Gesine Bullock-Prado‘s Sugar Baby (Stewart, Tabori & Chang 2011) is not for babies. But it does have a catchy, even kiddy-like introduction:
Allow me to introduce my little friend, Sugar. Reader, meet Sugar. Sugar, meet Reader. I figured you’d have a few question before we get started, so:
And kids will like it. The cover has poofs of red, green and white cotton candy on sticks stuck in glass bottles and a stack of pink macaroons. The table of contents is one of my favorite parts. With a thermometer on the top, segmented from 230 F to 310 F, corresponding to the chapters listed below (in colors). It goes from Simple dissolve to Thread Stage to Soft Ball Stage and so on. It is bright and colorful and simple to understand – temperature is the most important thing when dealing with sugar.
“Curd is such an unfortunate word.” It is, in fact, a slather on scones, which has been transformed over the years into something much better. Sugar Baby‘s Lemon Curd (p. 42) is simple: the only ingredients are lemon juice, agave nectar, egg yolks, gelatin, butter, and zest. That is plenty for good lemon curd.
When I was old enough to baby sit, I didn’t do it for the money; I did it for the food.
Bittersweet Pudding Pops (p. 46) are rich with dark cocoa powder and heavy cream, a rift off of Jell-O Pudding Pops pilfered from the freezer when she baby sat, but much better. The photo by Tina Rupp shows rocket popsicles – rocketsicles? – with fun blue handles and dark chocolate slick pops. For spring, instead of traditional chocolate mousse, try Fruit Mousse (p. 51) made from mango puree.
Perhaps the funnest recipe in the whole book is the one for candy corn. Take a look at the terrific corn pieces, complete with orange, yellow, and white stripes. The head note can’t be beat for great candy writing:
My favorite Halloween costume was a death trap: seven feet of chicken wire slathered in papier mache, festooned in flammable white, orange and yellow paint, made mobile with four shimmery grocery cart wheels, equipped with a sticky trap door for candy deposits. (p. 66)
That costume, the envy of all the kids in her neighborhood, allowed her to collect gobs of candy – and later inspired this recipe.
Sugar Baby is a great book for older kids – but adults will need to guide and help them in kitchen since many of the recipes involve very hot sugar. This is a fun book to read and get inspired to think like a sugar-loving chef.
I absolutely cannot wait to buy this cookbook! I saw her on one of the morning shows this week, and she was a riot! So like her sister, you could tell! My teenage daughter will have a blast with this book! Thanks for your post!