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DESSERT Cookbook of the Month Suggestions

oakjoan Apr 9, 2008 12:32 PM

For a couple of months now, we regular COTM participants have been discussing the idea of having a Dessert Cookbook of the Month. Quite often, people suggest these books, but the majority usually decides that a dessert book for a whole month, especially outside the holiday season, is too specialized for the main cookbook choice.

Sooo, I’m introducing the new “Dessert Cookbook of the Month”! It will run for TWO months instead of just one, alongside the regular thread for COTM.

We’ve had several suggestions already: PURE DESSERT, a new book by Alice Medrich, the owner of the former sweet shop called Cocolat, in Berkeley, CA; several books by David Lebovitz and BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND TEA by Rose Carannini owner of the Rose Bakery in Paris. There are problems with the Rose Bakery book, as it’s difficult to find and isn’t in many libraries. Further, Lebovitz’ book ROOM FOR DESSERT is now out of print, and the copies I’ve been able to find were on Amazon and quite pricy. He does, however, have a wonderful website with recipes, as well as other books.

I think the only dessert cookbooks we’ve had in the past are Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours and Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook.

I’d love to hear what suggestions you guys will make, and to see if there’s enough interest to really get this 2 month-long Dessert Cookbook Topic going! I’ll let it run for a couple of weeks and then announce and post a voting thread.

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  1. NYCkaren RE: oakjoan Apr 9, 2008 01:37 PM

    The one I'd vote for would be "Dolce Italiano." But I don't make desserts that often so I don't know how much I'd participate.

    4 Replies
    1. re: NYCkaren
      oakjoan RE: NYCkaren Apr 9, 2008 01:40 PM

      That's Dolce Italiano, a cookbook by Gina De Palma, Dessert Chef at Mario Batali's Babbo Restaurant in NYC.

      1. re: oakjoan
        Caitlin McGrath RE: oakjoan Apr 9, 2008 02:00 PM

        I think you mean DOLCE ITALIANO, by Gina De Palma [g].

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
          MMRuth RE: Caitlin McGrath Apr 9, 2008 02:56 PM

          I bought my book when she was selling it at Di Palo, and the two things I tasted (the names of which I don't remember right now) were delicious. I believe JoanN has baked a bit from this book - I don't bake much these days, and have no idea why I bought the book other than I was there and she was there!

          1. re: MMRuth
            JoanN RE: MMRuth Apr 9, 2008 03:36 PM

            The only thing I've made from the book so far is the Honey and Pine Nut Tart pictured on the cover. But a number of people made other recommendations from the book here:


    2. j
      jsaimd RE: oakjoan Apr 9, 2008 02:52 PM

      PURE DESSERT or LEBOVITZ' website

      Oops - I guess were not voting yet. But I am interested in those.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jsaimd
        oakjoan RE: jsaimd Apr 9, 2008 02:55 PM


        No, we're not, but it's good to get into the habit of writing in CAPS! Thanks.

      2. yayadave RE: oakjoan Apr 9, 2008 04:05 PM

        I think you would find that BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND TEA by Rose Carannini does not fit the category.

        1 Reply
        1. re: yayadave
          oakjoan RE: yayadave Apr 9, 2008 08:43 PM

          Right you are yayadave! She does have some lunch and tea recipes (including a really great braised lamb shank), but it's mostly desserts. In any case, it's hard to find apparently.

        2. emily RE: oakjoan Apr 9, 2008 04:08 PM

          I also have PURE DESSERT and DOLCE ITALIANO and would be interested in those.

          Two more:
          THE SWEET LIFE: DESSERTS FROM CHANTERELLE (I've made a number of fantastic desserts from this one)
          DESSERTS BY THE YARD (Sherry Yard's new book with lots of great-looking recipes)

          1. Carb Lover RE: oakjoan Apr 9, 2008 06:55 PM

            Ok, I guess this topic inspires me because I just searched my library system for "dessert cookbook" and perused through 150+ titles. I can't believe that my library carries some really great and many recent dessert cookbooks! Since this is the initial brainstorm, here are some more suggestions:

            DEMOLITION DESSERTS by Elizabeth Falkner

            PERFECT LIGHT DESSERTS by Nick Malgieri (it promises delicious desserts using real butter, sugar, cream, etc. for under 300 calories per generous serving!)


            VILLAGE BAKER'S WIFE by Gayle & Joe Ortiz (what can I say, their bakery is about 5 min. from where I live)

            TARTINE by Elisabeth Prueitt & Chad Robertson

            Books already mentioned that I'm also interested in:

            ROOM FOR DESSERT (and Lebovitz's website)

            PURE DESSERT


            Thanks, oakjoan, for suggesting this sweet offshoot!

            34 Replies
            1. re: Carb Lover
              Caitlin McGrath RE: Carb Lover Apr 9, 2008 08:31 PM

              I would suggest that a month that pairs Lebovitz's web site and ROOM FOR DESSERT should also include RIPE FOR DESSERT, his book of desserts that include fruit.

              I have PERFECT LIGHT DESSERTS, but haven't made anything from it yet.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                pitu RE: Caitlin McGrath Apr 10, 2008 04:52 AM

                oakjoan, I think we'd just better start a support group for Breakfast Lunch Tea...
                I wonder what happened to all the copies I saw stacked up at Anthropologie when the book was released?

                Agree with the ROOM/RIPE FOR DESSERT books/web combo

                and DOLCE ITALIANO

                I also suggest for the long term of this project
                IN THE SWEET KITCHEN by Regan Daley -- the one or two things I've made from it have been excellent. It's a bit of a tome...

              2. re: Carb Lover
                Katie Nell RE: Carb Lover Apr 10, 2008 06:30 AM

                What's Demolition Desserts all about Carb Lover? It sounds intriguing!

                1. re: Katie Nell
                  Carb Lover RE: Katie Nell Apr 10, 2008 08:18 AM

                  Catchy title, right? Well, I haven't actually seen the book yet although I've requested it from my library. It interests me because Elizabeth Falkner is a well-known pastry chef in SF for Citizen Cake and the newish Orson. I think the title reflects her playfulness and creativity w/ desserts.

                  I read the Amazon reviews after I suggested this, and I'm not sure if it's a crowd-pleasing book. The editorial review says it's for seasoned bakers and the buyer reviews are mixed. Some of the mentioned recipes sound intriguing to me though!


                  1. re: Carb Lover
                    Katie Nell RE: Carb Lover Apr 10, 2008 10:47 AM

                    The desserts sound right up my alley. The first chapter is a Study on Chocolate Chip Cookies, so it can't all be just for seasoned bakers. As I brought up that Amazon page though, Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More: 200 Anytime Treats and Special Sweets for Morning to Midnight by Carole Walter caught my eye. I adore coffee cakes! Has anyone baked from this book?

                    1. re: Katie Nell
                      JoanN RE: Katie Nell Apr 10, 2008 12:36 PM

                      I don't plan on doing any more baking any time soon, but I, too, would love to explore Carole Walter's book on coffee cakes, etc., at some point. I recently made a number of cookies from her cookie book and although I had some caveats about how the recipes were written (see http://www.chowhound.com/topics/485609 ), the results were very good indeed.

                      1. re: JoanN
                        JoanN RE: JoanN Apr 16, 2008 01:04 PM

                        As I said, I don't plan on doing any baking any time soon. But when I do, I want to do it from this book. Just got it out of the library and it looks terrific. So formally, GREAT COFFEE CAKES, STICKY BUNS, MUFFINS & MORE by Carole Walter.

                      2. re: Katie Nell
                        flourgirl RE: Katie Nell Apr 10, 2008 01:58 PM

                        I've only baked one thing so far from Carole Walter's new book, the banana chocolate chip cake (I added chips AND walnuts - yum.) It was fantastic. Got rave reviews and everyone asking for the recipe.

                      3. re: Carb Lover
                        NYchowcook RE: Carb Lover Apr 11, 2008 03:55 PM

                        here's what I hope is a link the Publisher's weekly review of the book
                        (I want the PW cookbook reviewer to be my new best friend)

                      4. re: Katie Nell
                        karykat RE: Katie Nell Apr 10, 2008 08:41 PM

                        I do have the Demolition Desserts book and it is intriguing. It might not be for everyone though. First, as an initial impression, it uses a certain amount of gothic anime style cartoons for illustrations. Just a design thing. I'm not sure what I thought of that. Seemed kind of distracting but doesn't go to the quality of the recipes. There are many georgeous photographs. Just luscious.

                        More to the point, many of the desserts, in fact perhaps most of them as I leaf through it now are sort of composed desserts with multiple components. With catchy names.

                        So, for example, there is S'more a Polooza which is "malted hot chocolate, chocolate peanut butter cream, toasted marshmallows, crushed graham crackers and peanut rice curry."

                        Or, there is Cocoshok which is "coconut panna cotta, dark chocolate sauce, walnut-caramel coconut candy, venezuelan-spiced rum-and-lime granita."

                        Another one is Karrot Keiki which is "carrot caketons, cream cheese-currant-walnut balls, pear sesame salad, sesame vinaigrette."

