cover image The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion

The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion

Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark, Norton, $35 (304p) ISBN 978-0-393-05953-3

Yosses, executive pastry chef at the White House, and Clark, a noted New York Times food columnist, showcase elegant, luscious desserts suitable for a variety of occasions from brunch to potlucks to fancy celebrations. Recipes are well-detailed and easy-to-follow, even for the novice, and potentially unfamiliar techniques or temperamental ingredients such as segmenting oranges, varieties of yeast, making great meringue, and how to avoid crystallizing caramel are highlighted. With flat and chewy chocolate chip cookies, blood orange squares, grand old-fashioned blueberry jelly rolls, and orange-scented olive oil cakes with fleur de sel, there is something for every palate. The authors include a section on restaurant desserts that can be made at home that includes warm molten vanilla cakes, butterscotch–dulce de leche pudding in teacups, and Bouley banana chocolate tart. They also include recipes for confectionaries such as cardamom nut butterballs, sandy pecan pralines, and coffee toffee. Each recipe lists special equipment needed, and there’s a handy baker’s minimum equipment list for those who want to increase their tool arsenal. Enhanced by more than 100 delectable color photos, this book is a must-have for all serious bakers and the only book those with a passing interest in baking will ever need. (June)