Author and famed pastry chef Darren Purchese can make the most elegant, intricate, even magical and unbelievable desserts; but at home, his desserts are more democratic, although no less delicious. Here, he offers a set of his favorite recipes for the home cook, sure to impress yet achievable by anyone…perhaps with some practice.

The recipes start off very basic, with simple cakes and sponges, but do quickly ramp up with fancier tarts and composed desserts. Some of these become quite complex. But each step is actually pretty easy to follow; one excellent element of this book is that individual components can be mixed or baked or created separately as well as aggregated into finished, overwhelming artworks. So if the grand result seems a little intimidating, begin by just practicing on the individual elements. This book has beautiful pictures of many of the mouthwatering recipes, emphasizing the impact of a few garnishes. The recipes are in dual measurements; some ingredients may be unfamiliar to U.S. cooks (such as gelatin sheets), but they are all readily available online if they can’t be found in your local grocery. If you love desserts, you will adore this fantastic cookbook.

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