New Cookbook Showcases Classic Desserts Designed for Delicious Celebrations

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“Los Angeles Classic Desserts” by Chef Grace Bauer, brings Iconic Confections to Home Kitchens Everywhere

This sweet book, designed for the home cook, takes you through the culinary landscape of Los Angeles and its history as its recipes feature both classic and contemporary desserts. Each recipe is accompanied by mouthwatering photographs.

Nothing says “celebrate” on any special occasion better than classic, yummy homemade desserts and a unique cookbook, “Los Angeles Classic Desserts," contains over 40 dessert recipes from some of the most famous landmark restaurants in Los Angeles. The delicious and iconic recipes have been perfected for the home kitchen and the cookbook is perfect for anyone who loves to create classic desserts for family and friends, especially on occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day.

The recipes range in style from classic and traditional old-Hollywood to hip and trendy Los Angeles. The full-color book includes beautiful photography illustrating the recipe and a bit of history of each restaurants represented in the book.

“I was asked to write the “Los Angeles Classic Desserts” cookbook when I found a second career in the culinary world,” said author Grace Bauer. “I live in both my native New Orleans and in Los Angeles, and after graduating from culinary school in L.A., I was a recipe tester for another cookbook. Then the classic desserts book was suggested and I knew I could combine some of old-Hollywood standouts with some of the most hip and trendy present day restaurants and fabulous bakeries to create a book for home chefs, as well as bring a little Hollywood to everyone.”

Restaurants represented in the book include classic favorites like:

  •     Chasen’s
  •     The Polo Lounge
  •     Chateau Marmont Hotel
  •     Romanoff’s

And new Hollywood favorites like:

  •     Water Grill
  •     Patina
  •     La Brea Bakery
  •     Sweet Lady Jane’s Bakery

As we head into spring, Chef Bauer recommends a classic Hollywood dessert for a Valentine’s Day lunch, Easter or Mother’s Day brunch: Grapefruit Cake from the famous Brown Derby restaurant. According to Chef Bauer, this dessert was a favorite of some of the restaurant’s famous regulars like Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball and Cecil B. DeMille. (Recipe follows)

About the Author:

Grace Bauer was trained at the California Culinary Academy's Le Cordon Bleu program and used her background as a New Orleans interior designer, her expertise in the kitchen and love of culinary history in Los Angeles in writing “Los Angeles Classic Desserts”. After Hurricane Katrina, she had many life-changing experiences including becoming a bi-coastal resident, now living in both her native New Orleans and Los Angeles. She incorporated the culture and diversity offered throughout L.A.’s many pastry kitchens and favorite restaurants when she produced the book. Photography in the book is provided by Los Angeles Photographer Allison Meyerson.

Brown Derby
Grapefruit Cake

This is one of the old Brown Derby’s classic desserts. Founded in 1926, the restaurant was very popular with Hollywood’s most glamorous actors during the heyday of the Brown Derby. In this recipe, the addition of crushed grapefruit to the frosting, as well as having grapefruit sections placed between and on top of the cake, offer a promise of what’s within.


1 1/2 cups                    cake flour
3/4 cup        granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon    baking powder
1/2 teaspoon    salt
1/4 cup        water
1/4 cup        vegetable oil
3 large        eggs, separated
4 tablespoons    fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 teaspoon    lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon    cream of tarter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into mixing bowl. Make a well in center of dry ingredients. Into the well add the water, oil, egg yolks, grapefruit juice and lemon zest. Beat everything until very smooth. In another mixing bowl beat the egg whites and cream of tartar separately until the whites are stiff but not dry. Gradually pour the egg yolk mixture over whites and, with a rubber spatula, fold them together gently until they are just blended. Do not stir mixture. Pour the mixture into an ungreased pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched with a finger. Invert the cake on a rack. With the cake remaining in the pan, allow it to cool. Then run a spatula around edge of cake and carefully remove it from the pan. With a serrated knife, gently cut cake in half horizontally to create two layers.

12 ounces    cream cheese

2 teaspoons    fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon    grated lemon zest
3/4 cup        powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons    crushed grapefruit
3 – 4 drops    yellow food coloring
2 cups        well drained grapefruit sections

Allow the cream cheese to soften at room temperature; then beat until it is fluffy. Add the lemon juice and zest. Gradually blend in the sugar. Add the food coloring and beat the mixture until everything is well blended. Crush a sufficient amount of grapefruit flesh to fill 2 tablespoons and blend them into the frosting. Spread some of the frosting on the bottom layer of the cake and top with grapefruit sections. Place the second layer atop the first and spread more frosting on the top and sides until they are covered. Garnish with the remaining grapefruit sections.


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Marje Bennetts
M Bennetts Public Relations
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