I was sold on this book the moment I read the title. With a name like Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth, how could any dessert-lover resist?
The book has 75 recipes divided into four chapters: chocolate, puddings, cakes/cookies/pies and over-the-top treats. The recipes seem to be skewed to the chocolate chapter and all are named with the same creativity that went into the title of the book. For instance, we are given “Heart of Darkness Brownies” instead of just brownies (the food that is really the embodiment of “sticky, chewy, messy and gooey when made well) and “Outrageously Thick Spanish Hot Chocolate” instead of just cocoa. Many of the plainer (for lack of a better word) recipes are given with accompaniments, that take the sweet from a good dessert to an amazing dessert course. Churros accompany the Spanish hot chocolate and Cinnamon Pound Cake Croutons pair with the chocolate soup. A number of frostings, glazes and sauces accompany many of the other recipes, as well.
Instruction-wise, the recipes are easy to read and seem to be equally easy to follow. It’s nice to see some serving suggestions presented within the scope of the book as well because that is the kind of thing that a home baker will extend to other recipes, other cookbooks (making brownies into brownie sundaes, for example). There are several pages of tips on how to best use and prepare ingredients (chocolate, nuts, etc) at the beginning of the book to try and ensure you get the best results possible, and there are many mouthwatering photos throughout to motivate you to get cooking. And to get eating, once your creations are out of the oven.