When you first hear the title, you might think that Elizabeth Falkner’s Demolition Desserts is about smashing desserts, not making them. This isn’t true, of course. The book is a collection of recipes from the well-known San Francisco chef and pastry chef and seems to get the name from the fact that Falkner likes to take some traditional ideas of what dessert should be and demolish them, whether by introducing new flavors, new forms or taking the desserts completely over the top with a combination of the two. This is the woman who created a dessert that was so messy it had to be eaten with gloved hands, after all!
The recipes range from the basic to the complex, from relatively simple chocolate chip cookies to a dessert that includes chocolate chip cookies, blondies, ice cream and two different chocolate sauces (appropriately named Chocolate Chip Mania) all combined into a completely decadent dessert experience. The recipes themselves are easy to follow, with clear instructions and very enthusiastic intros that make you want to start baking. Even more interesting is the way that the recipes are laid out, with notes as to what can be made in advance, how long things will keep and what order the elements of the more composed desserts are needed for plating. The layout really helps you to think more creatively about the process of making a dessert, especially for a home cook who usually makes and serves dishes on the same day. You’ll find yourself thinking things like “what else can I do with this?” and “maybe I should save that to combine it with something else!”
The book is fun and playful, as are the photos throughout. The advice given in the book about the baking process is solid and well worth taking note of for future projects, as well as for the recipes found in this book.