                        Or "Waking Up in a City That Never Sleeps" which is "cheesecake custard, sour cream sorbet, graham cracker powder and blueberry paper."

                        Most are in this vein. Like I said, composed desserts with multiple components.

                        Of course, you don't have to make all the components but could pick and choose.

                        There is one picture here that looks gorgeous and has caught my eye. It is for something called "Shagalicious: and it's a genoise with rum syrup and a passion fruit cream filling and what she calls "coconut shag finish" which is a whipped cream and coconut exterior. That one I have my eye on.

                        If you have questions about the book, I'm happy to check it more for anyone.

                        1. re: karykat
                          Katie Nell RE: karykat Apr 11, 2008 06:11 AM

                          The S'more a Polooza was one that caught my eye when I looked at it on Amazon. I don't think it's a good contender for COTM, but the desserts really do sound good, so I think I'm going to check it out anyway! Of course, it will probably end up being the kind of book that I just look at and wish that MMRuth or Carb Lover were here to make the desserts for me! ;-)

                          1. re: Katie Nell
                            oakjoan RE: Katie Nell Apr 11, 2008 11:17 PM

                            Katie: ROTFL!

                      5. re: Carb Lover
                        beetlebug RE: Carb Lover Apr 10, 2008 06:41 AM

                        I've made a number of items from the Sweet Spot and it's been great. The recipes really seem to cater to my personal tastes.

                        1. re: beetlebug
                          Carb Lover RE: beetlebug Apr 10, 2008 08:20 AM

                          Nice to hear some first-hand support for this book! After reading the Amazon reviews, this book and Lebovitz are probably my top choices.

                          1. re: beetlebug
                            karykat RE: beetlebug Apr 10, 2008 09:25 PM

                            beetlebug -- what kinds of things did you like from the book. I would like to try it, if not now then sometime, and am wondering what worked well.

                            1. re: karykat
                              beetlebug RE: karykat Apr 11, 2008 06:48 AM

                              I've made cookies and cupcakes. The cookies were for my annual christmas cookie giveaway and the cookies from this cookbook were more popular than my other ones.

                              Specifically, the cookies were the coconut chocolate chip cookies (pg. 89) and ginger oatmeal raisin cookies (pg. 91, I subbed dried blueberries for the raisins).

                              The Dragon Devil's Food Cake Cupcakes (pg. 56) were also great. While there was nothing special about the cupcake itself, the frosting was absolutely amazing. Lapsong souchong tea leaves, star anise, bourbon are infused with water. This infusion is mixed in with a chocolate ganache for the frosting. The taste was simply out of this world.

                              Lastly, I also made the watermelon shaved ice with salt and pepper (pg. 208). Essentially, this is a watermelon granita with lemon zest with fleur de sel and pepper. The mixture of sweet and savory gave the granita a different twist. It was extremely refreshing on a hot summers night.

                              I have a lot of recipes tabbed off to try in this book, but since there are only two of us in the house, it doesn't help our waistlines when I make desserts. Neither of us have the will power to not eat the dessert and C doesn't like to share great desserts with either of our co-workers. ;-)

                              1. re: beetlebug
                                karykat RE: beetlebug Apr 11, 2008 09:04 AM

                                These all sound very interesting.

                                1. re: beetlebug
                                  yayadave RE: beetlebug Apr 11, 2008 09:28 AM

                                  That icing sounds spectacular!

                                  1. re: yayadave
                                    beetlebug RE: yayadave Apr 11, 2008 12:28 PM

                                    It really is. I'm not a huge frosting eater either. And, thinking about the cupcake portion, it had an interesting texture since you add chopped chocolate to the batter. But, it really was the perfect foil for the frosting.

                                    1. re: beetlebug
                                      The Dairy Queen RE: beetlebug Apr 11, 2008 01:05 PM

                                      This book sounds really interesting! I definitely would like to see Sweet Spot be on our list one of these months...


                                      1. re: beetlebug
                                        oakjoan RE: beetlebug Apr 11, 2008 11:19 PM

                                        What is it with these cookbook authors and tea? Pure Dessert has a really great chocolate tart which is served with whipped cream infused with jasmine tea. Excellent, by the way.

                                        1. re: oakjoan
                                          beetlebug RE: oakjoan Apr 12, 2008 09:20 AM

                                          Darn it. This recipe also looks great. And, on my way there, I found the recipe for the raspberry chocolate chunk muffins. So much for that waistline.

                                    2. re: beetlebug
                                      yayadave RE: beetlebug Apr 12, 2008 11:19 AM

                                      That "watermelon shaved ice" sounds like something that would make an interesting jello.

