cover image Dessert Sensations

Dessert Sensations

Faye Levy. Dutton Books, $22.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-525-24893-4

Thankfully,``nouvelle'' in France does not appear to mean what it does in California. The French have staged no full-fledged revolution against such Ur-desserts as Levy's ( Chocolate Sensations ) coffee layer cake with toasted almonds, its coffee-spiked buttercream layering butter- and egg-rich genoise. If anything, ``nouvelle'' here encourages variations on a successful theme: in the case of mocha mousse cake, cocoa-pecan meringue takes the place of genoise and mocha mousse for buttercream. Whatever the worries about waistlines, the French ``nouvelle'' also lacks the implication of lightness, except for a few fresh fruit sorbets. In more than 200 recipes spanning macadamia macaroons, classic chocolate truffles and creamy coffee custards, the complexity index varies from simple pound cakes to tricky meringue-encased vacherins. But the Tastemaker Award-winning author is kind, making allowances for springform pans, packaged ladyfingers, gelatin and other humble helps. (Oct.)