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Grace's Sweet Life: Homemade Italian Desserts from Cannoli, Tiramisu, and Panna Cotta to Torte, Pizzelle, and Struffoli Paperback – 5 Jul 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Ulysses Press (5 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612430244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612430249
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 20.3 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 582,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Grace Massa Langlois is a lady after my own heart....I appreciate how Grace doesn't dumb anything down or skimp on the steps, all while making these potentially tricky desserts feel completely approachable." The Kitchn.com
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Format: Paperback
More visual pornography for food lovers? Great homemade Italian dessert recipes in a richly-photographed cook book. They are one and the same aren't they?

Here in this quite slim book, the author manages to cram in many classic, great-looking Italian dessert recipes that you can make at home for those special occasions. Of course, you can always have them daily, but then you might be searching for a diet book or two shortly afterwards!

Split into several chapters - basics; cakes & cheesecakes; mini desserts; cookies & confections; pies & tarts; pastries & fried desserts; creams custards; mousses & soufflés and finally frozen & fruit desserts - there is going to be something (or many 'somethings') for everybody irrespective of their taste, mood and culinary competence. As long as you like sweet stuff, that is! The selection of dishes is quite interesting and pleasurable and the colour photography makes things really come to life.

The recipes themselves are well written and laid out, combining all the essential bits (apart from an estimation of preparation and cooking times) and a fairly generous explanation with plenty of hand-holding to boot. It is probably a wise decision not to print a typical calorific value of each dish ... one doesn't want to scare people away! You don't need to feel afraid of trying these recipes.

Now the niggles... sadly this book could have benefitted with slightly-higher production values, even if it added a couple of dollars to the overall cost. Slightly thicker, sturdier paper would just make the text stand out (it is hard to explain unless you see the book). The fonts should be a little heavier, a little larger and a bit more white space could have been employed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband is Italian and he can certify that these recipes are truly authentic and well presented. The pictures are also fantastic and Grace's story is very touching! I loved the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful recipes + great pictures = great cookbook! 20 Aug. 2012
By jt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I once read a saying that describes me, it said "I exercise because I love dessert". Chocolate, cheesecake, lemon anything, cream filling, I love it all and this book has it all, cakes and cheesecakes, mini desserts, cookies, pies and tarts, pastries and fried desserts, creams, custards, mousses, soufflés, frozen, and fruit desserts and they are better than the ones you will try in most Italian restaurants. Some recipes are relatively easy and some have more than a few steps. Some do require things that I do not usually have in my kitchen, but with access to the internet they are relatively easy to find. Now I just need some ring molds and a pizzelle maker!

The pictures are beautiful (almost every recipe has a picture of the finished product), the instructions are easy to follow, and I love that all the recipes have an introduction which tells you what to expect. Sometimes I wish that there were pictures to go along with some of the instructions but this isn't a big deal.

The pastry cream is heavenly (and it is pretty easy to make), plus the variations are endless (think white chocolate, chocolate, cinnamon, espresso, coconut, etc). Italian meringue (think a light fluffy frosting), croissant dough, puff pastry, tiramisu (one of my favorites but I now wish Grace would make a raspberry tiramisu and include the recipe for ladyfingers), chocolate truffle tart with chocolate glaze, chocolate éclairs with pastry cream, and Nutella soufflé (I'm pretty sure Nutella is one of my favorite things to eat and this soufflé is delicious) . I will slowly work my way to the more complicated recipes as time allows.

I really enjoy this cookbook. I love to cook and these recipes satisfy my family's and my own sweet tooth. Thanks Grace!

I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my review. However this did not affect my opinions. All opinions are my own and my immediate family's.
34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just "another cookbook." 18 Jun. 2012
By Matt Antonino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I own close to 50 cookbooks so I know cookbooks. This is NOT just another cookbook. Grace's Sweet Life is a collection of desserts and even better: dessert ingredients, that will make your mouth water. It's more than a photo and a way to cook it. The thing that for me sets this book apart is that it builds on itself. Let's show you how to make a ganache - and then as we get through the book, more recipes call for that same ganache. It's a simple way to grow your skills while learning some absolutely magnificent desserts.

Grace's book is a staple in our petit dessert creation now.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cookbook. 30 Jun. 2012
By Philip Van Wulven - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This cookbook shows you how to make desserts better than those written by professional chefs. How so? Because of the love that shines through every page. Love of food, good food, and love of family. When Grace set out to write this, she also created a bonding experience with her son and daughter, which is what the best home cooking does, even if only at the table.
Everything is laid out in simple steps,and the recipes themselves rely more on high quality ingredients prepared with care, than on a huge array of ingredients. You can substitute vanilla essence for the actual vanilla pods, or another flour for the high quality Italian 'doppio zero'she recommends for some pastries, but, since otherwise the ingredients are pretty straightforwards, I suspect there will be a difference in the finished dessert.
Since my own cooking is generally confined to fry, barbeque, and boil,the only recipe I have tried so far is the vanilla poached pears-much more elegant in Italian-Pere al Vaniglia. Yummy. I shall be cautiously widening my cooking possibilities, now I've dabbled one toe in the water.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic Italian desserts! 20 Jun. 2012
By Manuela Zangara - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a book with authentic Italian desserts, this is the book for you! I am Italian and I can tell you these are the real deal. I made quite a few of the recipes in the book and the results were amazing. Eating these treats, takes me back to Italy. I was blown away by the Bomboloni: they were exactly like the ones I used to eat as a child in Milan. My children loved the Amaretti recipe too: it was very easy to make with kids and the cookies were delicious. I also love the way the recipes are explained, as they have very clear and easy to follow instructions. The photography and food styling are so beautiful, yet "human" and warm... they capture the essence of the dish. I highly recommend this book if you want to make authentic Italian desserts at home!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have recipe book 4 July 2012
By Donna Leach - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is well put together, outstanding photo's and scrumptious recipes. Definitely not a diet book but everyone needs to indulge every once in a while. I already make Italian pastries and Bavarian cream, and the recipes in Grace's book are spot on for a very tasty treat plus the preparation directions are easy to follow. I love this book.
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