Sweet Chic Brings Sophistication to the Dessert Table
Ya’ know that one dessert you always make for potluck dinners and take to every dinner party because everyone raves about it? Yeah, that one. Well, everyone doesn’t want to tell you, but they’re tired of it. There’s only so much dump cake, fruit cocktail cake, tiramisu, Rice Krispies Treats, and banana pudding that people can tolerate. While these homemade standards may bring raves, after a while they seem more homely than homey. Even brownies and cupcakes are starting to get stale, if you know what I mean. With a forward by Isaac Mizrahi, Rachel Schifter Thebault (owner and head confectioner, Tribeca Treats) delights with a classy little book that brings elegance to the dessert table, Sweet Chic: Stylish Treats to Dress Up for Any Occasion. Within its pages, Thebault introduces the basics and then offers suggestions on how to upgrade them to elegant.
The philosophy behind Sweet Chic is that a basic, such as a white t-shirt or a little black dress, offers the opportunity for individualization with accessories. Therefore Thebault gives basic recipes, along with variations that will give them style. Thus vanilla cookie dough can be accessorized to become more sophisticated and terribly tempting “Strawberry ‘Shortcakes’.” There are brownies, and then there is the “Brownie Sundae Parfait” which requires only three additional ingredients.
Despite the sophistication of the Sweet Chic treats, many are surprisingly easy to prepare. Recipes are arranged in order of difficulty, and beginners will find that many are unthreatening. They will, in fact, encourage bakers to advance to more difficult recipes. Thebault also offers encouragement—to personalize and accessorize, mix and match, as suits one’s taste and the events at which the desserts will appear. She also provides readers with an introduction to techniques and kitchen basics.
Sweet Chic is lavishly illustrated with photographs of most recipes, and although it may feel like it does, looking will not add pounds to the thighs. For cooks who want to expand their skills, it is a fantastic addition to the cookbook library or a very special gift.