Book review: Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz

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One of the sweetest things in life is tucking in to a delicious dessert...

So what could be better than a magnificent book packed with recipes so comprehensive and so mouth-watering that you never again need worry about selecting the perfect ‘pudding’ for any occasion?

Simple and yet delightfully different, these desserts are the creation of renowned pastry chef David Lebovitz, the author and creator of the hugely popular blog www.davidlebovitz.com.

He trained as a baker in France and Belgium and worked for 12 years in the pastry department at the famed Chez Panisse in California.

Lebovitz is known for creating desserts with bold and high-impact flavour rather than fussy, complicated dishes.

This means that his show-stopping sweets can be mastered by home cooks of all skills and standards.

In Ready for Dessert, elegant finales such as Gâteau Victoire, Blackcurrant Tea Crème Brûlée and Anise-Orange Ice Cream Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce are as easy to prepare as comfort foods such as Plum-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake, Creamy Rice Pudding and Cheesecake Brownies.

With his unique brand of humour – and a fondness for desserts with ‘screaming chocolate intensity’ – Lebovitz serves up a tantalising array of more than 170 recipes for cakes, pies, tarts, crisps, cobblers, custards, soufflés, puddings, ice creams, sherbets, sorbets, cookies, candies, dessert sauces, fruit preserves and even home-made liqueurs.

Lebovitz reveals his three personal favourites are a deeply spiced Fresh Ginger Cake, the bracing and beautiful Champagne Gelée with kumquats, grapefruit, and blood oranges and his chunky and chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.

His trademark friendly guidance, as well as suggestions, storage advice, flavour variations, and tips will help ensure success every time.

Accompanied by stunning photos, care of award-winning photographer Maren Caruso, this new compilation of Lebovitz’s best recipes to date will inspire you to raid your kitchen cupboards and get baking or churn up a batch of home-made ice cream.

So if you’re ready for some of the best desserts ever – and there aren’t many of us could refuse such an offer – here is the chance to truly indulge.

(Jacqui Small, hardback, £25)