cover image Desserts by Pierre Herme

Desserts by Pierre Herme

Dorie Greenspan, Pierre Herme, Pierre Hermé. Little Brown and Company, $45 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-316-35720-3

Herm , a celebrated French pastry chef who was not only the youngest person ever to be named France's Pastry Chef of the Year but is also the only pastry chef to have been decorated as a Chevalier of Arts and Letters, exports his wizardry to America for the first time in a book that will primarily attract ambitious confectioners. Veteran food writer Greenspan (Baking with Julia) warns that the book's recipes require technical skill and patience. For Flourless Chocolate Cake Batter, the chocolate must be melted and then cooled to 114 degrees. The recipe for Genoise is ""temperamental."" Fragile is a word applied to Perfect Tart Dough and many other recipes that call for some tricky assemblage. Unexpected ingredients include the one and a half cups of corn in Golden Lemon Fruit Layers; the basil chiffonade garnishing Basmati Rice and Fruits-of-the-Moment Salad; the black pepper and an optional sliver of a haba ero that spark Warm Chocolate and Banana Tart. For some, a slice of Carioca made of alternating layers of genoise and dark chocolate mousse, topped with bittersweet ganache and glazed almonds, will make all the work worthwhile. Ambitious cooks with steady nerves will find welcome inspiration here. Agent, Jane Dystel. (Nov.)