`Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts' by, of course, Maida Heatter, comes with enormous expectations. Not only do you have the presumptuous title, you have the enormous reputation of the author as a writer of superior dessert cookbooks for the last 30 years. Piled on top of that, you have the fact that the cover includes the placard announcing that the book has been inducted into the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame. Wow! I am happy to say that this book lives up to expectations. On the most basic level, it contains recipes for virtually all the famous desserts you can think of. So, in very modest terms, the book can be seen as a collection of recipes for those desserts that have achieved greatness by enduring in popularity all these years, going back long before Ms. Heatter came on the stage. This reassuringly long (528 pages for a scant $26.95 list) book has 22 chapters covering virtually every major type of dessert you can think of. These are: Tortes (European `cakes' with little or no flour) such as the Linzer Torte, Dobosh Torte, and my own favorite Hungarian walnut torte. Chocolate Cakes and Layer Cakes such as the Devils Food Cake and the Rum Chocolate Layer Cake CoffeeCakes, Nut Cakes, FruitCakes, and Cakes Made with Fruit such as the Carrot Loaf, Pumpkin Cake, Banana-Nut Cake, and Walnut-Peach Kuchen. Plain, Loaf, and Other Old-Fashioned Cakes such as a sponge cake, marble loaf cake, and buttermilk spice cake. Pound Cakes, such as the King's (as in Elvis) Pound Cake and the Black and White Pound Cake. Cookie Jar Cookies (sturdy cookies not prone to break easily) such as Oatmeal cookies, Hungarian Butter Biscuits, and French Chocolate Wafers. Bar Cookies and Rusks (sheet cookies) such as brownies, date bars, and Biscotti. Icebox and Shortbread Cookies such as Swedish Icebox Cookies and Scotch Shortbread. Dainty Cookies such as Hungarian Hazelnut crescents, Viennese Almond Crescents, Ladyfingers, and Madeleines. Rolled Wafers and Paper-Thin Cookies such as Oatmeal Wafers and Moravian Ginger Thins. Individual Pastries and Petits Fours such as Mushroom Meringues, Chocolate Cupcakes, and French Almond Macaroon Crescents. Fried Cookies and Pastries such as French-fried Wafers and Beignets Souffles. Crepes, Blintzes, Popovers, Cream Puffs, Puff Pastry, and Chocolate Souffle. Enough Said! Icebox Cakes and Cake Rolls such as Lemon Chiffon Icebox Cake, Black Velvet, and Cream Roll Crumb Crust Pies such as Rum Pie, Vanilla Cream Pie, and Black Bottom Pecan Cream Pie. Cheesecakes, Oh My! Pots de Crème, Custards, and Puddings such as Flan, Crème Brulee, and Pumpkin Custard Mousses, Cold Souffles, Bavarians, and Gelatin Desserts such as Orange Cream and Irish Coffee Jelly. Ice Creams and Frozen Desserts such as Honey Parfait, Walnut Ice Cream, Lime Sherbet, and Spanish Lime Pie. Fresh Fruit, and Fruit and Ice Cream Desserts such as AppleSauce, Peches Melba, and Bananas Nicoise. Sauces such as Sauce Melba, Suzette Sauce, Ginger Cream
Don't pass this one by, if you like great desserts
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 18 years ago
Mrs. Heatter isn't your best known author when it comes to cooking, but her desserts are simply wonderful. She writes in a style that reminds me of Julia Child in her thoroughness. She will give you a tip or two about most recipes, or tell you where they come from. The fare in this book isn't what you would find in the grocery store, but rather these are the wonderful little cakes you might get from an old fashioned bakery. Her instructions are clear, concise, and will not leave you wondering if you are doing this correctly. I would highly recommend any of her books for enlarging your dessert offerings. She will have your guests wondering how you were able to make these delicious desserts.
Great to have it back!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 20 years ago
I have been baking from this book for years and years. Now that it's been reissued, I won't have to worry about keeping my old book readable. Maida Heatter is a master teacher and baker. Her recipes and advice inspire confidence, especially for the beginner. She takes you step by step in the process so that you can't make a mistake. My teenage daughter started baking from this book when she was 11 (without me) and made great treats. Start from the beginning and bake your way through it!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 21 years ago
Nobody makes it easier to bake delicious goodies than Maida Heatter. I've had this book since it came out and it's dogeared from use. You can page through it and see which recipes are my favorites, because there are stains everywhere. I collect cookbooks but I always turn to Maida Heatter for dessert. She is absolutely the best, for either beginner or expert baker.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 21 years ago
If you only own a few cookbooks make this one of them! I bought this book years ago when I was first learning to make desserts. All sorts of crazes have come and gone since then but these desserts have never gone out of style. I have made Maida's two different chocolate mousse recipes for the same party, and let the guests pick which type they preferred, dense and deeply chocolate or lighter and creamier. Everyone had a preference! The strawberry bavarian is easy to make and a real crowd pleaser, as is the Queen of Sheba Torte. I treasure my old battered and stained copy of this book, and should buy a new copy to hold in reserve. My other absolute favorite dessert book is Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax.
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