As in his first book, Dessert Circus, Jacques Torres's second offering, Dessert Circus at Home, lures home cooks into making his most elegant creations. Even if your pastry skills are so-so, Torres makes it easy to follow the recipes by leading you through them step by step. Many recipes are very simple to follow, especially those for brownies, cheesecake, and banana cream pie. The goodies you make using Torres's recipes are likely to be the best you will ever eat!
Torres is such a gifted teacher that even beginners may confidently try advanced recipes, such as brioche (although it might help if you catch any of the television programs that Dessert Circus at Home accompanies). This book includes the same essential information about equipment, ingredients, and techniques found in Dessert Circus, but adds recipes for pizza dough and 99 other new choices.
A kid at heart, Torres makes lollipops, ice-cream cones, and a birthday cake shaped like a giant sunflower. He offers Moccachino Cake filled with a decadent ganache of melted chocolate and whipped cream for more sophisticated taste buds. And taking fun to the limit, Torres marries playfulness and solid technique to make Fruit Leather Ravioli and a chocolate mousse moose, complete with antlers. Check out the color photos to decide which amuses you more. --Dana Jacobi [via]