The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelle

Published By: Bulfinch

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Cooking

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Reviewed by Lauren Segelbaum

Getting a cookbook in the mail is like receiving a gift. It is not just a book but an object to display on a coffee table or kitchen counter. It is a gift that gives you a desire to eat, call for a reservation at a fine restaurant or simply stroll the grocery aisles for something delicious. The Sweet Life by Kate Zuckerman is just that gift.

The contents page is easy to navigate. The mouthwatering pictures make you want to throw your apron on and get cooking. I was hesitant because I am not Martha Stewart--a food lover for sure, but not a true cook. I was scared I couldn't recreate any of the recipes to look like the pictures I was drooling over.

I thought I would try the Chocolate Bete Noir. "Dense and creamy, yet light and elegant, this flourless chocolate cake is remarkably versatile; it serves as the basis of many of my plated chocolate desserts at Chanterelle." I thought how hard could this be. The first step after heating the oven, which I am quite capable of, reads: "Using a paring knife, cut down the center of the vanilla bean and scrape out the tiny black seed into a heavy-bottomed saucepan."

Next!! Chocolate chip cookies are more my speed. The recipe for Crispy, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies was easy to follow and they turned out fabulous. I will say "two inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet" means two inches apart. Anything less and you have one big cookie.

What I loved about this book was it is educational as well as beautiful. The history of chocolate on page 31 I found very interesting. The Beyond the Basics area with subjects such as "Chocolate and water," and "Cooking caramel successfully" can be a lesson in science as well as cooking. The Technique Tip section of this cookbook is what separates the good cook from the talented chef.

The Sweet Life is a sweet gift for your friend or family member who always impresses you with their skills in the kitchen. Me, I will just make a reservation at Chanterelle and see what I am missing.

Armchair Interviews says: Yummy!

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