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am 31. März 2000
Book covers: basics (genoise, meringue, puff pastry, ladyfingers, tart dough, cinnamon dough, + some fillings), fruit desserts (includes chocolate creams, ice cream, lemon crepes, tuiles, cookies), tarts (includes lemon tart, apple galette, rice tart w/fruit, lots of stuff with pears, orange tarts) , cakes (includes easy ones like lemon loafs, chocolate cakes, then moving on to fancy ones), and some explanation of terms, techniques, equipment and ingredients.
I own 8 baking books The pictures are really nice. The other thing that stands out about this book is the exotic nature of some of the recipes - a rice tart? Mascarpone/blueberry/ladyfinger cake? Herme uses a lot of exotic fruits such as passion fruit, figs, and currants (which are hard to get here in parts of the USA). In doing so, I think this book shows you a lot of things that other don't. I feel the level of the book is for somewhere slightly above beginner. There are some easy recipes in this book and some very time consuming ones as well so there is a big range there. Overall, the strengths of this book are the great photography, innovative recipes, and new ways that the reader will look at designing desserts. Even if you have a lot of baking books already, this one will help you see things in a new way. On the other hand, if it's the ONLY dessert book you own, I'm not sure it will help you see baking in a systematic orderly way as "Baking with Julia" is or one of the cake or pie/pastry bibles.
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am 15. April 2000
Herme's book has a lot of delicious-sounding recipes for pastry, but it just seems too complicated. One particularly yummy-sounding recipe contains apples cooked with butter and sugar for 10 hours and combined with cinnamon pastry, genoise, and (I think) a bavarian cream filling. I think I'll wait until I can get to Fauchon in Paris to try his creations, though. Also, there aren't pictures for every dessert, which is a little annoying when the recipes are so involved. Still, if you like to spend hours creating a dessert based on 5 other recipes, you might want to buy this book! I would recommend Simply Sensational Desserts or The Village Baker's Wife over this.
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am 26. November 1998
I was surprised to see a reader's diasppointment with a book I love. Desserts by Pierre Herme is an accurate and faithful rendering of the work of France's most celebreated pastry chef by an author well accustomed to translating the work of professionals into consumer terms. And despite the reader's disappointment with the lack of weights provided for the ingredients, the recipes work well -- I know, since I have tried many of them.
About measuring: There are accurate and inaccurate methods of measuring, both by weight and volume. The right way to measure by volume is to gently spoon dry ingredients into a dry measure cup ans level off with the back of a knife or spatula. The right way to measure by weight is to use an accurate scale. Many scales made for home use are not particularly sensetive and will yeild no better results than by volume measure. To say nothing of the fact that every day, millions of people follow volume-measure recipes with good results -- what's the problem?
Some authors do include weights for ingredients -- I did so in my first book, Perfect Pastry -- I no longer do, because I don't consider it important. Neither does Maida Heatter -- is there a more successful and accuracy-based author than Maida? I don't think so.

Nick Malgieri
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am 15. Dezember 1998
As a home baker with moderate skills, I have found Desserts by Pierre Herme to be a really valuable addition to my library. I have actually made desserts that I thought were out of my reach...and have made them with little difficulty due to the excellent instructions of writer Dorie Greenspan. In fact, this book has actually rejuvenated my interest in baking. I NEVER thought that I could make Herme's Dome cake ..or better yet, the Autumn Meringue Cake, which combines two favorites of meringue and chocolate mousse, is fabulous to taste and gorgeous to look at. I could go on and on...the lemon loaf cake is unreal. This book is a MUST HAVE! There is something for everyone at every level of expertise. As for me, I'm going to bake my way through this book much the way I cooked through Julia Child's books a long time ago. e-mail doriweis@aol.com Doris from Manhattan
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am 7. Dezember 1998
I've been a professional food writer for 15 years, beginning as collaborator on Desserts by Nancy Silverton, written while Nancy was dessert chef at Spago. I'm a competent home baker, and I have little patience for recipes that are overly complex or don't work. What pleasantly surprised me about Pierre Herme's book is how many truly simple, do-able recipes are included, and how well-written they were. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise: Julia Child, the queen of the do-able recipe (whether simple or complex) chose writer Dorie Greenspan to work with her on Baking with Julia. Also the design and photography are stunning.
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am 24. November 1998
Here's my 2¢ worth on the Pierre Herme/Dorrie Greenspan book: It doesn't give measurements by weight. What's more, Pierre's recipes have been corrupted by, not just failing to convert them with standard conversions, but by reformulating them for measurements by volume. Dorrie said (in a class Pierre gave at DeGustibus in New York) that she changed Pierre's measurements by some method that leaves her with no choice but to include a disclaimer in the book not to convert her measurements back to weight. Without getting into the great benefits of measuring by weight or disservice she does us by omitting them as well as changing Pierre's recipes, she sets herself above the great teachers who taught many of us to bake, cookbook in one hand whisk in the other. Flo Braker, The Simple Art of Perfect Baking, Rose Levy Beranbaum Cake Bible and the others she's written. Not to mention Gaston LeNotre. Even Jacques Torres' new book. Every one of them gives recipes by weight out of respect for us who learned that way and encourages the rest of us to learn to do so. But Dorrie is "dissing" us. She says we're not her readers. Her readers have never learned to bake. Her readers will never learn to bake. Or so she says. They just follow recipes. How else does she corrupt Pierre's recipes? By changing ingredients that she thinks we will not take the extra step to buy instead of suggesting a substitute? By changing methods and techniques she thinks we don't know (since we have never learned to bake) instead of teaching us? Well, you get the point. "
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am 4. März 1999
Certainly this is a lovely book. However many of the recipes are nothing new (crepes, loaf cakes,pastry dough, genoise) or consist of adding an ubiquitous lemon cream to the crepes,pastry, etc. It does not compare in interest and clarity of exlanations with, for instance, Alice Medrich's "Cocolat". Overall, I was disappointed.
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am 19. Mai 1999
a former pastry chef on Martha's vinyard who would order dessert first before the entre, I raced to the kitchen to make the coconut loaf and the raspberry genoise. Was truly rewarded with delicous results, good tips for successful execution.by sally larhette
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