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Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz

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Notes about this book

  • sck on July 28, 2010

    It's a hit. I loved his ice cream book, so I purchased this volume recently, after hearing David Lebovitz call it "his greatest hits" book. We haven't been disappointed yet.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Bahamian rum cake

    • fprincess on May 17, 2011

      This cake is very moist and has a delicious flavor from the rum, coconut milk, and shredded coconut. http://egullet.org/p1803494 for picture

    • Susan_F on August 05, 2014

      I'm a little disappointed with this cake, though it's probably more down to my (lack of) baking skills than anything else. It certainly looked good, made in a Nordicware Heritage bundt pan, (and is huge) but for the amount of rum involved it just didn't seem to have the oomph I was expecting. I did use some as a pudding with cream and pineapple and that was nice. Not sure it's something I'll make again though.

    • sweetchefgirl on September 07, 2014

      Really great cake, if you want super boozy increase the rum. I loved this though, serve with tropical fruit.

  • Brown sugar-pecan shortbread

    • mamacrumbcake on July 22, 2017

      I am ambivalent about these cookies. There is nothing wrong with them. The texture is good--slightly sandy and crisp--the taste is fine, mostly of pecans, and secondarily brown sugar. But it seems to be missing something. My daughter did not think they were sweet enough. I sprinkled sea salt on them, which is a must. I think the flavor is a bit flat without it. UPDATE: Husband and kids really like these cookies, so maybe it's just me.

  • Buckwheat cake with cider-poached apples

    • e_ballad on August 11, 2017

      Whilst there was a note within the recipe that this cake kept well for days if well-wrapped, unfortunately it turned dry within the day despite a copious amount of plastic wrap. Best eaten straight away!

  • Buckwheat cake with orange segments

    • fprincess on February 08, 2011

      This cake is quite light and excellent with coffee. The mix of buckwheat and almonds is fantastic; the almonds really enhance the buckwheat flavor. Good if you are gluten-intolerant as it does not contain any flour. I used almond meal instead of grinding sliced almonds.

  • Butternut squash pie

    • fprincess on October 05, 2011

      This pie is very good. I used kabocha squash which has great flavor. I really liked the spice combination and the addition of vanilla extract and Cognac was a nice touch. The recipe produced way too much filling for my 9" tart pan, maybe because it's not very deep. I had enough to make two additional small tarts and still had leftover filling.

    • fprincess on October 06, 2011

      eGullet post with pictures here: http://egullet.org/p1841671

    • amraub on January 09, 2012

      I also had a problem with too much pie filling for the pie, but the end result tasted great.

  • Butterscotch-pecan ice cream

    • louie734 on April 09, 2014

      This recipe is located online here http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/07/butterscotch-pecan-ice-cream-recipe.html

  • Caramel ice cream

    • louie734 on April 09, 2014

      This recipe can be found online here http://www.thekitchn.com/ready-for-dessert-by-david-leb-115591

  • Chocolate chip cookies

    • fprincess on March 08, 2011

      Excellent! Love the chewy texture.

    • cassiopeia on August 01, 2011

      Brilliant recipe, just perfect with plenty of gooey chocolate and a chewy final biscuit.

  • Chocolate chocolate-chip cookies

    • fprincess on May 31, 2011

      Intense chocolate flavor, a little on the sweet side for me.

  • Chocolate crack cookies

    • fprincess on May 21, 2011

      These have to be amongst the most delicious cookies I've had a chance to try. They have a light and crumbly texture thanks to the almond powder, and an intense chocolate flavor, almost like a brownie. They really deserve their name. It's my new favorite recipe from the book! http://egullet.org/p1816311

    • fprincess on September 26, 2011

      I made them again, and they are still exceptional. I tried dark rum and Cognac, and I like the rum version better.

    • Jane on April 06, 2015

      I melted the chocolate, butter and rum in the microwave rather than a double boiler which may have been a mistake as it was very solid. As a result the dough after chilling was also very solid. I thought the balls would flatten as they cooked but they didn't so when I was rotating the trays half way through baking I flattened each ball with the bottom of a glass. So they didn't end up looking as they should - the sugar melted into the dough and the cracks weren't as pretty as other crack cookies I've made. But the flavor and texture was very good and I will try making them again, properly following the directions.

    • vickster on March 07, 2015

      Delicious chocolate flavor and great texture. I stopped rolling them in sugar.

  • Chocolate gelato

    • cassiemcgannon on May 17, 2012

      Delicious made with 'flavoured' chocolate - I used Green and Black's Maya Gold (orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla).

  • Chocolate orbit cake

    • fprincess on January 23, 2011

      Very rich. Delicious! Use top quality chocolate as it's really showcased in this recipe. I cooked at 212F for 1h30, then 30 min at 230F and skipped the water bath.

    • milgwimper on November 17, 2015

      This is simple and quite delicious. Easy to make and impresses the chocoholics. I would make this again.

  • Chocolate pavé

    • fprincess on November 15, 2011

      This pave is not as dense as the ones I had in France, which is not a bad thing. It's more light and airy. It looks more rustic as well, which is probably expected for a recipe from Chez Panisse. The creme anglaise is a great match. eGullet review with pictures here http://egullet.org/p1846332

  • Chocolate pots de crème

    • fprincess on April 04, 2011

      Very rich and delicious. Prep takes 20 min and cooking in the oven another 30-35 min so it's ready very little time.

    • DKennedy on May 13, 2013

      Too rich for my taste. Prefer 1-2-3 milk chocolate recipe.

  • Chocolate-port truffles

    • fprincess on April 24, 2011

      These are a little messy to make with a 3-step process but they are absolutely worth the effort. Delicious with a great ganache base and the final chocolate coat gives them a slight crunch.

  • Crème Anglaise

    • fprincess on November 15, 2011

      A very reliable recipe for an old favorite.

  • Croquants

    • fprincess on October 22, 2012

      When I make ice cream with egg yolks I always look for good recipes using egg whites. Also I realized that I had bought way too much almonds by mistake and needed to use them. I've made financiers and macarons so far, but recently I found another gem, the Croquants from Ready for Desserts. I was very skeptical at first. The batter of egg whites + flour + sugar was very thin and I could not picture what these cookies were going to look like in the end (the book does not have a photo). But I decided to trust David Lebovitz and I was amazed when I saw them rising in the oven. They were little crunchy delights. Light and crisp, with a toasted almond flavor. Outstanding with a cup of espresso! Photos here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/136600-baking-etc-with-david-lebovitzs-ready-for-dessert/page__st__30__p__1895262#entry1895262

  • Date-nut torte

    • fprincess on November 15, 2011

      This cake is very nice with coffee. It's a little on the sweet side (and I did not even dust it with powdered sugar as the recipe specified). I used fennel seeds instead of anise seeds that I am having a hard time finding. It's very easy to make. I found that the torte was great cut into small pieces and enjoyed with coffee. Definitely more a "snack cake" than a dessert cake. eGullet review here with pictures. http://egullet.org/p1848944

    • louie734 on April 09, 2014

      This cake was also in Ripe for Dessert, the only change being that the aniseed is increased from 1/4 teaspoon to 3/4 teaspoon.

  • Flo's chocolate snaps

    • fprincess on May 11, 2011

      Very good butter cookies. These are a snap to make (sorry!). I was expecting them to be a little snappier. They are still excellent.

    • fprincess on May 21, 2011

      Picture http://egullet.org/p1816311

  • Fresh fig and raspberry tart with honey

    • amraub on April 06, 2012

      Almond crust is fantastic with fresh figs and raspberry.

  • Fresh ginger cake

    • Emily Hope on November 19, 2010

      This was good, but I admit to not being as ecstatic as everyone else seems over this. Good with the asian-spiced roasted pears from the book and some softly whipped cream.

    • wcassity on May 13, 2018

      Loved this. Very moist, nice bite from the ginger. Served with lemon curd mixed with whipped cream, but good by itself or with whipped cream alone.

    • stockholm28 on November 06, 2017

      I've seen lots of raves for this and I had some really nice fresh ginger from the farmers market. The cake is quite moist and has a real bite from the ginger. I'd love a little lemon ice cream to go with it.

    • ComeUndone on December 08, 2010

      Half of mine stuck to the pan when I unmolded (oops on my part). It really was a moist and gingery cake though. However, I couldn't serve torn pieces of cake so I used it as a base to make rum balls. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wscwong/5244507080/

    • fprincess on March 28, 2011

      The Fresh Ginger Cake does not contain any chocolate, but you could think that it does because of its rich flavor. I was a little nervous having never used molasses, and because of the relatively large amount of oil in the recipe. The cake is very moist and the fresh ginger flavor is obvious, with cinnamon in the background. http://egullet.org/p1800789

  • Fruit galette

    • fprincess on October 21, 2015

      I make these rustic tarts all the time in summer. I skip the frangipane when I use stone fruit. My favorites are apricots and plums. They are great for picnics. Pictures: https://tartinestotikis.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/rustic-fruit-tarts/

  • Galette dough

    • fprincess on August 30, 2013

      Very easy to prepare in a stand mixer. This dough makes a crust that has a great crunchy texture. Best the day of as it gets soft the next day. http://tartinestotikis.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/rustic-fruit-tarts/

  • Gâteau Victoire

    • fprincess on February 15, 2011

      Another straightforward recipe which has the originality of not requiring butter or flour. I skipped the water bath altogether and cooked it at 212F in the oven for approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes, then about 15 min at 230F until the center set. As David recommends, because of its very light texture, it's easier to cut it with dental floss.

  • Meyer lemon sorbet

    • TrishaCP on March 26, 2016

      A perfect palate cleanser-really light and refreshing. As David notes, this "really" does freeze hard, even with the booze (I used sparkling wine), so plan ahead to let it soften before serving.

  • Mixed berry pie

    • Frogcake on May 28, 2016

      Fabulous! The pastry is a classic pate brisee - doesn't get any better than this and the mixed berry filling is to die for.

  • Nectarine-cherry cobbler with fluffy biscuits

    • Zosia on July 09, 2018

      The fruit portion was delicious (I used sour cherries) but my biscuits were not particularly fluffy and tasted very plain. I would repeat this fruit combination but choose a different topping. (The spiced biscuit topping from the Baker in Me which had great flavour and was almost cake-like would be good.)

  • Nectarine-frangipane galette

    • fprincess on August 30, 2013

      Made without the frangipane and in two versions: nectarine + apricot, and peach. The first one was my favorite. It really love the easiness of the free-form galette. http://tartinestotikis.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/rustic-fruit-tarts/

  • Nonfat gingersnaps

    • eliza on November 28, 2017

      I didn't care for these at all. Very sweet and they have a strange texture. I usually like David Lebovitz's recipes but this is one I won't be repeating.

  • Orange pound cake

    • fprincess on March 01, 2011

      Simple pound cake recipe elevated by the orange zest and glaze. http://forums.egullet.org/topic/136600-baking-etc-with-david-lebovitzs-ready-for-dessert/?p=1795905

  • Pavlova

    • fprincess on June 04, 2013

      A pavlova (named after the Russian ballerina) is a meringue with a chewy interior, a dessert that is extremely popular in Australia and in New Zealand. They worked quite well. Most came out great although a couple were still a bit sticky underneath and super sticky inside. I probably should have cooked them a little bit longer. They were delicious topped with fresh fruit (pineapple, strawberry and passion fruit) and whipped cream. It's a light dessert that can be assembled at the last minute. Photos here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/136600-baking-etc-with-david-lebovitzs-ready-for-dessert/?p=1921029

    • fprincess on September 11, 2017

      I made them again, and again they were sticky, although I cooked them almost 1 hour longer than what the recipe called for, and left it in the oven more than an hour after they were done.

  • Peach-amaretti crisp

    • ComeUndone on August 14, 2010

      I like the use of amaretti cookies for the crisp, a bit different from the typical oats topping. This one is abundant with almond flavour. I did not have enough peaches so I threw in a cup of blueberries. Will make again.

  • Pistachio-cardamom cake

    • Frogcake on May 28, 2016

      I looked for gold leaf and also couldn't find it. This is a lovely fragrant cake that I served to my guests with a small refreshing scoop of tangerine sorbet as recommended.

  • Plum-marzipan tart

    • TrishaCP on September 19, 2017

      This is a variation on the apricot-marzipan tart. This is good with plums but I think I would prefer the apricot version. I was also a bit disappointed in the topping because I didn't think it had a ton of almond flavor compared to a frangipane tart. The tart base did not shrink at all during the bake, and I would definitely use it again- the ground almonds in it are delicious.

  • Racines cake

    • cassiopeia on August 01, 2011

      Wonderful chocolate cake that, as an added bonus, has no nuts nor flour. The texture is divine and makes it the perfect dessert cake. Served with a strawberries and thick cream it would be hard to beat. Perfect!

    • fprincess on January 16, 2012

      Made again and overcooked a little. Next time I will check it after 15 minutes. It was a little too dry after 20 (the recipe says to bake it for 25 min).

    • fprincess on December 25, 2010

      Light cake and the cacao nibs add texture. A keeper!

  • Robert's absolute best brownies

    • fprincess on March 17, 2011

      Wow these are indeed the best. Wonderful flavor and texture. Very easy to make nice slices (does not crumble). Highly recommended.

    • fprincess on April 04, 2011

      I made 3 batches of these in the past couple of weeks. It takes 20 min to prep a batch plus 20-25 min in the oven. And you only need one pot. So it's my favorite quick dessert now.

  • Seville orange marmalade

    • fprincess on October 21, 2015

      This is as good as it gets! Don't forget to add a touch of scotch whisky at the end. Pictures: https://tartinestotikis.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/marmalade-skies/

  • Very spicy baked pears with caramel

    • Emily Hope on November 19, 2010

      These were really good with the ginger cake from the book. However, I roughly smashed the spices as the recipe indicates, and ended up spending a loooong time manually removing the spices from the outside of the pears because they gave an unpleasantly gritty texture. Perhaps pieces were too small? Too big? Might consider doing in a piece of cheesecloth next time...

  • Zimtsterne

    • zebsprock on December 21, 2011

      So yummy my dog stole them ALL off the worktop while they were cooling down waiting to be glazed. Luckily almonds aren't toxic to canines like macadamia nuts are! On second attempt, I found it much easier to use ground almonds than grind my own (with a not-very-good food processor), the dough was easier to handle too, and they were less crumbly to cut out. As the dough is pretty sticky, recommend rolling cookies out onto oven-proof non-stick liner if you have.

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Reviews about this book

  • Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan

    He says that it contains his ‘best recipes’ and it does – or at least it contains his best recipes up until the moment his editor said it was deadline time and he had to stop inventing new ones.

    Full review
  • Fine Cooking

    Lebovitz’s recipes are as impressive as his credentials...so whether you crave a simple classic...or want to try something unexpected...his recipes deliver.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 158008138X
  • ISBN 13 9781580081382
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Jul 05 2010
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 288
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Ten Speed Press
  • Imprint Ten Speed Press

Publishers Text

Pastry chef David Lebovitz is known for creating desserts with bold and high-impact flavor, not fussy, complicated presentations. Lucky for us, this translates into showstopping sweets that bakers of all skill levels can master. In Ready for Dessert, elegant finales such as Gâteau Victoire, Black Currant Tea Crème Brûlée, and Anise-Orange Ice Cream Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce are as easy to prepare as comfort foods such as Plum-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake, Creamy Rice Pudding, and Cheesecake Brownies.

With his unique brand of humor—and a fondness for desserts with “screaming chocolate intensity”—David serves up a tantalizing array of more than 170 recipes for cakes, pies, tarts, crisps, cobblers, custards, soufflés, puddings, ice creams, sherbets, sorbets, cookies, candies, dessert sauces, fruit preserves, and even homemade liqueurs. David reveals his three favorites: a deeply spiced Fresh Ginger Cake; the bracing and beautiful Champagne Gelée with Kumquats, Grapefruits, and Blood Oranges; and his chunky and chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. His trademark friendly guidance, as well as suggestions, storage advice, flavor variations, and tips will help ensure success every time.

Accompanied with stunning photos by award-winning photographer Maren Caruso, this new compilation of David’s best recipes to date will inspire you to pull out your sugar bin and get baking or churn up a batch of homemade ice cream. So if you’re ready for dessert (and who isn’t?), you’ll be happy to have this collection of sweet indulgences on your kitchen shelf—and your guests will be overjoyed, too.

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