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Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes [Paperback]

David Lebovitz
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 18 2012
Pastry chef David Lebovitz is known for creating desserts with bold and high-impact flavor, not fussy, complicated presentations. Lucky for us, this translates into showstopping sweets that bakers of all skill levels can master. In Ready for Dessert, elegant finales such as Gâteau Victoire, Black Currant Tea Crème Brûlée, and Anise-Orange Ice Cream Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce are as easy to prepare as comfort foods such as Plum-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake, Creamy Rice Pudding, and Cheesecake Brownies.
 
With his unique brand of humor—and a fondness for desserts with “screaming chocolate intensity”—David serves up a tantalizing array of more than 170 recipes for cakes, pies, tarts, crisps, cobblers, custards, soufflés, puddings, ice creams, sherbets, sorbets, cookies, candies, dessert sauces, fruit preserves, and even homemade liqueurs. David reveals his three favorites: a deeply spiced Fresh Ginger Cake; the bracing and beautiful Champagne Gelée with Kumquats, Grapefruits, and Blood Oranges; and his chunky and chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. His trademark friendly guidance, as well as suggestions, storage advice, flavor variations, and tips will help ensure success every time.
 
Accompanied with stunning photos by award-winning photographer Maren Caruso, this new compilation of David’s best recipes to date will inspire you to pull out your sugar bin and get baking or churn up a batch of homemade ice cream. So if you’re ready for dessert (and who isn’t?), you’ll be happy to have this collection of sweet indulgences on your kitchen shelf—and your guests will be overjoyed, too.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes + The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments
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Review

"Lebovitz's chatty, down-to-earth tone is sure to steady any rattled nerves as you turn the oven on and get the measuring cups out. And for seasoned cooks and bakers, Lebovitz's recipes are classics worth revisiting."
—Epicurious.com, The Best Cookbooks of 2010: Best Dessert

“David Lebovitz, blogging phenom and former pastry chef at Chez Panisse has written several cookbooks, but this might be his best yet. It's a compilation of all his favorites--from ice cream to cookies to cake and fruit desserts. You will also enjoy the notes with each recipe that tell stories, share tips and often produce giggles. Why? You've read his blog, and probably tried his recipes for free. Now it's time to pay the man!”
—Cooking with Amy, Top Cookbooks 2010, 12/18/10

“If there's one person you can trust to write a good recipe, it's David. My copy of Ready for Dessert is already dogeared and vandalized with all manner of sweet ingredients. His chocolate chip cookies are my go-to and his ice creams, for which he is well-known, are all outstanding. The man worked as as a pastry chef at Chez Panisse then moved to Paris. Need I say more?”
—TheKitchn.com, Favorite Baking Books of 2010, 12/16/10

“And finally, I want to mention a book from earlier in the year, highly recommended if you’re looking for a sweets book: Ready For Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz who writes the excellent and popular blog, “Living the Sweet Life in Paris” at DavidLebovitz.com. This is a compendium of his favorite recipes that he’s reworked and rewritten.  As ever, superb and recommended.”
—Michael Ruhlman, Books for the Holidays, 12/13/10

“You'll want to make everything in this book.”
—Washington Post's Top Cookbooks of 2010, 11/30/10

"An elegantly-composed collection of classics and contemporary riffs, former Chez Panisse pastry chef David Lebovitz's (The Perfect Scoop) latest effort hits the sweet spot. Artfully balancing accessible recipes for novices (the simple four-ingredient Chocolate Orbit Cake, the three-ingredient Peaches in Red Wine and Pistachio, Almond and Dried Cherry Bark) with ambitious-but -worth-it desserts like Banana Cake with Mocha Frosting and Salted Candied Peanuts and White Nectarine Sorbet with Blackberries in Five-Spice Cookie Cups, Lebovitz truly has something for everyone. Can't-miss combinations like Guinness-Gingerbread Cupcakes, Cherry-Almond Cobbler, and Orange-Almond Bread Pudding are sure to inspire a trip to the market, and riffs on classics like a French apple galette (updated here with frangipane, a rich almond pastry cream) and a lush Fresh Ginger Cake will appeal to bakers whose bookshelves are already groaning with cookbooks. The inclusion of Coconut Layer Cake, Vanilla Ice Cream, Meyer Lemon Sorbet, Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies, and Gingersnaps (including a fat-free variety) shows that Lebovitz also knows when not to mess with a good thing. Given its breadth, depth, and accessibility, readers with a passion for baking will be hard pressed to find a better guide to desserts this year. Photos. (May)"
Publishers Weekly, Web-Exclusive Reviews, STARRED REVIEW, 6/14/10

