On May 19, David Lebovitz, master baker and blogger, spoke at WHSmith bookstore Paris to promote his latest highly anticipated cookbook, Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes and rivaled the release of Harry Potter 7 in his turnout according to marketing director of WHSmith, Hannah Robin.
Lebovitz has amassed a social networking empire (blog: davidlebovitz.com, twitter: #davidlebovitz, facebook, free iPhone app) one pithy comment and delectable bite at a time. He first began his award-winning blog in 1999, and self-defines himself as the "granddaddy of blogging". For those that follow him on twitter, can easily define Lebovitz as a man that believes if a tree falls in the forest and no one tweeted it, then it clearly didn't happened.
As for Ready for Dessert ($35/€29), it is now available at bookstores around the world (and online) after a slight delay caused by volcanic ash interference. Lebovitz explained, "it is the most well-tested book in the history of baking cookbooks". He personally tested all 160 recipes, over a year due to ingredient challenges in Paris and his preference for American flour over French. Another non-professional tested each recipe in California and Lebovitz used the knowledge of his over 40 thousand blog commentors to make sure each recipe was replicable without question.
In addition, he hinted at a new baking trend in using salt. He now prefers and uses salted butter to unsalted; perhaps influenced by French fleur de sel caramels. And, even thought "trends come and go, but we always come back to chocolate chip cookies."
If you ever thought a perfect tart looks just too good to eat, well Lebovitz feels the same about many of his individual ingredients and along with his re-imagined and new recipes the book contains tiny insights into Lebovitz and his life - in his words " you won't find, ‘enjoyed best with tea or this was my Aunt's favorite recipe'" rather humorous anecdotal information about yummy "commercial-smelling "rum cake from an island vacation.
With his blog or iPhone application (one of the best designed applications) you can enhance not only your home baking experience but should you find your way to Paris, take a look at his restaurant recommendations under "My Paris".
If you are concerned you will pack on too many kilos with Ready for Dessert, you might also want to pick up The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook ($24.99/€20.20) by Mireille Guiliano. This book includes 150 recipes to eat and live well - and includes her "magical breakfast cream" perhaps it will revive the popularity of her "magical leek soup."