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"Just Desserts" by Gordon Ramsay

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Posted 26 January 2005 - 12:01 PM

I just noticed that Gordon Ramsay has a dessert book out called (naturally) "Gordon Ramsay's just desserts".

Has anyone here seen it, read it, or know anything about the quality of the recipes? My knowledge of Gordon Ramsay is from his television series about mis managed kitchens and I would be interested in hearing evaluations of the recipes as to flavor combinations, difficulty, or complexity.

Fred Rowe

#2 ComeUndone

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Posted 26 January 2005 - 01:11 PM

This book has been published for a couple of years. Both hardcover and paperbacks are available in Canada. It is one of my personal favourites because I learned about composition of plated desserts based on the serving suggestions for each recipes. For example, the recipe for green apple bavarois recommends to serve with green apple sorbet and dried apple slices. Or the panna cotta with roasted fig. This aspect is quite similar to The Last Course by Claudia Fleming.

The recipes are reliable and turn out wonderful results. I particularly like the different flavour combination and the description of why Ramsay likes that combination. Some more memorable ones are dark chocolate & mango mousse, caramelized banana in syrup with Malibu and star anise (wonderfully aromatic), banana ice-cream, roasted white peaches in orange caramel, and poached white peaches in basil syrup. There's an quite an emphasis on using herbs and spices.

The books is divided into chapters loosely based on the cooking method. The first few chapters begin with a description of the master cooking method (i.e. fruit, gelee, sorbet, bavarois, mousse, ice-cream) and a master recipe. Thoses are the chapters that I find most useful. The petit-fours chapter was okay but there are better recipes elsewhere. The special occasion and homey desserts chapters are okay but a bit unorganized. The basics chapter at the end is okay but again, there are better recipes elsewhere.

All measurements are given in weight (metric). However, since the book is writen for a UK audience, I had to make substitution for some ingredients. For example, they distinguishes between double cream and heavy cream. I could only use 35% cream for both instances.

Edited by ComeUndone, 26 January 2005 - 01:16 PM.

Candy Wong
"With a name like Candy, I think I'm destined to make dessert."

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#3 duckduck

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Posted 26 January 2005 - 01:21 PM

I was starting to work my way through it at one point and got off onto other things. I was working it at the same time as Claudia Fleming's Last Course and there are similarities. I've enjoyed it. I think what first turned me on was all the bavarians. (Searching for that childhood memory.) He does do some rather strong flavors which is okay if you like them. I found out that I don't care for black currents or campari but it has been a good learning process. I've thought about doing a "bake along with me" thing similar to the other threads going on here with that book.
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#4 Bond Girl

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Posted 26 January 2005 - 01:46 PM

I've enjoy all the books from Gordon Ramsay. Just dessert seemed intersting though I don't care for much of the desserts in there.
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#5 helenas

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Posted 26 January 2005 - 02:06 PM

I have a lot of dessert books, including Claudia Fleming's but the Ramsay's one is my absolute favorite. Mostly for the reason stated above: a lot of unusual "fruit, gelee, sorbet, bavarois, mousse and ice-cream" recipes.
Maybe i just don't like to bake :unsure:

#6 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 06:22 AM

I own this book also. I've had it for a couple years now and I've yet to make anything from it.

I find the way he just puts down recipes with-out making whole dessert compositions a failure. Since I already have these basic recipes I wish he had drawn them more together as Claudias book does. As mentioned there's very little baking. I do like how he teaches a master recipe and then explains how to manipulate it into many other flavors.

I've not closed my mind to this book..........I just haven't been sparked by it either. I would love to know what specific recipes you all have made from this book and what your specific reviews of each are.

#7 mckayinutah

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 07:43 AM

I saw a copy of this book at my local Barnes and Noble a few months ago and randomly scanned through it, noticing a few recipes that seemed interesting to me.

Was lucky enough to see that the library carried it, so I checked it out, copied off all of the recipes at work that appealed to me, and returned it to the library ( so I basically got what I wanted from it for free)

I ,like Wendy, have not made anything out of it yet, but I do seem to remember being intrigued by some of his sorbet recipes.


#8 tan319

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 01:02 PM

You guys know that once Ramsey left soccer for cooking and did his appenticeship he worked as a patissiere, right?
I've eyeballed the book and dug it, he's a great guy, chef, period, IMO.

#9 mdhl

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 01:29 PM

I may be biased but Claudia's book is far superior in terms of styling and instruction. It just strikes a perfect balance between sophistication and user-friendliness.

Ramsay's book is just fine but few of the recipes appeal to me, save the chocolate thyme ice cream.

Flavor combinations are standard. There's a decent mix between 'unique' and basic (ex: Thai rice pudding vs. traditional macaroons)

I rarely follow recipes from books so I wouldn't know how well they work.
My criteria for a good cook book are its aesthetics and ability to inspire.
This book doesn't do much in those departments for me.

#10 FWED

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 02:02 PM

Thanks to everyone for replying. Thats just what I wanted to know. I must say I was impressed by the use of weights as well as volume measurements and the many high quality pictures. I will let you know results as I use it.

Edited by FWED, 27 January 2005 - 02:02 PM.

Fred Rowe

#11 chococrazy

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 11:33 AM

Thanks to everyone for replying.  Thats just what I wanted to know.  I must say I was impressed by the use of weights as well as volume measurements and the many high quality pictures.  I will let you know results as I use it.

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Hey FWED, any update on this thread? Not that I need another dessert cookbook, but.... :biggrin:

chococrazy :blink:

#12 Ling

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 01:29 PM

I've flipped through this book several times. Like it was mentioned upthread, there isn't a lot of baking involved in the desserts, and not a lot of chocolate desserts either. Mainly fruit-based items. Didn't appeal to me.

#13 Jon Tseng

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 01:34 PM

Storming book

Notable for a systematic approach to the various desert options - mousse, jellies, sorbets etc. This makes it very accessible if you have an idea and want some basic techniques you can apply it to

Reliable recipes

Overall a good balance between the home and the professional

Highly recommended

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