that whole wheat flour has a higher protein content than general purpose flour, yet GP flour must be added to whole wheat to provide enough gluten to produce a good rise from yeast. I suspect the answer is that much of the protein in whole-wheat flour is of a type that simply does not form glutinous strands. But, that has nothing to do with your baking techniques.

    As a serious textbook, I would strongly recommend that anyone who is seriously considering a career as a pastry chef read this book from cover to cover, skipping particular recipe details on this first pass. This read will certainly show that professional baking requires a lot of practice and a lot of knowledge and a lot of work.

    Getting back to the home baker, I would generally refer to this book whenever I simply could not find a recipe in any other source or a recipe is not working out for me, or I remember preparing something from an issue of Gourmet from three years ago and I forgot the recipe. These are all situations where I would run to this book before consulting anything else. I would also consult this book for tips if I am creating a new recipe and I wish to use a standard streusel topping in the recipe. Once I was more experienced with artisinal breads after going to school with either Peter Reinhart or Nancy Silverton, I would be more than happy to consult this book for the recipe for one of the very many types of breads in the book. It seems to pretty much cover everything from brioche to pretzels.

    This book does not have everything, but then, no book on baking has everything. It has no recipes for a Hungarian nut cake or funnel cake or snickerdoodle cookies or Russian Easter bread. But it certainly seems to have just about everything else. It is an especially good resource for pastry plating. If you are a serious entertainer as well as a serious baker, there will be things for you in this book which you may not find elsewhere, even in Martha Stewart's better books.

    One thing I would not do is take a recipe from this book to replace a recipe with which I am already happy. The carrot cake recipe in this book is pretty unexciting, as it contains neither pineapple nor 'cookie spices' to jazz it up. The buttermilk biscuit recipe is pretty routine too, using both butter and shortening. I made this kind of biscuit for several years, until I tried an all butter recipe (plus White Lily flour) which gives me a much flakier result.

    Recommended for the serious baker. Highly recommended for the budding professional. Recipes tend to be a bit more complicated than some, but no more complicated than the best you will see from Sherry Yard or Nancy Silverton. ... Read more


    15. Bread: A Baker's Manual
    by JeffreyHamelman
    list price: $40.00
    our price: $25.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471168572
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-23)
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 3942
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    Book Description

    A comprehensive, illustrated bread-making reference from an award-winning master baker

    Interest in fresh-baked breads is on the rise both in restaurants and at home, where more and more people are turning to the age-old comforts of baking and breaking bread with family and friends–the perfect antidote to modern stress. This book puts perfect loaves within reach of serious home bakers and professionals, detailing how to create everything from Baguettes and Whole Wheat Bread with Hazelnuts and Currants to Semolina Bread and Focaccia con Formaggio. It contains more than 118 recipes, including a whole chapter on decorative breads, as well as detailed coverage of bread baking techniques, from scaling and mixing through shaping, scoring, and baking. Nearly 250 beautiful black-and-white illustrations demonstrate methods step by step, while full-color inserts throughout the book show a broad selection of both simple and decorative finished breads.

    Jeffrey Hamelman (Hartland,VT) has been baking professionally for more than 25 years. He is the Director of the Bakery and the Baking Education Center at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vermont. He was the captain of the United States team that won the prestigious Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie (the World Cup of Baking) in Paris. He became the 76th Certified Master Baker in the United States in 1998 ... Read more


    16. The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook: Old-Fashioned Recipes From New York's Sweetest Bakery
    by Jennifer Appel, Allysa Torey
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $15.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0684859106
    Catlog: Book (1999-11-03)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 1869
    Average Customer Review: 4.09 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    On the corner of Bleecker and Eleventh Streets in the heart of Greenwich Village sits the Magnolia Bakery. This unassuming shop, where the smells of home-style baking weaken even the strongest will, has attracted a clientele that ranges from kids on their way home from school to celebrity glitterati. Cupcakes swirled with pastel frosting crowd the counter, and cakestands display Lemon Vanilla Bundt Cake, Apple Walnut Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing, and Coconut Layer Cake, swathed in fluffy white frosting and covered in drifts of coconut. As Time Out New York says: "The secret to Magnolia's success is simple: Nobody knows how to bake like this anymore."

    Magnolia's owners Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey know how, and in The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook they share their most mouth-watering recipes, from sweet breakfast treats like Dried-Cherry Crumb Buns to classic Iced Molasses Cookies, from decadently rich Caramel Pecan Brownies and Raspberry Marzipan Cheesecake to refreshing Lemon Icebox Pie. Their easy-to-follow recipes and invaluable baking hints mean that even the inexperienced baker will be able to frost the perfect layer cake, turn out the flakiest pie crust, and whip up the creamiest cheesecake. Illustrated with eight pages of glorious color photographs, The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook will inspire you to turn on the oven and create sweet memories for your family and friends. ... Read more

    Reviews (33)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing....
    I'm very disappointed with many of the recipes..I dont know if there are misprints or if thats the way they make at the Greenwich village bakery. I made the Apple Crumb Pie which came out very boring...and the Iced Molasses Cookies were disgusting (they tasted like the ones you d find at the Winn-Dixie markets...and the Chocolate Chip Banana Bread ended up with the texture of "grass seeds", probably from the chopped peanuts. This is one very sad cook book...it appeared very delicious but the results were disasterous. And I consider myself a professional baker (working at the Disney World's bakeries for 5 years).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good book
    I had read about this book on another website and was immediately intrigued by one of the recipes listed. It was an orange vanilla chip cookie that was supposed to taste like those old fashioned orange creamsicles. The day I bought the book and brought it home, I baked those cookies and took them to a bake sale at work. They were a big hit. I made about 5 dozen and they were quickly gone.

    When I was mixing the dough, I thought the authors had made a mistake. The dough was very dry and difficult to mix. I had thought about adding extra eggs. I decided to go ahead and bake the first batch. They baked up thick, soft, chewy, and delicious. They didn't spread and become thin. They were surprising light-tasting and made everyone want more.

    The other recipes look just as wonderful and I look forward to trying them all. They are simple, with no complex ingredients and the instructions are very clear. Even a first-time baker would have no problem with these recipes. The only complaint I had was that there were too few pictures.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lets you bring home the wonderful smells of Magnolia Bakery!
    I never miss a trip to Magnolia Bakery in NYC's Greenwich Village whenever I am in town. It smells amazing and the cupcakes and icebox pies are to die for!!! You do have to crowd into this little shop for quite a while to wait your turn but it's worth it!

    This book lets you make all of these wonderful, old-fashioned treats at home with simple ingredients and not a lot of effort. I don't even have a sweet tooth but some of the recipes are downright tempting! If you make nothing else, try the recipes for their famous cupcakes (I like the chocolate ones especially) - makes the book worth getting.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great
    I purchased my copy of this book from the bakery on a trip to New York. My family is from the south and I was intrigued by the idea of the book and the bakery. I have not been disappointed. The recipes are clearly written and easy to follow and each one I have tried has turned out beautifully. I have made many of the cheesecakes and cookies, the pies, and cakes/frostings and they seem to be fail proof. I am giving the book out as gifts due to the many requests for the recipes. I think it is a great book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Recipies
    This is by far one of the best baked good cookbooks I've used. The recipies are simple, straightforward and classic...something that is missing in a lot of books out there.

    Every recipie that I've tried, blueberry muffins, corn bread, chocolate chip cookies, lemon pie have all turned out well. I look forward to trying a recipie from this book ever time!

    I'd like to say it's like mom makes, but now she makes cookies that are sliced up from the fridge. So it's like mom is SUPPOSED to make in an ideal world! ... Read more


    17. Panini, Bruschetta, Crostini : Sandwiches, Italian Style
    by Viana La Place
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $13.26
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060095725
    Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
    Publisher: Morrow Cookbooks
    Sales Rank: 1030
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Move over pasta and pizza, here come panini, bruschetta, and crostini! The world of sandwiches, Italian style. These heavenly bread-based creations include recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, antipasti, party foods, and delicious desserts and indulgences for any time of the day.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very nice book!
    This book has some wonderful recipes in it. Perfect for a Panini beginner & easy to make recipes. I purchased this after buying a Panini maker on Amazon, I'm looking forward to making several of these recipes.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not enough
    By the name you would expect this book to give you some of those restaurant recipes from your favorite italian sandwich shop of the East coast area. But there is no bread recipes at all. Only to buy those made by your local bakery. There are some very good filling recipes though.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sandwiches: Italy Style
    Fresh bread, cheese, veggies, meat, seafood --- all combined into delightful fares, such as sandwiches, snacks, etc.

