Picture this: It's Friday night. You've been stuck on the freeway for over an hour and when you finally race through the door, you only have 15 minutes before your dinner guests arrive. Do you:
a) panic and call for Chinese Take-Out
b) smile because you planned ahead, or
c) paint your face with red dots and claim you've come down with the measles.
Well, of course you said "b"—or didn't you? If you planned ahead you would have done the whole meal in advance, having cooked a crockpot coq au vin on low heat all day, prepared a tangy salad dressing with pre-washed greens, and purchased some crusty artisanal bread for sopping up that wonderfully rich wine sauce. There's one other thing you would have done: you would have baked and frozen an incredibly sinful Magnificent Five-Layer Chocolate Buttercream Cake that will stun your guests into believing you either bought it or played hooky that day to make it. On the other hand, if that seems too formal, you may decide to serve those decadent Chocolate Hazelnut Volcanoes you made last month...
Now, with Eleanor Klivans' Bake & Freeze Chocolate Desserts you are no longer relegated to serving store-bought cookies and ice cream for dessert. Not being much of a baker myself, I found the 30 pages preceding the 120 recipes to be extremely handy and instructional. Not every dessert may be made now and enjoyed later, and Klivens walks us through the criteria for making the best freeze-able desserts and techniques for storing them.
Here are a few of Klivens' Bake & Freeze tips, but the book contains many more suggestions for ensuring your frozen dessert will taste as good as the day you made it. The author explains which desserts are the best to freeze, how long they'll last frozen, and exactly what happens when a dessert freezes and thaws. She also includes a well-organized list of equipment and pantry items useful for making these desserts.
To give you a sample, too, of the quality of these desserts, we've included some sample recipes for you to try in your own home. with the busy holiday season upon us, these may be just the thing to make this Sunday afternoon for serving at your Christmas Eve dinner. (Don't forget to leave a piece out for Santa when you do.)
Bake and Freeze Chocolate Desserts
by Elinor Klivans
Broadway Books, $27.50
306 pages; 1997
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