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Low-Fat Desserts - Sue Kreitzman

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Hardcover: 224 pages / Publisher: Piatkus Books / Published: 24 Sep 1998

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      08.02.2013 09:44
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      Innovative low-fat recipes of traditional meals, Cost effective and nutritous recipes.

      ~The Product ~ 'Getting The Low-Down'!~

      The book's foreword furnishes the reader with some information concerning Sue Kreitzman. The reader is informed that 'she lectures and demonstrates all around the country, and regularly appears on radio and television. She contributes to many national magazines and newspapers, including BBC Good Food, Woman's Own, Women's Realm, Living and the Mail On Sunday'. Noteworthy also is that this book counts as her 22nd book! But the aforementioned information is provided from the date of publishing this book, 1998!

      ~'Dare I Say'~

      Does Sue still write about healthy cooking techniques? I did some research and found a rather surprising answer!

      Posted on September 18, 2012: 'Sue Kreitzman...is an entrepreneur. Quite difficult to define her in a different way: she is a curator, a cook and an artist. "I am an expatriate New Yorker, living in London for many years. I've had a long and successful career as a food writer, but something happened in 1998 (I'm still not sure what) and I stopped writing and cooking, and began drawing, painting, and building assemblages instead. It was as if a violent fever had overtaken me (a fever which still rages), made all the more mysterious by the fact that I had never done such a thing before" .Sue, as a curator, is now launching a project called "Dare to Wear". DtW is a collective exhibition made by Wild Old Women, and a few Wild Old Men, revolving around the theme of adornment and fashion.'

      So there you have it, from cookery to very unusual innovative (not for me) fashion, 'At the gallery located at the London St. Pancras Church's Cript, you will find exaggerated depictions of jewelry and clothing. Talismans, amulets, superstition, story telling, psychological and spiritual armour, disguise, exuberance, weird joy, and - of course - art were the inspiration of this funny collection of items. Think over the top splashed in your face, think about unfettered flamboyance. Kitch, wild, unexpected, imagine a world where art is made to be enjoyed and ready to enter your everyday life. Wrap yourself in a festoon, adorn yourself, have fun. The same kind of fun the Wild Olds had in creating these objects/works of art'! http://theharlow.net/dare-to-wear/

      ~Slim Chance'! ~

      Not too soon, onto the book in question! The burgundy red with gold lettering hard covered book is protected by a very bright dust cover of white with bold red lettering noting the title. In a co-ordinating purple are the author's name, Sue Kreitzman, and the declaration from The Sunday Times Magazine, 'The undisputed queen of low-fat cookery'. There are three of the most delicious looking desserts pictured on the front cover, 'Yogurt and Ricotta Cram Berry Tart With apricot Glaze', 'Killer Chocolate Chestnut Layer Cake' and 'Meringue Layer Torte'. If you come across another book of the same author and title but a different cover design on Amazon, use their 'look inside' utility and you will see that, in fact, it is the same design as shown on my pictures below! The book contains 159 pages from 'Acknowledgments' to the 'Index'. No more than the size of a novel, the book fits neatly onto the book stand in my kitchen.

      Amazon states regarding this book, ''for many people a meal is not complete without dessert. If you are weight or health conscious, the options have been limited to yogurt or fruit. For dessert lovers everywhere Sue Kreitzman has developed and perfected a mouth-watering collection of 100 low-fat dessert recipes. Included are irresistible recipes for cheesecakes, chocolate cakes, tortes, roulades, trifles, tarts, ice cream, and puddings as well as low-fat sauces, fillings, and toppings...All the recipes are far healthier than the traditional fat laden versions, but no less tantalizing or satisfying. For example; traditional tiramisu contains a massive 602 calories and 42 grams of fat per serving, while Sue's recipe has only 154 calories and a mere 4 grams of fat'. I was looking forward to seeing if this hype was accurate :~)

      ~My Usage Experience ~ 'Being Low-Key'! ~

      This was a book I gave my youngest daughter. My daughters love to experiment with cookery and also love trying out recipes from interesting cookery books. This book recently came back to me as my daughter was having a clear out of her copious amounts of cook books.