                                      1. re: yayadave
                                        beetlebug RE: yayadave Apr 12, 2008 01:14 PM

                                        Oops. For the watermelon shaved ice, I meant to write lime zest.

                                        That would be an interesting jello. would the salt inhibit the jelling part?

                                2. re: Carb Lover
                                  Carb Lover RE: Carb Lover Apr 16, 2008 08:03 AM

                                  So I got a few of the above books (Demolition Desserts, Perfect Light Desserts, Tartine, and The Sweet Spot) from my library. After leafing through each, I'd be happy to focus on any of them but my top choices for this time are The Sweet Spot and Demolition Desserts. I love Pichet Ong's modern twist on Asian desserts, and many of the recipes seem doable at home.

                                  Demolition Desserts is definitely a funky and unconventional cookbook w/ anime illustrations, but the layout and desserts look really fun and different. I like Falkner's last paragraph in her acknowledgments:

                                  "This book would not have happened without the works and inspirations from Avery Falkner, Jason Falkner, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, the Cure, Pierre Herme, David Lynch, Martha Stewart, Madonna, Richard Serra, Jean-Paul Gaultier, David Bowie, Quentin Tarantino, Frank Gehry, Marie-Antoiine Careme, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Christine Manfield, Mark Rothko, Frank Stella, Franz Kline, Masaharu Morimoto, Dif Juz, Cocteau Twins, the Adria brothers at El Bulli, Yoshitomo Nara, Comme des Garcons, Chrome Hearts, and Orson Welles."

                                  I'm sorry to hear the negative reviews on Malgieri's Perfect Light Desserts. At first glance, there are many classic recipes that are naturally light by design or have been slightly modified to be a bit lighter. I often find dessert recipes to call for too much sugar, so I'm interested in trying some of Malgieri's recipes regardless if this book is chosen.

                                  1. re: Carb Lover
                                    yayadave RE: Carb Lover Apr 16, 2008 09:46 AM

                                    I think "The Sweet Spot" and "Demolition Desserts" are the two must haves for me. DD has a dessert called "Cherries of the Corn." How's that!?

                                    1. re: yayadave
                                      oakjoan RE: yayadave Apr 24, 2008 11:46 AM

                                      Yayadave: I think it's a jokey reference to a horror movie called "Children of the Corn". Yeah, that's the way to entice folks to try your recipe! Name it for a nightmarish horror movie! :+)

                                      1. re: oakjoan
                                        yayadave RE: oakjoan Apr 24, 2008 12:37 PM

                                        Oh, yes! She has one called "A Chocolate Tart Named Desire." In the book and, apparently on the resto menu "Cherries of the Corn" is written in dried blood colored spooky font. In her write-up on "CotC" she says that two of her staff came up with the name. "That was a great moment, because it made me realize that my co-workers got it when it came to naming our desserts." Reading that made me decide to "get it" too. In a side-bar on this recipe, she recommends "two months before, make the cherries; three days before, make the ice cream; the day before, make the grits; just before serving, pop the popcorn and plate the dessert." Work that out! TeeHee! I'll give you a hint. That is "sweet corn ice cream." Anyway, THE SWEET SPOT and DEMOLITION DESSERTS arrived today and that truly is an overabundance of riches. THE SWEET SPOT is not as off-the-wall, but it's just as unusual.

                                  2. re: Carb Lover
                                    wildfire RE: Carb Lover Apr 16, 2008 10:20 AM

                                    I love Perfect Light Desserts! I know we aren't voting, but I was about to suggest that when I saw this thread.

                                    1. re: wildfire
                                      Caitlin McGrath RE: wildfire Apr 16, 2008 12:37 PM

                                      wildfire, will you please share some of your picks/successes from Perfect Light Desserts?

                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                        karykat RE: Caitlin McGrath Apr 16, 2008 01:21 PM

                                        I will acknowledge that I may have been hasty in my judgment of Maglieri's book.

                                        Still would put Pure Desserts as my highest priority.
                                        The almond cake I made from it was great. And so many of the recipes look really good. Sophisticated, letting ingredients shine, quality without being fussy.

                                        Also very interested in the Sweet Spot and some of the others.

                                    2. re: Carb Lover
                                      pikawicca RE: Carb Lover Apr 17, 2008 01:38 PM

                                      I made several recipes from Perfect Light Deserts, and they weren't. That book went to Goodwill.

                                      1. re: pikawicca
                                        Carb Lover RE: pikawicca Apr 17, 2008 06:03 PM

                                        Thanks for sharing your first-hand experience w/ PLD, pikawicca. Do you remember which desserts were duds for you?

