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JR Ryall’s book is filled with stories and delicious creations from the famous Dessert Trolley at Ballymaloe House 

Ballymaloe dessert team Anne Healy, Camille Tabu, JR Ryall, Eimear Louth and Beth O’Brien pictured at the launch of “Ballymaloe Desserts” by JR Ryall in The Grainstore at Ballymaloe. This debut cookbook by Ballymaloe House head pastry chef, features iconic recipes, home-baked cakes, cookies, pastries, puddings, sensational sweets and stories from Ireland. Photo Joleen Cronin

The weather didn’t dampen spirits at Ballymaloe House on Sunday, where Head Pastry Chef JR Ryall’s much awaited book Ballymaloe Desserts had its first launch at a packed event in the estate’s elegant, multi-purpose venue The Grainstore. 

The launch party was as delectable as the book’s recipes, where over 200 guests, many of whom travelled from the UK, Dublin and Belfast, were treated to delicious canapés and a selection of amazing desserts. Among those in attendance were Darina Allen, Rachel Allen, Rory O’Connell, Cliodhna Prendergast (book photographer), Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery in London (who made the wedding cake for Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex), and Sarah Johnson, chef at Spring in London, where Ballymaloe Desserts will have its UK launch on September 27th. Centre stage was JR himself, who signed copies of the book and posed for photos with numerous guests who were thrilled to be among the first to get their hands on it. 

Welcoming guests to The Grainstore on the night was Hazel Allen, who then brought JR on stage. He  expressed his gratitude to the many people who fostered his talents and made him feel at home in Ballymaloe House where he began working at just 16. Referring to the late, great Myrtle Allen, JR said: “The first time I met Mrs Allen, she dazzled me and I will never forget that feeling. I would like to thank Mrs Allen for opening the doors of Ballymaloe to the world, inspiring a nation and on a personal level, inspiring me. She taught me the importance of doing the things I love, and most importantly I thank her for teaching me how to taste.”

JR also expressed delight at seeing Ballymaloe Desserts published: “The idea for this project started about 10 years ago, when Hazel Allen asked me to write a little book to sell on the hall table, it turned out to be not such a small book but fortunately it fits on the table. I am thrilled to finally share it with the world and in the next few weeks I will be on a world book tour crossing the UK and North America.”

Ballymaloe Desserts is a celebration of sensational, sophisticated, yet achievable desserts and of the legacy and traditions behind them. Throughout the book, award winning pastry chef JR, who’s based at Ballymaloe, shares recipes currently used in the pastry kitchen at the house throughout the year. JR’s methods are easy to follow and will help the home baker create 140 recipes from frozen desserts to biscuits to old-fashioned puddings. 

The event at The Grainstore was the first of a number of launches planned for Ballymaloe Desserts. In addition to the launch at Spring Restaurant in London, a US launch event is planned at King restaurant in New York City in October.  

Commenting on the launch party at The Grainstore, General Manager at Ballymaloe House Laura Behan said: “It was fantastic to see so many people here on Sunday, enjoying themselves in the stunning surroundings of The Grainstore, which is the perfect party venue. We’re all immensely proud of JR here at Ballymaloe House, and of the phenomenal achievement that is ‘Ballymaloe Desserts’. It’s an ideal book for the home baker in your life and a perfect kitchen companion. This is the first of a number of launches of this beautiful publication and we look forward to the upcoming events in London and New York”

Speaking at The Grainstore, JR encouraged friends and family to spread the world about Ballymaloe Desserts, and it’s already been making a splash on social media, through #BallymaloeDessertsBook. The book comes with a forward from world-renowned American Chef and writer David Tanis. It goes on general publication on September 29th and can also be ordered online through

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