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Gale Gand's Short and Sweet: Quick Desserts with Eight Ingredients or Less Hardcover – January 13, 2004

4 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Informing readers that "simple doesn't mean boring," Gand, the pastry chef at the Chicago restaurant Tru and host of the Food Network series Sweet Dreams, whips up a selection of moderately easy but impressive recipes. Mixing classics like Cherry Clafouti and Real Hot Fudge Sundaes with innovations like Crisp Banana and Pineapple Fritters and Cool Raspberry-Lime Terrine, Gand's book encompasses a wide variety of sweets. All the recipes require eight ingredients or less, but Gand manages to break from the usual suspects. In addition to unsalted butter, vanilla, all-purpose flour and sugar, her recipes call for Japanese panko bread crumbs, polenta, Pecorino Romano cheese, chai spices and Marcona almonds. Most recipes are quick, and Gand divides them into chapters according to how much active time readers can expect to spend in the kitchen (most recipes fall into the 30-minute category; others take either 15 or 45 minutes, not including baking or freezing time). Gand encourages baking shortcuts (e.g., use frozen puff pastry for the Banana Maple Tarte Tatin or a refrigerated pie crust when making the Pear and Apple Streusel Pie), and gives tips on cooking with kids, too. Throughout, she stresses that keeping ingredients-and tools-to a minimum will allow chefs to turn out sumptuous desserts no matter how hectic a day they've had.
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From the Inside Flap

From Gale Gand, award-winning executive pastry chef and host of Food Network's Sweet Dreams, more than 75 tempting desserts that are long on flavor . . . even when you're short on time.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (January 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400047331
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400047338
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #782,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, `Gale Gand's Short + Sweet' is the fourth work of which Gale Gand has been a co-author or principle author. Gale has demonstrated several of these recipes, especially the recipes for kids, on Gale's Food Network show, `Sweet Dreams'.
The book focuses on recipes that can be done quickly with eight or fewer ingredients. With a few caveats, the book succeeds in providing interesting, workable recipes for people with few pastry skills which can be done in a relatively short time, with no expensive ingredients and no unusual ingredients.
The recipes are divided among four chapters covering recipes which can be completed with 15 minutes, 30 minutes or 45 minutes active time, plus a chapter on `kid doable' recipes. The book gives relatively quick recipes for some old standards such as hot fudge sundaes, Clafouti, scones, Panna Cotta, chocolate chip cookies, shortbread, cheesecake, Tarte Tatin, turnovers, semifreddo, Tiramisu, apple tarts, crème brulee, buttermilk biscuits (c/o Shirley Corriher), cinnamon-raisin bread, and my all time favorite snickerdoodles.
While all these names are familiar, Gale gives a new twist to almost all of them, leaving only the venerable Shirley Corriher biscuit tradition and the snickerdoodle recipe untouched. Thus, she is following the same tradition as David Lebovitz by producing creative variations on the standards. Ms. Gand does a little better in my mind than Lebovitz in `Ripe for Desserts' in that she has concentrated on recipes that can be done easily and cheaply. Unlike Lebovitz first book, `Room for Dessert', Ms. Gand does not give long discussions on technique or ingredients. Her effort is redeemed by her recipes' simplicity.
There is a really important caveat to the claim that the recipes can be done in 15, 30, or 45 minutes.
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Format: Hardcover
Desserts are not on our daily menu, and I usually make one when having a dinner party or to bring to dinner at someone else's home. So when I do offer to bring dessert, I make sure that it is a special home-made treat - no quick grabs from the bakery for me !

I like the fact that the recipes have relatively few ingredients. The way this book is organized by preparation time is quite useful: 15-minute, 30-minute and 45-minute recipes. It should be noted that this is just the approximate prep time, excluding refrigeration time and baking or cooking time.

The 15-minute recipes include such simple preparations as real hot fudge sundaes, strawberries with white balsamic and creamy yogurt, peach and blueberry floats, roasted pineapple skewers.

The 30-minute recipes are a little more elaborate and include chewy chocolate chip-espresso cookies (one of my favorites), crunchy chocolate-almond toffee, lavender shortbread, chai-spiced cheesecake.

The 45-minute recipes include chocolate tiramisu, towering apple tarts, cinnamon crème brulee, individual pineapple tarts. I made the towering apple tarts today. They were quite easy to assemble, and required only premade phyllo dough, fresh apples, butter, sugar and cinnamon. The most time consuming part of the process was peeling and slicing the apples. The delicate flavor and appealing appearance make it all worthwhile!

The final section titled "kids in the kitchen" focuses on recipes that kids can help to make including cookieburgers, peanut butter worms, caramel peanut suckers and frozen milk chocolate pops. I wish I had this book when my kids were little - it would have been fun to try these.
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Format: Hardcover
Gale Gand presents an eclectic collection of dessert recipes. You may not find your favorite but you will certanly find something that will pique your interest. Organizing recipes by time was a good idea. My favorite recipe from this book was the passion fruit mousse - innovative and yet infallible!
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