Tag Archives: Desserts

Kristina Stosek – Small Bites the Gluten-Free Way.

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Small Bites The Gluten-Free Way  – Kristina Stosek (2015 Blue Cap Books, Vancouver)

It doesn’t matter if you’re required to adhere to a gluten-free diet or not, this cookbook has your snacks and appies covered with simple and appealing recipes that (for the most part) don’t require anything other than what you already have on hand in your pantry or fridge.  Gorgeous photography and a clean, easy-to-read layout make Small Bites a standout.  I can see many revisits of these recipes in my future!

Small Bites I am going to try very soon:  Authentic Schnitzel Bites, Baked Lemon Chicken Fingers (on the menu this week!), Skinny Crema Catalana, Rustic Bacon and Cheese Scones (is there a better combination than bacon and cheese?)

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Laurence and Gilles Laurendon et al. – From Scratch.

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From Scratch:  An Introduction to French Breads, Cheeses, Preserves, Pickles, Charcuterie, Condiments, Yogurts, Sweets, and More – Laurence and Gilles Laurendon, Catherine Quevremont, and Cathy Ytak (2014, Lark, Sterling Publishing, New York)

This is one of those cookbooks that I knew I must have as soon as I cracked it open.  It’s beautiful, for one, but it’s not just the photographs – it’s also in the way the recipes are presented, even right down to the fonts, which are fancy but easy on the eyes.  Of course, it’s all about the recipes, however – and these are right up my alley.  I’ve wanted to try making my own soft cheeses for some time now, and the mascarpone recipe is first up for me.  I can’t believe how easy this looks!  And forget how intimidating making brioche seems – it IS possible with the recipes in From Scratch.  You want to make beef, vegetable, or chicken bouillon?  Can do.  What about grow your own sprouts?  Yep.  Make the perfect lemon curd?  Infused butters, compound oils?  Fresh pasta?  Garlic bread?  It’s all here, and more.   A must-have compilation for the home cook.

Fiona Pearce – Treat Petites.

 

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Treat Petites: Tiny Sweets and Savory Pleasures – Fiona Pearce (2014, Sterling Epicure, New York)
Treat Petites is indeed a treat! Tiny sweet and savoury bites are the feature in this gorgeous cookbook – you’ll find everything from miniature madeleines, sponges, meringues, and cookies, to cupcakes and eclairs and a whole chapter using puff pastry to make the most amazing appies. Although nearly all of the recipes in this book require more skill in the decorating department than I’ll ever have, Pearce at least makes the baking part seem easy. She begins each chapter with a couple of base recipes (ie: sugar cookie dough, chocolate ganache, choux pastry), then offers beautiful variations using the primary recipes. The idea is that if you can master the base recipe, the others are a breeze. I am daunted by the decorating, however – I suspect any Rose Religieuses I make will come out looking like nothing more than lumpy pink blobs, rather than the floral masterpieces Pearce displays.

The Most Outstanding: Chocolate Cups with Mango Mousse, Mini Mille-Feuilles with Elderflower Cream, Gilded Caramel Shortbread Squares (with edible gold dust!), and Lemon Domes with Pink Grapefruit Syrup. Ones I Am Going to Try: Coffee Bean Cookies (these are amazing – they are the exact size of real coffee beans and look just like them) and Pesto Pinwheels.