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Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  3,683 ratings  ·  47 reviews
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 Chocol ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 6th 2010 by Ten Speed Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  3,683 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes I like to read cookbooks. I read this one 3x before finally returning it to the library.
The flourless chocolate cake recipe is the absolute best one I've found.
Jun 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I discovered this book by accident while browsing one of my many bookmarked food blogs, as the author of the Tuscan food blog I was reading was friends with the author of this cookbook. The cover photo looked good as did his choice of Italian restaurants and gelateria highlighted in his blog, so I figured I would give the book a chance. The photos are so gorgeous, that even the desserts I wouldn't normally eat, look mouthwatering. As another reviewer said, some of the recipe combos I personally ...more
Ready for Dessert is made up of recipes from two of Mr. Lebovitz's previous books (Room for Dessert, Ripe for Dessert) and a few new ones. I really like the included recipes and I appreciate that many desserts are flourless so they can easily be made and enjoyed by those following gluten and grain-free diets. However, I thought that there were way too many desserts containing alcohol which the author insists cannot be left out and not nearly enough photographs of the desserts. While there are re ...more
Ariane Seixas
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
This was one of the first pastry books I purchased when I started cooking and it's by far one of the best. The recipes are clearly explained, I love the detailed footnotes. The techniques are also very well explained. ...more
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've had this for a couple years now, and it's one of my go-to places for excellent recipes. I haven't "baked the book," but I have baked many of the recipes, and haven't found a dud yet. Instructions are always clear and easy to follow, even on the more complicated recipes. But what I especially like is that "complicated" is relative for Lebovitz. He doesn't believe in fancy over flavor, and while everything looks great, it's the nature of what you're making, not due to complex, intricate, mult ...more
Mar 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
David Lebovitz is an amazing ally in your kitchen, and everything in this book is laid out to make your experience better.  Ingredient weights!  Informative headnotes!  Storage tips, serving tips, variations galore!   Out of all of his books, Ready for Dessert is my favorite.  An absolute masterpiece.  My desert island dessert book, good for anyone interested in baking at home as well as professionals.  What really makes this book superb is that you will not fall flat with these recipes.  Follow ...more
Mari McR
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Lebovitz is a well-known American baker/pastry chef who now lives in France. I feel privileged that he shares his BEST recipes with readers. This is an EXCELLENT dessert book ranging from easy to challenging recipes, with many one-page directions requiring less than 10 ingredients. Mr. Lebovitz includes practical tips for knowing when a jam/jelly are ready to be jarred, how to determine if the caramel is ready to be cooled, which sauces accompany the cakes, galettes, and ice creams. I cannot ...more
Stephanie Jones
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After finding Lebovitz's website, I have been following his recipes and advice. I have never made something I didn't like. This book lead me to make Fresh Ginger Cake which was a hit with everyone who tired it. I love reading every tidbit before each recipe. I highly recommend his books. ...more
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It does not get any better than this, it's taking all my willpower not to be in the kitchen cooking all night long ! ...more
Molly Tierney
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We've made several recipes, all really great. Cakes, cookies, ice cream. I wish there were photos for each recipe. ...more
Diane Schuller
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This cookbook is definitely value for the money.
I tend to be very careful before spending money on a cookbook and don't keep any that I don't frequently use. This has become one of those that I turn to when I want something unique or definitely when company is coming and I want to impress.

Don't worry, the recipes are NOT intimidating; they're written in a straight forward manner, with easy to follow instructions. I've enjoyed his storytelling manner of introducing each recipe, often including hi
Apr 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
I mean, really. This man spent his life learning to make desserts, and he just gives his best recipes in this one. They might be fail-proof. I haven't had a loser yet, and the Champagne Geleé I've been looking for since I saw it in a magazine years ago. Besides, how can one resist a man that loves chocolate? These aren't fussy, but they are definitely desserts you ONLY want to make when lots of people are coming over. They will work perfectly and will look great, but the are emphatically NOT low ...more
Wendy Feltham
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I first learned about David Lebovitz because my 20-year-old son was reading his blog. I love the blog, too, since he writes about his life in Paris, and he has a great sense of humor. Next I tried some recipes from the blog to great success, especially his Date Bars, which are perfect to take along on bike rides and also to send to my son at college as a care package.Then I found Ready for Dessert, and I love it! The photos are gorgeous, the text is just the right length and filled with stories ...more
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviews, blog-review
Originally published at

From the library.

