Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baking by the Books: Ripe for Dessert by David Lebovitz

I read a lot of cozy mysteries that include yummy recipes for cookies and other baked items and I love to try the recipes (but I can't reprint them for obvious copyright reasons so you'll have to pick up the book if you want to try them!) so I've decided to share my results in a new post series called Baking by the Books. I'd love your feedback!

Absolute Best Brownies with Dried Cherries
from Ripe for Dessert by David Lebovitz

I know this is another non-cozy but I picked up David Lebovitz's Ripe for Dessert at the library and had to try his brownie recipe.  His other recipes - not so much for me unless I manage to get some serious Martha Stewart skills ASAP.

Anyway, the cookbook is beautiful with all sorts of fabulous, complicated recipes.  It is not for the average amateur, but is worth a browse just to check out all the gorgeous photos.

The author would probably be horrified by my treatment of his brownie recipe, since I substituted mini chocolate chips for the nuts, and baked in them in (gasp!) mini muffin cups.  Seriously though, how are you supposed to get brownies that contain almost a pound of butter and chocolate yet just 1/4 cup of flour out of a pan without just eating directly out of said pan?  Um, no thank you!  Hence, the single serving mini size which has the sole downside of perhaps having to lick the stuck on brownie reside off the paper - huge sacrifice!  :)

This made about two dozen little brownie bites which were delicious but potent!

David Lebovitz loves fruit. From the richness of a summer blackberry to the mellow sweetness of a juicy mango, fruit inspires and delights this celebrated pastry chef. In Ripe for Dessert, David shares his passion for fruit and his treasure trove of inspired, innovative, and luscious dessert recipes.

These sweets celebrate fruit in all its diverse glory, as David's intensely flavorful and imaginative recipes show off the best of every season and reward every dessert lover's fancy. The seven chapters, with more than 130 recipes in all, are organized by category, with an eye to the seasons. They feature apples, pears, and quince from the fall harvest; citrus and dried fruits from winter; stone fruits and berries for the height of summer; figs and melon for its waning days; and David's signature tropical fruits desserts, which will surprise and delight your sweet tooth year round. 

Such light, elegant dishes as Pomegranate Granita and golden Honey-Poached Pears let the fruits' flavors shine, with minimal fuss or adornment. But David is no spartan. His recipes go all out, with rich cakes and creamy custards, pastries, frozen desserts, and soufflés, accented and enlivened by complex fruit flavors. A luxurious Lemon-Ginger Crème Brûlée puts a tart, fruity twist on a classic sweet, while a Candied Orange and Rosy Rhubarb Sauce raises a perfect, anise-scented Ricotta Cake to a new level of sophistication. For chocolate lovers, David presents pairings that will surprise and satisfy, including Anise-Orange Ice Cream Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce, Pear and Fig Chutney with Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse, and a Chocolate Soufflé Cake with Prunes, Cranberries, and Kumquats in Port. David even offers a fabulous, thirst-quenching Gingery Lemonade. 

With Ripe for Dessert's bounty of easy, user-friendly recipes, you can transform your favorite fruits of every season into dishes that will impress and delight all the dessert lovers in your life.


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