Los Angeles Classic Desserts: Recipes from Favorite Restaurants
Pelican Publishing (2010)
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (09/10)
Over the past 50+ years I have seen many cookbooks that are not only beautiful but have wonderful recipes in them. However, “Los Angeles Classic Desserts” is the best I have ever seen. Just the presentation of the book itself surpasses any that I have seen, and the collection of recipes is of utmost elegance and sophistication. Yet, perusing the recipes I found that most of the ingredients could be found in any kitchen pantry and certainly at the local grocery store. But, the creations end up looking and tasting like the ingredients were purchased at a specialty store or imported from some exotic place. Not the case…it’s all in the presentation.
For the purpose of a review of the book we are asked to make three recipes. I can tell you right now it was very difficult to choose because I wanted to try them all, and of course will. For the first recipe I chose “Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding” from Angeli Cafe. Oh my!! This is the best bread pudding I have ever tasted, but of course why wouldn’t it be? It is richly filled with eggs and cream and a surprise layer of bittersweet chocolate.
The second recipe I made was “Pink Lady Apple Crostata” from A/O/C. The crust was flakey and rich. The apples in the filling were done just right – not mushy, not hard. The crostata is very rich – cream is used in the crust, filling and caramel sauce that is poured on top. Delicious!
The third recipe I made was “Ginger Scones” from La Brea Bakery. The scones were light, but rich, and filled with ginger. The recipe calls for 2/3 cup of candied ginger, so if you are a ginger lover you would love these. I do.
I made these three recipes for a desert party I had. They were all a hit and there was very little left. I froze the left over crostata and ginger scones and both were just a delicious after thawing.
You no doubt can tell I highly recommend “Los Angeles Classic Desserts” compiled by Grace Bauer. This book is wonderful just to have for yourself or give as a gift. Anyone that loves to “read” recipe books like I do will not be able to put this one down. It’s a keeper!!