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    Cooking Books -> Desserts

    Sweet Seasons: Fabulous Restaurant Desserts Made Simple

    Leach, Richard

    John Wiley & Sons
    Published: September 18, 2001
    ISBN: 047138738X

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    Book Description
    The delectable treats turned out by Richard Leach--executive pastry chef of the Park Avenue Café and a James Beard Foundation Pastry Chef of the Year--are inspired, distinctive, and daring. In Sweet Seasons, he aims to bring his masterful recipes to home kitchens everywhere.

    Known for his striking presentations, Leach states in the book's introduction that he would never be able to make his phenomenal desserts without the help of his staff, yet here he claims to make it possible for home cooks to re-create these masterpieces in their own kitchens. Truth be told, one would be hard pressed to find many home cooks who have the time, the patience, or the chutzpah to attempt dishes like Leach's Citrus Panna Cotta with Warm Poppyseed Cake and Citrus Sorbet. The dish, in its entirety, includes: Poppyseed Cake, Lemon Curd, Citrus Panna Cotta, Sour Lemon Meringues, Citrus Sorbet, Honey Tuiles, Orange Sections, Grapefruit Sections, Citrus Sauce, Cotton Candy, and Sugar Garnish, all of which are prepared from scratch. The good news is that many of the desserts are quite lovely--not to mention impressive--with most of the garnishes left off. For instance, in the above example, the Citrus Panna Cotta--delicately flavored with chamomile tea and lemongrass--is lovely served with a simple garnish of fresh fruit and a drizzle of the warm citrus sauce. If you're in the mood for extra flourish, you could add either the Honey Tuiles or the Sour Lemon Meringues for a little crunch.

    A chapter on "Basic Recipes" offers sauces and syrups, cookies, and other garnishes that are delicious enough to turn any cake, pastry, or scoop of ice cream into a dessert worthy of serving to even the most honored guests. Mix and match these with Leach's sophisticated cakes, tarts, ice creams, and fritters, and you'll be sure to impress your guests. Boyd Hagen's lovely photographs are both inspiring and appetizing. If they move you to attempt Leach's presentations in full, more power to you. --Robin Donovan

    From Publishers Weekly
    Leach, executive pastry chef at the Park Avenue Cafe, 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... read more

    Book Description
    "Richard Leach has inspired an entire generation of pastry chefs. He's widely imitated . . . he has single-handedly changed the way desserts look around the country in a lot of restaurants." --Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar & Grill
    "The first time I encountered Richard Leach's desserts, I became absolutely incoherent. My notes from that meal are garbled and filled with exclamation points."--Ruth Reichl, New York Times
    "Richard Leach, the pastry chef, should have his hands licensed as deadly weapons, like boxers." --Bryan Miller, New York Times
    Food critics, nationwide, have exalted him. Food Arts magazine dubbed him the "Pythagoras of pastry," in recognition of his revolutionary genius as a pastry chef. Master pastry chefs, everywhere, have tried to imitate him and failed. Now, at last, in this beautifully illustrated guide, Richard Leach reveals the secrets behind his fabulous talent to inspire home bakers as he has professional pastry chefs.
    In Sweet Seasons, Chef Richard Leach shares 400 of his building block recipes that can be combined to create 100 of his favorite, original desserts, organized by the seasons--so bakers can take advantage of the freshest available ingredients--and richly supplemented with 113 color photographs illustrating the plated desserts and their assembly. Each recipe is structured so as to allow readers to prepare all or any part of the dessert, based on level of expertise and availability of ingredients. For example, a summer dessert of Warm Peach Strudel with Sweet Corn Pann

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