Working, as I do, in a health-oriented organic market, I encounter people with food allergies and gluten sensitivities on a daily basis. Further, I’m allergic to wheat and the majority of my family is gluten-sensitive. As a result, I’m very aware of the challenges faced by all of us who want to eat with friends and go to restaurants in a culture where wheat or gluten is in most processed foods and ubiquitous on menus.
How would you like to have traveled to 130 countries in search of the best chocolate? From the Amazon rain forest to Bali, The Philippines to Thailand? Sounds deliciously exotic and exciting, doesn’t it?
Ed Engoron, co-founder of Choclatique and an award winning chef who studied at the Cordon Bleu, has done that and much, much more in his lifetime. Now he has taken his years of experience, knowledge and adventures and parlayed them into his new book, Choclatique: 150 Simply Elegant Desserts (Perseus Books, 2011). Written with Mary Goodbody, Ed has used a unique technique, something I’ve never encountered before. Each recipe is based on one of five chocolate ganaches.
How many people do you know who will turn down freshly-baked cookies? If you’re tally is like mine, it’s precious few. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures, starting with the aroma in the kitchen emanating from the oven down to the lingering flavor in our mouths and the last little crumbs licked off our fingers.
Reviewing cookbooks is actually not as easy as you might think. Why? Hungry or not, the Pavlov response kicks in when I read luscious recipes and look at knock-out, full-color photos.
I recently chuckled my way through David Lebovitz’ new book, The Sweet Life in Paris (2009, Broadway Books, an Imprint of Crown). And sweet it is, both literally and figuratively.
BITE SIZE DESSERTS
Carole Bloom (Wiley, 2009)
Even when I’m so full I can barely move, I often crave a sweet to officially conclude a meal. It doesn’t need to be much, perhaps two or three bites, or what my mother called a “cheek,” a subtle closure that compliments a cup of tea or espresso.