This complete guide for brownie lovers is for everyone who’s ever enjoyed these chocolate treats, and knows what brownie-cravings are like. The novice baker shouldn’t be put off by the grand scope of this cookbook. Simply start reading it from the beginning, and let Bev Shaffer take you by the hand. She’s not lost sight of the fact that everyone has to start somewhere. An entire chapter is spent on baking basics, explained in friendly, understandable words. Even experienced bakers can certainly benefit from a review of the basics, and will probably pick up a new fact or two.
From there, we dive right into the goodies – starting with plain and simple brownies and classic recipes. Nearly every recipe features “Bev’s Bite”, a snippet of a helpful hint or bit of information.
Each chapter takes you through variations on a theme – whether it’s baking fruity brownies or dressing them up with elegant toppings, all the way to a chapter full of brownie pairings – ice creams, sorbets, sauces, and more.
Of course, my favorite chapter would be “Chocolate and Coffee, Anyone?” I’m quite pleased that the two best flavors on earth are given their due in ten creative recipes, including Chocolate Cappuccino Brownies with Coffee Frosting and Espresso Cheesecake Brownie Bars. Yum!
By the time you reach the chapter called “Brownies as Art: Dipped, Dunked, and Layered”, I suspect your willpower will be shattered and you’ll be lunging for the kitchen.
It’s a beautiful book with plenty of mouthwatering pictures and an attractive, easy to read layout.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to try my hand at some Chipotle brownies, and see if I can satisfy my dual cravings for spicy foods and chocolate in one fell swoop!
About the Author
Bev Shaffer is an author, food writer, and culinary instructor, as well as the director of Mustard Seed Market and Café Cooking Schools in Akron and Solon, Ohio. She is a columnist (“Ask Bev”) for the Cleveland Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine, and her weekly radio spot on Akron, Ohio’s WAKR’s “Morning Drive Time” program features quick and easy seasonal recipes with tips. A member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Chefs Collaborative, and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, Chef Shaffer is also a founding member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, Cleveland-Northeastern Ohio Chapter.