Zuckerman, Kate (text) & Tina Rupp (photogs.). The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelle. Bulfinch. Oct. 2006. 224p. photogs. index. ISBN 0821257447. $35. [AMAZON]
I’ve heard that on average, people make only two recipes out of each cookbook they own. I can’t verify this statistic, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true. In my own rapidly expanding collection, there are piles of cookbooks I’ve never cooked from. But for every few titles i’ve only read, there will be one whose frequent use is written upon its pages in spilled cake batter and chocolate fingerprints.
After I made this Cinnamon Caramel Mousse, I took a look through my old photographs and realized i’ve made at least twelve recipes out of The Sweet Life. It was a birthday gift from my mother, given to me a few months after its release. At the time, I didn’t have much pastry experience. I quickly grew to appreciate the book for its neat organization, sophisticated recipes, soundly explained techniques, gorgeous photographs*, and consistent results. (*Tina Rupp also photographed Poliafito & Lewis’s Baked and Baked Explorations. You can see some examples of her work on her portfolio, or this great post from DesignSponge.)
I have yet to make a recipe from it that I didn’t love, and if that’s not enough endorsement, my husband (who has next to no baking experience) managed to whip up the Chocolate Caramel Tart while I was away at a conference. Zuckerman’s emphasis on instruction is, in my opinion, one of this book’s greatest strengths.
For your enjoyment, here’s a slideshow of nearly everything i’ve made out of this book: