Today’s TBT Cookbook Review is a tip of the hat to Kim Laidlaw. There is only one problem with Kim: she doesn’t write enough books. This one, Dessert of the Day, is from 2013 and she did, to her credit and to your good service, release Everyday Slow Cooking in 2018. This Dessert of the Day book is one to keep at your side. Every day. The 365 recipes here — she does not apparently believe in Leap Year — give you a vast range of dessert ideas. Organized by month you’ll surely find some late August surprise for yourself. Or you can sneak into September! Kim won’t mind and you’ll be thrilled. She has a Mississippi Mud Pie listed for September 27. Go ahead. Cheat.
Here’s the original review:
It’s Saturday and this is the week’s third cookbook review featuring California author Kim Laidlaw. Why the emphasis? It’s simple. Kim has released three cookbooks in just over the past year. I’ve already posted reviews for Home Baked Comforts and Quick Slow Cooking. This is the oldest of the trio, published in late 2013, but it’s a book you can use now, every day now. Literally, every day.
The subtitle explains it all: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year. The book is organized into twelve chapters, one for each month, and each day has its own recipe honed to sweet indulgence by Kim. She does follow the calendar over the course of the year, suggesting which fruits, for example, work best as the seasons progress. You’ll find fruits, cakes, chocolate, and cheese delights sprinkled day-by-day.
Kim’s recipes range from the elevated simple to the elegant. The elevated simple ones include a basic chocolate cake and some variations on brownies, brownies augmented with nuts or mint. The more elegant ideas abound as the sample recipes below dramatically illustrate.
Now, you can follow Kim’s careful navigation by the month and season, or you can barge ahead regardless of time and temperature. Pick your flavor and you’ll find treats to satisfy that intensely growing craving in your brain and tummy:
Apple Brandy Crepes
Italian Apple and Pine Nut Torte
Apricot and Raspberry Crumble
Poached Apricots with Rose Water
Banana Bread Pudding with Brandy Sauce
Banana Chocolate Crepes with Toasted Hazelnuts
Caramelized Bananas with Rum and Coconut Cream
Hazelnut Meringues with Blackberries and Cream
Lemon-Blueberry Drizzle Cake
Bing Cherry Cobbler
Olive Oil Cake with Cherry Compote
Grilled Bananas with Pecans and Chocolate
Chocolate Chip-Pecan Bars
Coconut Custard Pie
Sticky Rice with Mango and Coconut Cream
Lime Curd Barfs with Coconut Crust
Cranberry Chess Tart
Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
And that, folks, is only A-C. There is much more in D-Y. [Yeah, Kim does not have dessert for the letter Z, but I think that is the sole deficiency in this dessert encyclopedia!]
Kim’s favorite room is the kitchen where she admits you’ll find her dense with flour on her apron and hands. Her dessert knowledge is extensive and on full display in this book. There are dessert ideas here from around the world: cookies, cakes, pies, tropical, fruity, cheese-based. There is a significant range, too, in the complexity of the recipes. Need something quick? The Blueberry Fool is a ten-minute solution to that “dessert now” mandate. Do you have time to prepare something spectacular? There is the Summer Berry Pudding with Cinnamon Cream that really does need a few hours for challah slices to meld with blue, black, and raspberries.
There are a couple of ways to use Dessert of the Day. You can be a tad obsessive and start on January 1 working your way day by day. Me? I’m going to leave the book right in my kitchen. Suzen and I can visit our farmers markets and return with whatever look yummy. Then it’s easy to open up Dessert of the Day to find a recipe by flavor, as I suggested above. No, Suzen and I cannot buy chocolate at our farmers market, so I guess we’ll be opening up Dessert of the Day just anytime we return from the store, any store.
Right away, tomorrow, I’ll post a recipe from Dessert of the Day, then treat you to a couple more over the new few weeks. Everything looks deliciously good in this book. All 365 of them.
The book is filled with photos by Erin Kunkel, photos that send you straight to the kitchen. Take a savory look at this Spiced-Pear Tart Tartin: