Grace's Sweet Life: Homemade Italian Desserts from Cannoli, Tiramisu, and Panna Cotta to Torte, Pizzelle, and Struffoli Paperback – 5 Jul 2012
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"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
Grace's book is a staple in our petit dessert creation now.
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.