Everyone likes desserts, even chefs known for their more savory dishes, like Michel Richard. His book, Sweet Magic: Easy Recipes for Delectable Desserts, is filled with recipes for all kinds of desserts, from American-style brownies to richer, traditionally French desserts.
The book is divided up into only a few sections, which might seem as though it would make it difficult to find a particular recipe on a particular topic. This might be the case if you’re simply thumbing through the pages for random inspiration, but the fun part of this cookbook is in the writing that accompanies each of the recipes. They describe what makes each dessert special to the chef – or what might make it especially good to you. The text makes the cookbook read almost like a storybook, so it is enjoyable to read from start to finish for pure entertainment, as well as for dessert inspiration. The recipes are very well written, with detailed instructions, and are easy to follow along with. They range from fairly complex, to fairly simply – and even a few tips for making great things in the microwave, which you probably wouldn’t expect from a French chef!
The only things you might miss in this cookbook are the photographs that add color and mouthwatering illustrations of dishes in so many cookbooks these days. There are few illustrations in here and they are just that: illustrations. This does add to the character of the book and makes for lovely overall presentation, but it is nice to see those photos – especially for some of the more unusual desserts that you might not already have a clear picture of in your mind. Otherwise, the book is easy to use and a lack of photos isn’t going to stop you from picking out dishes you want to make as you read through.
What do you think?