Book review: Sugar Rush (cookbook)

“Wow!” was my first thought as I opened Sugar Rush by Johnny Iuzzini.  I kept thinking it as I flipped through the pages, reading the recipes.  First, the photos are amazing – they’re full color close ups of mouth-watering sweets.  You will be hard pressed to find pages without color photos.  There are some, but this book is packed with pictures.

The sections in the book start with a few pages going over a technique.  Then, the following pages include recipes that use that particular technique in various ways to create different treats.  The technique pages include photos and descriptions for the various steps.

I was completely bowled over by how complete this book seemed.  It covered everything from mousse to donuts to creme brulee to crepes to homemade marshmallows to meringues.  I could go on and on.  Here’s where I have to admit that I haven’t actually made any of the recipes.  I usually make at least 1-2 recipes from cookbooks before writing a review, but unfortunately, I decided to cut desserts from my diet between the time I requested this book and the time it arrived (we’ll see how long I last, but you probably aren’t interested in that).  The instructions were easy to follow, even for more challenging recipes like Kouign-Amann (where the preparation is similar to that of croissant dough).  This cookbook covered everything from simple desserts to more complex ones that you order from a fancy bakery because you are too afraid to try them on your own.

If I had to offer a criticism for this book, it’s that you do need a bit of equipment.  If you are a serious baker, you weigh out all your ingredients like the flour.  If you fall into the other category, like me, you pull out your measuring cups and spoons.  I’m sure that it makes a difference because the amounts are actually off, but for the most part, my laziness as a cook wins out over dirtying extra bowls and the extra time it takes for the weighing of ingredients.  I haven’t had any complaints about my desserts so my laziness will probably continue to win out.  Also, in some recipes the author calls for active dry yeast and in others he calls for fresh yeast.  Again, if you’re not a serious baker, you probably only have the active dry yeast at home.  It would have been nice if he had included the conversion in his recipes.  For those who are interested, 1 tsp of fresh yeast = 1/2 tsp of active dry yeast = 1/3 tsp of instant yeast.

If you like to bake or want to try some new dessert recipes, this is an excellent book.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books for my honest review.