Acclaimed pastry chef Dominique Ansel shares his simple, foolproof recipes for tarts, cakes, jams, buttercreams, and more "building blocks "of desserts for home cooks to master and mix as they please. Dominique Ansel is the creator of beautiful, innovative, and delicious desserts, from the Frozen S'More to the Cronut, the croissant-doughnut hybrid that took the world by storm. He has been called the world's best pastry chef. But this wasn't always the case. Raised in a large, working-class family in rural France, Ansel could not afford college and instead began work as a baker's apprentice at age sixteen. There, he learned the basics--how to make tender chocolate cakes, silky custards, buttery shortbread, and more. Ansel shares these essential, go-to recipes for the first time. With easy-to-follow instructions and kitchen tips, home cooks can master the building-blocks of desserts. These crucial components can be mixed in a variety of ways, and Ansel will show you how: his vanilla tart shell can be rolled out and stamped into cookies; shaped and filled with lemon curd; or even crumbled into a topping for ice cream. This cookbook will inspire beginners and experienced home cooks alike to bake as imaginatively as Ansel himself.