A LITTLE FOOD FLIGHT READING
DOLCEItaliano:Dessertsfromthe BabboKitchen by Gina De Palma (John Wiley, $52.95), with recipes from New York restaurant Babbo, has a very NY look about it, with stylish print and page layouts and an introduction on Italy, its sweets, regions and the ingredients (all readily available here) needed.
Sections cover biscuits, cakes, spoon desserts, tarts, ice creams, sorbets and semifreddos; and there are sections on celebrations, fruit and fried desserts and savoury bites. The recipes are as delicious as you would imagine: Italian with a touch of the US. There are fresh fig and chocolate and polenta tarts as well as hazelnut and grape (12 tarts in all). The fried things (tutti fritti) include lemon ricotta fritters and orange fried cream. The iced desserts include a toasted sesame semifreddo.
There’s a US suppliers’ list at the end, for those Manhattan sorties (but Australians with access to major cities should have no problems finding what they need), and the book includes 32 colour photographs.
Be properly prepared for the looming festive season with I’mDreamingofa ChocolateChristmas by Marcel Desaulniers (John Wiley, $44.95). Desaulniers, a chef and restaurateur in the US, was awarded the 1999 James Beard award for outstanding pastry chef and is the author of DeathbyChocolate .
This dreamy book has 72 recipes and 48 full-colour photographs, and even includes a page on desserts that are great for shipping and perfect for giving (though we could probably work that out for ourselves).
Many are way over the top (Karen’s chocolate peppermint bourbon walnut fudge, for example) but others sound gorgeous and would look great on the festive table (chocolate almond cookie bark; mocha meringue munches). I do, however, have a problem with the number of additives (peanuts, cashews, coconut, raisins, peanut butter, cranberries, gingerbread) to the pure beauty that is chocolate. And be sure to eschew that corn syrup. Judith Elen