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Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted April 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Best Chocolate Things Come In Small Packages

    The best things come in small packages. In the case of "Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers," the best chocolate things come in small packages. Author Debby Maugans perfected the art of baking for one or two people in her first book, "Small Batch Baking." Realizing that the average recipe produced a larger quantity of the end product than a single person, or couple may want to eat, or be able to finish she revised recipes so that the serving sizes were more appropriate for one or two people. A pretty smart idea in and of itself. Being the professed chocoholic she is, Maugans saw a need for a small-batch cookbook for chocolate lovers. And thank goodness she did! In the introduction to the book she explains that her go-to dessert choice is always something with chocolate. I couldn't agree more. Out at a restaurant I always go for chocolate desserts over any others. Often I won't have a dessert if there is nothing with chocolate in it. I, too, love chocolate and I know that I'm not alone. This is a book I'll use often. Smartly so, Maugans begins the book with a chapter called "Small-Batch Chocolate Baking Know-How" which explains everything you need to know to start small-batch baking. From the equipment needed, to ingredients and measuring techniques, to storage of ingredients, it's all spelled out. Then the fun really begins. The chapters unfold from cakes and cupcakes; to pies, tarts, and cheesecakes; to puddings and soufflés; to muffins, scones, shortcakes, and loaves; to desserts that are "better with chocolate"; to holiday desserts, and finally liquid pleasures. I'd say the gamut of possibilities is well-covered. I knew Maugans was a serious chocolate lover in the chapter titled "Better with Chocolate" in which she takes desserts that are normally not made with chocolate and adds it. Cinnamon rolls with chocolate rolled up with the nuts and cinnamon sugar. Baklava with chocolate in the nut filling. A good chocolate chip cookie recipe is worth its weight in gold -- I mean, chocolate. Maugans' recipe for "Simply the Best Small-Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies" is so good it might be the best small or large batch recipe around. Soft, gooey, super-chocolatey deliciousness, (yield 8 cookies). Other recipes I tried and loved were Classic Chocolate Cake, (yield 2 cakes, or 4 cupcakes); Chocolate Decadence Cheesecakes (yield 2 cheesecakes); Ultimate Brownies (yield 3 brownies), and Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Bread (Maugans is right, chocolate added to banana bread is a revelation) (yield 1 loaf, 4 or 5 slices). There are plenty more I want to try including several recipes for ice cream cakes. One comment re the yields, Maugans uses recycled tin cans such as 8 oz., 14.5 oz., and 15 oz. tomato sauce, or bean cans in the cakes recipes hence the yield of 2 small, single-serving sized cakes. She has a few other tricks like this to make small-batch baking work. If you live alone, or are a couple, and don't want to make desserts that yield enough for a family of six -- and you love chocolate -- then "Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers" is for you.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2011

    Great for Portion Control

    This is is a fun cookbook for singles, couples, or someone who wants to enjoy a treat while exercising portion control. With a focus on chocolate desserts, most of the recipes serve one or two people and are simple to make. The only consideration is that of needing smaller baking dishes such as ramekins, single-serve oven-proof dishes, etc.

    What I liked about this cookbook is that despite the cuteness factor of smaller treats that might remind one of a child's tea party, the recipes are simply downsized from the full-size versions of desserts such as Chocolate Raspberry Cake, Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies, Chocolate Derby Pecan Tarts, and Mississippi Mud Bars, to name just a few. Nothing is sacrificed in taste.

    I'm old enough to remember the fad of baking quick breads and cakes in recycled food and coffee cans. The author brings that back in this book because a 15 oz. can is perfect for creating smaller cakes and breads.

    There are really no negatives about this book except that, for me personally, if I'm going to mix ingredients, heat up the oven, and clean up afterwards, I'd rather do more than a serving or two because it pretty much takes as much time to bake one or two dozen cookies as it does three single ones. But, if one doesn't want leftovers to avoid the temptation to over-indulge on dessert, or for those times when there isn't enough flour, sugar, etc. left in the pantry for a full-size dessert, then the small-batch concept is great.

    I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    Get the printed version!

    I bought this e-book with high expectations and was sorely disappointed. If my purpose was to read this cookbook like a romance novel it would be fine. However, if one wants to use it as an actual cookbook -- FORGET IT! Although the recipes are wonderful, and Ms. Maugans' explanations are clear and expressive, the e-book falls short of usefulness. There is an interactive Table of Contents that is standard with the NookColor, but there is no index, interactive or not, in the book so one can quickly locate recipes. Sure, once a recipe is tried it can be bookmarked for easy reference, but what if one is looking for something new to try? In order to locate a new recipe, one has to peruse through every page of an entire chapter to see what choices are available. If nothing strikes one's fancy in that chapter, it must be done again and again in however many chapters one will take the time to investigate. And, sin of all sin's -- NONE of the pictures referenced in the author's acknowledgements are to be found in this e-book! What in the world is the point of having NookColor if B&N doesn't provide what is in color within a book? The cover is lovely, but that is all the photographs in Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers one is going to see. Therefore, I recommend that you do not bother buying this e-book for your Nook -- Color or otherwise. Get the printed copy so you can make notes in it, easily find new recipes, and see pictures of what the final outcome should be. Very disappointing!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    Excellent source for small batch baking recipes!

    I liked her last book on small batch baking but this one is even better! The authur gives lots of advise, has a slight change in her approach to small batch baking and offers some killer chocolate recipes. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to downsize their baking.

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    Posted March 10, 2011

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    Posted July 13, 2011

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    Posted July 28, 2011

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    Posted March 10, 2011

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