Desserts. Rev. ed.


214 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-679-30960-8
DDC 641.8'6




Illustrations by Bo-Kim Louie and David Mazierski
Reviewed by Patricia A. Myers

Patricia A. Myers is a historian at the Historic Sites and Archives
Service, Alberta Community Development, and the author of Sky Riders: An
Illustrated History of Aviation in Alberta, 1906–1945.


Bonnie Stern is one of Canada’s best-known food writers and teachers.
Her cookbooks are always a delight to read and marvelous to cook from.

Desserts is no exception. Initially published in 1988 to celebrate the
25th anniversary of the Bonnie Stern Cooking School, this revised
edition contains more than 120 recipes, ranging from fancy cakes and
tarts to homey comfort foods and yummy cookies. Stern includes
suggestions on how to lower the fat content of many of the desserts, but
also argues that the occasional small slice of something pure and
luscious is far better than huge servings of second-rate products. She
also includes many helpful hints, such as how to ensure you end up with
chewy cookies. Her introduction to the “Pies and Pastries” section
will remove any doubt from the mind of even the most timid baker.

The section “General Tips and Techniques” covers everything from a
Bain Marie (a method of baking custard) to piping tubes for icings to
using turntables while decorating cakes to give them a really
professional look. It also takes readers through many of the ingredients
used in dessert making, explaining all about nuts, lemons, and sugar.

But it’s the recipes that really shine in Desserts, and Stern’s
friendly commentary that goes along with them. Lemon Mousse Cake with
Strawberries and Pistachios, Chocolate Raspberry Passion Cake, Espresso
Shortbread, Orange Baked Pears, Rice Pudding with Dried Fruit, and
Harvest Fruit Pie all tempt the palate. There’s a section on sauces,
too. Most of the recipes are not complicated, but even the challenging
ones are easy to follow. Line drawings clarify techniques or
presentation options. Decorating and serving tips complete Stern’s
well-rounded approach. Desserts is a great book that will solve many a
“What shall I make for dessert?” worry.


Stern, Bonnie., “Desserts. Rev. ed.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 20, 2024,