"Each section is more of a collection of surprises than a tour of the usual baking suspects you might find in a greatest hits sort of book by another author (cheesecake, muffins, angel cake etc.).  There are unusual flavour combinations as well as intriguing takes on classic desserts."
—Cookbooker.com, 6/2/10

"Lebovitz brings his writing to life with wit and humor and offers expert advice on everything from cake to cutting boards. Plus, his recipes have that irresistible combination of simplicity and elegance."
—Portland Oregonian, 6/1/10

“Life is short, always eat dessert first.” If you’re a follower of that profound precept or just the owner of an active sweet tooth, David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert is a must. . . . His header notes are chatty, his directions thorough and supportive and his take on the sweet side of life inspired and inspiring."
—BookPage, Cookbook of the Month, May 2010

"Here's what I love about this book. Lebovitz has gathered a selection of 170 recipes that is both complete and eclectic, including classics and innovations. David's voice is candid, sometimes conspiratorial, often funny, and always enabling. It's the same authentic voice that has made his blog one of the most popular food sites on the web. Enjoy the sweetness."
—The City Cook, 5/27/10

"Ready for Dessert promises visceral satisfaction starting with the cover, which invites you to drag a greedy finger through a cake's thick chocolate icing."
—Associated Press, 5/17/10

"You know the real reason I love David Lebovitz so much and tell you about him over and over again? Because he's a baking god. David's new book, Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes is his best yet. . . . Now, I know that we'll have this book in our house for decades, until the spine falls apart and we have to put it together with duct tape. I'm never letting go of this baking book because every single recipe works. It is one of the few baking books I will keep forever in our home. This is my baking bible now. You should buy it too."
—Gluten-Free Girl, 5/11/10

"This is recipe writing at its best my friends."
—In Jennie's Kitchen, 5/4/10

" I have a sweet tooth for Lebovitz, a terrific writer and dessert whiz who has updated his favorite recipes for this lavish book. If you bake, do yourself a favor and buy this book."
—Houston Chronicle, 5/4/10

"Lebovitz has outdone himself with his latest recipe collection, offering readers the very best of his best."
—FineCooking.com, 5/3/10

"If you're looking for a new best friend in the kitchen, one that'll stay a best friend for life, Ready for Dessert might just be the one for you."
—Epicurious.com, 4/30/10

"Part of David's genius is the way he delivers the goods. He's clench-your-legs hilarious but with a strong foundation of serious culinary knowledge. A rare gem in the ever-growing field of food writers — if you haven't gotten to know his books yet, start with this one."
—Apartment Therapy's TheKitchn.com, 4/29/10

"With a bloggers tone and a skilled baker’s sensibility, pastry chef David Lebovitz shares his deliciously simple yet refined recipes in his latest cookbook Ready for Dessert. Sprinkled with endearing anecdotes, each recipe reveals Lebovitz’ compulsion with chocolate and seasonality. There’s a charming unfussiness about the book, which includes recipes like the flourless chocolate orbit cake, which was previously named the chocolate idiot cake for it’s easy-to-execute recipe. There are also some more involved recipes—like the kiwifruit, pineapple and toasted coconut baked alaska—making it a great book for beginners and experts alike."
—Los Angeles Times, 4/28/10

"Flipping through our copy, we were entranced by fudgy smudges on the plate under his banana cake, seduced by the simplicity of his red-wine raspberry sorbet, curious about the impression his chocolate chip cookies made on Parisians, and desperate to taste his best-ever brownies."
—BonAppetit.com, 4/26/10

"This is the Lebovitz book that has it all: an elite selection of cakes, fruit desserts, custards, frozen desserts, cookies and candies that encompass all the techniques you’ll ever need to make dessert. The large-format color photos are ridiculously seductive and the design and tone of the book make you believe that your fresh ginger cake, banana butterscotch cream pie or tangy lemon frozen yogurt will taste as luscious as they look here. Based on my experience with Lebovitz’s recipes, they will."
—Patricia Unterman, San Francisco Examiner, 4/23/10

"I think these just might be my new favorite chocolate chip cookie, sorry Thomas Keller but Lebovitz's cookies have got yours beat."
—SeriousEats.com, 4/19/10