                                        1. re: Carb Lover
                                          pikawicca RE: Carb Lover Apr 19, 2008 06:00 PM

                                          Sorry, CL, I don't remember. I just know that it was every recipe I tried -- they just didn't work for me. I'd rather have one stellar, high calorie dessert per week than seven mediocre ones, like those in this book.

                                    3. The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Apr 10, 2008 05:13 AM

                                      How about an ALICE MEDRICK combo? PURE DESSERT +CHOCOLATE AND THE ART OF LOW -FAT DESSERTS

                                      PERFECT LIGHT DESSERTS by Nick Malgieri

                                      I would love to do a Leibovitz combo later in the summer when it's unacceptably, sweltering hot here in the Midwest July/Aug so we can include Perfect Scoop his ice cream book!

                                      Thank you oakjoan!


                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                        pitu RE: The Dairy Queen Apr 10, 2008 05:57 AM

                                        TDQ, the hive was working overtime on The Perfect Scoop when it came out - check the archives. : )
                                        I'd hate to see the other Lebovitz books get short shift in non-baking July/Aug, although he has good preserves. For me, July/Aug would be the time to look at Chez Panisse Fruit, or The Perfect Scoop on it's own. Except it's almost like TPS was done here last summer....

                                        1. re: pitu
                                          The Dairy Queen RE: pitu Apr 10, 2008 06:18 AM

                                          Yes, I've seen the archives--nevertheless, I'd still like to cook from TPS in combination with another Lebovitz cookbook as I won't want to bake extensively in July or August because my kitchen will be unsufferably hot. What will appeal to me and my family then are things that are cool and refreshing. Since the DCOTM spans two months, it seems to me having a Lebovitz combo wouldn't be that onerous. Those of you who want to bake can still do so. Also, I hate to say it, but we don't get great local fresh fruit where I live: it's basically all melon all the time, except for brief --meaning a couple of weeks maximum--strawberry and blueberry periods. Books featuring glorious fruits grown in California and shipped here green and hard just make me grumpy. ;-).


                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                            oakjoan RE: The Dairy Queen Apr 10, 2008 11:48 AM

                                            The trouble with The Perfect Scoop is that, if I'm right, a book devoted solely to ice cream. That means one must have an ice cream maker and I don't know that they're all that prevalent. Pairing it with his website would make a good combo.

                                            1. re: oakjoan
                                              The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Apr 10, 2008 11:58 AM

                                              I'm sorry I obviously was unclear in my post; by a "Leibovitz Combo" I meant pairing Perfect Scoop+Room for Dessert IN JULY/AUGUST (not now) when ice cream would be appealing. And of course, his online recipes would be fair game as they always seem to be (based on my "extensive" one and a half month experience with COTM ;-) ).


                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                JasmineG RE: oakjoan Apr 13, 2008 11:29 AM

                                                Perfect Scoop actually isn't solely ice cream -- there are definitely a lot of ice cream recipes, but there are also lots of recipes that don't call for an ice cream maker -- cookies, brownies, cones, lots of sauces, etc. to go along with ice cream. So people who don't have an ice cream maker (and it definitely seems like there are a lot on this board who have them!) could use purchased ice cream to make his ice cream sandwiches/sundaes, etc or just make the brownies or cookies on their own.

                                                1. re: JasmineG
                                                  oakjoan RE: JasmineG Apr 13, 2008 09:20 PM


                                                  OR, and I think this is a much better idea, you guys with ice cream makers could buy some for the rest of us! Wouldn't that be grand?

                                                  Actually, I have a Donvier hand-cranker that I use all the time. ;+)

                                        2. k
                                          karykat RE: oakjoan Apr 10, 2008 08:26 AM

                                          I'm excited to do a dessert book. I have a few that look great and would love to get cooking from. My two highest priorities, by far, would be PURE DESSERTS and THE SWEET LIFE.

                                          I'd also be interested in DESSERTS BY THE YARD and THE SWEET SPOT. I'm not sure that THE SWEET SPOT's desserts are all that complex. At least some of them aren't. But they do call for some different asian ingredients. (The book is asian inspired desserts. Some western desserts with an asian twist. But I don't think that would be all that difficult to get ingredients. This group has been pretty adventurous.)

                                          I'd also like to do a combination of the LEBOVITZ' books. Or IN THE SWEET KITCHEN.

                                          I wouldn't be so wild about PERFECT LIGHT DESSERTS. I was very excited about that one. I made one thing from it. It was absolutely beautiful and tasted horrible. So I just brought that one to the used bookstore to sell.

