Cookbook Corner

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” October 8th, 2014


“Sugar Rush” By: Johnny Iuzzini

Let me just start off by saying that if you buy this book for nothing more than the photograph on page 197 I will NOT hold it against you! Ha!

I absolutely LOVED this book! To start with, I am a huge Johnny Iuzzini fan and have followed his career for the past several years. I was SO excited when his first cookbook “Dessert Fourplay” came out that I preordered it immediately as it became available. As soon as it came, I ripped into the packaging, took out the book and flipped through it. I was (I will admit) a little…disappointed! It was “gourmet” desserts that required special equipment, ingredients and patience that I just simply did not have. Where are the recipes for cookies, brownies, cakes or pies!? I enjoyed the pictures in “Dessert Fourplay” but that was about it… I put it on my book shelf and it has been there ever since.

THIS book though (his 2nd and follow up) is BEYOND what I was wanting (and hoping for) with the first! It is made more for the “home baker”. Everywhere, scattered throughout the book, are the recipes I was looking for the first time around! Brownies, cakes, cookies, pies and tarts fill this beautifully done book!

It is divided into the following categories…

Custards and Creamy Desserts such as “Malted Chocolate Ice Cream” (page 35), “Banana Pastry Cream” (page 44), “Chocolate Pudding” (page 59) and “Apricot Custard Tart” (page 64).

Eggs and Meringue recipes such as “Champagne Sabayon” (page 87), “Blackberry Soufflés” (page 108), “Espresso Marshmallows” (page 116) and “Coffee-Cardamom Éclairs” (page 123).

Caramel recipes like “Salted Caramels” (page 152), “Individual Caramel Apple and Sweet Potato Bread Puddings” (page 156), “Sticky Caramel Date Cake” (page 158 and more on this later…) and “Smack Caramel Corn” (page 165).

Cakes, Cupcakes, Brownies, and Muffin recipes such as “Banana-Walnut Sheet Cake” (page 178), “Crumb Cake” (page 184), “Pineapple Upside Down Cakes” (page 189), “Chocolate Cupcakes” (page 196), “Olive Oil Sponge Cake” (page 201), “Flourless Chocolate Meringue Cake” (page 205) and “Zucchini Roasted Corn Muffins (page 214).

Cookies, Tea Cakes, and Biscuit recipes like “Killer Chocolate Chip Cookies” (page 220), “Pecan Shortbread” (page 232), “Play Date Cookies” (page 240), “Chocolate Snowballs” (page 245) and “Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits” (page 250).

Tarts, Cobblers, and Crisp recipes such as “Double-Lemon Tarts” (page 268), “Strawberry-Tarragon Tart” (page 275), “Smoky Chocolate-Ginger Ganache Tart” (page 281), and “Cherry Crisp” (page 286).

Yeast Dough recipes like “Brioche” (page 292), “Panettone” (page 299), “Cinnamon Rolls” (page 304) and “Fresh Yeast Donuts” (page 306).

Glazes, Frostings, Fillings, and Sauce recipes such as “Vanilla Buttercream” (page 319), “Orange Curd” (page 324), “Shiny Chocolate Glaze” (page 328), and “Candied Citrus Peel” (page 332).

Building a Balanced Dessert recipes like “Tropical Pavlova” (page 338), “Triple Chocolate Mousse Torte” (page 339) and “Vanilla-Banana Caramel Cake” (page 340).

All sound delicious, right!? Tell me about it…and you should see the pictures! The book is worth the price alone just for the deliciously photographed desserts.

Oh – and the introduction is written by Dorie Greenspan! I found the introduction to be warmly written, and found Dorie’s personal story about her and her son calling on Johnny for help to be truly heart warming…

Ok – back to the “Sticky Caramel Date Cake” (page 158) that I was discussing earlier… I LOVE this cake and love this recipe! It turned out perfectly…although I am not sure I did the “water bath” part correctly…but it still turned out good! I remember when Haagen-Dazs had an ice cream called “Sticky Toffee Pudding”. Anyone remember that!? It was AMAZING! It was “limited edition” and is not around anymore (unfortunately) but I remember eating at least 20 containers that summer! Ha! No joke… THAT started my love for the sticky toffee cake, the date cakes, etc.

Anyways – back to the book – buy it! I highly recommend those that love baking to buy this book! It is one of the most beautifully photographed cookbooks I have seen in awhile…

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