"This is the Slinky of cookbooks. I've been paging back and forth, back and forth, mesmerized, spurred on each time I land on a silvery endpaper. It's an enticing, beautiful book with charm and know-how. But this book is not for a coffee table; I'd put it on a pedestal. . . . This book; buy it and bake the living daylights out of it."
—AOL Slashfood.com Cookbook Spotlight, 4/16/10

"An absolutely gorgeous book filled with pages upon pages of recipes and photos that will motivate you to get in the kitchen and start baking."
—SeriousEats.com Cook the Book, 4/12/10

"It's a good sign for a new cookbook when the food-lovers at the table keep passing it around. . . David Lebovitz is one of a handful of authors whose books are pure gifts in the kitchen. . . . But the proof is in the pudding -- in this case, that includes coconut tapioca, orange-almond bread pudding, and kumquat sticky toffee -- and I find his recipes both unintimidating to prepare and impressive to eat."
—Amazon.com Al Dente blog, 4/12/10

"This book is the perfect Starter Lebovitz, if you ask me; for those of you who’ve heard about him or read his blog and laughed at his jokes and comments but didn’t know which of his cookbooks to buy first. With this, he’s retested everything, added weights and pretty pretty photographs so you get a little taste of everything he does well without having to clear out an entire bookshelf to accommodate his awesomeness. (Though he’d like me to let you know that he does not mind one bit if you do that too.)"
—smittenkitchen.com, 4/12/10

"My copy of Lebovitz's book is already stained (with coffee) from just looking at it. It's the best type of food porn available: high production values (great recipes and gorgeous photography by Maren Caruso); a cast of stars (Chocolate Orbit Cake, Kumquat Sticky Toffee Pudding, App...

About the Author

David Lebovitz is a pastry chef, author, and creator of the award-winning food blog www.davidlebovitz.com. Trained as a baker in France and Belgium, he worked for twelve years in the pastry department at the famed Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California. Room for Dessert, his first book, was an International Association of Culinary Professionals award nominee. He is also the author of The Sweet Life in Paris and The Perfect Scoop. David writes, blogs, and leads culinary tours from his home in Paris, France.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master strikes back ! Nov. 26 2010
By Mylène Bergeron Francoeur TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It had been a while that I was trying to get my hand on a copy of Ripe for Dessert and Room for dessert (which are currently out of print). Imagine how I was pleased when Mr Lebovitz announced on his blog he was going to release a new cookbook, basically a mix of those two books, some new recipes and that he had reworked all the old recipes ?

I must say first of all, those who dislike "chatty" books, this might not be for you. Each recipe starts with a small talk about how the recipe came to be. Or any funny fact he encountered while creating and testing it. It often contains tips on what to do / what to avoid to achieve success. I personnaly follow the blog of David, so I find this part informative and enjoyable. Others might not.

Here is a short description of what the book contains:

Page 1 to 21 includes introduction, a talk on ingredients, and equipment. You can see the man is real passionnate about what he does, as he speaks (almost lovingly) about soft and creamy lumps of butter, amazing chocolate, heavenly toasted nuts, exotic spices and so on. I know lots of people think that when an author says "use the best", they think they're acting snobby and are being turned down, or some other crazy misconception.

Let me tell you this folks, there is one basic rule in the kitchen: you cannot have an outstanding finished product if you don't use outstanding starting ingredients. It's as simple as that. There is an understanding here that not everyone can afford (or simply find !) everything, like fresh vanilla beans. I used the fake stuff for years, and I didn't die. However, once you move on to real extract, or the actual beans, you're going to understand why so much people put as much emphasis on the quality first.
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5.0 out of 5 stars like it May 16 2013
By Marc
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes
Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes
David Lebovitz
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it March 23 2013
By Jessie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really really good recipe books are hard to find... This one is excellent. Have made a good number of recipes and all were big hits. Great explanations and a nice personal intro to each recipe. Highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks good. Jan. 10 2012
Format:Hardcover
I bought this as a gift for my daughter who is a fantastic baker and cook. She immediately picked out and marked several items to try. It has unique recipes we had never seen before and look forward to trying many of them.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Un llivre pour gourmands qui s'assument June 12 2010
By Kiki
Format:Hardcover
Dans ce livre, Lebovitz a mis ses desserts favoris... Je n'en ai essayé que quelques-uns jusqu'à maintenant et wow! Les brownies et les glaces de cet homme sont mes préférés jusqu'à maintenant. C'est maintenant rendu ma référence quand j'ai besoin d'une idée dessert!
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