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Gordon Ramsay's Just Desserts
ISBN 1571457011 / 9781571457011 / 1-57145-701-1
Publisher Laurel Glen
List price $29.95
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Gordon Ramsay's Just Desserts is a very fine book of last courses from energetic three-star Michelin chef Gordon Ramsay, expertly marshaled for the domestic kitchen by Roz Denny. Ramsay's imagination is obviously caught by the sweet course: he expends a great deal of innovative thinking to it with fascinating results. He is inclined to roast his fruit, for example, caramelizing it for greater intensity of flavor; or he might deep-fry it, as in the elegant and fantastically nonchalant Fruit Tempura. Asian flavors appear in ethereal dishes like the Thai Rice Pudding with Coconut and Lemon or Banana and Passion Fruit Sorbet. Cheesecake is light and flavored with pumpkin. Proper homage is paid to comfort food, with recipes for Bread and Butter Pudding (Ramsay makes his with a baguette and laces it with Baileys Irish Cream) and Steamed Toffee, Banana, and Pecan Pudding. The chocolate recipes are particularly fine, with a Chocolate Mocha Tart standing out. Just Desserts is also an excellent primer of patisserie techniques; its explanations and illustrations of the standard syrups, pastes, sponges, and pastries of the restaurant kitchen, here translated into domestic terms, are particularly lucid. The professional mysteries of the mousse, the parfait, the bavarois, and the various manifestations of the meringue are made wonderfully clear. --Robin Davidson, Amazon.co.uk [via]