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: karykat
                                            The Dairy Queen RE: karykat Apr 10, 2008 08:54 AM

                                            Oh no--how disappointing about that cookbook you had to sell to the used store (I don't want to mention the name again because I don't want oakjoan to accidentally count it as another vote.) That happened to me with a cookbook last year. Even though I am a total packrat, I knew it wasn't worth keeping...


                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                              oakjoan RE: The Dairy Queen Apr 10, 2008 06:49 PM

                                              So, DQ, I'm registering 10 votes for Perfect Light Desserts for you....correct?

                                              karykat: Why did you take the light dessert book back to the used bookstore after just one recipe was awful. Was there another reason or did you look at some recipes and find that they looked weird or yucky?

                                              Plz advize.

                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                karykat RE: oakjoan Apr 10, 2008 08:23 PM

                                                Hi oakjoan. I have been lightening my book collection. As much as I hate to do it! Too many in storage. So I have had to make some choices.

                                                Nick M's recipes sometimes seem kind of basic to me. And I'm not remembering all of what was in Perfect Light Desserts, but I think I thought there were enough other places I could get the basics that he had in there. For example, I think he may have had a fair number of cookies in there which just didn't inspire me. (Again, if I am remembering correctly.) The one recipe I did try was a light cake that had a raspberry filling. You made the cake in a springform and cut it and then filled it with this berry mixture and reassembled the cake with the filling layer in the springform. So that when you disassembled it there was this nice raspberry layer in there. But I think it was lightened with an egg white raspberry mixture that seemed way too sweet too me. Like I said, it looked beautiful. I think the technique would lend itself to other fillings and other cakes that might taste better. But . . . . too many desserts. Too many cookbooks. Too little time.

                                                I bought the book on Amazon but then brought it to a used book place to sell. (I've been kind of thinking of forming a used book coop for cookbooks so that people who like to buy cookbooks can share them instead of having to either accumulate or get rid of them. Anyway.)

                                                1. re: karykat
                                                  buttertart RE: karykat Apr 11, 2008 10:58 AM

                                                  The above-mentioned book is useless in my opinion - I have all of Nick M's others and love them, but was not tempted by any of the recipes in this one - and this was during a time that a favorite dinner-party guest was on a strict-ish diet...

                                                2. re: oakjoan
                                                  The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Apr 11, 2008 06:32 AM

                                                  Goodness, no, oakjoan. If I had the power of 10 votes, I'd use it for good rather than evil--to, say, lobby Amazon to start carrying the rose bakery cookbook, for instance. :).


                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                    oakjoan RE: The Dairy Queen Apr 11, 2008 11:22 PM

                                                    TDQ - Re Rose Bakery book:

                                                    It IS for sale on Amazon. I saw it yesterday. It might be only sold by others, though...since I have it I didn't look too closely. Also could be expensive. It was pretty expensive to begin with and is filled with glorious color photos.

                                                    1. re: oakjoan
                                                      The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Apr 12, 2008 08:15 AM

                                                      Yep, you get 4 hits for this book as being available from third party sellers on Amazon at prices ranging from $32 to $74 (plus shipping.) If you're looking for it on Amazon, it's also helpful to spell the author's last name "Carrarini". Amazon, itself, alas, does not seem to stock it.


                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                        oakjoan RE: The Dairy Queen Apr 12, 2008 10:32 PM

                                                        I've had Breakfast Lunch Tea for about a year now. Don't remember how much it was, but it was pricy new. Of course it was certainly NOT as pricy as the copies from the 3d party sellers on Amazon.

                                                        Since I have Rose Carrarini's book, I've been craving David Lebovitz' book Room for Dessert, which is also for sale by 3d parties for big bucks.

                                                        It's weird, I never was a dessert person. I mean I liked dessert but I rarely made anything special. My stand-by was vanilla ice cream, frozen yoghurt or gelato topped with different berries, or peaches and nectarines, etc.

                                            2. m
                                              morebubbles RE: oakjoan Apr 10, 2008 11:09 AM

                                              I would definitely be interested in a dessert cookbook running for 2 months. I would like to work from: BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND TEA by Rose Carannini, and Lebovitz’ book ROOM FOR DESSERT along with his website.

                                              1. Candy RE: oakjoan Apr 11, 2008 09:08 AM

                                                PURE DESSERT I'm having the Very raspberry coconut tart tomorrow night.
                                                THE ESSENCE OF CHOCOLATE - SCHARFFEN BERGER
                                                THE LAST COURSE-out of print and expensive but many libraries have it.

