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You Made That Dessert?
Create Fabulous Treats, Even If You Can Barely Boil Water
By Beth Lipton
ISBN: 0762750081
Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
Publication date: September 2009
Format: Paperback
Number of recipes: 100
List price: $19.95
Type: Desserts; Baking
Sample recipe: Toblerone Brownies
Ambitions
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive encyclopedia coffee-table
Meal part: all breakfast/brunch lunch dinner dessert
Competition: outclassed a bit behind in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Content
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: airfare required online specialty store supermarket pantry
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose minimal complete educational
Time conscious: not conscious bald lies white lies realistic scout's honor
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant ample generous
Photos/drawings: none drawings b&w photos occasional color all/mostly color
Art contribution: disappointing distracting decorative beautiful glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Diet/Nutrition/Health
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine kind work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging ok clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy delicate years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: hard-to-find spotty sufficient most pages every page
Table of contents: missing frustrating minimal helpful excellent
Index: none confusing adequate nice a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Author
Writing history: beginner writer/journalist food writer writing cook personality
Cooking heritage: unknown self-taught teacher chef celebrity
Summary
Fulfills ambitions: falls short satisfactory successful exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward good friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: Beth Lipton knows a highly educated woman who lived in the same apartment for nine years – and never turned on the oven. Her book is for that woman, and everyone else who has been scared off by baking. The book features desserts for nearly any occasion, that can be made without a kitchen full of expensive tools and – the primary goal here – without the baker feeling overwhelmed.

What we love about this book is that it is not a collection of thrown-together store-bought ingredients arranged prettily on a plate (and those books are out there) – these are real recipes. You may purchase pie crusts and puff pastry, but most everything else is from scratch.

The chapters feature cookies and bars, cakes, custards and puddings, pies and fruit desserts, candies, sauces and frostings, and "emergency desserts." There are sections on required or desired tools, ingredients, the "lingo" of the kitchen, and basic how-to information. All this service material is hidden at the back of the book, presumably so you won't be scared off while browsing in a bookstore. But don't be fooled, it's there; we just don't think it's all that scary.

Each recipe has a list of all the tools you'll need, and explains in simple language words that may be simple, but have crept into many recipes without explanation – words like the verbs to fold and to cream.

We notice that there is no show-stopper cake here, but perhaps that is coming in the next book. There is a certain amount of alcohol and a certain amount of coffee in various recipes, and that is going to turn off a few people, but there are plenty of recipes with neither.

We like the recipes. We very much like the concept. If real novices work their way through a recipe, they will not only turn out a good dessert, they'll gain a real feeling of accomplishment, and they'll absolutely know how to turn on their oven – something they may do again and again.



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