DESSERT COOKBOOK - GOURMET BROWNIES,
CAKES & COOKIES
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
Sweet Chic - Stylish Treats to Dress Up for Any Occasion
(Ballantine Books) ISBN 978-0345516558 0345516559
Learn how to make gourmet brownies, truffles, cookies and cakes from a few basic dessert recipes in Sweet Chic. Rachel Thebault, owner and head confectioner of the New York City bakery, Tribeca Treats, provides more than 70 gourmet dessert recipes for amateur and experienced bakers. They include recipes for some of the most popular Tribeca Treats gourmet desserts, like dark & stormy truffles and peanut butter & jelly cupcakes.
Sweet Chic is a dessert cookbook that compares desserts to fashions. Rachel Thebault starts with basic baked goods, then adds accessories to create designer desserts. For example, she creates gourmet brownies, like mint swirl brownies, by adding a mint cream cheese layer to Tribeca Treats' basic recipe for fudgy brownies.
Chapters and recipes in Sweet Chic are organized by type of gourmet dessert, from the easiest to make, to the more complex.
Rachel Thebault introduces each chapter and versatile dessert recipe with baking tips. E.g., to make tiramisu cupcakes, you make cupcakes from her basic vanilla cake recipe and brush them with espresso. In the introduction, Thebault explains that you can substitute Kahlua, or another coffee liqueur, for the espresso.
After many of the step-by-step recipes, Polish Your Look sidebars provide variations. In the brownie sundae parfait recipe, the sidebar suggests using peanut butter brownies, banana ice cream and caramel sauce to make gourmet brownie sundaes.
Mouthwatering Ben Fink food photos depict gourmet brownies, truffles, cakes and cookies made with Sweet Chic cookbook recipes.
The introduction to the 194-page cookbook features baking lessons, including how to fill a pastry bag and pipe frosting on cakes. The dessert cookbook explains baking ingredients, such as the differences between baking soda, baking powder and double-acting baking powder. Rachel Thebault also describes baking equipment, like standing mixers.
A chart shows you how to mix and match cake and frosting recipes, just like you would mix and match wardrobe items. For example, chocolate cream cheese icing goes well with the devil's food cake, banana cake and pecan cake recipes in Sweet Chic.
A resources page lists baking supplies websites for cake decorating supplies, kitchen equipment, bakeware and ingredients like marshmallow fluff.
Sample gourmet dessert recipes
White chocolate coconut cookies. Chocolate Amaretto thumbprint cookies. Chocolate mint cookies (homemade Girl Scouts thin mints cookies). S'mores cookies. Rocky road cupcakes. Homemade graham crackers. Cookies and cream icing. Peanut butter icing. Caramel buttercream. Cranberry almond bark. Double chocolate truffles. Ginger truffles.
Section One: COOKIES
- Scooped Cookies
- Thumbprint Cookies
- Vanilla Cookies
- Chocolate Cookies
- Buttermilk Cookies
- Graham Crackers
- Chocolate Cake
- Vanilla Cake
- Banana Cake
- Vanilla Icing
- Cream Cheese Icing
- Chocolate Icing
- Swiss Buttercream
- Tempered Chocolate
- Chocolate Truffles
Rachel Schifter Thebault is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education and owner of the Tribeca Treats bakery in downtown Manhattan, NYC.