Slightly older egg whites--the ones from supermarket eggs are already three to five days old by the time you buy them--whip up smoother and higher than fesh ones. This bit of information introduces the section called Magical Meringues in Roland Mesnier's Dessert University
. For 25 years Roland Mesnier has been executive pastry chef at the White House. He's also a teacher who never forgets what it is to be a student. So he's ready, willing, and able to share what he has learned about producing desserts to die for.
There's a gentle, encouraging spirit that runs through this book, and it comes from the unique situation a White House pastry cehf finds himself in. On the one hand he has to prepare high-end restaurant-quality desserts for lunches and dinners that seat people by the hundreds. But the chief responsibility is to a single family and its guests, which makes the work more like a private chef who only has to satisfy one customer. So these are family recipes, in a sense, that can stand up to restaurant specs.
The book opens with a chapter on fruit desserts, a chapter that establishes a simple, user-friendly line. What follows are chapters on Puddings Custards and Souffles; Mousses and Bavarians; Frozen Desserts; Meringues; Crepes and Deloctable Fillings; Breakfast Pastries; Cookies; Tarts and Pies; Cakes; Chocolate Candy and Decorations; Sugar Decorations; and Syrups, Sauces, and Glazes.
At 540-plus pages this is a big, well-illustrated, cleanly written book with clear instructions and concise recipes. But it isn't intiomidating. Rather, it's welcoming. You'll feel as comfortable whipping up an Apple Sorget with Caramel sauce as you willbaking a Chocolate Butter Cake. And the best advice of all from this master? Practice, practice, practice. --Schuyler Ingle
Rosalynn Carter Roland Mesnier's desserts were some of the finest pleasures we enjoyed in the White House. This perfectly delicious collection of his favorite recipes is a wonderful resource for bringing into your home the talent of one of the best chefs in the world. I look forward to trying them myself.
Nancy Reagan We had a lovely eight years at the White House and left with many fond memories. At the top of that list has to be Roland Mesnier, the pastry chef. At the state dinners I couldn't wait for the dessert to be served because it was always something beautiful -- and tasty. Christmas was another special time because Roland would always make a gingerbread house and decorate it differently. One year he made a chimney of jellybeans, and the walk leading up to the house was lined with jellybeans on either side. All for my husband, of course!
Barbara Bush Roland is truly a great pastry chef -- every dessert he created was a delicious work of beauty. He use his special gifts to serve his country in such a way that made George and me so proud to be Americans at state dinners. If there is such a thing as a "genius pastry chef," Roland Mesier is it!
Hillary Rodham Clinton What is so wonderful about Roland Mesnier is that his fantastic pastry and confections always look beautiful and taste divine. During our White House years together, he could work his magic for a small family gathering or a dinner for six hundred. Everything he ever prepared was made with love and an unfaltering dedication to the art of pastry making and the highest standards of his profession. In short, he is the best there is!
Laura Bush What does Roland Mesnier make with seven pounds of chocolate, six pounds of butter, and lots of imagination? Pure perfection! That is what President Bush thinks of his seven-layer chocolate birthday cake, which Roland makes every year. Knowing how much George loves baseball, Roland decorated one cake with baseballs and bats made of blown sugar. You could even see the wood grain in the bats. From birthdays to state dinners, Roland makes every event memorable with his whimsical desserts. His creations are a reflection of him -- creative, original, and sweet as can be.