TOUGH DECISIONS: 100 Desserts To Die For by Trish Deseine.
TOUGH DECISIONS: 100 Desserts To Die For by Trish Deseine. CONTRIBUTED

A volume of sweet temptation we can all indulge in

I WENT to lunch last Sunday with a friend with European heritage who is an excellent cook.

She is my closest link to France and seems to be able to turn the simplest sweet treat into something sensational.

As we flipped through the restaurant menu, I was tossing up whether to combine a savoury entree with a light lunch or just a more substantial meal. As usual, no dessert for me.

But my friend announced she was going to pore over the dessert section first because that decision would then determine the rest of her meal. If something sounded good, she would order that and go for the lighter alternative to begin her lunch. For her, dessert is always a good idea.

She at least encouraged me into having a cheeky Affogato (vanilla ice cream drowned in espresso coffee, this time with Tia Maria).

So when I picked up 100 Desserts To Die For, I knew there'd be trouble.

That was confirmed in paragraph one of Trish Deseine's introduction when she says the cookbook's aim "is rather to balance out the trend, so widespread these days, of going without dessert".

But the recipes do come with her warning: "I entrust these recipes to you in the certainty that as responsible adults, you will make them enthusiastically at sensible intervals - say, once a week?"

Okay, so warning noted and my mission to enjoy these recipes as among life's simple pleasures is understood.

Originally from Ireland, Deseine has been living in France for 25 years, is a former BBC TV cooking show host and a recipe writer for the French Elle magazine. So she is more than qualified to present this international array of desserts, including our own much-loved Passionfruit and Mango Pavlova; Eton Mess with Rose, Strawberry And Toasted Rhubarb; Fluffy American-style Pancakes; and a twist on the Mont Blanc Bites served at the Angelina tea salon in Paris.

Her tips, advice and an ingredients index all help bring home cooks closer to dessert and cake perfection.

The recipes are arranged according to: classics, chocolate, creamy, soft, fruity, and icy - something to suit all the seasons, any occasion, and the full spectrum from light (perhaps Fresh Strawberry Carpaccio with Aromatic Herb Sugar or a Lychee Slushie) to devilishly decadent (hence "To Die For" - think the cover shot of Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oreo Biscuit Tart).

While I'd love to have a go at the Coffee, Chocolate and Hazelnut Dacquoise layered meringue cake, the Lemon and Blueberry Trifle (for ultra-lazy dessert lovers) and my own make-at-home affogato are probably more my pace for their simplicity.

Naturally, as chocolate is the go-to for many craving a sweet treat, this section dominates with 21 recipes.

Good luck with narrowing down your favourite choice.

I fear I'd only have to glimpse the Chocolate Banoffee Pie with no-churn rum and raisin ice cream and chocolate fudge sauce before having to run to the treadmill.

But I think I should taste it at least once before I die.

Plans to relocate popular Noosa restaurant revealed

Premium Content Plans to relocate popular Noosa restaurant revealed

Next chapter for Sum Yung Guys is sure to be even tastier

$15b JobKeeper expansion gives new Qld lifeline

Premium Content $15b JobKeeper expansion gives new Qld lifeline

More businesses will qualify to stay on JobKeeper life support

Coast rugby’s meanest men and biggest hitters

Premium Content Coast rugby’s meanest men and biggest hitters

VOTE IN OUR POLL: From bone-rattling Fijian powerhouses to blokes who “cut you in...