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Gordon Ramsay's Just Desserts Paperback – 17 Dec 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd (17 Dec. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844000192
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844000197
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 1.9 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 512,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Just Desserts is a very fine book of puddings from energetic three-star Michelin chef Gordon Ramsay, expertly marshalled 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, caramelising it for greater intensity of flavour; or he might deep-fry it, as in the elegant and fantastically nonchalant Fruit Tempura. His ices and creams include voluptuous nut creams and lavender, orange flower water or liquorice ice cream. Oriental flavours appear in ethereal dishes like the Thai Rice Pudding with Coconut and Lemon (serve with mango coulis) or Banana and Passion Fruit Sorbet. Cheesecake is light and flavoured with pumpkin. Proper homage is paid to comfort food, with recipes for Bread and Butter Pudding (Ramsay makes his with baguette and laces it with Baileys liqueur) 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, being particularly lucid. The professional mysteries of the mousse, the parfait, the bavarois and the various manifestations of the meringue are made wonderfully clear. No holding back, then. --Robin Davidson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Gordon Ramsay has earned an extraordinary 12 Michelin stars for his restaurants in London and New York. Now a celebrated television presenter, Gordon's award-winning television series include Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, The F Word and Hell's Kitchen. His other bestselling cookbooks - A Chef for All Seasons, Gordon Ramsay's Secrets, Gordon Ramsay Makes It Easy, Sunday Lunch, Fast Food, 3*** Chef and Gordon Ramsay's Healthy Appetite - are also published by Quadrille.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I work as a pastry chef and own dessert books by authors such as Rose Levy Beranbaum, Maida Heatter, Marcel Desaulniers, etc. But none come close to this book. Maybe it is unfair to compare "baking" books to this cookbook, which could only be classified as a "dessert" book, but other "dessert" books (ie Michel Roux's Finest Desserts, Jacques Torres' Dessert Circus) still fall short of this book.

Gordon is clearly in a league of his own, his flavour combinations are original, creative, and ahead of their time, whilst still retaining a simplicity that allows any intermediate cook to approch them. I say this from experience, because I have owned this book well before I started my pastry apprenticeship.

To give you an understanding of why I admire this book so much, I will compare two fairly standard recipes from two different authors. Rose Levy Beranbaum's "Pie and Pastry Bible" contains a fairly comprehensive recipe for an apple pie. Those who are familiar with Beranbaum's books will no doubt be aware of the extensive research and time she would have spent in search of the "perfect" apple pie recipe. Her recipe is quite complex, although still straightforward, for an apple pie. The chunks of apple are basically "macerated" in sugar, lemon and spice for several hours, so that excess liquid (which may result in shrinkage during baking) is released from the fruit. This juice is then reduced to intensify flavour, then combined with the apple chunks, which are coated lightly with cornstarch. This mixture is placed in the pie shell as per any standard apple pie recipe, then topped with pastry and baked.

Rose's recipe is quite technical, almost overly technical, and while the result is very good, I believe that Gordon's approach is far more effective.
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By A Customer on 15 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
I have been using this book for the better part of a year and have probably tried out 70% of the recipies. Incredibly, I have enjoyed a 100% success rate! His descriptions and explanations are clear and leave no doubts. Considering I am in Malaysia and many of the ingredients are hard to come by, the recipies are forgiving enough to still yield amazing results. I have created and recreated many of the items for friends and family and they always leave them asking for more. Gordon Ramsay is a culinary genius. His jellies in particular are an inspiration. His hot puddings, out of this world. Certainly not a book for the pure beginner but at the same time, a small amount of kitchen experience will have you recreating his genius relatively easily. Your friends and family will love it if there's any left after you've sampled it yourself.
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Format: Hardcover
...the appropriate closing sentence of GR's sweet book introduction!

'I'd like to think that I have included something for everyone here. At least, I encourage you to master a few easy classics - perhaps roasted fruits, crème anglaise, chocolate ganache for truffles and possibly the little treacle tarts I made for Prime Minister Blair & President Putin...'

Measuring in at approximately 21.5 cm x 27 cm, this 224 high quality shiny-paged hardback book is split into main chapters:

1. ices and creams (pages 50 - 83)
2. mousses, bavarois and soufflés (pages 86 - 103)
3. crêpes and batters (pages 107 - 119)
4. homely puddings (pages 125 - 143)
5. special occasions (pages 146 - 167)
6. accompaniments and chocolates (pages 170 - 189)
7. basics (pages 192 - 211)
8. reference (pages 213 - 219)

sandwiched between an introduction and a comprehensive index.

From the front flap:

'In Just Desserts, Britain's most exciting chef demystifies the notoriously tricky topic of desserts. Simplifying classical methods wherever possible, GR helps you to create a series of irresistible treats guaranteed to end any meal with a flourish. ..Just Desserts is set to become the definitive book on dessert making for years to come.'

A bold statement and it is very true to say that it has been done before...and since...often..but with this publication you do get that little 'je ne sais quoi',by doing it the GR way. It reads less like a technical manual and his chatter...as always...encourages.
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Format: Hardcover
Gordon Ramsay is a great chef and there is no doubt that his Chelsea restaurant is worthy of its 3 Michelin stars. It is a shame therefore that this status is not reflected by his book 'Just Desserts' which I have recently purchased.

The book is 211 pages long.

Pages 6 to 119 comprise 1)roasted fruits, 2)fruit salads 3) jellies 4) ice creams 5) parfaits 6) sorbets 7) mouses 8) souffles 9) crepes.
These are all very basic recipes and in any event repeated multiple times with just different flavours presumeably to pad out the book.
Pages 168 to 189 are how to make biscuits and petit forts.
Pages 190 to 211 are entitled 'basics' (ie how to make meringues , pastry etc).

What most people would think of as proper dessert recipes are only from pages 120 to 168.
That is only 49 pages of a 211 page book.
It gets worse however because pages 120 to 145 are entitled 'homely deserts' e.g. rice pudding, rhubarb crumble, creme brulee. These are all easily available from any standard cook book.
Only pages 146 to 167 contain desserts for 'special occasions'.
So do these mere 22 pages contain the holy grail Michelin 3 star desserts? As you've probably guessed the answer is no.
These recipes are also disappointingly dull eg chocolate tart (2 pages) and then a recipe for Dark chocolatte torte (another page). Strawberry tart (another page). Meringue nests with berries (2 pages). Profiteroles (2 pages). Pumpkin cheescake (2 pages).
There is perhaps 1 recipe 'sabayon topped fruit gatin, pannacotta and a hot raspberry souffle' which is Michelin standard but that is it.
One useful recipe out of 211 pages.

As a basic recipe book there are much more comprehensive books out there (eg Delia Smiths Complete Cookery Course).
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