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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERon 13 November 2014
My wife purchased this book for me as a birthday present as when designing menus, desserts are always where I struggle for information; in short this book has been absolutely fantastic for inspiration (probably worth noting that I would describe myself as a very keen home cook who enjoys having guests around for dinner parties; I'm certainly not a profession chef).

I already own The Square Savoury book and the desserts book follows the same format of fantastic pictures combined with challenging and inspirational recipes.

The book is split into 12 recipe sections:

Pre Desserts
Desserts in a Glass
Petits Fours

Each recipe not only has a picture, but as with Savoury, Phil Howard gives a fantastic method which really leaves the reader in no doubt as to how to achieve the same results.

Before each method are four short introductions:

Overview - gives a sense of what's required to cook the dish (I find this exceptionally useful)
Focus on - ingredients are highlighted here that require special selection
Key Components - a list of key assemblies that constitute the dish
Timing - here guidance is given re timing and recipes are broken down so you can make the best use of your time

In short, this book is not for the feint hearted, but if willing to commit time and effort into studying the book and then carrying out the recipes, you will find this book a real asset to own. I am so thankful to own it and have cooked 3 very successful recipes directly from it, taking elements from other recipes for inspiration. A book I would not want to be without.

Below is a recipe list which hopefully you will find helpful in your decision to purchase or not:

Pre Desserts

Almond Milk Yoghurt with Plum Compote, Champagne and Bay Sugared Beignet
Vanilla Yoghurt with Rhubarb Compote, Blood orange Foam and a Warm Citrus Beignet
Cardamom Yoghurt with Alphonso Mango. Coconut Foam and a Lime Beignet
Vanilla Yoghurt with Crushed White Peach, Lemon Verbena Foam, Crushed Raspberries and a Warm Vanilla Beignet


Brilliant Savarin Cheesecake
Brilliant Savarin Cheesecake with Gooseberry, Pink Champagne and Elderflower
Brilliant Savarin Cheesecake with Passion Fruit and Lime
Brilliant Savarin Cheesecake with a tasting of Strawberries
Brilliant Savarin Cheesecake with Redcurrant Jelly, White Currant Puree and Blackcurrant Spheres


Elderflower Souffle with Sauternes Ice Cream and Elderflower Fritters
Peach Melba Souffle with Almond and Vanilla Ice Cream
Bay Leaf Souffle with Caramelised Pear and Salted Beurre Noisette Ice Cream
Mocha Souffle with Dulce de Leche Ice Cream and Coffee and Chocolate Macaroons
Rice Pudding Souffle with Prunes and Armagnac
Seville Orange Souffle with Toast Ice Cream and Butter Sauce


Puff Pastry
Caramelised Wafers with Gooseberry Fool, wild strawberries and currants
Tarte Fine of Quince with Elderberry Ripple Ice Cream, Crab Apple Jelly and Hazelnut Oil
Tarte Tatin of Pineapple with Lime Ice Cream and Coconut Powder
Sweet Pastry
Creme Fraiche Tart with Blood Orange
Salted Caramel Tart with Praline Macaroons and Ginger Vanilla Ice Cream


Rhubarb Fool, Mousse, Jelly, Sorbet and Doughnut
Creme Brulee with Cherries, Creme Fraiche, Sorbet and Yoghurt Powder
Creme Caramel with Golden Raisins and Sauternes
Rice Pudding with Clementine Jelly, Blood Orange, Vanilla and Cardamom
Vanilla and Almond Cream with Crushed Fig, Thyme Ice Cream and Olive Oil
Walnut Oil Parfait with Macadamia Sable, Almond Florentine and Pedro Ximinez and Prune Puree
Panacotta with Rhubarb and Warm Rhubarb Ripple Souffle


Blueberry Poached Pineapple with Yoghurt Ice Cream
Poached Apricots with Camomile, Honey and Fresh Almonds
Apple and Blackberry Spheres with Blackberry Jelly and Bramley Doughnuts
Pomegranate Jelly with a Fine Fruit Salad and Passion Fruit and Banana Sorbet
Soup of Strawberries with Champagne and Vanilla
Port Roasted Figs with Creme Fraiche Custard, Lemon Beignets and Olive Oil
Roasted Pears with Date Cake and Sherry Vinegar Ice Cream


