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The Dessert Book

The Dessert Book

Edited by Louis Hatchett
Michael Stern
Jane Stern
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 338
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  • Book Info
    The Dessert Book
    Book Description:

    Kentucky native and national tastemaker Duncan Hines (1880--1959) published his first cookbook, Adventures in Good Cooking, in 1939 at the age of 59. This best-selling collection featured recipes from select restaurants across the country as well as crowd-pleasing family favorites, and it helped to raise the standard for home cooking in America. Following the success of this debut, Hines penned The Dessert Book in 1955. Filled with decadent treats, from homemade ice cream royale to fried apple pie to praline fudge frosting, this book inspired the recipes for the earliest boxed cake mixes and baked goods that carried the Duncan Hines name.

    Featuring a new introduction by Hines biographer Louis Hatchett, this classic cookbook serves up a satisfying slice of twentieth-century Americana, direct from the kitchen of one of the nation's most trusted names in food. Now a new generation of cooks can enjoy and share these delectable dishes with family and friends.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4467-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Michael Stern and Jane Stern

    In the 1940s and 1950s, Duncan Hines was the most respected restaurant reviewer in America, known for reliable recommendations of eating places in cities and on back roads from coast to coast. While Hines’s pioneering road trips are now history, his name lives on to many shoppers as a dependable brand of cake mix.

    That legacy is fitting, for while Hines was an omnivore, he had a special fondness for cake and just about all desserts—as he put it, “from the old standby, apple pie, to such exotic creations as zabaglione”. How fortunate that his passion has been captured...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xviii)
    Louis Hatchett
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)
    Duncan Hines

    One of the most important courses in any meal is the dessert. It is the finale in any full-course Adventure in Good Eating—and, like the final act in a good play, is long remembered with pleasure.

    I am in the fortunate position of being a professional taster. I work and eat at the same time. In my work I have sampled thousands of desserts, ranging from the old standby, apple pie, to such exotic creations as zabaglione. When I enjoy a particularly good dessert at one of the places listed in my books,Adventures in Good Eating, Lodging for...

  6. How to Freeze Desserts
    (pp. 13-15)

    There are many advantages to the home freezer. Food can be prepared ahead when time is available and when it is convenient. For example, fruit pies and other fruit desserts can be made up in season when fresh fruit is easy to find and cheaper to buy. Then, too, with a freezer there is no need to worry about what to serve unexpected guests.

    Cakes, cookies, fruits, ice cream, ice cream desserts, and most pies can be frozen satisfactorily. Proper choice of material and correct wrapping is very important to successful freezing. The wrapping material should be moisture-vapor proof, strong...

  7. Reducing and Increasing Recipes
    (pp. 16-16)

    To make half a recipe use exactly one-half the amount of each ingredient. To double a recipe, use exactly twice the amount of each ingredient. Refer to the tables “Food Weights and Measures” and “Equivalent Measures and Weights” for help in dividing or multiplying the ingredient.

    If the modified recipe calls for uneven amounts of flour, liquid, eggs, etc., remember the following proportions:

    ⅜ cup = ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons

    ⅝ cup = ½ cup + 2 tablespoons

    ⅞ cup = ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons

    If the modified recipe figures out to be part of an egg, beat...

  8. Cakes
    (pp. 19-78)

    This old nursery rhyme applies no more. Today any woman can be queen of the “castle” by making a perfect cake. A perfect cake does not depend upon luck or knack. Our recipes, unlike our grandmother’s, are carefully balanced in ingredients and precisely written to give the clearest directions. If you use top-quality ingredients, measure accurately, follow the recipe exactly, have proper sized pans, use a good oven, and follow the baking time and temperature—perfect results will be your reward every time. Those are the secrets of cake baking.

    In the eighteenth century “Animated Specialties” were the pride and...

  9. Frostings and Fillings
    (pp. 79-95)

    A good cake deserves a luscious frosting. To some people the frosting is more important than the cake itself. It is this final touch that adds flavor, color, moistness, and glamour. Most frostings will suit any number of cakes. However, the cake specialist knows when and how to use them to best advantage. A rich butter-type frosting glamorizes the plain cake; a light fluffy frosting or a cooked fondant type best suits the rich cake; and a simple glaze or icing enhances the angel food or chiffon.

    Choosing and preparing the frosting are only the first steps. They must be...

  10. Biscuit Desserts (Shortcakes, dumplings, cobblers)
    (pp. 96-105)

    Cobblers, for which there are some wonderful recipes in this section, are a concoction from New England. A cobbler is a deep-dish fruit pie with a biscuit mixture, usually on top. This quick fruit pie gets its name from the phrase “cobble up”, meaning put together in a hurry. The familiar apple pan dowdy is an early version of the apple cobbler. But cherries, peaches, blackberries, apricots, and huckleberries make excellent cobblers too. Whipped cream or rich heavy cream is marvelous over this dessert, and you have to go a long way to find something as quick and easy for...

  11. Custards
    (pp. 106-115)

    In plain or dressed-up fashion, the custard dessert, like the egg, is a foundation to good eating.

    Composed of eggs, milk, and sugar, custards contain ingredients necessary in our daily diet. The plain custard may be varied with chocolate, coffee, maple syrup, wine, or heavy cream. To perk up the flavor of a plain custard, drop fruit, candied cherries, jelly, or nuts into the bottom of the custard cup.

    The two most common faults in making custards are cooking too long or cooking at too high a temperature. Custard sauces and puddings must not boil because high heat destroys the...

  12. Fruit Desserts
    (pp. 116-128)

    Fruits—fresh, frozen, or canned, raw or cooked, plain or fancy—are a welcome treat any season of the year.

    For a light refreshing dessert after a heavy meal (and for those of you who are low-calorie conscious), fruits are a popular choice. As a homemaker you can easily display your skill by transforming the simple fruit into a glamorous dish. Defrost frozen fruits only about halfway. If they are completely defrosted then they will become soft and flabby and lose some of their flavor. If peeled fresh fruits are to be used, wait until the last minute before peeling....

  13. Cheese Desserts
    (pp. 129-139)

    One of the most romantic of all foods is cheese. No man can say how long cheese has been a staple food of mankind, but we can safely assume that people have been eating cheese for at least 2,000 years.

    There is a legend about the first cheese. According to the tale, an ancient Arabian trader poured milk into his sheepskin canteen before starting out on a long journey. All day the bag swung and jostled at his saddle-bows. At night when he stopped to make camp and to eat, he opened the bag of milk and found that it...

  14. Gelatin Desserts
    (pp. 140-158)

    The purpose of gelatin is to set up colorful and deliciously flavored mixtures so that they can be molded into attractive shapes. Gelatin is the base for those familiar sponge, jelly, whip, cream, and other refrigerator desserts. These desserts will lend sparkle and color to your meals.

    In the early days women made their own gelatin by following a long and tedious recipe. Today both flavored and unflavored gelatins are available for quick and easy use.

    To be good, a gelatin dessert should be firm without being too stiff. The flavors used should blend well with the other ingredients (and...

  15. Pastry
    (pp. 159-212)

    Although pie has often been called “the great American dessert,” especially apple pie, it has been known since the days of Chaucer in the fourteenth century. Originally in England “pie” meant a substantial entree of meat or fish with a top crust.

    The French, on the other hand, specialized in pies or tarts with the crust on the bottom and the filling on top. For a long time there was a great deal of controversy in Europe as to whether the crust should go on the bottom or the top of a pie. In America the problem ended, for the...

  16. Soufflés, Fondues, Sponges, and Whips
    (pp. 213-221)

    To make perfect soufflés there are certain rules that you should follow. The egg yolks should be beaten until thick and lemon colored. The egg whites should be beaten only to the point where the peaks are slightly rounded. A quick, deft hand is necessary in mixing a soufflé in order to get the greatest volume and yet not break down the air cells. Last of all, butter only the bottom of the baking dish and not the sides, as this method allows the soufflé to rise more. If these few rules are followed, success will be yours, and you...

  17. Baked and Steamed Puddings
    (pp. 222-234)

    Puddings are a subtle blend of flavors. They may be fragrant and spicy or mild and delicate. When served with the right sauce, they become luxurious desserts.

    For generations, steamed puddings have been associated with the three winter holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Plum pudding is as traditional as turkey and cranberry sauce at holiday time. The first plum pudding was very different from our present pudding. It consisted of a mixture of mashed plums mixed with butter, rice, and barley. Whole grains of rice and barley were included as it was believed that these would guarantee an abundant...

  18. Frozen Desserts
    (pp. 235-252)

    Believe it or not, ice cream has been known for centuries, but for many years it was served only to royalty.

    There is some disagreement as to who discovered ice cream, but Emperor Nero is usually credited with being the first to serve this dish to his guests. As the story goes, his slaves ran down from the mountaintops carrying fresh snow, which was then flavored with juices and fruits by his kitchen staff.

    Many years later, Marco Polo returned to Venice from Japan with a recipe for frozen milk ice. This was probably the first of our prepared frozen...

  19. Cookies
    (pp. 253-274)

    Cookies can be divided into five general classes: dropped, spread, rolled, refrigerator, and pressed. Rolled, pressed, and refrigerator cookies are made with a stiffer dough than are the dropped and spread cookies. Dropped, rolled, refrigerator, and pressed cookies should be baked on a lightly greased baking sheet. This allows for even heat conduction and makes removal of the baked cookies easier. They should be baked on the top shelf of the oven to eliminate the chance of burning on the bottom. When the cookies are done, remove them immediately from the baking sheet, using a flat knife or spatula. Place...

  20. Dessert Sauces
    (pp. 275-285)

    A sauce should enhance a dessert by adding color, texture, flavor, and moistness. It should never mask the true flavor of the dessert. Too few people realize the importance of a sauce on the right dessert.

    There are two kinds of dessert sauces, cooked and uncooked. Cooked sauces are usually thickened with whole eggs, egg yolks, flour, cornstarch, or tapioca. When you want a fruit sauce to have a bright clear color, thicken with cornstarch or tapioca. An appetizing color will greatly add to your sauce’s eye appeal. Liquor, fruit juice (when used as a flavoring), and all other flavoring...

  21. Miscellaneous Desserts (Fritters, Pancakes, Waffles, Cream Puffs, Doughnuts)
    (pp. 286-302)

    Included in this section are recipes that are sometimes overlooked as dessert possibilities. They are easy to serve and easy to eat.

    Pancakes and waffles are a natural for informal entertaining. Modern electrical equipment for baking waffles and pancakes is streamlined-looking, and therefore the hostess need not hesitate to bring it into the living room where places can be filled and replenished readily. Living room service also lends an air of charm to your entertaining.

    Waffles make an ideal dessert base for ice cream, crushed fruit, or whipped cream. The plain pancake can be “dressed up” by making thin pancakes,...

  22. Coffee
    (pp. 303-308)

    Coffee, America’s favorite beverage, can be the crowning glory of a meal. But if you serve poor coffee, then you can spoil the enjoyment of the best food.

    Americans drink more than 100 billion cups of coffee each year, and consumption is still increasing steadily. In the United States we have many different methods of preparing coffee, and some people have developed special techniques of their own to produce coffee unlike anything else wrung from a coffee bean. Someone once said that coffee is handled by experts up until the crucial moment of brewing, and then an amateur takes over....

  23. Index
    (pp. 309-318)