This one gets two stars. I was not impressed at all. I enjoyed the author's other cookbooks, but this snooty recipe collection went overboard with recipes that were just too complicated for average bakers. I actually did not find a single recipe that I wanted to try in the entire book! It was also extremely annoying that in a giant, $35 book there weren't pictures for every recipe. What pictures there were, were qui
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
The greatest hits collection of an amazing baker! Not really for novices, but truly delicious, his passion for dessert is contagious. I thought the cakes section was best - the cookies were good but nothing revolutionary (some of the cakes actually are!), and there's also a chapter on frozen deserts, many which don't require an ice cream maker. If you take your sweets seriously, this is worth checking out. And I'm forever in his debt for turning me onto the white chocolate/lemon combo - when it' ...more
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply irresistible! I checked this out from the library but it is one of the few that I plan to buy, just to have it always on hand and to own it. I haven't had a chance to try out any of the recipes yet, but they are very well written and look very do-able for any home cook. A few I've got marked to try first: Fresh Ginger Cake, Easy Marmalade Tart, and Chocolate-Port Truffles. The indexing and color photos are both superb, and I love the personable written introductions given for each and eve ...more
Donna B
May 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great-cookbooks
Any cookbook by David Lebovitz is a home run in my opinion! Great anecdotes precede all recipes, and the recipes themselves are inspired. I've made many of the recipes and each one has been stellar. Sometimes he will combine ingredients that you would at first assume wouldn't go together (for example, adding cinnamon to a recipe with chocolate, orange, and cherry), but the addition is what puts the flavour over the top.

One of the best book investments (in cookbooks) I've ever made. Goes for the
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love to bake and this book is fantastic for recipes that are extra special. It is a large book (meaning the page space is large) so I will need to make sure I cover the page with plastic wrap so it doesn't get mucked up (usually I can scan a page so as to not ruin the original book - in the stitching world we call this our "working copy" - lol!) - if you enjoy baking, I really recommend this book. ...more
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book, simply put, is great. There are so many recipes to try that look fancy but are deceptively easy-to-make. There's a good balance between chocolate and fruit recipes, and Mr. Lebovitz's writing is conversational and snappy, but certainly not without purveying how to actually make the dish. ...more
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbook
Awesome. Great recipes, haven't had a problem reproducing them at home. The desserts in this book are not too fancy and the flavour combinations are wonderful. I know when I choose a recipe from this book that it's going to turn out, which is something that cant be said for a lot of cookbooks these days. He also includes a nice library of basic recipes with detailed instructions, which is handy. ...more
Nov 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: food
Oh, I do love a baking book with ample and interesting introductory paragraphs to all the recipes and this one does not disappoint! Unsurprisingly, the desserts I intend to try out all center on my favorite ingredient: chocolate! Racines Cake, Gateau Victoire, Chocolate Pots de Creme, and Chocolate Chip Cookies, here I come :-)
May 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book. I thought some of the flavor combinations a little modern (I mean to say fleeting) for my taste but I'm sure his editor coerced him. I found some good recipes. Like the Fresh Ginger Cake and Chocolate Pots de Creme. I like his writing. A character. ...more
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this book from the library and am seriously considering buying it. The Guinness Gingerbread Cupcakes were insanely good with a lime icing. The Racine cake was super easy, light and rich. I want to try more of his recipes because they are not difficult and very very tasty.
Mar 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking
Pictures of Recipes? Only about half are pictured.
Commentary on Recipes? Yes.
Nutrition Facts? No.
Recipe style? Classic desserts and sweets.
Any keepers? A few.

Some of these recipes are pretty complex. More effort than I'd put in.
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cookbook
Was reading this at the same time as the author's My Paris Kitchen and it blew this one out of the water. Might have to revisit another time, as these recipes seemed stuffy and overwrought in comparison to the simple elegance of the others. ...more
Mar 05, 2010 added it
Shelves: food
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Great ideas and recipes. This is one I want to purchase.
Jun 11, 2010 rated it liked it
David has a really world famous food blog. His desserts are amazing (a few too many of the ice cream, sherbets for me).
Jun 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
A little bit too high brow for me & beyond my baking abilities. Maybe I'll get there some day, but now I'm not quite ready. ...more
Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
An amazing book that I would love to cook (and eat!) my way through. Also a lot of amazing basic recipes that every serious baker could use.
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David Lebovitz is a sought-after cooking instructor with an award-winning food blog ( Trained as a pastry chef in France and Belgium, David worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California for twelve years. He now lives in Paris, France, where he leads culinary tours of the city.

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