    Fond of Goat Cheese and Roasted Pepper Panini; Swordfish and Arugula Panini;Insulata Russa and Shrimp Tramezzini; Polenta Triangles with Peppers and Gorgonzola;Toasted Bittersweet Chocolate Panino;Ice Cream Sandwich, Italian Style.

    Well done with photos, instructions and pointers.

    Refreshing, great additions to a menu or as a stand-alone snack or dinner.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A blessed birthday gift
    When my sister, Laurie, gave this to me for my birthday, a whole new world opened up to me. I had always been a fan of sandwiches, but this has bologna and cheese beat. Hands down. Every recipe from this book (that I've tried) is a winner. I constantly refer to it when I have particularly fresh tomatoes, greens, seafood, prosciutto, cheese or artisan bread. I especially appreciate Ms. LaPlace's emphasis on very fresh, organic ingredients and free-range poultry products. The delicious little bites produced from these pages always elicit compliments from guests and family alike. BUY THIS BOOK! You'll never regret it! ... Read more


    18. Cakes to Dream On : A Master Class in Decorating
    by ColettePeters
    list price: $40.00
    our price: $26.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471214620
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-27)
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 4968
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    Book Description

    A beautifully illustrated, step-by-step guide to the sophisticated art of cake decoration–from one of the world’s premier cake designers

    Master cake decorator Colette Peters has developed a large and tremendously dedicated following among serious home cooks and professional cake bakers who love her magnificent, whimsical cakes. In Cakes to Dream On, she presents an astonishingly beautiful new array of her original cake designs, including Homage to Dr. Seuss, Rainbow Carousel, Colorful Cloisonné, Floral Inlay, and Bridal Brocade cakes. She includes more in-depth instructions and explanations of techniques than ever before, along with templates and insider tips on sugarwork, gumpaste, fondant, brushwork, and piping. More than 150 color photographs and a gorgeous full-color interior make this book a wonderful gift as well as an excellent kitchen resource.

    Colette Peters (New York, NY) is the owner of Colette’s Cakes. Her creations have appeared at royal weddings and major diplomatic functions, including White House events. She is the author of four books, including Colette’s Birthday Cakes and Colette’s Cakes: The Art of Cake Decorating. She recently won the Beaver Creek International Culinary Classic: The Wedding Cake Challenge, which will be televised on the Food Network. ... Read more


    19. Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America
    by Steve Almond
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $10.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0156032937
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-04)
    Publisher: Harvest Books
    Sales Rank: 8529
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Picture a magical, sugar-fueled road trip with Willy Wonka behind the wheel and David Sedaris riding shotgun, complete with chocolate-stained roadmaps and the colorful confetti of spent candy wrappers flying in your cocoa powder dust. If you can imagine such a manic journey--better yet, if you can imagine being a hungry hitchhiker who's swept through America's forgotten candy meccas: Philadelphia (Peanut Chews), Sioux City (Twin Bing), Nashville (Goo Goo Cluster), Boise (Idaho Spud) and beyond--then Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America, Steve Almond's impossible-to-put down portrait of regional candy makers and the author's own obsession with all-things sweet, would be your Fodor's guide to this gonzo tour.

    With the aptly named Almond (don't even think of bringing up the Almond Joy bit--coconut is Almond's kryptonite), obsession is putting it mildly. Almond loves candy like no other man in America. To wit: the author has "three to seven pounds" of candy in his house at all times. And then there's the Kit Kat Darks incident; Almond has a case of the short-lived confection squirreled away in an undisclosed warehouse. "I had decided to write about candy because I assumed it would be fun and frivolous and distracting," confesses Almond. "It would allow me to reconnect to the single, untarnished pleasure of my childhood. But, of course, there are no untarnished pleasures. That is only something the admen of our time would like us to believe." Almond's bittersweet nostalgia is balanced by a fiercely independent spirit--the same underdog quality on display by the small candy makers whose entire existence (and livelihood) is forever shadowed by the Big Three: Hershey's, Mars, and Nestle.

