Food52 Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake by Kristen Miglore

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Notes about this book

  • Jenny on May 14, 2018

    Received the galley today of this book and it looks magnificent - every baker will want this title in their collection.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • World peace cookies

    • Jane on February 02, 2020

      I just love these cookies - the shortbread texture and the dominance of the chocolate is my kind of cookie. Because the chocolate is so front and center I use top quality Valrhona Manjari chocolate and cocoa.

  • Cacio e pepe shortbread

    • Jane on March 01, 2019

      This was fantastic. I didn't manage to get a photo as it disappeared so fast. A savory shortbread flavored and topped with pecorino and Parmesan. This may well appear at every party from now on. I divided it into 12 slices but it could stretch to 16 slim slices.

  • Back-to-school raspberry granola bars

    • kari500 on February 25, 2020

      I used seedless blackberry jam, otherwise followed the recipe. I think these are wonderful, although mine could have used a bit longer in the oven (probably my oven's fault). Next time I'll try apricot jam with almonds in place of the pecans. Great way to use up a jar of jam.

    • Lepa on January 08, 2020

      These were easy to make and cut into nice bars (no crumbling!). My kids loved them but they are a bit too sweet for me.

  • Ten-minute lime cracker pie

    • kari500 on February 15, 2020

      Loved this. Similar to a Key Lime Pie in flavor. I think a creamsicle version with orange might be nice too, but it's pretty perfect as is. That said, it took me at least 10 minutes to zest and juice the limes, so maybe the 10 minute thing isn't strictly correct.

    • anya_sf on October 01, 2018

      I reviewed the online recipe from Food52, but confirmed that the recipe in the book is identical. My family loved this.

  • The world's easiest cookies

    • darcie_b on June 07, 2019

      These cookies are a bit bland and not overly attractive, but this recipe will do the trick if you want something fast and vegan. I added a few drops orange oil to give it more flavor.

    • jackiecat on June 07, 2019

      https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-the-worlds-easiest-cookies-just-happen-to-be-paleo-vegan-and-gluten-free-230608

    • stockholm28 on January 27, 2020

      Definitely the world’s easiest, but far from the best. I won’t make these again.

  • One-step, no-churn coffee ice cream

    • jackiecat on April 27, 2019

      https://food52.com/recipes/30285-nigella-lawson-s-one-step-no-churn-coffee-ice-cream

    • anya_sf on April 27, 2019

      I didn't quite have enough heavy cream, so I used half-and-half for the remaining 1/4 cup or so and it still worked. This ice cream was incredibly easy to make. The flavor was reminiscent of Vietnamese iced coffee. It wasn't firm enough after 6 hours in the freezer, so it's best to freeze overnight. Fabulous flavor and texture. I can't wait to try this method with other flavors.

  • No-stress pie dough

    • stockholm28 on January 13, 2020

      This was the flakiest pie dough that I’ve ever made. The top crust was crisp like a croissant and the bottom crust had no soggy bottom. This recipe is from ”Bravetart”. This dough is made by hand and uses a folding technique which creates layers. This is truly a case where a picture is worth a thousand words. Food 52 Genius Desserts includes photos of how to fold the dough; Bravetart does not. The recipe is on the Serious Eats site (with photos) here: https://www.seriouseats.com/2016/06/how-to-make-a-beautifully-flaky-pie-crust.html

  • Coconut slice

    • stockholm28 on January 05, 2020

      This was great (and very rich). If you love chocolate and coconut, this basically tastes like the best almond joy that you have ever eaten (with the addition of sour cherries and pistachios). This recipe is from the Honey and Co Baking Book / Golden. It is gluten free.

  • Weird & wonderful banana cake

    • julesamomof2 on September 22, 2018

      Not my favorite banana cake-the mayo gave it a sour flavor. I think I will stick with the recipe from the Flour cookbook.

    • anya_sf on October 19, 2018

      I weighed the ingredients, so I used 2 1/2 bananas. White whole wheat flour worked fine. I used maybe 2/3 coffee and 1/3 water. The cake was super moist, rich and sweet. It tasted like it had pumpkin spice in it, which I'm guessing was from the coffee. We liked it a lot, although not as much as Flour's.

    • Jviney on February 19, 2019

      This was a very moist cake and I so wanted to be on board with it...but I felt like I could taste the mayo and it turned me off. Did anybody else have this experience with it?

  • Three-ingredient coconut fudge (Topra pak) [Meera Sodha]

    • tarae1204 on February 01, 2019

      It's actually three-ingredient coconut fudge. Wouldn't be bad dipped in chocolate however!

  • Dark chocolate-marzipan loaf cake

    • Lepa on November 04, 2018

      This is a bit sweet for my taste but it really is fantastic. It elicited groans from everyone at the table and my husband said that it deserved the "Paul Hollywood handshake". My son said it may be the best thing I've ever baked(?!?) While I was reluctant to add raspberry jam, as recommended by Yeh, a very thin smear really did complement the flavors. This took about 55 minutes to bake. Yeh recommends a thermometer to figure out when it is properly baked inside and, based on my experience, I second that recommendation.

    • anya_sf on February 23, 2019

      I only had about 6 oz marzipan, but together with the chips, it was plenty to make this loaf quite sweet, despite the small amount of sugar in the dough. Mine took about 50-55 min to bake and got quite dark on the edges, but did not taste overdone. Although the raspberry jam definitely went well with the almond and chocolate, the additional sweetness wasn't needed. I wonder if plain raspberries could be mixed into the batter instead. Very good, but quite decadent - definitely an indulgent breakfast.

  • Blondies

    • Lepa on September 06, 2018

      I love to bake but rarely bake cookies. I surprised my kids with these and they have been gushing about how AMAZING they were so I guess I am sold and will be making these again.

    • averythingcooks on July 23, 2020

      I cut this in 1/2 which is very easy to do when the recipe gives grams (in addition to cups etc ). I used a mix of semi-sweet chips & chopped white chocolate and baked them in an 8 x 8 glass pan (the recipe is very specific about using metal - but never explains why). Verdict? These are just awesome!

  • Almond cake

    • Lepa on September 28, 2018

      This is a delicious cake if you like almond flavor (and I do!) I baked this the full 60 minutes and it was probably slightly overdone. The cake stuck to the pan on the sides and seemed too hard/overbaked at the edges. I will make this again and take it out earlier (after 50-55 minutes). Also, make sure you grease the pan extra well.

  • Chocolate cloud cake

    • Lepa on September 06, 2018

      I made this for my son, who requested a chocolate cake for his sixth birthday. This was very dense and rich. I loved the orange flavor but my husband prefers a plainer version without orange that was in the first Smitten Kitchen cookbook. Our guests raved about this cake. It was easy to bake and felt pretty special.

    • bwhip on November 30, 2018

      We enjoyed this very much, particularly the orange notes from the zest and Grand Marnier. I kept the whipped cream separate, so we could enjoy it first while still a little warm, then so it wouldn't be a complete mess when eaten over the next day or two. It would certainly be quite intense without the whipped cream, so it does provide the perfect complementary relief as described in the recipe. 8" springform was the perfect size.

    • anya_sf on October 19, 2018

      I made 1/2 recipe baked in a 6" pan with 3" high sides. The cake rose to the full height of the sides, then sank quite a bit upon cooling. When I removed the ring (after the cake was completely cool), the sides collapsed and pieces fell off. I wonder if a pan with shorter sides would be better - perhaps the cake wouldn't rise so high and subsequently fall so much? This smaller version baked in 30 min. I added Grand Marnier, but not the zest, and the orange flavor wasn't really noticeable. It tasted great, with or without whipped cream. The texture was relatively light compared to some flourless chocolate cakes, but still moist in the center. Five people ate the whole thing. It was quick and easy to make - will definitely make again.

  • Meme's blackberry batter cobbler

    • Lepa on October 29, 2018

      I like this style of cobbler. It was easy to throw together and it turned out well. It's not, however, as good as the magic cobbler from Smitten Kitchen, which uses apples and plums and is my all time favorite.

  • Douglas's whole wheat jam thumbprints

    • bwhip on September 25, 2018

      These were very good, better than I expected. Much like the author said, reminded me of wheat toast with just the right amount of jam.

    • Jviney on May 08, 2019

      Understated in a lovely way, just the right amount sweet. I used homemade strawberry jam and thought these a keeper for sure.

  • French lemon cream tart

    • bwhip on April 07, 2019

      Wonderful, really delicious. My wife and I were a little reluctant to try this, since we both love traditional lemon curd so much. Would this alternative method be lemony enough? The answer is yes. Super lemony, but also light and creamy. For the tart shell, we used the recipe from the shell for the almond tart from this same cookbook. Excellent, crispy and crumbly crust. Not as fussy as the usual tart crust recipes can be, and it turned out great. We’ll make this again for sure.

  • Butterscotch budino

    • bwhip on March 01, 2019

      Fantastic! What a great combination the pudding is with that caramel sauce. Gives it a lovely bitttersweet edge like the topping on a nice creme brulee. I didn’t bother with the whipped cream, though I’m sure it would provide a lovely contrasting relief as well. Delicious.

  • Tiramisu

    • bwhip on January 21, 2019

      Delicious, and really quite easy to throw together. Next time I might spray just a bit of Bakers Joy on the parchment, as the cake was just a bit sticky when trying to peel. Flavor is wonderful, rich while somewhat fluffy and light.

  • Rum-scented marble cake

    • bwhip on September 26, 2018

      We really enjoyed this cake. Rum flavor is complementary, and not overwhelming. Recipe and technique are different from most cake recipes - seven eggs (!) and they're mixed in at the end, after the flour and butter, and mixed for quite a long time. The marbling technique worked perfectly - best pattern I've ever achieved.

  • Coffee cardamom walnut cakes

    • bwhip on October 04, 2018

      These turned out very nicely, with a good blend of coffee, sweetness and spice.

  • Apple galette

    • bwhip on November 23, 2018

      Fantastic. Crust was easy to make, super flaky and delicious. Apple flavor was perfect, though they didn't require as much cooking time in the pan as the recipe called for (I stopped about ten minutes less) - and could have used even less than that, as they got a bit mushy in the oven.

  • Peach cobbler with hot sugar crust

    • anya_sf on October 01, 2018

      I posted my notes on the recipe from the Food 52 website, which is identical to this one. My family like this a lot.

  • Fried stuffed dates (Khajoor ka meetha)

    • anya_sf on February 28, 2020

      Super quick and easy to make - a nice, last-minute dessert. I served 4 per person with lightly-sweetened whipped cream. The only tricky part was cutting the dates with a dessert fork.

  • Slow-roasted strawberries

    • anya_sf on May 05, 2020

      I didn't have a non-reactive pan large enough to fit the strawberries in a single layer, so I used a sheet pan lined with parchment, which worked okay, but in hindsight perhaps the berries were too far apart. After 3 hours, they did not seem quite done according to the recipe cues, but after 4 hours they were a little too dry. Granted, I should have checked in between and turned them as directed, so that was user error. The berries were certainly flavorful (and the fresh berries actually were rather watery and tart), but a little too dry and chewy. They still tasted good with the olive oil cake though.

  • Hazelnut-brown butter cake with sautéed pears

    • anya_sf on October 25, 2018

      The cake was easy to make and hazelnut tastes great with pears. The butter in which the pears were cooked appeared to burn, so I turned down the heat. Luckily, it did not taste burnt. The pears look pretty with stems and core intact, but are a bit harder to eat that way. The cake is very sweet, so the less sweet pears and unsweetened whipped cream go nicely.

  • Greek yogurt chocolate mousse

    • anya_sf on September 09, 2018

      This recipe is super simple and easy to scale down, so it's perfect when you only need dessert for one :-) And no mixer is required. There's no added sugar, so it isn't that sweet, but the orange balances the bitter chocolate nicely. Chambord and raspberry jam would probably be good substitutes for the Grand Marnier and orange marmalade. One minor quibble: the texture is really more pudding-like than mousse-like.

  • Whole orange cake

    • anya_sf on March 01, 2019

      I was really curious to try this since you blitz 2 whole oranges in a food processor and add them to the batter. The cake was easy to make and baked up fine, although the top of the cake (bottom when you flip it) remained craggy - didn't smooth out while baking. The cake had a lovely orange hue throughout and was very moist. At first I was going to skip the glaze, but ended up making it after tasting a slice, because I thought the cake needed something more. I only used half the powdered sugar in the glaze but nearly all the OJ as I wanted a thin glaze. Despite the whole oranges, the cake still could have used more orange flavor - perhaps some orange oil or extract would help. Overall, a pleasant cake though.

