Pub Date: September 2010
FTC: Digital galley received through Netgalley
Today's home cooks want simplicity in the kitchen, especially when it comes to desserts. For this book, consummate cook and teacher Abigail Johnson Dodge has developed an extraordinary collection of sophisticated, yet easy-to-make sweets-using just four ingredients-that offer a depth of flavor that belie their simplicity. There are no difficult-to-master techniques here, no hours of prep work required; each of the 125 flavorful desserts uses mostly simple pantry ingredients and is ready from start to finish in about 30 minutes. Each recipe includes flavor variations and substitutions, as well as dress-up options. Cooks of all skill levels will delight in everything sweet-from cookies to mouthwatering creamy, frozen, and pastry desserts.
Lately it seems I've lost my baking mojo. I just can't summon the interest to make *anything*. Part of the problem is likely that I live in high altitude country and need to have plenty of patience when trying new recipes. Because, thanks to living at 3500 feet, half of them don't turn out. A friend of mine has it even worse. She lives at 7000 feet. Which means certain types of baking (cookies, breads) are pretty much out the question.
So with those limitations in mind, I was happy to see so many desserts in Desserts 4 Today: Flavorful Desserts with Just Four Ingredients that aren't baked or that start with partially prepared ingredients. Most of the recipes are still from scratch, but (and here's the awesome part of this cookbook's concept) the recipes here have only 4 ingredients. 4! There are ways to enhance (or "gussy up") some of the plainer recipes by adding additional ingredients, but the base recipes still only have 4 ingredients. Yea!
The chapter on fruit desserts is terrific, as is the Creamy Desserts chapter.
Another thing to love? The price is very reasonable for the slender paperback. Full list price is $17.95, and you can find it for much less at most online bookstores. There are plenty of photos (a must!) and the number of mix-ins or variation ideas adds to the value.
I think this will be the book that breaks my dessert-making slump. And it will also make a great gift for the aforementioned friend stuck in the no-bake zone.
My Grade: A