Simple French Desserts

Jill O'Connor, Author, Richard Eskite, Photographer Chronicle Books $16.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-8118-1903-9
In this concise collection, O'Connor (Phyllo and Sweet Nothings) offers an abundant selection of desserts ranging from cookies and pastries to crepes and tarts, ice cream and mousse. There are sables, the slightly sandy French version of shortbread, along with a couple of variations, such as Pistachio-Orange Sables. O'Connor includes French meringues and Almond Macaroons, Chocolate Eclairs and a much-simplified recipe for napoleons based on phyllo dough rather than tricky puff pastry. Lemon Tart is served on a cookie-like crust that's tempting on its own, while Fallen Chocolate-Souffl Cake provides a more decadent option. Fruit desserts also figure prominently: there are apples in Tarte Tatin, berries in Red Fruit Gratin and cherries in almond-flavored Cherry-Frangipane Tart. O'Connor is equally inventive with her ice cream and sorbet recipes, including toasted walnut-studded Mocha Dauphinois Ice Cream. As with anything worthwhile, the confections here aren't exactly simple, at least in terms of the time they require. Many recipes involve multiple steps; however, clearly written description of techniques are interspersed. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
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