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Desserts that Have Killed Better Men Than Me    by Jeremy Jackson Amazon.com order for
Desserts that Have Killed Better Men Than Me
by Jeremy Jackson
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2004 (2004)

* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Not too long ago, I reviewed Jeremy Jackson's Cornbread Book. I thought that the man must be kidding. How could he write a whole book on Cornbread? Well, he did and did it well. I ate my thoughts as well as some of the results of his wonderful recipes. When I saw this new effort, I had to delve into it. Wow! What recipes! Forget the New Year's resolutions. Kick over the low calorie idea. Treat yourself now and again to some of the most amazing desserts you have ever been privileged to put in your mouth. Liven your taste buds and go for it. Though, as Julia Child said, 'Everything in moderation.' Jackson informs us that he lost five pounds while writing this cookbook by figuring the desserts into his diet - so it can be done.

Apparently the title came to the author from nowhere and of course he just had to write a cookbook to go with it. He claims that 'the basic idea behind the title is that all the desserts in the book are so good they're dangerous. They're knockouts. Lethal, in some instances.' He's (excuse the pun) dead on. Be sure to read the Introduction, if for no other reason than to have a good laugh. Smile, then move on to Ingredients and segue into Equipment. The first dessert incorporates my most cherished foods fruits. Peaches, Blueberries and Almonds En Papillote. Divine. How about combining tea and fruit? Earl Grey Applesauce! Any cheesecake devotee must try Three-Lemon Cheesecake. How about Orange and Chocolate Chiffon Pie? I looove rhubarb and here's a great recipe for it - Hanging-Crust Rhubarb Cobbler. Or there's Blackberry Oatmeal Pie, which the author likes to eat in his pajamas because it is so easy and unassuming. Chocolate Sinkholes sounds decidedly, deliciously decadent.

On a different level, but just as good, we have Whole Wheat Poppy Seed Cake. Jackson calls his Indispensable Chocolate Torte the 'little black dress of the dessert world.' How about the ultimate (combining two popular flavors) Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake? Scrumptious. When I was a kid (back in the dark ages) my favorite of my mother's cakes was orange with orange icing. A taste of the past until now. This cookbook has Orange Drop Cookies. I may cry. Soft and silky Mocha Mousse Wafers 'don't contain a lick of flour.' Mint Leaf Ice Cream looks good enough to give it a try, as does Lemon Custard Ice Cream. Then there are the Uncategorizable Desserts. 'Think of them as so original they defy convention.' Apple-Pumpkin Bagel Pudding certainly qualifies for that title. Jackson finishes with a flourish with Basic Recipes like Easy Tart Dough and Galette Dough. For the sake of space, I've skipped over many mouth-watering desserts - you'll just have to get your own book.

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