The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

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

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