Artfully arranged confections prepared from multiple components are a modern restaurant mainstay. In Grand Finales, authors Tish Boyle and Timothy Moriarty present 53 such creations, the work of 23 leading American pastry chefs who have been challenged to make "neoclassic" versions of traditional desserts. Thus, for example, tart tatin, the venerable French apple galette, is reconfigured by chef Lincoln Carson as Pear Tatin with Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce. Like the other recipes in the book, the pear tatin requires multiple subpreparations (in this case 5, though 7 to 10 elsewhere is not unusual); frequently large recipe yields (72, in one case), ingredient quantities given by weight, and restaurant-ingredient "call-fors" (like isomalt and trimoline) further alert us to the fact--unstated--that the book is for professionals. This said, general readers may well be intrigued by the talent and technique on display in 105 color photos of the unquestionably gorgeous desserts, and by the useful, often fascinating information on pastry history and production that the book provides.
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