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Jul 26, 2011 03:38 PM

Great Dessert Cookbook

Wondering what a good place to start with a gourmet baking cookbook would be

Not so concerned with decorating something so much as the items coming out great, higher end ingredients are ok by me

Gourmet taste, having an ice cream and or sorbet in the book to make would be a bonus as i would be interested in trying that

So far i have been making lots of bread puddings, anglaise with cakes, and tiramisu and am looking to try making some new stuff

Lots of pictures are a plus

thanks for the help :)

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  1. I always recommend Sherry Yard's book "Secrets of Baking". I think her desserts are delicious.

    But, what I love is how this book is set up. It is based on "master recipes" and then shows you how to use variations of that recipe or technique to make different and more complicated things. Definitely worth checking out.

    If you're looking for a bit more adventurous of a path - I haven't cooked as many recipes from this book but I do enjoy reading "Dessert Fourplay" by Johnny Iuzzini. So I can't vouch for how well all the recipes "work" but it is worth checking out as well.

    3 Replies
    1. re: thimes

      I clicked in to make the same suggestion. Secrets of Baking taught me nearly as much about pastry as my pastry school did, at least about the basics. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in learning to bake.

      1. re: sarahjay

        Thank you so much, that secrets of baking sounds like exactly what i am looking for - it is on the way :)

        Johnny Iuzzini book sounds cool from the Amazon reviews, I might snag that as well as something to work up to - is that the judge from Top Chef Pastry?

        1. re: Dapuma

          You'll love Sherry's book (or at least I do). It really was a game changer for me and baking mentally. If you really get into it, the book helps you really create anything and has helped me recreate desserts that I have loved elsewhere.

          Yes, Johnny Iuzzini I think was a judge on Top Chef Pastry (though i can't say I made it through the whole season but I'm pretty sure that was him). His book has some very creative flavor combinations that I love but it isn't as "instructional" as the other (though I hate to use that term because Sherry's book is far from "instructional" in the "institutional" standpoint).

          Hope you enjoy!

    2. Secrets of Baking is a excellent one, and I always recommend pastry chef and teacher Nick Malgieri's books Bake!: Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking, Modern Baker, A Baker's Tour, Perfect Pastry, Perfect Cakes, whichever, they're all great.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bushwickgirl

        Agree about Malgieri, but I would also add The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet.

        1. re: roxlet

          Ooh, I don't know about the Art and Soul...will look, thanks!

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            Art and Soul is great, as are the Malgieri books. The David Leibovitz that came out last year ("Ready for Dessert") has a wide range of really interestng recipes.
            If you can do without photos, there's no beating Maida Heatter's "Book if Great Desserts", her first book of many excellent ones.

            1. re: buttertart

              Yes, Maida is always wonderful. I think the OP's head would spin if I recommended all the baking books I love! Or maybe the Op's wallet would spin!!

      2. Baking from My Home to Yours Dorie Greenspan. There is not a dog in there.

        2 Replies
          1. re: roxlet

            Agree on that.

            Here's a thread on the subject that offers a few more options, with recommendations for The Cake Bible, Maida's books; one can never have too many dessert cookbooks:


            And ChefJune's personal picks favorite authors post:


            Buttertart's expounding on that:


            Ah, just read the whole thread.;-)

        1. The Sweet Spot: Asian-Inspired Desserts by Pichet Ong

          I do recommend this book pretty often but you'll find so much inspiration in the recipes and many beyond the baking pan. Sorbets, puddings and yes baked dishes. Lovely book.

          To learn more about the author/chef visit: