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I've never been to Nashville, but when I get there, I know where I'm heading for dessert, even if I have to wait in line to be seated. The Loveless Cafe (named after the first owners) has been a go-to spot since it opened its doors in 1951. In 2004, Alisa Huntsman came onboard as the baking queen of the cafe, and in her Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe she tells you how you can bake her signature sweet treats at home.
From its raspberry red and robin's egg blue color scheme to the beautiful photographs, Desserts invites you to pull up a kitchen chair and start dreaming of your next baking adventure. Unlike many restaurant cookbooks, this one has a comfortable, down-home feel, which is telegraphed by the simplicity of the cover photograph. Look at that red velvet cake on its vintage cake stand! I'm sure I could re-create both the dessert and the presentation.
Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe will soon be a batter-splattered, well-used cookbook in my house. Pretty much every single recipe looks tasty and easy to make, and the variety promises the perfect dessert no matter what the occasion or season.
The categories are classic (such as pies, cakes, crisps, and puddings), but the choices will appeal to the most modern of bakers. Besides the rich heaven that is Root Beer Float Cake, you'll also find plenty of seasonal fruit pies and cobblers as well as snack-type desserts, such as thin, buttery Coconut Chews.
The ingredients are easy to find at the grocery store, but just in case, Huntsman provides a short list of sources. The recipe directions are numbered and detail each step, including tests for determining doneness and ideas for serving. Even the recipes with the longest titles, like Biscuit Pudding with Drunken Caramel Sauce, are broken down into just a handful of easy-to-follow instructions.
Home bakers will appreciate the extras that Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe offers. Throughout, Huntsman includes tips, general information, and interesting facts about the Loveless Cafe. Thanks to the well-constructed index and chapter tables of contents, it's a snap to find your next dessert, whether you search by ingredient, category, or title. (Note: photo was scanned from p. 99 of the cookbook.)
After reading the introduction to the cookie chapter, I started gathering the ingredients for the One-Bowl Brownie Drops:
What can't a good cookie do? It staves off hunger, it's perfectly portable, and, crumbs be damned, you can even sneak one or two into your pocket. Put out a plate of cookies in any room, and it will demonstrate a gravitational pull that rivals celestial bodies. (p. 160)I plan on baking later in the weekend; I'll let you know how they turned out.
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Source: review (see review policy).
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