                                                1. JasmineG RE: oakjoan Apr 13, 2008 11:32 AM

                                                  I like the suggestion of the TARTINE cookbook, and would also suggest BAKING WITH JULIA, which has lots of recipes from the show of the same title and I've had a lot of success with the recipes, and CHEZ PANISSE DESSERTS.

                                                  1. d
                                                    divamon RE: oakjoan Apr 17, 2008 09:00 AM

                                                    My vote would be for Kaffeehaus by Rick Rodgers. Viennese, Hungarian and Czech pastires - how can you go wrong!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: divamon
                                                      emily RE: divamon Apr 17, 2008 08:57 PM

                                                      Oh, that's a good one. The Ischl Tarts are now a Christmas tradition.

                                                      1. re: emily
                                                        malabargold RE: emily Apr 19, 2008 05:05 PM

                                                        Many general cookbooks have great selections, and I use these more often.
                                                        Some good dessert-only books:
                                                        DESSERTS by Silverton
                                                        DESSERT CIRCUS by Torres
                                                        GREAT ITALIAN DESSERTS by Malgieri
                                                        DESSERTS TO DIE FOR by Desaulniers
                                                        DESSERTS AND PASTRIES by Lenotre
                                                        FRENCH COOKIE BOOK by Healy and Bugat

                                                    2. pitu RE: oakjoan Apr 20, 2008 12:53 PM

                                                      beetlebug observantly noticed that there are *no* desserts in Flexitarian, the next COM...
                                                      : )

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: pitu
                                                        oakjoan RE: pitu Apr 20, 2008 08:38 PM

                                                        I'm wondering what folks think of Pure Dessert? It hasn't been mentioned anywhere near as much as other books. I am finding it just amazing...any opinions?

                                                        1. re: oakjoan
                                                          The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Apr 21, 2008 04:26 AM

                                                          I'm not surprised to hear it's fantastic! I'm very interested in doing an ALICE MEDRICH combo, PURE DESSERT +CHOCOLATE AND THE ART OF LOW -FAT DESSERTS (which won a Beard award as did one or two of her others). I'm even MORE interested now that you say you're finding Pure Dessert amazing.

                                                          I always loved Cocolat.

                                                          And, pitu, that is a wonderful coincidence that we are starting the DCOTM project the same month our chosen COTM doesnt' offer dessert recipes.


                                                          1. re: oakjoan
                                                            jsaimd RE: oakjoan Apr 21, 2008 07:01 AM

                                                            I have loved Pure Dessert. I would love to explore it further. Perhaps since this was a suggestion thread you haven't heard about it so much because it was already suggested?

                                                            1. re: jsaimd
                                                              oakjoan RE: jsaimd Apr 22, 2008 10:32 AM

                                                              I just want to mention (remention?) that I've become a big fan of David Lebovitz' website. He's very generous with his time - answers messages, posts lots of his recipes, and is generally entertaining and quite funny. Maybe the fact that he describes Paris and France so well is what gets me...I'm always longing to return and this give me a small fix.

                                                        2. j
                                                          jsaimd RE: oakjoan Apr 22, 2008 10:41 AM

                                                          Are we planning on beginning this in May? Just looking toward needing to reserve books from the library : ).

                                                          1. meatn3 RE: oakjoan Apr 22, 2008 10:08 PM

                                                            My vote is for THE SWEET SPOT by P. Ong. The recipes look fabulous! They are exotic enough to be new territory for me, yet most of the ingredients are accessible.

                                                            1. buttertart RE: oakjoan Apr 23, 2008 10:34 AM

                                                              My vote is for Alice Medrich, PURE DESSERT and/or BITTERSWEET, or any of her others. Pure Dessert has some truly excellent and unusual recipes (chestnut things especially good), and Bittersweet has a wide range of recipes for virtually every form of chocolate, in every type of dessert, high and lower-fat (the lower-fat Reine de Saba cake is particularly good).

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                oakjoan RE: buttertart Apr 23, 2008 12:17 PM

                                                                isaimd: You are right. I think we should start in May. Since the thread will run for TWO months, getting the book (buying, reserving at library) will be less of a problem.

                                                                I was going to wait until this weekend to start the actual voting, but now realize it will have been "a couple of weeks" tomorrow. So tonight I'll put up the voting thread and we then can start the real deal.


                                                                1. re: oakjoan
                                                                  oakjoan RE: oakjoan Apr 23, 2008 11:24 PM

                                                                  I'm running a bit late getting the voting thread up. Will post it tomorrow morning. Don't worry...it'll be up for 2 months.