    Almond possesses an original, heartfelt, passionate voice; a writer brave enough to express sheer joy. Early on his tour he becomes entranced with that candy factory staple, the "enrober"--imagine an industrial-size version of the glaze waterfall on the production line at your local Krispy Kreme, but oozing chocolate--dubbing it "the money shot of candy production." And while he writes about candy with the sensibilities of a serious food critic (complimenting his beloved Kit Kat Dark for its "dignified sheen," "puddinglike creaminess," "coffee overtones," and "slightly cloying wafer") words like "nutmeats" and "rack fees" send him into an adolescent twitter.

    ...the Marathon Bar, which stormed the racks in 1974, enjoyed a meteoric rise, died young, and left a beautiful corpse. The Marathon: a rope of caramel covered in chocolate, not even a solid piece that is, half air holes, an obvious rip-off to anyone who has mastered the basic Piagetian stages, but we couldn't resist the gimmick. And then, as if we weren't bamboozled enough, there was the sleek red package, which included a ruler on the back and thereby affirmed the First Rule of Male Adolescence: If you give a teenage boy a candy bar with a ruler on the back of the package, he will measure his dick

    Candyfreak is one of those endearing, quirky titles that defy swift categorization. One of those rare books that you'll want to tear right through, one you won't soon stop talking about. And eager readers beware: It's impossible to flip through ten pages of this sweet little book without reaching for a piece of chocolate. --Brad Thomas Parsons ... Read more

    Reviews (68)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Funniest Book I ever read
    OK, so I am not a candy freak, but certainly a fan. Plus, my hometown is also home to M&M's/Mars Master Foods. And after reading the People Magazine review, I made a mental note to read this book.

    I was not expecting it to be so funny. In fact, I didn't know what to expect really. I mean, I book about candy? How coud he write a whole book about candy without it coming off like a technical guide? But he did it. And I am grateful.

    Almond might not be so grateful that I have passed my copy on to three others to read (everyone finished it in about 2-3 days). I sure he would prefer everyone buy their own copy. So, I am doing my part in telling you to get your own copy and prepare to laugh. And to have sugar cravings.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Nostalgic Read!
    If you have any sense of awe in regard to childhood, and Americana, Candyfreak is worth your time . Reading this book reminded me of growing up, hanging around the candy store (or counter), and the salivation of opening the wrapper of newfound sweetness.

    Candyfreak is what its name infers, but aren't we all that way too?

    4-0 out of 5 stars sweet sadness
    Almond writes with pulsing personality and sensual joie de vivre.

    This book is a unique mix of journalism, obsession, and personal revelations.

    The weakness... visits to the candy companies become repetitous.

    The strength... scenes of the author's childhood, his frailties, his stabs at adult love, and his disquiet about America.

    Almond's most poignant writing involves his sadness and doubt. Read this for his courage and candor, his observations on our individual quests and our strange society.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Oompa Loompas, Goo-Goo Clusters, and Abba Zabas
    Imagine an adult who is just as fascinated by candy as he was when he was eight years old. That is Steve Almond, mid-thirties, English professor, candyfreak.

    It's even better being a candyfreak when you are an adult, because you can buy all the candy you want. And you can even eat all the candy you want, if like Almond, you are an ectomorph who never gains weight.

    Candyfreak, the book, is a journey through the history of candy in America, and one man's relationship with candy. When Almond is talking about candy -- visiting candy factories, reminiscing about candies past, or discussing the attributes of candy, he is quite good. I enjoyed being reminded of some of my old favorites such as U-No and Kits and Sixlets. But when Almond gets more personal, I found myself skipping chunks of the book. This surprised me, because I usually like memoirs and personal essays. I found I just didn't care about Almond's personal quirks or even his politics, even though I usually agreed with him.

    An index would have been helpful, to look up those specific candy bars you are wondering about. Even if you think you aren't interested in the history of candy bars or in candy trivia, you will find yourself compelled to find out what is in a candy bar called "Chicken Dinner" or "Vegetable Sandwich," or why it's called "Three Musketeers."

