If you consider dessert the best part of any meal or even the day this 288 page cook book might be the one for you. After an introduction, a section on what kitchen utensils and tools you should have and items in your pantry, and an ingredient list, it is on to the recipes. Lots and lots of intriguing recipes, some photographs, and absolutely no nutritional information at all. This is not a book to look at if you are in a diet.
The opening chapter is "Starting With Ice Cream" on page 14 and features sundaes, floats, homemade ice cream made without an ice cream machine, and other delectable treats. Also included here are recipes for various toppings such as "Cookie Crunch" on page 30 and "3 Indispensable Chocolate Sauces" on page 23. Each recipe contains the directions, an ingredient list, tips and the occasional color photograph of the desert. This same format continues throughout the book.
Next up is fruit in "Starting with Fruit." In the introductory paragraph before the recipes the author states, "Eschew the frugal wisdom of using overripe or mushy fruit for cooking: if it doesn't taste good, don't waste your time or ingredients." (page 49) Strawberries and figs lead off the desserts here but every fruit is used and often used several times. Cobblers and sauces are both prevalent here as are some other detectable treats.
Maybe pudding is your thing. Starting on page 86 with "Pudding Pleasure" it is all about the many possibilities with pudding. After numerous different chocolate pudding recipes it is on to "Creamy, Dreamy Rice Pudding" (page 102), "Coconut Flans with Muscovado Sugar Sauce" (page 109) and "Salted Carmel Banana Bread Puddings" (page 118) among other ideas.
"Quick Pies, Tarts, and Meringues" starts next on page 134 you won't find my mom's simply awesome chocolate pie recipe in here. You will find several different chocolate pie recipes as well as one for a "Sour Cream And Brown Sugar Tart" (page 147) an "Easy Blueberry Tart" (page 152) and others. There are also numerous ones featuring meringues and a section on "How To Make A Meringue Without A Recipe" on page 160.
Sometimes the whole purpose of a cake is to soak up the juice from the fruit or the ice cream. "Lickety-Split Cake" starting on page 168 is all about that need. After some intoduction on how to properly make mini cakes, the chapter moves on to variations of small cakes and frostings. Also in this section are recipes for a "Chocolate Pecan Torte" (page 188), an "Olive Oil Pound Cake" (page 189) and a "Nutty Sponge Cake" (page 220) and others.
Sometimes you just need a small bite of something sweet. That is the point of the next chapter titled "Sweet Bites." Whether it be mini cookies such as "Amaretti" (page 240) or "Bittersweet Brownie Drops" (page 248) or "Grilled Chocolate Sandwiches" (page 254) or the other choices, variety is present here. Also included are recipes using nuts and information about how to buy, store and use nuts in your dessert cooking.
The book closes with a several page section on ingredients, another section on equipment, and some resources information. A multipage index and conversion charts bring this 288 page paperback to a close.
Other than the lack of nutritional information this is a well done cookbook. The recipes show variety in terms of ingredients and cooking skills, the pictures and the tips work well, and the book has something to please almost anyone.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2012