                                                                  1. re: oakjoan
                                                                    oakjoan RE: oakjoan Apr 24, 2008 12:37 PM

                                                                    The Dessert COTM will be up for 2 months...not the voting thread. Duh.

                                                              2. The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Apr 24, 2008 02:22 PM

                                                                oakjoan asked us comment here instead of in the DCOTM voting thread, so I just wanted to call everyone's attention to jsaimd's comment here http://www.chowhound.com/topics/51267... that ALICE MEDRICH's CHOCOLATE AND THE ART OF LOW -FAT DESSERTS is out of print. I'm still voting for it as part of the ALICE MEDRICH combo, PURE DESSERT, but I thought I'd point that out in case it mattered to anyone. I figure most people would be cooking from PURE DESSERTS if the combo won anyway!


                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                  The Dairy Queen RE: The Dairy Queen Apr 24, 2008 05:28 PM

                                                                  Just FYI--even though it's out of print--there are 32 copies of CHOCOLATE AND THE ART OF LOW -FAT DESSERTS on Amazon (through 3rd party sellers), some under $10, many under $20. Plus shipping (generally $3.99).


                                                                2. yayadave RE: oakjoan Apr 25, 2008 10:27 AM

                                                                  Since people are voting now, please note that these are not the same book. I got the listings from the library.

                                                                  Dessert circus : extraordinary desserts you can make at home / Jacques Torres with Christina Wright and Kris Kruid ; photography by John Uher.

                                                                  Dessert circus at home : fun, fanciful, and easy-to-make desserts / Jacques Torres with Christina Wright and Kris Kruid ; photography by John Uher.

                                                                  1. The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Apr 29, 2008 11:58 AM

                                                                    In response to LulusMom's question--are a lot of the Medrich recipes online? Tons and tons of Medrich recipes are online, as far as I can see, but she has about 7 books out, so, not all of them are from Pure Dessert or Art of Lowfat Cooking. But, here's a sample of what I found by simply googling "Alice Medrich recipes"--these are the first two pages of hits. I hope that helps you decide one way or the other!
                                                                    So many good dessert cookbooks, so little time...

                                                                    • Recipe: Nibby whole-wheat sablés
                                                                    • Recipe: Corn tuiles with salt and pepper
                                                                    • Recipe: Vin santo chiffon cake
                                                                    Pure Dessert

                                                                    Whole Wheat Sables

                                                                    Nibby Buckwheat Butter Cookie Recipe
                                                                    From Pure Dessert

                                                                    o Quark Soufflés
                                                                    o Chunky Blackberry Sauce
                                                                    o Honey Caramels
                                                                    o Lavender Caramel Sauce
                                                                    o http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/ild...
                                                                    From Pure Dessert

                                                                    Bittersweet Citrus Tart
                                                                    From Pure Dessert

                                                                    Alice Medrich’s Melting Chocolate Meringues
                                                                    From Bittersweet.

                                                                    Bittersweet Mocha-Pecan Roll
                                                                    From Dessert & Demi-Sec

                                                                    Chocolate Pecan Pie
                                                                    From a Year of Chocolate

                                                                    ALICE MEDRICH'S CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES
                                                                    Adapted from 'Cookies and Brownies' by Alice Medrich

                                                                    Alice Medrich's Cocoa Syrup
                                                                    From Bittersweet

                                                                    Warm Mocha Tart
                                                                    From Bittersweet

                                                                    Bittersweet Chocolate Tarts
                                                                    Warm Bittersweet Mousse
                                                                    Truffles Au Cocolat
                                                                    Coconut Saras
                                                                    Tiger Cake
                                                                    Nibby Asparagus with Prosciutto
                                                                    Nibby Green Beans
                                                                    From Bittersweet

                                                                    Classic Bittersweet Brownies

                                                                    BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE PUDDING PIE WITH CREME FRAICHE TOPPING
                                                                    CRANBERRY-MAPLE PUDDING CAKE
                                                                    COCONUT RICE PUDDINGS WITH CRISPY COCONUT
                                                                    CARAMEL-BANANA BREAD PUDDINGS
                                                                    BEST COCOA BROWNIES


                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                      LulusMom RE: The Dairy Queen Apr 29, 2008 12:06 PM

                                                                      Thanks so so much TDQ - that is amazing, and helpful, as always.

                                                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                                                        The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom Apr 29, 2008 12:10 PM

                                                                        You're welcome. There might be plenty of recipes out there for the other authors, too, but I didn't search on those...it might be worth doing a quick search if the availability of online recipes is the tipping point for you.

                                                                        It seems from the number of blog hits out there, Medrich has a bit of a following in the bake and blog community...


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