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DESSERT Cookbook of the Month VOTING

This thread is the first round of voting for DESSERT COOKBOOK OF THE MONTHS OF MAY AND JUNE. I’ll leave it up until Monday morning ((April 28th) and then we’ll have the runoff.

NOTE: Please KEEP IT SHORT!!! Comments belong in the original discussion thread

If you NOTICE THAT I LEFT A BOOK OUT that was in the original thread, please post a message here and I’ll try to get the monitors to include it.

BITTERSWEET, Medrich

BREAKFAST, LUNCH, TEA (Recipes from the Rose Bakery in Paris), Cararrini

CHEZ PANISSE DESSERTS, Waters, etc.

Combo: PURE DESSERT & CHOCOLATE & THE ART OF LOW-FAT DESSERTS, Medrich

Combo: ROOM FOR DESSERT, RIPE FOR DESSERT and DAVID LEBOVITZ WEBSITE

DEMOLITION DESSERTS, Falkner

DESSERT CIRCUS, Torres

DESSERTS, Silverton

DESSERTS and PASTRIES, Lenotre

DESSERTS BY THE YARD, Yard

DESSERTS TO DIE FOR, Desaulniers

DOLCE ITALIANO, DESSERTS FROM THE BABBO KITCHEN, Da Palma

ESSENCE OF CHOCOLATE - Scharffen Berger

FRENCH COOKIE BOOK, Healy & Bugat

GREAT COFFEE CAKES, STICKY BUNS, MUFFINS and MORE, Walter

GREAT ITALIAN DESSERTS, Malgieri

IN THE SWEET KITCHEN, Regan Daley

KAFFEHAUS - Viennese, Hungarian and Czech sweets (Rodgers)

THE LAST COURSE

PERFECT LIGHT DESSERTS, Malgieri

PURE DESSERT (alone), Medrich

RIPE FOR DESSERT, Lebovitz

THE SWEET LIFE, DESSERTS FROM CHANTARELLE, Zuckerman

SWEET SPOT - Ong

TARTINE, Prueitt & Robertson

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  1. For everyone's reference, here is a link to the nominations thread where oakjoan prefers you keep your "non-voting" commentary http://www.chowhound.com/topics/507757

    Happy voting (and cooking)!

    1. Combo: PURE DESSERT & CHOCOLATE & THE ART OF LOW-FAT DESSERTS, Medrich

      Thank you!

      ~TDQ

      1. My vote, with an enthusiastic hand up: Combo: PURE DESSERT & CHOCOLATE & THE ART OF LOW-FAT DESSERTS, Medrich

        Thanks oakjoan :)

        1. PURE DESSERT & CHOCOLATE & THE ART OF LOW-FAT DESSERTS, Medrich

          The second book it out of print, just an FYI for folks.

          1. GREAT COFFEE CAKES, STICKY BUNS, MUFFINS and MORE, Walter

            1. TARTINE please! Everything I've made from it so far is great. But there are lots on here that I would love to cook from!

              1. PURE DESSERT & CHOCOLATE & THE ART OF LOW-FAT DESSERTS

                Thank you!

                1. There are *many* dessert books listed that appeal to me, but my first choice right now is THE SWEET SPOT. Thanks, oakjoan!

                  1. BREAKFAST, LUNCH, TEA (Recipes from the Rose Bakery in Paris), Cararrini
                    second choice:
                    DESSERT CIRCUS (Torres)

                    1. Combo: PURE DESSERT & CHOCOLATE & THE ART OF LOW-FAT DESSERTS, Medrich

                      1. PURE DESSERT, THE LAST COURSE get my votes. I do have the Desauliner's book and am okay with it. I was given Dessert Circus and was underwhelmed. That is going to the Good Will unless someone on this board wants it. Speak up!

                        1. I've never participated in this before. But I've been enjoying PURE DESSERT and would love to be a part of this. So I vote PURE DESSERT.

                          1. I vote for Combo: PURE DESSERT & CHOCOLATE & THE ART OF LOW-FAT DESSERTS, Medrich

                            1. Combo: PURE DESSERT & CHOCOLATE & THE ART OF LOW-FAT DESSERTS, Medrich

                              1. The SWEET SPOT - Ong!!!

                                  1. 1) GREAT COFFEE CAKES, STICKY BUNS, MUFFINS and MORE, Walter

                                    2) THE SWEET LIFE, DESSERTS FROM CHANTARELLE, Zuckerman

                                    3) DOLCE ITALIANO, DESSERTS FROM THE BABBO KITCHEN, Da Palma

                                    1. My vote -- PURE DESSERTS.

                                      1. I'm going to vote (on the voting thread) for Medrich's Pure Desserts. And I don't object to doing any of the books specified as possible combo books with it. Especially The Last Course which I have and is wonderful.

                                        But I do want to let people know that some have had problems with her book The Art of Low-Fat Desserts. I had a copy of this way back when and made a few things from it and found it very very elaborate recipes. And some people had that criticism of that book and one of her prior books also -- that there were more steps specified than needed to get the result. (In her defense, extra steps may be needed to make something low fat taste extra good. But if I'm remembering correctly, some people thought it was just too much.)

                                        I don't see that kind of over-engineering of recipes in Pure Desserts. It looks like a good balance of quality ingredients, unusual recipes and quality techniques. So I am very excited to get cooking from it.

                                        12 Replies
                                        1. re: karykat

                                          Hi Karykat, thank you for this info. I'm still willing to give Low Fat Desserts a go, even in spite of the extra steps required to cook some of the desserts; otherwise, I wouldn't be able to participate at all given my dietary restrictions. Since the DCOTM runs two months, it would be nice to have an option available to those who need to be a little careful with calories and fat so that we can still participate at a reasonable level over the next two months.

                                          Plus, I have been adapting full fat desserts using my own amateurish ideas for several months and I'd personally like to try to see in-depth the steps a professional goes through to achieve deliciousness in low-fat recipes, even if it takes more effort than usual to do so.

                                          And folks who want to do the full fat thing can do Medrich's other book, Pure Desserts. No one gets left out.

                                          ~TDQ

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            Well, I have Chocolate and the Art of Low Fat Desserts, and have only ever made one of the elaborate desserts. Since karykat "had a copy of this way back when," she may not remember that there are a great many recipes in it that are not very elaborate at all. There are lots of simple cookies and cakes (that I have not made), and also simply made and very good recipes for things like brownies, individual chocolate souffles, bittersweet chocolate mousse, lemon curd, etc. (There are a reasonable number of non-chocolate things in the book.) Also a fallen chocolate souffle cake that's "fancy" but not much work. The elaborate cakes are typically made up of multiple component recipes, just as are the ones in Cocolat and most of her other books. Pure Dessert is definitely a departure from the past for her.

                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                              Very encouraging, thank you Caitlin. Interesting that you think Pure Dessert is a departure for her. I think I'll get both books out of the library, if possible, to compare and contrast styles and techniques. I don't know if that will turn out to be a useful endeavor or not!

                                              ~TDQ

                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                DQ, I haven't seen Pure Dessert in person, but everything I've read about and seen from it, with its emphasis on simpler preparations highlighting the flavors of less common ingredients (hence "pure") makes it seem a departure from the more involved desserts she built her reputation on (I know we both experienced those "first-hand," so to speak, at Cocolat, waay back in the day). In all her books, she insists on top-quality ingredients. Of course, she has a book just about cookies and brownies, as well. I also look forward to checking out Pure Dessert.

                                                P.S. I think that lemon curd I mentioned may, with the exception of the sugar, be core friendly - no butter!

                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                  Oh, I core friendly lemon curd! I can't wait!

                                                  The premise of Pure Dessert sounds intriguing the way you describe it.

                                                  ~TDQ

                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              Yes, that makes sense. The two books can make a very good matchup.

                                              I just wanted people to know before they buy the book (if they don't have it already) that her recipes have the reputation of being complex (Pure Desserts excepted). So everyone can factor that in.

                                              1. re: karykat

                                                Following on karykat's and Caitlin's comments about how Pure Dessert is a bit of a departure from Medrich's other cookbooks, I thought I'd post this link to Heidi Swanson's site, which I read about once a week, where she talks about a nibby buckwheat cookie recipe she made from Pure Dessert.

                                                If you scroll down to the links at the bottom of her post, you'll see she includes one that is an interview with Alice Medrich wherein Ms. Medrich talks a bit about her philosophy behind Pure Desserts and why it's a departure from some of her other books. Very interesting, I thought, especially for those interested in recent food history of Berkeley. http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

                                                ~TDQ

                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  I have tried numerous recipes in Pure Dessert over the past several months and have been extremely happy with every one. The ingredients in some recipes are unusual and might be difficult to find in some places without ordering on the net: quark, kamut flour, coconut sugar, date sugar, etc., but there are plenty of other recipes that don't call for "weird" ingredients. In my op., this is a magnificent book, and although some of the recipes are a bit complicated, many are not at all. Some recipes could pass for "health food" (e.g., the fruit and nut cake which I've made about 6 times)!!!

                                                  I saw Medrich last weekend on a rerun of any old Baking With Julia show on PBS. Just caught the last 10 minutes or so. She was making an elaborate cake which she frosted by spreading melted chocolate onto a strip of paper and then wrapping the paper (choc. side in, of course) around the cake, chilling and then removing the paper. She then made these scrunchy chocolate thingies that looked like wings and stuck them into whipped cream all over the top of the cake. Amazing looking, but not my style. Glad Pure Dessert is much more user-friendly.

                                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                                    I'm very much looking forward to cooking out of Pure Desserts. Even if it doesn't win the vote for May/June, I have it on order from my library as I'd like to have a look at it anyway... It sounds very interesting. And I'm even more encouraged by the fact that you've had some good experiences cooking out of it.

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      Well since hardly any other books got votes, I like its chances. ;+)

                                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                                        I already have mine out and am reading through and marking some to try and maybe adapt for my monthly newsletter for the shop. BTW the Very Raspberry Tart is over the top and simple.

                                                        1. re: Candy

                                                          I'm interested in the Spicy Linzer Torte (I think that's what it's called).