{Book Review} PS Desserts

PS Desserts is comprehensive step by step book by Australian pastry queen Phillipa Sibley. Phillipa trained as a pastry chef in London and Paris and shows us the techniques she’s honed in the kitchen with tips and techniques to make showstopping desserts.

Cookies n' Cream Ice Cream Cake

Flicking through the book when it first arrived was a little overwhelming. I suggest taking the time to read through it before deciding what to bake first. The book is split into two sections, Basics and Recipes. The tips and basic recipes in the first section will pop up in the second section. The idea is you build up on your basic skills and put it all together to make the “showstopping” desserts in the second section (like the one on the cover). I started off with trying the ice cream and sorbet from the recipe section.

Blueberry Sorbet

The basic section covers Pates & Pastries with recipes for puff pastry, brioche and pate sucree. Cakes, Sponges & Meringues include doughnuts, brownies and genoise. Creams & Mousses covers ice cream and creme anglaise. I made vanilla ice cream from this chapter to put in my cookies n’ cream ice cream cake. There are also instructions on quenelles (those fancy egg shaped scoops of ice cream!). I tried it and it worked (see evidence below).

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

The Fruit chapter covers poaching, segmenting and has a nifty table guide on making sorbet. I made an incredible blueberry and raspberry sorbet. The last basic chapter covers Chocolate with instructions on tempering, pralines and decorations. The recipe section is split into Classics and Signatures. Once the weather cools down I’m absolutely having a go at one of Philippa’s signatures. They’re almost too beautiful to eat.

All the recipes come with step by step photos eliminating any guess work and there is a handy guide at the front of the book that covers equipment and notes on eggs, chocolate and pastry to help get you started. I own a lot of baking bibles but this is one of my new favorites. It covers the basics of fabulous baking but then takes it to a whole next level.

Thanks to Hardie Grant for my copy

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