The blog title is a line from a Michael McDonald song, but this post is not about Mr. Soulful Voice – it’s all about Sweet Freedom, an awesome cookbook by the very talented Ms. Ricki Heller from the blog Diet, Dessert and Dogs.
This isn’t really a cookbook review; instead, it’s more like a showcase of a few of the fabulous recipes that I have tried and loved. Writing cookbook reviews makes me feel like a snob. I didn’t make all these treats since my last post, I’ve been collecting them for a while. What do you think I am, a big glutton? Maybe a little glutton!
The recipe calls for fresh mixed berries, but all we had were frozen berries which worked wonderfully anyway. The thawed berries were extra juicy, and the juice began to fraternize with the smooth Pastry Cream filling which made every bite downright heavenly.
If you think that sounds good, then go grab a bib before you hear what I scooped on top of it…
This is a fairly involved recipe, but the whippy deliciousness is totally worth the effort. I messed up a little because I thought it would be a good idea to keep it in the freezer while I took the photos of the tart. The fridge is plenty cold to keep it perfectly perfect though. However, if I hadn’t done kept it in the freezer I never would have known how good it is slightly, barely frozen!
My super photography lights started to make the cream soften on top of the tart as I took the pictures, which made it even better!
The ganache filling was so easy to make it was ridiculous. Something so good should take lots of effort and be incredibly time consuming. Not that I’m complaining.
I had mine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. I should have taken the picture before the ice-cream gluttony impulse, but c’est la vie.
Next up are the Banana Chocolate Chip Mini-Loaves. Ricki, you had me at mini-loaves! I have a thing for tiny breads, just like I prefer cupcakes to cakes, I’ll take mini-loaves over a big one any day. These were amazing, and I’m not usually a big banana-in-baked-goodies fan. You can substitute nuts or sunflower seeds for the chocolate chips, so I used half chocolate chips and half chopped walnuts. Do you like Mr. Wing-It’s banana split dish? Very appropriate for this picture, I thought.
And last but not least are the Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudgies of love. They were a breeze to make and they are so so good! I forgot to add chunky peanut butter to our shopping list and all I had was the creamy kind, but I figured it would be just fine to shell some peanuts (we always have peanuts for the squirrels and the Blue Jays), chop them up a little and add them to the dough. Sure, that would have worked… had I remembered to add the chopped peanuts to the dough! Doh! What an airhead! They were delicious even with the smooth peanut butter.
I wanted to bake and photograph the Ultra Fudgy Brownies too, but my tummy hasn’t felt too happy these past few days. There’s always next time!
Sweet Freedom is on sale at the special price of $25 (shipping included!) until December 1st. Ricki will even sign your copy! It would be the perfect gift for a loved one on these Holidays. Call now and we will include this amazing, one of a kind… er… sorry… I went all infomercial host on you there. Anyway, you can find more info on Ricki’s website. The book could be yours by Christmas! Signed, sealed, delivered! :)