  • Best (& easiest) frozen yogurt

    • anya_sf on October 05, 2018

      Definitely the easiest, and very good, although the CI recipe (with gelatin and golden syrup) was smoother. This one is really creamy initially and great as "soft serve". It gets icier after freezing, although it's still good. I added some vanilla extract.

  • No-churn fresh lemon ice cream

    • anya_sf on September 25, 2018

      Unbelievably easy and good! Great lemon flavor and smooth, creamy texture. Ready to eat after just a few hours in the freezer, and no ice cream maker needed.

  • Four-ingredient strawberry shortcakes

    • anya_sf on August 31, 2019

      These were the easiest shortcakes in the world to make. Using a rounded 2-Tbsp scoop, I got 7 shortcakes (no sacrificial one, but didn't need it). Although I added the optional sugar to the shortcakes and my berries were sweet, this dessert did not turn out very sweet overall. Next time I'll add more sugar to the whipped cream. Super quick and easy to make and quite good too.

  • No-bake persimmon & goat cheese cheesecake

    • anya_sf on October 29, 2018

      I made 1/2 recipe in a 7" springform pan. This cheesecake is easy and a great option if you don't want to turn on the oven or spend hours baking a cheesecake. The flavor was delicious. The pistachios and spices in the crust were most prominent and rather unusual. It didn't taste like goat cheese. The crust was rather crumbly, so I would use a bit more coconut oil next time to bind it. You could easily use other fruit purees, nuts, and spices for a different flavor.

  • Nibby buckwheat butter cookies

    • anya_sf on March 24, 2020

      I really liked these. The buckwheat and cacao nibs were unusual, but worked really well together and the cookies were also nice and buttery. I made 1/2 batch dough one day before baking. Apparently, I can't measure or slice evenly because I got 21 cookies, not 24. The recipe says they improve with age, but I'm not sure they'll last long enough for me to find out.

  • Nonfat gingersnaps

    • anya_sf on October 06, 2018

      The dough is so soft you can almost scoop it from the freezer. I made it 2 days ahead. The cookies didn't seem done after 10 minutes of baking, but I worried about overbaking, so I took them out; I left the second batch in for 11 min for comparison. Both batches turned out great after cooling completely, even though they were super soft coming out of the oven. They were soft and cakey with a strong ginger flavor.

  • Secretly vegan chocolate chip cookies

    • anya_sf on October 20, 2018

      I used organic cane sugar, dark muscovado sugar, and grapeseed oil. Made the dough 2 days before baking. Didn't freeze the balls of dough because I wanted the cookies to spread. They turned out perfectly - slightly crispy on the outside, chewy inside, good flavor. They are good cookies, not just good vegan cookies.

  • Chocolate chip cookie brittle

    • anya_sf on October 27, 2018

      I made a Halloween version with orange m&m's instead of nuts. Note for next time: the dough is easier to spread in the pan if you sprinkle all the candies on at the end, rather than mixing some in. The baked cookie stuck to the sides of the pan so badly that I never thought I'd pry it out, but once I loosened one edge with a sharp knife, the whole slab did come out. Super sweet like you'd expect, good for a party. A salty mix-in would go well here to contrast with the sweet.

  • Flourless chocolate-walnut cookies

    • anya_sf on October 02, 2018

      Very quick and easy to make. With my scoop, a half recipe yielded 8 cookies. I used 2 pans because I thought they might spread, but they actually did not spread much in the oven. They were super chewy with a mild chocolate flavor, reminiscent of Katharine Hepburn's brownies.

  • Best cocoa brownies

    • anya_sf on October 22, 2018

      I prefer fudgy brownies, so I took them out of the oven when just barely done (in my oven, this was a couple of minutes after the stated baking time). The texture was moist and chewy. They're the best cocoa brownies I've made, although I still prefer brownies made with chocolate. But they're a great option if you only have cocoa on hand.

  • Olive oil cake

    • anya_sf on May 05, 2020

      The weight of the milk is greater than the volume; I used the weight, but think maybe the volume is correct. I made 2/3 recipe in an 8" pan; baking time was 52 minutes. The cake rose nicely in the oven, but the edges (oddly, not the center) sank slightly upon cooling. It was super moist - to the point of being oily - and had a dense, gummy layer at the bottom. The flavor was very nice on its own (orange was prominent) and also with roasted strawberries. Unfortunately, I'm still searching for my ideal olive oil cake recipe.

