Dee, Cooks&Books&Recipes

Desserts 4 Today: Flavorful Desserts with Just Four Ingredients {Cookbook}

Desserts 4 Today cookbook (cover) -

Desserts 4 Today: Flavorful Desserts with Just Four Ingredients

by Abigail Johnson Dodge

Publisher: The Taunton Press

Publication Date: September 2010

Buy on Amazon

Featured Recipe: Mini Bittersweet Chocolate Cheesecakes

Cooks&Books&Recipes {Dee} on Desserts 4 Today cookbook:

What do I love about Abby Dodge’s cookbook? With no hesitation, I can say that I agree 100% with the publisher that the “sophisticated, yet easy to make” treats in this cookbook “are bursting with so much flavor that you would never imagine they require just four items. There are no complex techniques to master or hours of prep work to put in. Using simple pantry ingredients, most of these flavorful desserts are ready from start to finish in about 30 minutes and are presented in a user-friendly way.” Dodge, a former pastry chef and the author of seven cookbooks (including The Weekend Baker), groups her 125 recipes into five categories: cookies; creamy desserts; frozen desserts; fruit desserts; and pastry desserts. In the cookies category, her Nutella Fudge Brownies have been devoured across the web–for example, on these blogs: Vino Luci Style, Shockinglydelicious, A Chica Bakes, A Thought for Food, One Ordinary Day. We too cooked these. We agree: they are perfectly bite-sized joys of moist chocolate nuttiness. Ready, from start to finish, in 15 minutes! And then we made the cheesecakes…

I need no other dessert cookbook. These recipes for simple yet straightforward and satisfying treats have reintroduced flavorful desserts into my kitchen (and menu planning). The four-ingredient concept is not new, of course, but Dodge executes it brilliantly. Each recipe includes Switch-Ins offering suggestions (and permission if, like me, you need it) for swapping ingredients for ones you don’t have on hand or don’t like and for providing different flavor pairings. Many recipes are highlighted with Gussy It Up sections for extra finishing touches if you have the time and interest. Finally, the Tech Talk and Change It Up sidebars offer tips that will make any amateur cook feel like a true pastry chef. I’m ready to try the Raspberry Mango Sorbet Pie, the Warm Apricot Halves with Double Ginger Crumble, and the Individual Blackberry Napoleons. Desserts 4 me!

Desserts 4 Today cookbook -

Desserts 4 Today

7 Responses to “Desserts 4 Today: Flavorful Desserts with Just Four Ingredients {Cookbook}”

  1. #
    Renee J., Flamingo Musings — November 15, 2010 @ 1:38 am

    You said the magic word: Cheesecake. I love cheesecake and I love to make cheesecake and I just had to try this recipe the moment I saw it!
    You already vouched for the basic recipe, so I didn’t see any need to reinvent the wheel. I looked at the “Switch-Ins” and I looked at the “Gussy It Ups,” and I still couldn’t leave well enough alone. I’m perverse that way.
    The coffee addition was enticing (thanks for the “dissolving instant coffee in vanilla” trick, by the way!). I didn’t feel like chocolate cheesecake, though, so I left out the melted chocolate part. Instead, I added about 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips, and switched in dark brown sugar for the white granulated sugar.
    My foil cupcake liners disappeared (I blame my husband), so I used my silicone cupcake liners (which I did not grease), and baked the little cakes for 15 minutes. After chilling for several hours, they popped right out of the liners. And the flavor? Divine! Smooth, rich, not too sweet, and I love the little bursts of chocolate from the mini chips contrasting with the creamy coffee.
    Verdict: While I’m not going to completely give up making my regular cheesecakes, this recipe is such an attractive alternative. The recipe is super-quick and easy to put together and bake, and having it already broken down into individual servings gives you almost unlimited possibilities. I give it two thumbs-up! I’d give it more, but I kind of ran out of thumbs.

    • Dee, Cooks&Books&Recipes

      Editors, Cooks&Books&Publishers replied: — November 15th, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

      Thanks, Renee, for playing with the recipe. Your variation looks delicious! I’m thinking I’ll try the coffee and chocolate chips for my next batch. (BTW, silicone cupcake liners? I so need those.)

  2. #
    Dinetonite — November 26, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

    Thanks for a great feast for my eyes. Now I am ready to cook! Happy Thanksgiving!

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