The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful
by Barbara Fairchild
Size: 8 1/2 x 10 1/4 in.
Page Count: 704 Pages
by Barbara Fairchild
Size: 8 1/2 x 10 1/4 in.
Page Count: 704 Pages
“I’ll go on record as saying I think this book is going to be a classic dessert book. There are so many great recipes that cover a huge range of tastes. I think it will be a go-to book for many cooks for many years to come and I expect to turn to it often.” ––Dinner Dot http://bit.ly/fD5iuB
“With both recipes culled from the magazine’s archives plus new recipes, Barbara Fairchild curated and created what might possibly be the only dessert book one needs. With over six hundred recipes for cakes, tarts, cookies, frozen desserts and beyond (each rated from “very easy, perfect for the novice” to “showstopping, for the expert baker”), it covers every traditional dessert I can think of, and dozens and dozens of new twists.” ––The Kitchn http://bit.ly/gfwHsM
“Bon Appetit Desserts runs 689 pages. It’s big and beautiful and it seems to declare, “You want desserts? I’ll give you desserts.” The subtitle is, “The Cookbook For All Things Sweet and Wonderful,” and if there is anything missing, I don’t know what it is.” ––Chicago Sun-Times http://bit.ly/h7ZEoq
“With every Bon Appétit recipe now a click away, we don’t need printed recipes anymore. Right? So why is it when you flip through the pages of Bon Appétit Desserts, that chocolate-whiskey soufflé tart and mascarpone cheesecake with balsamic strawberries sound so much better on the printed page? Because in a book, there are fun things like glossaries to flip through. And step-by-step illustrations. And photos, lots and lots of photos of those 600+ recipes with “whisk ratings” for each (One whisk means that dulce de leche and chocolate chunk bread pudding is easy to make, four whisks and you can expect a more complicated maple mousse napoleon with macadamia nut brittle). Though actually, we would hardly call the four whisk recipes difficult — they’re simply more time consuming, involving multiple steps.” ––LA Weekly http://bit.ly/fBDfG5
“This is an impressive collection of 600 recipes - everything from cheesecakes and shortcakes to ice cream and souffles. It gives step-by-step illustrations, lots of shortcuts and options for adapting recipes. The book also offers advice on how to properly stock your pantry, equipment suggestions and do-ahead strategies.” ––SFGate http://bit.ly/eSifY7
“Best reason to stick close to home Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America’s Farmers by Sur La Table and Janet Fletcher. It’s earthy, beautifully-photographed, and reminds you how some of the simplest foods can be the tastiest.”
“Best sweets Bon Appétit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful by Barbara Fairchild (Andrews McMeel). Fairchild’s parting gift (though Bon Appétit is moving to New York, she’s staying in L.A) is beautiful, and I’ve only just scratched the surface. If you were stranded on a desert island with one dessert book… you get my drift.”
For more than fifty years, Bon Appétit magazine has been seducing readers with to-die-for desserts. From quick homestyle cookies such as double-lemon bars to party treats such as fresh strawberry-glazed cheesecake to unforgettable special-occasion finales such as a spiced chocolate torte wrapped in chocolate ribbons, Bon Appétit makes it a point in every issue to showcase desserts that make a delicious impression, no matter what the occasion.
Culled from Bon Appétit magazine’s extensive archives and including some never-before-published recipes, the Bon Appétit Desserts cookbook is a comprehensive guide to all things sweet and wonderful, designed to inspire both experienced home cooks and those just starting out in the kitchen. This collection of more than six hundred recipes features every kind of dessert: cakes (from layer cakes to coffee cakes, tortes to cupcakes), cheesecakes, pies, tarts, candies, puddings, soufflés, shortcakes, fruit desserts, ice cream, cookies, holiday desserts, and much, much more. In trademark Bon Appétit style, the book is rich with resources designed to make the dessert prep process as easy and as accessible as possible, including more than fifty inspiring four-color photographs, dozens of step-by-step illustrations, and tips straight from the Bon Appétit test kitchens. Sidebars in each chapter offer shortcuts, invaluable ingredient and equipment information, and options for adapting the recipes, including ingredient substitutions, suggestions on scaling recipes up or down, and, of course, plenty of do-ahead tips. Each recipe is also given a “whisk rating” from one to four to indicate the level of difficulty.
So what is it exactly that makes Bon Appétit desserts so special —and why do they have so many fans? Their proven combination of delicious new twists on classic recipes, each presented in a clear, easy-to-read format, means that Bon Appétit desserts have an appeal that feels both fresh and timeless. And Bon Appétit is a brand that has been trusted and respected for more than half a century. The delicious recipes in Bon Appétit Desserts have been meticulously tested in the magazine’s kitchens so that each one turns out perfectly—every time.
“This is a gorgeous book that makes me want to make everything—no, taste everything—inside! This is a must-have for every baker, cook, and sweet freak in your life.” —Elizabeth Falkner, chef and owner of Citizen Cake and Orson
“At last, a collection of Bon Appétit’s most treasured dessert recipes, thoroughly tested as always, beautifully illustrated, and, of course, wonderfully delicious. You’ll reach for this book each time sweets are on your menu, but you’ll come back to it just as often for its myriad tips; great chapters on ingredients, equipment, and techniques; and the many detailed and easy-to-grasp how-tos. It’s truly a one-stop book for all of us who love baking.” —Dorie Greenspan, author of Baking: From My Home to Yours and Around My French Table
“Bon Appétit Desserts is filled with exactly the kind of sweets I like to make: inviting, unpretentious, and easy to love, but also innovative enough to turn a few heads. And the best part is, Bon Appétit Desserts is not only about recipes. With chapters on ingredients, equipment, and techniques, plus a slew of tips from the Bon Appétit test kitchens, it’s also a mini-education. Oh, in case you aren’t sold yet, I have ten words for you: Banana Layer Cake with Caramel Cream and Sea Salt–Roasted Pecans.” —Molly Wizenberg, author of A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
When I was growing up, we had dessert every night. It wasn’t something that I really ever thought about, it just was. And of course, there was always a treat of some sort offered when my mom’s friends came over for coffee, when she and Dad played bridge every week, and when she hosted a dinner party.
