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Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Interview

David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
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    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677


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Elizabeth Falkner's Demolition Desserts: Recipes from Citizen Cake by Elizabeth Falkner
Elizabeth Falkner's Demolition Desserts: Recipes from Citizen Cake

sweet foodie, January 10, 2008

An inspiring, creative pastry book with a few concerns
I was skeptical of this book due to the feedback I have read of patrons at the author's eateries, especially Citizen Cake. Lots of reports of the cakes being dry and lacking good flavor combination. In addition, the slightly inflated ego she has shown sometimes on a couple of Food Network Challenges annoyed me.

However, I was won over by the utterly fun and creative the book looked and the simple fact that many cook and pastry books have recipes that do not always work, but inspire good creativity and change in your own baking, which I really like. So after I purchased the book I was immediately consumed with checking out each recipe because of the gorgeous photos, cartoon drawings and surprising flavor combinations. There is also a strong modern, minimalist look to how the desserts are presented in the photos, which is inspiring and beautiful, though sometimes a little too deconstructed, resulting in a bland,dis-passionate look -the rosebud recipe for example.

I found many of the recipes were great and produced good desserts. Some being the Lemania Cupcakes- a nice balance of tart citrus and sweet sugar and Real McCoy Ice Cream Sandwich - mint gelato with dark chocolate sauce, fudgy cookies and mint-basil oil. The basil giving a unique palate taste to mint and chocolate and the texture of the cookies is surprising and playful. The recipes can be a bit long and labor intensive, but that is to be expected. Working thru the recipes was fun and trying the unique combinations was even better.

My big problem is with the texture of many of the recipes. Some of the cakes were dry, and did not have a very fine crumb. Some of flavor combinations ended up competing with the other rather than going well together and enhancing one another. For instance, in the Lovelova recipe, the safrron was too savory an item to go with the cream, meringue, rose water and strawberries in the recipe, but the cardamon in the recipe did go well.

However, if you are looking for a very inspiring, creative, sometimes silly and pleasurable to read pastry book to I cannot recommend this enough. I would much rather read a book where ideas and limits are pushed and stretched with some results not working rather than stick to just plain jane recipes.
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