In this fun cookbook, award-winning pastry chef and Food Network star Gale Gand shares her favorite ways to indulge family and friends–and yourself–with sixty recipes devoted to two classic flavors, chocolate and vanilla. Organized into sections featuring chocolate and vanilla, Gand first offers tips on buying and working with chocolate, including demystifying those ever-confusing cacao percentages, before getting down to business with more than thirty luscious, tempting recipes. Organized by type of chocolate–dark, semi-sweet, milk, and white–they run the gamut from simple treats such as Chocolate-Praline Cake in a Jar and Creamy Dreamy Walnut Fudge to impress-the-guests desserts that include Mexican Hot Chocolate Fondue and Chocolate-Almond Upside-Down Cake.
Moving onto vanilla, Gand offers tips on working with both vanilla beans and vanilla extract, revealing which is best for what, and includes a helpful substitution guide. And then it’s on to the good stuff: recipes for irresistible sweets that showcase vanilla’s beguiling flavor. With one section devoted to desserts using whole vanilla beans–think Vanilla Raspberry Rice Pudding with Lemon-Vanilla Caramel and Late-Night Vanilla Flan–and another focusing on extract–such as Vanilla-Blueberry Crumb Cake and Boston Cream Cupcakes–these are recipes that are anything but plain vanilla.
Accompanied by amusing anecdotes, helpful make-ahead notes, and clear, uncomplicated techniques, Gand’s creations are as much fun to make as they are to eat.