Pierre Hermes Cookbook

I thought the Best 5 Dessert and Baking Cookbooks would be a nice change of pace to start a little series of Top Cookbooks in various categories. The chosen cookbooks are based on items I've sold through my eBay auctions or store and are based on a combination of final price, book format and popularity. These are always popular in my store and always everyone's favorite. Even for those who don't bake--flipping through a dessert cookbook can inspire even the non-cook to try a recipe out. The reading is almost is as good as tasting the final dish.

I've included each book with some details about the copyright, publisher, etc., as well as a short excerpt from the back of the when available. Remember that the final auction price is a used book price. Baking cookbooks don't generally fetch as much at auction as other cookbook specialization categories so the prices in many cases end of less than that of a new cookbook. In terms of collecting though, these are some of the ones to own as the demand and price are higher than for many used cookbooks sold at auction.

1. Desserts by Pierre Herme

Format: Hardcover and dust jacket, 287 pages
Copyright: 1998
Author: Dorie Greenspan
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Final Auction Price: $42.22

Pierre Herme is France's premier pastry chef. In his first English language published cookbook, he has collaborated with Dorie Greenspan, bestselling author of Baking with Julia, to reveal the secrets of his exceptional desserts. This treasury of recipes includes something from every part of Pierre's repertoire and something for everyone, regardless of experience in the kitchen.

2. Nick Malgieri Great Italian Desserts

Format: Hardcover and dust jacket, 276 pages
Copyright: 1990
Author: Nick Malgieri
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Final Auction Price:

Gelato, cannoli, zuppa inglese, tiramisu--these are some of the Italian desserts Americans have come to love in recent years. But there exists a world of Italian desserts that until now has been unknown outside of Italy. Nick Malgieri, a renowned American pastry chef and teacher, has drawn on his own culinary heritage and that of southern Italy and the Italian-American bakeries of his childhood and has traveled from Sicily to Milan collecting authentic recipes from professionals and home cooks alike.

3. Cocolat Baking Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts

Format: Hardcover and dust jacket, 204 pages
Copyright: 1990
Author: Alice Medrich
Publisher: Warner Books
Final Auction Price: $26.52

In 1976, Alice Medrich opened the first Cocolat, an intimate, "new-style" chocolate dessert shop in Berkeley, California. A devotee of fine European pastry, Ms. Medrich re-created the sophisticated desserts of Vienna, Paris, and Budapest. In this lavish book, the author shares her exclusive techniques with you, enabling you to make the kind of visually stunning, "designer desserts" you thought only a professional could master. 

4. Grand Finales: The Art of The Plated Dessert

Format: Hardcover with dust jacket, 348 pages
Copyright: 1997
Authors: Tisch Boyle and Timothy Moriarty
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Final Auction Price: $26.50

Today, as never before, dessert has taken the appearance of art, with the plate as its canvas. Grand Finales: The Art of the Plated Dessert defines the various styles of plated desserts being presented today.

5. Spago Chocolate Cookbook

Format: Hardcover with dust jacket, 237 pages
Copyright: 1999
Authors: Mary Bergin
Publisher: Random House
Final Auction Price: $15.50
Spago is a well-known celebrity restaurant in Los Angeles This cookbook includes the recipes for the chocolate desserts people clamored for night after night at Spago. Spago Chocolate is a passport to indulgence and a chance to bring a piece of the Spago magic home, with the promise of recurring pleasure. Now you can make Mary Bergin's unforgettable chocolate desserts at home—just as they are prepared in the Spago kitchens.

On a side note: my favorite dessert (not in any of the books) is Chocolate Souffle @ the former Moustache Cafe restaurant in Beverly Hills, CA. I was able to locate it on the cookbooks.com website where they all sorts of hard-to-find recipes. Check out the recipe search there if you haven't used it before.

Moustache Cafe's Chocolate Souffle Recipe


Makes 6 servings.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 oz. dark sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 oz. milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites
  • Powdered sugar
  • Whipped cream for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Butter 6 individual souffle dishes and sprinkle with sugar.
  • In a saucepan combine chocolate, 2/3 cup sugar and milk. Cook until chocolate is melted.
  • Pour into a mixing bowl and add egg yolks. Mix well and set aside.
  • In another mixing bowl beat egg whites until foamy.
  • Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff.
  • Fold half of meringue into chocolate mixture until well blended.
  • Repeat with remaining half.
  • Pour into souffle dishes and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • Serve by itself or with whipped cream on the side.