5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Lovely to look at.
, May 5, 2012
This review is from: Wild Sugar Desserts (Hardcover)
I want to love this book but I just can't. There are some great ideas but as a whole it seems to lack follow through.
There is no introduction to explain equipment and ingredients. Since there was no introduction the book appears scattered and without focus. I don't know what the authors intend , are they about raw food, gluten free baking, vegan choices? Since I have no idea what their goal is the book seems like a few strung together ideas that don't come to a conclusion.
There is a handy glossary in the back for the Australian-American translations. There are a few uncommon ingredients like raw cocoa, coconut oil, liquid glucose and gelatin sheets that are easily order able online.Loads of recipes using fresh fruits but they are simple at best, macerate fruit with a spice like cardamon is a no brainer. Lots of sorbet and granitas are included as well as recipes called ' ice cream' but most are just frozen sweetened fruit that has been pureed. There are a few traditional tarts, cakes and bread puddings. There are several jelly recipes, in the Anglo use of jelly, what Americans would call Jello but the lack of tips on using and blooming gelatin make what would be a stunning dessert a possible failure for someone unfamiliar with the techniques.It seems as the editor was asleep at the wheel because in the glossary the entry for gelatin includes a note ' need to add more detail here.' without the addition of anymore detail.
With the exception of the traditional cakes and such all of the recipes seem like components to plated desserts. The spun sugar balls are presented as a dessert with the recommendation to garnish with edible flowers. A stunning presentation but the simplistic directions could make a stunning dessert turn out to be a humble pile of hard sugar candy. As much as I love a presentation of spun sugar I don't think I could bring myself to serve it to guests as a dessert. Spun sugar doesn't really have flavor, it just tastes sweet.
Things that are great: Wonderful photography and slick, glossy paper, a cute pink satin ribbon to mark your page,the book looks like a million bucks. Loads of the recipes will lend themselves to plating and serving desserts but don't really stand on their own. The chocolate infused vodka will become a handy ingredient for me but I can't imagine serving it hot as the author recommends.
Things that aren't so great: Lack of temperatures for candy making.Most recipes read like the cliff notes version of a recipe, as if a chef were handing notes to another chef and not to a home cook.
Biggest complaint: a recipe for Kiwi skewers. Kiwi skewers are just what they sound like, peeled, sliced kiwi on skewers, that isn't really a recipe, it's a craft project.The strawberry raspberry skewers include pink and white marshmallows.
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