Chocolate Souffle with Orange and Almonds Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce
Fondant of Chocolate with Milk Ice Cream, 100s and 1000s and Bitter Chocolate Foam
Chocolate Mousses and Textures
Chocolate and Burnt Citrus Pave with Bitter Chocolate Sorbet, Goat's milk puree, Espresso and Olive Oil
The Square Chocolate Bar with Peanuts, Salt and Caramel

Desserts in a Glass

Lemon Posset with a Blueberry Compote and Warm Vanilla Beignet
Peach and Raspberry Trifle
Greengage, Nectarine and Gooseberry Fool
Chocolate Mess


Blackberry Sorbet with Granny Smith Granita
Charentais Melon Sorbet with Watermelon Granita and Monbazillac
Passion Fruit Sorbet with Lime Granita
Rhubarb Sorbet with Blood Orange Granita


Christmas Crumble Tart with Muscovado Ice Cream and Vanilla Sauce
Mincemeat Roulades
Christmas Pudding with Burnt Butter Ice Cream and Brandy Foam
Christmas Pudding Souffle with 21 Year Old Glenfarclas Whisky and Malted Milk Ice Cream


General Bread Methodology
Sourdough Starter
White Baguette Rolls
Granary Rolls
Walnut and Raisin Rolls
Fig and Hazelnut Bread

Petits Fours

Hibiscus Dipped Pineapple
Blood Orange Pate de Fruit
Cider Dipped Apples
Grapefruit Confit
Passion Fruit Swiss Roll
Salted Caramel Truffles
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44 Comments| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 4 October 2013
I've been salivating over the arrival of this book for what seems like a life time! After the first amazing publication.
On first inspection As you would expect for a total perfectionist as is Phil Howard is the book is absolutely stunning.
The photography is stunning and there is a picture of the finished dish to accompany each recipe. The recipes within cover pre-desserts, souffles, sorbets to bread and everything else in between. It's clean, crisp and so very professional.

Three recipes from The Square - Volume 2: find out how to make Phil Howard's Lemon posset with a blueberry compote and warm vanilla beignets; Nougat; Blackberry sorbet with Granny Smith granita.
A home cook with a small amount of knowledge may find looking at the recipes, rather than the pictures, the book becomes very daunting, but please stay in there as it is all possible...

A more in-depth perusal will make you realise though, once you can get your head round the complexity of some of the recipes, it's actually very cleverly laid out. If you're serious about challenging yourself with some Michelin-class dessert-making, then this is the book to ease you into it.

Each recipe is calculated to serve eight people and while that is more guests than most cookbooks would aim their recipes towards, in this case it makes sense. It's not an everyday cookbook. These are the types of recipes you would undertake for a really special occasion for a lucky group of friends. It's a proper show-off dinner party book.

Think Masterchef, rather than Come Dine With Me. I'm not sure I'd want the bother for any less than eight people - if you're gonna do, do it properly! They deserve careful handling and attention to detail... Your friends, and the recipes.

The layout covers some main headers - words of introduction and overview; a "focus on" section which gives extremely useful tips about the things you should look for in your ingredients (such as use older eggs whites for soufflés as they will whisk up better), or advice on preparing your equipment (butter your moulds well to ensure your soufflés rise properly); a list of the key components for the recipe; and finally an invaluable section on timing, as well as the order in which to prepare things. All in all, if you follow the instructions as given, then it's fail-safe. Very clever.

The Christmas section is such a fantastic idea....particularly mouth-watering. The Christmas pudding soufflé with a 21-year-old whisky and malted milk ice-cream anyone? It would make Santa weep.

Throughout the book, Phil has put forth his thoughts on topics such as seasonality, provenance and how food makes him feel. This book has clearly been written from the heart of someone who lives and loves food, already evidenced by the success of his restaurant.

In summary, if you're not afraid of a challenge, want to learn how to make some truly unusual and impressive sweet dishes, can muster up equipment such as a sugar thermometer and have adequate space to concurrently prepare enough recipe elements without your stress levels rising too much, then this may be the book for you.

Its also a very sexy coffee table edition but hey why waste such a work of art.....Enjoy
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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2013
This is the second and concluding part of recipe books by Philip Howard and does not disappoint: it is, actually, a tour de force. In reviewing the savoury cookbook, I suggested that many readers may find it difficult to replicate a good few of the recipes it contained: this was not a criticism, merely an acknowledgement of the author's mastery. While the recipes in this book are no less excellent, they are much more accessible and will seem easier to reproduce. Great care has been taken to explain and provide instructions at every step of the way from overview and planning to timings and execution: in this respect, both books are exemplary and a cut above many cookbooks you can buy. As usual, the food photography is first class and everything about the book shouts out "quality." Anyone interested in great cookery and wanting to try to produce food of excellence should get this book on desserts, if only to try and perfect a few of the recipes that it contains. Together, savoury and sweet, they form the best cookery books I posses and I have well in excess of 200. The recipes are challenging and not for every day, but definitely sometimes, especially when it matters, then you will be glad to have a book like this to hand.
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on 13 July 2013
What a remarkable book, from the matte front cover to the fact you get two page markers(!) and a photo of each dish (very rare in cook books).

This book has a great introduction which includes a quick guide to oven temperatures and timing and a list of essential equipment you will need to be successful in your dessert making endeavours.

Also, it has very detailed decriptions of the recipes, including an over view of each dish, what you need to focus on, key components and timing. Each recipe is broken down into individual parts of the finished dish. This means that if you only want to make one of the components of the dish you don't have to skim through the entire recipe just to find the bit you need.

So over all a great read, I've yet to attempt cooking anything from the book because I've only had it a day, but I'm sure the recipes are well tested and relitively (relative to a two star chef that is) easy to accomplish.
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on 23 August 2013
After his amazing first volume of savoury delights, i was a little worried that a completely separate second book on 'sweets' would be hard pressed to live up to its predecessor. However, when the weighty second volume arrived in the post, i was not disappointed in the least. the recipes are amazing - just the right level of detail to help you achieve the end result. The photos are beautiful, the recipes varied and whilst some are incredibly complex, the majority contain elements that any good home cook would be able to master with practice. The flavours are great and Phil Howard celebrates key seasonal ingredients at the centre of each dish. By far my favourite two recipe books and i have many a book on my kitchen shelves. It's great that such a high calibre chef is sharing his life's work so far and i look forward to trying out even more recipes over the coming months.
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on 29 August 2013
This is a fabulous book; not that the recipes within are easily achievable (I have tried one with huge success - and hours of time!); it more the inspiration behind the man, the restaurant and the philosophy for food. I loved it - I also have the 'savoury' one as well; again inspirational! This, and its companion book are beautifully laid out in great detail and this is where it scores a massive plus for me … many of the techniques are daunting but Phil Howard explains them so well and so clearly anything seems possible – and is!

I would like to try more of the contents, and hope to do so ... it’s certainly a challenge for even the most experienced home cook, but well worth it.

My next ambition is lunch at The Square …

More please ....
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on 8 January 2014
you have to know your way around the kitchen to use this book, but it is truly a road map to excellence. It explains everything very clearly and is a guid to help you produce some of the best food you will ever eat. Be sure to read well and understand the steps before you start to produce any of the dishes. I must say the cheese cakes are out of this world. The soups are knock out, be sure to try the Veloute of celeriac and pear with the scotch eggs, also the terrine of chicken, foie gras and girlies. One of my very best buys.
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on 4 March 2016
Philip Howard, has created a very useful collection of books, this one the second volume focuses on sweets. The presentation is typical of his food style very neat and clean. Beautiful photography, and easy to follow recipes. Highly recommend this and the other volume
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on 27 December 2016
This was a lovely gift to my boyfriend who is a chef. Delicious and complicated recipes who are worth the effort. Well explained and easy to follow, but takes time and effort.
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on 6 November 2013
As I liked Volume 1 of this book so much, I bought The Square Volume 2. The photos of the dishes are exquisite. Again I found the layout of the book very easy to read. I particularly like that you are told which part of the recipe can be done in advance. I am looking forward to cooking the Christmas Pudding from the recipe in this book.
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