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Sweet Chic: Stylish Treats to Dress Up for Any Occasion    by Rachel Schifter Thebault Amazon.com order for
Sweet Chic
by Rachel Schifter Thebault
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Rachel Schifter Thebault, author of Sweet Chic, is the owner and head confectioner of Tribeca Treats. Which must be a marvelous, mouth-watering place. As we like to accessorize our outfits, Thebault shows us how to accessorize our baking. And what baking it is! Of the highest order. But it will not diminish our budgets or our talents.

Thebault has developed recipes that can be used in several different ways. 'Take a base chocolate cake recipe and from that create anything from a traditional birthday cake to whimsical mini cupcakes to a romantic cake for two without having to stray from your comfortable cake recipe.' Works for me. She says that the cakes and icings in this book can be mixed and matched in over fifty delectable combinations.

She fills her introduction with good ideas on serving these treats as to proportion of serving sizes, for one and urges you to use your imagination when making your sweet treats. By the way, these recipes are designed for a range of skill levels.

Next come the basics. Like cake pans. Now, that's a given. Chocolate, yeah! Cocoa powder. Vanilla and other extracts. A cake turntable, ice cream scoops, brushes, and so on. Sounds like a lot to accumulate, but once you have them, you're all set. Nothing but your own hesitation can stop you. Go for it! Jump in with both feet.

There are some wonderful recipes. Try the Scooped Cookies recipe, which can be shaped by using an ice cream scoop. From the basic recipe, you can make Chocolate Chip Cookies Or White Chocolate Coconut Cookies. Or Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. (Now, we're talking.) Or the long-time favorite Snickerdoodle. We now range from Thumbprint Cookies to Vanilla Cookies to Chocolate Cookies to Brownies to Buttermilk Cookies to Graham Crackers all of these recipes are easily doable and edible, will be received with acclaim, and are made from a number of basic recipes. By the way, they look scrumptious.

On to Cakes. Again, we're using basic recipes to create wonderful pastry. For instance, the basic Devil's Food Cake recipe can be used for Mini S'mores Cupcakes, Rocky Road Cupcakes, Individual Mud Pies, Sweet-and-Salty Cake as well as Rich Chocolate Ganache Cake.

The same holds true with Vanilla Cake, Vanilla Icing, Cream Cheese Icing, Chocolate Icing, Swiss Buttercream. Section Three explains the ins and outs of Confections, with chocolate candies of all imaginings including Double Chocolate Truffles! I do believe I've gained a few pounds by simply reading this tantalizing new cookbook. And worth every ounce.

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