Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Review: Sugar and Spice by Samantha Seneviratne

Title: Sugar and Spice: Bold, Flavorful Recipes for Desserts with a Twist
Author: Samantha Seneviratne
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 8th 2015
Source: Ten Speed Press

Book Description:

A wonderfully unique and unexpected collection of desserts that showcase spice over sugar, with 80 recipes that both reinvent classic sweets and introduce more unusual spice-infused desserts.

In Sugar and Spice, veteran food editor and recipe developer Samantha Seneviratne invites readers to explore a bold new world of spice-centric desserts. Each chapter centers on a different spice--some familiar, like vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger; others less expected (especially in sweet preparations), such as peppercorns, chiles, and cardamom. With fascinating histories, origin stories, and innovative uses for each spice, this book will inspire readers to rediscover and re-stock their spice drawers, and raise their desserts up to a whole new level of flavor.



I'm a big fan of finding new twists on old classics, so I knew I had to read Sugar and Spice. I love the idea of incorporating different spices into desserts (even unexpected ones) in order to create new, bolder flavors. This book definitely didn't disappoint.

This is a good example of a book being a labor of love. There's a really sweet and personal introduction that expands on the author's reason for creating such a book. It makes the book that much better, because you can clearly see the recipes are really cared about. There's also a list of tips, ingredients you should have on hand, and helpful equipment to prepare you for baking.

The recipes are sorted by spice, which I think is smart because it makes it easy if you have one particular spice in your pantry, you can find a recipe in which to utilize it. Each chapter has an introduction, a history of the spice, descriptions of the spice, and how to store and buy them. This is really useful and informative information. The directions and descriptions are clear and concise, making this a book that will appeal to the more seasoned cooks as well as beginners.

There's a really great variety of desserts in Sugar and Spice, spanning from baked goods to candies and frozen treats. What I really liked about these recipes is that everything (like crusts, fillings and the like) are done from scratch, as opposed to using pre-made ingredients. I prefer to do everything myself, so I appreciated this. The pictures within this cookbook are nice, but I wish that there had been less of the pretty, artsy photographs and more pictures of the finished recipes so I could see how my dish should ideally look. There's also lots of nice, varied international flair in this book, which is a nice touch.

There are a lot of recipes in this cookbook that I'd like to try, but the ones that I'm most excited for include Black Lavender Clafloutis, Pavlova with Lime Custard and Basil Pineapple, Blackberry Cuatro Leches, and Sweet Fig and Black Pepper Scones.

I think this is a good cookbook for anyone who loves to bake, from beginners and beyond and to anyone who likes new twists on old favorites.

I received a copy of this in exchange for my honest review.