Comments: Asking if the world needs another cheesecake cookbook is not an idle question. After all, even among the author's four other books, one is a cheesecake book (although with only 125 recipes; this one has 200). Still, a great cheesecake is a wondrous thing, and if George Geary, pastry chef turned cooking school teacher, is going to encourage us to make more, who are we to argue?
The book features nearly 30 classic and "regional" cheesecakes (English Trifle, Dulce de Leche, Tiramisu, Lemongrass, Café au Lait, etc.); chapters on chocolate, fresh fruit, citrus, and nut cheesecakes; no-bake cheesecakes (relying on gelatin to set up); cheesecakes in different containers (pies, small cheesecakes, and bars); savory cheesecakes; 15 holiday or celebration cheesecakes; and a chapter on toppings and sauces used to decorate cheesecakes.
There is lots of variety among the recipes, but, really, you can only push the envelope so far. How many of the dozen cheesecakes that feature coffee are you ever going to make? The 21 savory cheesecakes – Herbed Gorgonzola, Olive Pesto, Chipotle Chile, Smoked Salmon, Three-Cheese Torte, etc. – are perhaps the most groundbreaking in the book.
The tools and ingredients section strikes us as being a little on the light side. And a little more thought could have gone into the blurbs introducing each recipe or they could have been dispensed with entirely – comments like, "It reminds me of my annual tours of Provence" or "Key limes are sometimes difficult to find in local grocery stores" take away more than they add.