  • Brazilian carrot cake (Bolo de cenoura)

    • anya_sf on October 10, 2018

      This cake is super quick and easy to mix, although you need a powerful blender (mine is Braun). I just have a large bundt pan, so the batter only filled it halfway. I feared the baking temperature was too high and/or baking time too short, but it was spot on. The cake has a beautiful golden color and moist texture like most bundts. You'd never guess it was carrot; it has a fresh taste that is hard to pinpoint. There are no spices, so the chocolate glaze is a nice counterpoint. Since the cake isn't huge, I only made half the glaze, and thought it was enough. We enjoyed it.

  • All-occasion downy yellow butter cake with neoclassic buttercream

    • Jviney on July 04, 2020

      Used 3 Tbsp of Chambord in the frosting. Nice moist cake but with all the butter, the frosting was very very rich.

  • Cinnamon toast cookies

    • Jviney on April 09, 2020

      Crazy fast and met the craving. I literally pulled dinner out of the oven and then decided I wanted a homemade dessert. We ate dinner while the aroma of cinnamon filtered out from the oven as they baked. Delicious for its purpose: fast.

  • Coconut custard macaroons

    • Jviney on November 01, 2019

      These were excellent and very quick to make. The recipe calls for 2 Tbsp scoops of dough and I think I would say 1 Tbsp works better; I also packed the dough together much more on the second baking and that helped to prevent spread. They are very good.

  • Peanut butter sandies

    • Jviney on February 19, 2019

      Per the recipe notes, these freeze super well. I add a little Jacobsen sea salt to the top and they are killer. Took them to a party and one baker said they were the best peanut butter cookies she had ever eaten. Also love the petite bite size.

  • Double-chocolate cookie crumbles

    • Jviney on August 23, 2019

      This was a fun add for an ice cream social. I had little time so used Ghirardelli bittersweet chips, didn’t chop them. Baked 12 minutes and the crumbles were moist and delicious.

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Reviews about this book

  • Eat Your Books by Jenny Hartin

    The dream collection of genius recipes for bakers of any level of experience.

    Full review
  • Food52

    ...more than 100 of the smartest and most iconic dessert recipes of our time, drawing from the biggest names in desserts and the wisdom of the Food52 community...

    Full review
  • Food52

    ...you'll get to know standout recipes that'll make your baking legendary—teaching you a new technique, showing you how to turn an ingredient on its head...

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1524758981
  • ISBN 13 9781524758981
  • Published Sep 04 2018
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 288
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Ten Speed Press

Publishers Text

There are good desserts and there are great desserts--and then, there are genius desserts. Genius Desserts is the book that will transform the way you bake, with the answers for every moment that needs a sweet (so...every moment!): When you're not a baker, but you need the birthday cake. When you've tried every chocolate mousse, but haven't found one that sticks. When you're short on time and want your efforts in the kitchen to count.

Drawing from her James Beard Award-nominated Genius Recipes column and powered by the cooking wisdom and generosity of the Food52 community, creative director Kristen Miglore has unearthed the most game-changing dessert recipes from beloved cookbook authors, chef, and bakers--collecting them all in this indispensable guide. Featuring iconic desserts spanning the last century: Maida Heatter's East 62nd Street Lemon Cake, Francois Payard's Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies, and Nancy Silverton's Butterscotch Budino, as well as little-known gems like a comforting Peach Cobbler with Hot Sugar Crust from Renee Erickson and the imaginative Parsnip Cake with Blood Orange Buttercream from Lucky Peach, along with genius tips, riffs, and mini-recipes, and the lively stories behind each one.

The genius of this collection is that Kristen has scouted out and rigorously tested recipes from the most trusted dessert experts, finding more than 100 of their standouts. Each recipe shines in a different way and teaches you something new, whether it's how to use unconventional ingredients (like Sunset's whole orange cake), how to make the most of brilliant methods (roasted sugar from Stella Parks), or how to embrace stunning simplicity (Dorie Greenspan's three-ingredient cookies). With James Ransom's vivid photographs throughout, Genius Desserts is destined to become every baker's go-to reference for the very best desserts from the smartest teachers of our time--for all the dinner parties, potlucks, bake sales, and late-night snacks in between.


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