Delicious Desserts by Jane Suthering (HP Books: $4.95, softcover, 80 pages, illustrated)
Just when you thought HP Books had published a cookbook for every food subject imaginable, the crafty company has embarked on a new idea in cookbooks.
A new series entitled Creative Cuisine features smaller versions of their picturesque cooking manuals. Each member is a previously published British work, including 100 favored recipes, beautiful color photographs and the usual terminology, technique and ingredient glossaries.
What they don't have is the intricate how-to photos and the wide variety of handy hints that previous HP releases were noted for. There are some line drawings of the more detailed stages of preparing a recipe, such as the proper method of removing and rolling a cake jellyroll fashion. And of course, there are a few scattered tips here and there. But these volumes are designed to be streamlined--geared for impulse buying at the supermarket--without shortcutting text or presentation.
Series of Books
"Delicious Desserts" by Jane Suthering is one of four of these newly released books. Others in the series are "Main Dishes for Every Occasion," "Simple and Delicious Chinese Cooking" and "Quick and Easy Make-Ahead Meals."
"Desserts" features some spectacular taste treats that are unique as well as pretty. The "Quick and Easy" section, for example, includes simple desserts fruited, creamed, fluffed and molded. Blackberries are whirred with orange juice and egg whites in blackberry fluff; apple butter, whipping cream and yogurt make a pretty presentation in spiced-apple swirl; and chocolate cookie crumbs, instant coffee powder and whipping cream join in a chocolate lover's fantasy--layered chocolate crunch. Other chapters focus on special-occasion desserts, elegant, baked and frozen specialties. There also are suggestions for garnishing and some examples of equipment.
Emphasis on Presentation
Gourmet favorites like a multi-layered cream-filled cinnamon gateau, gateau Pithiviers and nectarine-meringue torte highlight the "Elegant Desserts" section, while upside-down cake, apple crisp and cheesecake round out the list of favorite dessert standbys. The emphasis here is on presentation, and even a dessert as ordinary as ambrosia is elevated to entertaining status.
Ideal as a gift or as an addition to any cookbook collection, "Delicious Desserts" is chock-full of fancy ways with after-meal snacks. The recipes are diverse, with rich offerings like a cream-filled chocolate roll for the carefree, and peppermint pears, which will satisfy the calorie conscious.
Raspberry Clafoutis, from the "Baked Desserts" section of the book, is a thick fruited pancake, baked in a gratin dish and served warm, fresh from the oven. Traditionally made with black cherries in Limousin, the French region in which it originated, this clafoutis is sprinkled with superfine sugar just before serving. RASPBERRY CLAFOUTIS
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sifted flour
1 1/4 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries, thawed, drained
Beat eggs and granulated sugar until pale and foamy, about 5 minutes. Fold in flour and salt. Stir in milk and butter until batter is smooth. Pour 1/2 of batter into greased 9-inch gratin dish. Bake at 400 degrees 15 minutes.
Arrange raspberries on baked batter, then carefully pour remaining batter around fruit. Bake 35 minutes or until top is golden. Sprinkle with superfine sugar and serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings.