Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Mediterranean
Desserts: Mediterranean Flavors, California Style
Published: September 6, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
If there's a complaint to lodge against this cookbookAwhich is full of outstanding, fresh ideas for all kinds of dessertsAit's Mushet's overly broad interpretation of her subtitle. For example, Coconut Rice Pudding Br?l?e with
Mango in Lime Caramel Sauce sounds fabulousAbut does it really qualify as Mediterranean? However, many of these desserts do rework old-world classics with great style and wonderful results. Chocolate, Hazelnut and Orange Torte gives a new take on Italian
gianduia. And while purists may consider it something of a travesty to transform Gelato Affogato (simply gelato doused with a shot of hot espresso) into an American-style sundae with whipped cream, liqueur and chocolate curls, the travesty is a delicious
one. A chapter on fruit desserts makes use of California's bounty with such dishes as Figs with Espresso-Sambuca Sabayon and Shaved Chocolate and Citrus Compote in Spiced Champagne Broth. An entire chapter on phyllo creations includes Snake Pastry with
Fig, Almond Paste and Lemon (inspired by a North African dessert), Sour Cherry and Almond Baklava and a Konafa with Tangerine-Lime Syrup. Supplementary materials are excellent throughoutAthe phyllo chapter benefits from several pages of tips on working
with the tricky dough as well as instructions for chopping nuts (better done by hand for baklava, but so much easier in the processor) and using a candy thermometer for the most accurate results. Mushet (former publisher of the quarterly Baking with the
American Harvest) may not create the most traditional desserts, but she does come up with some of the tastiest. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The bold flavors of the Mediterranean have been
inspiring American home cooks for years. And now, at last, comes Desserts: Mediterranean Flavors, California Style, a book bursting with exciting desserts.
Both California and the Mediterranean, whose terrain and climate are similar, boast a
market basket of intensely flavored foods for the baker -- warm spices, fresh fruits, nuts, herbs, honey, chocolate, cheeses, preserves, filo dough, wines, and spirits. Cindy Mushet has spent more than fourteen years as a pastry chef incorporating these
flavors into classic desserts -- cookies, custards, cakes, ice creams, and sorbets -- that are uniquely American yet convey the wonderfully intense and unique flavors that capture the feel and spirit of the Mediterranean.
If it's Italian you
love, experience the Pistachio Layer Cake with Nougat Cream or the Raspberry Mascarpone Tart with Chocolate Crust.
Dreaming of the south of France? Soothe your soul with the farmhouse simplicity of Caramelized Apple Cake with Rosemary or the
cool, refreshing, and surprising Mint and Chocolate Pots de Crème.
If Spain makes you swoon, try the luxuriantly rich Crema Catalana or sample the Spanish Olive Oil and Spice Biscotti.
The white-washed hills of Greece surface in a new
version of the classic Galataboureko, a spiced semolina pudding in filo topped with a crimson Spiced Blood Orange Caramel Sauce.
North Africa's bright flavors can be found in the creamy Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango in Lime Caramel Sauce or the
dramatic filo Snake Pastry with Fig, Almond Paste, and Lemon.
If you draw from the exciting flavors of the Middle East, try the Caramel, Date, and Sesame Tart or any of the five enticing new versions of baklava.
Drawing from her years of
teaching experience, Mushet has written recipes with simple, detailed instructions to ensure your success. Each recipe includes notes on which steps can be completed in advance, as well as suggestions on how best to serve and store your dessert. A
mail-order guide provides sources for hard-to-find ingredients and equipment integral to the Mediterranean and American kitchens.
Every detail of Desserts: Mediterranean Flavors, California Style creates a sense of confidence and inspiration that
will lead you to the kitchen and, best of all, to the table with friends and family.
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