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Sweet Seasons: Fabulous Restaurant Desserts Made Simple (Hospitality) Hardcover – 5 Oct 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (5 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047138738X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471387381
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 2.1 x 27.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 696,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Leach, executive pastry chef at the Park Avenue Café, creates architecturally heady and refined desserts. Organized by season, each recipe in this treasure trove actually contains several sub–recipes: Roasted Pecan Napoleon with Chilled Pecan Terrine is a two–for–one deal, for example, and Caramelized Banana and Milk Chocolate Custard with Banana–Praline Terrine and Banana Fritters has three recipes that can be used separately. Each recipe contains assembly directions that include suggestions for piping sauces and placing garnishes. Unusual ingredients (such as jicama in Frozen Banana Timbale with Jicama, Lime and Mint and Chamomile with Warm Blueberries in a Strudel Shell with Chamomile Sauce) elevate dessert, so it is just as important as the entrée. Professional techniques and equipment are called for here, but home patissiers who are not afraid to experiment may be inspired by the meticulously thoughtful combinations such as Roassted Pineapple Tart with Basil Ice Cream or Fresh Figs with Crisp Corn Pudding and Frozen Fig Torte. There is no guidance on ingredients–where to find tamarind paste, for example, so novices beware: much assembly required. However, the dessert titles alone could stand as poetry, with the added plus that results are delicate and innovative. (Publishers Weekly, September 10, 2001) "..presented in a clear way with useful tips and easy to follow instructions.." (Hospitality, 1 February 2002)

"...home patissiers who are not afraid to experiment may be inspired by the meticulously thoughtful combinations... The dessert titles alone could stand as poetry with the added plus that results are delicate and innovative" (Publishers Weekly, September 10, 2001) "..presented in a clear way with useful tips and easy to follow instructions.." (Hospitality, 1 February 2002)

From the Inside Flap

Today′s star–studded acclaim for Richard Leach, Executive Pastry Chef of the Park Avenue Cafe, is every bit as rich as one of his storied parfaits, tarts, or cakes. Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill calls him a "phenomenal talent" whose delectable innovations singularly "inspired an entire generation of pastry chefs." Chocolatier magazine′s Janice Wald Henderson still can′t decide "which is more awesome–the flavor of Leach′s desserts, or their presentation." And renowned food journalist Ruth Reichl has credited Leach with completely "reinventing the final course." Now Richard Leach brings his acclaimed talent to the bookshelf in this gorgeously photographed masterpiece of delicious, original desserts. True to the traditions of the finest restaurants, the recipes in Sweet Seasons use the freshest ingredients every season has to offer. These ingredients are the foundation of dazzling desserts that can be adapted to suit the needs, skills, and ambitions of all readers–from the home baker to the baking–school graduate to the seasoned pastry professional. Here are the prized trade secrets and methods behind 400 building–block recipes that can be combined to create 100 luscious desserts, all of which have graced the menus of such A–list eateries as Aureole, Lespinasse, and Symphony Cafe. Fall. Winter. Spring. Summer. Organized by season, this book is the first to encompass a full range of desserts using in–season ingredients as they reach their peak: deliciously ripe fruits, fresh nuts, fragrant spices, and more. Leach uses clear, step–by–step guidance to explain the essential techniques for making such delights as Warm Chocolate Cake with Spiced Poached Pears and Crème Caramel in Fall, Caramelized Banana and Milk Chocolate Custard with Frozen Banana Praline Mousse and Banana Fritters in Winter, Thin Strawberry Tart with Warm Shortbread and Vanilla Mascarpone in Spring, and Warm Peach Strudel with Sweet Corn Panna Cotta in Summer. Best of all, the recipes are broken down into components that allow readers to attempt as much or as little of each dessert preparation as they like. Throughout, Leach notes specific possibilities for shortcuts–whether by simplifying the final presentation or substituting ingredients–that let cooks "grow into" the recipes as their skills evolve. A separate "Basics" section brings together all of the elemental recipes crucial to putting the finishing touches on the desserts, including caramel sauce, sabayon sauce, sugar garnishes, chocolate sauce, honey tuile, and many more. An unprecedented and richly inspired fusion of restaurant–style sophistication and home–kitchen accessibility, Sweet Seasons is a mouthwatering celebration of nature′s best ingredients that will inspire a lifetime of creative dessert making.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sweet Seasons is a collection of modern plated desserts and also petite fours. It is clearly written and well illustrated. The author combines a multiplcity of flavours with a striking visual appearance eg ricotta brulee with toasted walnuts and sage.
I suspect that some ingredients may not be available to the UK chef (eg seckel pears, machego cheese) but the book is an inpiration in terms of flavour combination and visual appeal.
I think that only the best UK restaurants will offer desserts of this standard.
High recommended
Peter Brunning
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Format: Hardcover
I recently bought this book and decided to make the dish on the front cover for a celebration dinner party for eight friends. The recipe had eight component parts, altogether, which was quite a lot of work, although almost all could be made the day before. But the instructions were clear and easy to follow and the end result looked right and tasted splendid. I would recommend this book wholeheartedly.
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By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've never seen a cookbook with desserts quite like this. Whether it's warm chocolate cake with spiced poached pears and creme caramel, or caramelized banana and milk chocolate custard with banana-praline terrine and banana fritters, everything here has perhaps three, four or even more main components each a piece of work in itself, and then on top of this various tuiles, spun sugar, garnishes, sauces or sabayons. Everything a work of art, and beautifully photographed.

Is it possible for the amateur cook to create desserts of this standard at home? Maybe not, at least not without a lot of practice. I'm not sure about the "made simple" bit of the title - despite the detailed instructions there is undoubtedly a lot of skill required to pull these off, as well as the right equipment. Hopefully one day I'll dare to try.

One mainly for the professional chef, mostly a coffee table book for the rest of us to drool over and dream about what is possible.
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