    2-0 out of 5 stars awfully amateur writing
    it's pretty amateur writing-- a better edit would have helped a lot, and some stronger direction for the author. (in the list of links in the back of the book, the description for one is "This person rocks my world." --um, you couldn't give us anything more than that? like, why?) the stuff about the author's childhood is mildly intersting; it's a lot better when he finally visits the chocolate factories. the descriptions of the owners of the factories is great and the interviews are fun too... that's where the book really picks up. ... Read more


    20. Grand Finales: A Neoclassic View of Plated Desserts
    by TishBoyle, TimothyMoriarty
    list price: $55.00
    our price: $55.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 047129313X
    Catlog: Book (2000-01-26)
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
    Sales Rank: 115772
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Plated desserts--artfully arranged confections prepared from multiple components--are a modern restaurant mainstay. In Grand Finales, authors Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriarty present 53 such creations, the work of 23 leading American pastry chefs who have been challenged to make "neoclassic" versions of traditional desserts. Thus, for example, tart tatin, the venerable French apple galette, is reconfigured by chef Lincoln Carson as Pear Tatin with Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce. Like the other recipes in the book, the pear tatin requires multiple subpreparations (in this case 5, though 7 to 10 elsewhere is not unusual); frequently large recipe yields (72, in one case), ingredient quantities given by weight, and restaurant-ingredient "call-fors" (like isomalt and trimoline) further alert us to the fact--unstated--that the book is for professionals. This said, general readers may well be intrigued by the talent and technique on display in 105 color photos of the unquestionably gorgeous desserts, and by the useful, often fascinating information on pastry history and production that the book provides.

    Organized by classic dessert categories or fare, the book offers a wide range of "reinterpretations," including White Chocolate Key Lime Tart, Passion Fruit Baked Alaska with Coconut Marshmallows, and Ginger and Quince Napoleons. A preliminary chapter introduces readers to the chefs--among them (in addition to Lincoln Carson) teacher and baking-book author Nick Malgieri, Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sebastien Cannone of the French Pastry School, and Chris Broberg of Manhattan restaurant Lespinasse. Offering insights and personal vignettes, the chefs help spin the historical and pastry-career investigation that follows. An illustrated chapter on sugar work concludes the book, along with a glossary of classic dessert types. These latter sections are valuable resources in themselves, and should engross all dessert makers, from the home-based to those who produce, or want to produce, stellar restaurant sweets. --Arthur Boehm ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
    I'm a pastry student. I bought this book because I needed ideas for my projects. This book presents classical desserts with a modern twist. A very useful resource.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Cool Book
    I thought that this was a great book. As stated above; by other reviewers, this is not a beginner's book although not one that is entirely impossible for beginners to follow. I bought this book for reference for an upcoming ACF sanctioned event. I am rather new to this field but will be competing in it. It has many great ideas and alot of the deserts where displayed beautifully. The preparation of many garnishes where not explained but these are easily found on the internet.

    I recommend this book to anyone looking to not just excel but have fun in the pastry field.

    3-0 out of 5 stars review on pastry
    I feel that this book didn't project the pastry that people are interested in today. Pastry is like a fashion show, you put your best most tasteful and fashionable out to the public. The fashion is not overpowered by the accessories.. The dessert should be able to project itself alone.. In this book the desserts were lost among all the garnish..

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners!
    I agree with the previous reviewer this book is not for beginners. BUT what a book! The recipies are great, and presentations wonderful. The portions, sometimes serving 20 need to be reduced, and measures are in weight (took me a minute with 10 oz eggs). If you're a veteran baker you'll have a book that challenges-- and rewards with plenty of wow appeal at your next dinner party.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Top Resource For Pastry Professionals
    I highly recommend this book to pastry professionals and students, skilled amateurs, and aficionados of fine food photography. As the pastry chef of a large Chicago hotel, I am frequently asked to create elaborate showpieces and spectacular plated desserts for banquets and VIPs. Inspiration for these creations is sometimes swallowed up by production demands. A Neoclassic View of Plated Desserts has been an invaluable resource for ideas, presentations and techniques. The photographs are not only dazzling, they are also instructive. The recipes are well-written and tested (measurement are in grams and ounces, too!). The sugar chapter alone (by Ewald Notter) makes the book worth buying. ... Read more


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