I love cookbooks that offer innovation, inspiring me to play with flavors that I don’t use very often or to use ingredients in new ways. But most of the time, I’m not looking to make the most exotic recipe I can. Instead, I’m looking to make the most delicious and that often means sticking with classic, familiar flavors and simply amping them up. In Flavorful: 150 Irresistible Desserts in All-Time Favorite Flavors, you’ll find a cookbook that is packed with recipes that use classic flavors as bases, but turn them into unforgettable desserts.
The book defines nine classic flavors and devotes a chapter to each: Vanilla, Berries, Apple, Citrus, Sweet Cheese, Nuts, Caramel, Coffee and Chocolate. Every recipe aims to include as much of each key flavor as possible. That means you’ll see lots of vanilla beans called for in the vanilla chapter, as well as a recipe for homemade vanilla extract, and lots of fresh citrus juice and zest in the Citrus chapter. The idea is that “simple” recipes shouldn’t be boring and, since these flavors are beloved for a reason, you should do all you can to make them great. The recipes are very well written and easy to follow along with. The simple techniques used in the book – vanilla bean in a vanilla pudding or shortbread, toasting nuts, using better quality chocolate – will improve the flavor of other recipes that you make, even old standbys.
The book is easy to work with and likely to be the type of book that you find yourself turning to on a regular basis. The flavors are familiar and the execution is on-point. There are quite a few pictures of the finished recipes and, while not every recipe is accompanied by a photograph, there are enough to get your imagination working.