My mom was a good cook and baker—she still is—so we had wonderful apple pies in the fall; terrific brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and shortbread in the winter; and fresh fruit cobblers and shortcakes in the spring and summer. And at my grandfather’s house in Maryland, my sisters and I took turns churning unforgettably good peach ice cream in a hand-cranked, salt-filled ice-cream maker.
Times have changed and so have desserts: Many are lighter and many are quick, and seasonality is more important than ever. Flavors that once would have seemed exotic—cardamom, pomegranate, lavender—are commonplace. But some things haven’t changed. Now, as then, a good dessert is all about that little hit of sweetness that gives any dinner its official wrap-up and launches us into the rest of the evening.
It has been said that the soul of a baker is different than the soul of a cook. Dessert making requires precision, and that’s where this book comes in. Each of the more than six hundred recipes here has been tested and retested by the experts in the Bon Appétit kitchens to guarantee sweet success every time. After more than five decades of publishing recipes for cakes, cookies, pies, tarts, cheesecakes, ice creams, and so much more, we’ve been able to pack a lot of info and expertise into these pages. So in addition to the recipes, you’ll find notes that let you know what to expect from each recipe; extensive tips and sidebars offering do-ahead suggestions and test-kitchen secrets; step-by-step illustrations to guide you through preparation; and thorough chapters on stocking your pantry, buying the most useful equipment, and mastering the essential techniques of dessert making. We want this to be your ultimate dessert resource, guidebook, and helpmate in the kitchen, whether you’re an enthusiastic beginner or a confident cook.
So go ahead and make something sweet for dinner tonight—I certainly will be. Because nothing provides the satisfaction, gets the attention, or creates memories like a great dessert.
––Barbara Fairchild, Los Angeles, California
1: The Desserts Pantry 95
2: Equipment: The Basics 155
3: Techniques: The Basics 183
4: Cakes 201
5: Cheesecakes 299
6: Pies, Tarts, and Pastries 321
7: Custards and Puddings 383
8: Fruit Desserts 425
9: Frozen Desserts 477
10: Cookies 501
11: Bar Cookies and Brownies 567
12: Candy 599
metric conversions and equivalents 698
––From Bon Appetit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful, by Barbara Fairchild
The stunning contrast of red cake and fluffy white cream cheese frosting has made this a southern tradition for festive occasions. Mixing a touch of cocoa powder with the buttermilk and vinegar creates a reddish brown color, but it’s the red food coloring that earns this cake its name.
2 1⁄4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 8-ounce packages Philadelphia-brand cream cheese, room temperature
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar
3 1⁄2-pint containers fresh raspberries
3 1⁄2-pint containers fresh blueberries
CAKE: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 11⁄2-inch-high sides. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in dry ingredients in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 3 additions. Divide batter between prepared pans.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 27 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks; cool completely.
FROSTING: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add sugar and beat until smooth.
Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over. Arrange 1 container raspberries and 1⁄2 container blueberries atop frosting, pressing lightly to adhere. Top with second cake layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Arrange remaining berries decoratively over top of cake.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.
The baking time indicated in a recipe provides the estimated time you can expect the cake to be done, but visual cues are your best bet for determining doneness. Here are three ways to determine
if a cake is perfectly done:
1. Insert a toothpick, cake tester, or even a thin metal skewer (like the ones used to truss a turkey) into the center of the cake. It should come out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
2. Gently press your finger onto the top of the cake. The cake should spring back without leaving an impression of your finger.
3. Check the sides of the cake. In most cases, the edges should just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
The rules change when making molten cakes: A tester should come out with thick batter attached, and the tops and sides should be set but the centers should feel wobbly.
A cake is truly more than the sum of its delicious parts—but a beautiful frosting is key to making a fantastic first impression. Here are some ways to create professional-looking frosted cakes.
1 Prep: If the cooled cake layers are domed, use a serrated knife to carefully trim the tops and make them level. Set one cake layer on a cardboard round that is slightly smaller in diameter than the cake so that it’s concealed, or set the cake layer on a flat cake plate. A dab of frosting on the cardboard or plate helps anchor the cake.
2 Fill and layer: Spread the filling over the cake layer, keeping it within a half inch of the edge of the cake; then top with the second cake layer (this allows some wiggle room for the filling to ooze). It’s best to place the bottom layer cut side up and the top layer cut side down; the cut surfaces absorb some of the filling, while the smooth, flat surface forms a nice shape for the finished cake. Sometimes the top layer slides around, which makes frosting the cake difficult. To solve this, cover the layered cake with plastic and chill it until the filling becomes firm and the top layer is securely set in place.
3 Add the crumb coat: Spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake, then chill the cake until the frosting is cold. Don’t worry if the cake doesn’t look attractive at this point; the crumb coating is simply used to glue any loose cake crumbs to the cake’s surface to make it easier to apply the final coating of frosting. (Not all recipes call for this step.)
4 Frost: Finally, spread the remaining frosting decoratively over the sides and top of the cake. Setting the cake on a cake turntable or lazy Susan and using a long offset spatula will help you create
a perfectly smooth finish.