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Desserts by Pierre Herme Hardcover – Nov 2 1998

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (Nov. 2 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316357200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316357203
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 2.9 x 28.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #141,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Master pastry chef Pierre Hermé creates desserts that look too good to be eaten. Whether your own renditions will look quite as exquisite is another question! But finding out is definitely worth the time investment. Here are Lemon Crepes to die for, a Golden Pearl Brownie cake that will send your taste buds spinning in an orgy of taste, and delicate Orange Tuiles that are so light and dainty they practically melt in your mouth. A majority of the recipes do require some more advanced culinary skills--and a patient disposition. A Warm Chocolate and Banana Tart requires that the tart's filling of chocolate and butter be cooled to 104 degrees, and then be cooked for exactly 11 minutes. Thankfully, Desserts offers a wealth of helpful information for cooks--listing the essential equipment and ingredients required for pastry perfection and a dictionary of dessert terms. Beautiful photographs make the desserts shimmer in a translucent light, crying out for you to try your hand at creating them. So, with a little endurance and love, you will be well rewarded with your choice of more than 100 heavenly desserts. --Naomi Gesinger

From Publishers Weekly

Herm?, a celebrated French pastry chef who was not only the youngest person ever to be named France's Pastry Chef of the Year but is also the only pastry chef to have been decorated as a Chevalier of Arts and Letters, exports his wizardry to America for the first time in a book that will primarily attract ambitious confectioners. Veteran food writer Greenspan (Baking with Julia) warns that the book's recipes require technical skill and patience. For Flourless Chocolate Cake Batter, the chocolate must be melted and then cooled to 114 degrees. The recipe for Genoise is "temperamental." Fragile is a word applied to Perfect Tart Dough and many other recipes that call for some tricky assemblage. Unexpected ingredients include the one and a half cups of corn in Golden Lemon Fruit Layers; the basil chiffonade garnishing Basmati Rice and Fruits-of-the-Moment Salad; the black pepper and an optional sliver of a haba?ero that spark Warm Chocolate and Banana Tart. For some, a slice of Carioca made of alternating layers of genoise and dark chocolate mousse, topped with bittersweet ganache and glazed almonds, will make all the work worthwhile. Ambitious cooks with steady nerves will find welcome inspiration here. Agent, Jane Dystel.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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The genoise is the "Old Faithful" of French pastry chefs. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Oct. 26 2001
Format: Hardcover
Whenever I have a lot of time on me and want to me a truly impressive dessert, I reach out for this book on my shelf (and yet, I still give it only 3 points, you will see why.)
This book is a great book for people who are looking to make exotic tasting, good looking desserts and have a lot of time to spend as cooking them can be quite time consuming (One dessert usually calls for more than 1 recipe). The recipes usually yield very good and nice looking results (some are really really yummy! e.g. autumn meringue cake, chocolate banana tart). I agree with a couple of the previous reviewers, however, that somes of the recipes are probably somehow not well tested for cooking at home(too much butter and too little salt, e.g. Never try lemon cream. It is definitely like lemon butter!). Another downfall of the book (which I takes 1 point off for) is it is quite hard to follow. The cooking steps are explained in details but words are too much cramped together. If 1 step in here could be numbered such that it could be seperated into 4-5 steps, it would have been much easier to follow. The books have nice cooking techniques, glossary at the end and have really nice pictures.
In conclusions, this cook book is not for a novice but it can definitely give you an inspiration! But be careful not to bring your desert to a party if you haven't made it before. The recipes that work, work really great but you don't want to feed your crowd with the ones that don't work well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jerry i h on Jan. 25 2004
Format: Hardcover
At first I was skeptical of this book, since Hermé is worshipped by the French press as a demi-god. I am glad to say that this is a source of very good, but not great desserts. There are several things I like about this cookbook. All of the recipes were thoroughly tested, and I had no problem with the ones I tried, although some recipes required more than casual talent and there are no warnings about this in the recipes. Most of the recipes are assembly jobs. That is, the components are prepared at least a day before and assembled that day. The garnishes and plating are also completely described and recipes given for them; this way, there is no question of how to serve them. These are mostly professional restaurant desserts that have been successfully adapted to the American kitchen. So, these recipes are suitable for both restaurant and home. There is nothing here that is very difficult, but some are time consuming and have several preliminary steps. Hermé for the most part eschews decorative, architectural structures and focuses on the flavor of the dish.
The chapter "Basic Recipes" contains components used by recipes in the other chapters. It is an interesting collection of recipes, some with curious wrinkles. Some of them, like pâte brisée, meringue or inside-out puff pastry, do not work as well as standard versions. Some, like crème anglaise or pastry cream, are actually better than standard ones because they list actual temperatures rather than a physical description as the end point, meaning that the less experienced will have a good chance of doing them properly. Some recipes, like Lemon Cream, are a lot of extra effort without any discernable improvement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diana Faillace Von Behren on Dec 5 2001
Format: Hardcover
Master pastry chef Pierre Herme has created a delightful book filled with more than enough taste treats to satisfy even the most sated dessert gourmand. On first glance, each recipe appears difficult to construct; each contains a multiple amount of steps most of which require parchment paper and pastry bag utilization--not the standards of most amateur bakers. Not worth the fuss? Au contraire! Pierre's ultimate products are fabulous--the tastes and textures meld together to form not only a tasty finish to any meal, but create perfect confections that are also a feast for the eyes.
The book is divided into 4 main sections: Pierre's basic recipes, Fruits, Creams and Cookies, Tarts and Tartlets and Cakes. A Dictionary of Terms, Techniques, Equipment and Ingredients as well as a Source Guide round out the book. I guarantee that the hands-on experience of creating at least one of these dessert extravaganzas will act as your own personal primer to pastry-making, igniting your passion for the French patisserie and insuring that you purchase all other books by M. Herme. My own interest in the book was cultivated by seeing M. Herme in action on Martha Stewart's kitchen where he piped the beautiful and delicious pear and fig tartlet with such an easy perfection I was astounded. Bought the book the next day and was not sorry!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mirope on April 9 2001
Format: Hardcover
Like many books by famous restaurant chefs, this isn't a terribly practical cookbook for the home cook. Especially on dessert menus, many restaurants emphasize presentation as much as the quality of the food. Elaborate architectural wonders comprised of many different parts - pastry, pastry cream, cookies, fresh fruit and multiple sauces all in the same dessert - are the norm. This book is a good example of that. The pictures are beautiful and inspiring to look at, but these aren't recipes that most home cooks would want to conquer. When we cook at home we want something lush and creamy and chocolatey that satisfies our craving for comfort food. We're usually not concerned with creating a stunning visual presentation. Furthermore, this book suffers from another common problem with chef cookbooks: the recipes were originally designed to make large quantities for restaurants and the conversion to a home-sized portion is sloppy. Too frequently you'll find that the recipes call for too much butter or not enough salt. If you have a chance, take a look at the pictures in this book, but don't bother adding it to your collection.
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