The Perfect Finish – Special Desserts for Every Occasion (Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark)
By Alexis Jamieson

There are desserts that are good enough for visiting international dignitaries, and there are desserts you’re feeding to your friends and family. White House pastry chef Bill Yosses is a master at creating desserts that satisfy everyone; and his new book The Perfect Finish – Special Desserts for Every Occasion provides you with recipes to make every guest feel important, even if they can’t wield diplomatic immunity.

Wandering down the cookbook aisle where there are hundreds of cookbooks promising the perfect end to a meal, one might grow immune to pretty covers of delectable desserts, but this is one not to be passed by. For more than just the home baker, Yosses has created a selection of recipes that play well in the restaurant kitchen too, serving as inspiration to your own pastry department. And he’s considerately written his recipes in grams for the restaurant chef who needs to bake in quantity.

Recipes (and tips for successful execution) are broken down by occasion and includes recipes such as simple fruit filled muffin and elaborate celebratory desserts. Yosses’ book is definitely a go-to guide for the chef searching for crowd pleasing ideas.

4 ounces, 113 grams Unsalted Butter (softened)
7 ounces, 198 grams Sugar
3.4 ounces, 96 grams large eggs (at room temperature)
3.7 ounces, 107 grams almond flour OR
3.7 ounces, 107 grams finely ground blanched almonds
1.5 ounces, 42.5 grams orgeat (almond) syrup OR
.35 ounces, 10 grams Orange Flower Water or Rose Water
1 (9-inch) loaf day-old brioche sliced ½ inch thick
2 ounces, 57 grams sliced blanched almonds

Butter a rimmed 11 x 17 baking sheet

Make almond cream by creaming the butter with ½ of sugar, beat in eggs one at a time, then almond lour or ground almonds. Beat for a minute to lighten the texture.

To make almond (or orange flower water or rose water) syrup, combine the remaning sugar with equal amount of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil stirring until dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and add the orgeat or orange flower water or rose water.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the brioche slices on the baking sheet and brush them generously with the almond syrup. Use and offset spatula to spread about 3 tbs. of amond cream onto each slice of brioche, mounding it slightly in the center. Springkle 2 tsp. of sliced almonds over each slice.

Bake on the center rack until a golden brown crust forms on top, about 30 minutes.