      ~ Piece Of Cake'!~

      The first portion starting on page 17 of the book is entitled 'Cakes, Roullades and Teabreads'. Before the reader comes to the recipes, there are two pages dedicated to Sue's supporters in this venture, a very touching read that I enjoyed more than I thought I would! Next in line, is an 'Introduction' to the section. I found this eight page information so informative and beneficial in preparation for the cooking I would be engaging in from this delightful book. But I also found this to be very humorous to, as an example, Sue's declares, 'There is a prevailing notion that a low fat regime means austereity, meanness, boredom and an end to the sensual enjoyment of food. What piffle'! :~D

      The reader is taken through a wide list of ingredients, such as Oil and assorted cheeses, indicating various uses for these and noting ideas, indicating page numbers of recipes. I found such amazing and practical advice that really gave me 'food for thought', excuse the pun. Such as that relating to 'Non-reactive cookware', 'Cast-iron, tin and aluminium cookware will react with acid ingredients'. I knew this fact about aluminium and tin, but certainly not about cast-iron! We are recommended to use 'enamelled cast-iron, stainless steel or flame-proof glass, or cookware with a non-stick coating' instead. This portion of the book may seem a boring lengthy text even without illustrations, but, please, if you purchase this book, do not neglect this subject matter as it is both very useful and invaluable.

      ~Self-Torte! ~

      Chapter one, as I mentioned above, is entitled 'Cakes, Roullades and Teabreads'. The chapter affords some lovely variations of the traditional American classic Angel cake. Again, I was surprised as I thought the cake originated from the UK! I adore Tortes so I started with this recipe; entitled 'Raspberry Sandwich Torte'. Underneath every recipe in the book, the reader is given the calorie and fat content. But the fault I found with this is that the information is no bigger than size 8 fonts, not only is this far too small but it is against a black strip background. I found this both frustrating and impractical to observe with ease.

      Before the ingredients are noted for each recipe, there is a paragraph about the recipe, sometimes a little background history, other ideas given about the recipe's alternative ingredients and so forth. I really enjoy reading these brief introductions to the recipes as the author makes the reader feel as if she is chatting to you, much like a friend would while you prepare fun recipes together. The information is always relevant, interesting and educational. For an example, on the recipe I referred to as the one I tried first, part of the introductory paragraph reads, 'Chocolate and raspberries are fabulous together, so this would be equally good made using the chocolate sheet cake(see page 23). Why not try it with strawberries or blueberries for a change'. Because of these fresh ideas, I found myself writing such suggestions on memo notelets and sticking them on the advised pages.

      The ingredient's list and instructions to the recipes are very clear and the latter being arranged in a simple step by step numeral guide. Some of the recipes, as this one, have a 'note' located at the conclusion, this one records, and 'Grate the chocolate almost to a powder using the fine holes on a greater'. These little summaries have proved invaluable in enhancing the appearance and taste of the recipes. From this very first recipe, I have found these desserts to be accurate both in ingredient amounts and complimentary combinations, along with precise instructions that have really helped me avoid unnecessary mistakes!

      ~'Say Cheese'~

      The next chapter is on 'Cheesecakes'. The first picture one sees in this chapter is a full page closer than close-up of the 'Killer Chocolate Chestnut Layer Cake'! With four layers of chocolate cream filling, I couldn't believe this could be a 'low fat' celebration cake. The picture is taken as someone sprinkles soft, delicate snow like dustings of white icing sugar over the dessert. The large portion of cake sits upon a drizzle of poppy red smooth cherry jam glaze. The dark brown chocolate flakes sit proudly on the top of the cake with a few fallen peels located in the soft red ooze of jam. The bright crisom red background perfectly adds to the tasteful warmth and succulence of the photograph. I would need to wait until chapter seven to get to know my 'new best friend' a little closer! :~)

      The other side of this scrumptious looking photograph of the chocolate cake is a picture of the 'Yogurt and Ricotta Cream Berry Tart with Apricot Glaze', recipe that can be located on page 47. The tart looks like something out of Harrods bakery department. The observer can only see a very small area of orange background as the colourful dessert commands almost the entire page. With differing vivid shades of reds, purple blacks from the varied berries and a green sprig of leaf, the fruit looks so fresh and succulent. The glaze that adorns the finished product glistens on the fruit like delicate morning dew in a vine. The crumb amoretti base looks wonderful, with beautiful tones of shadowy browns, crimpled in gorgeous grooves that add a neat pattern to the tart.

      The chapter opens with a lengthy four page foreword consisting of some history of the author's, which are very humorous and you cannot help be drawn to Sue's endearing way of telling a story or anecdote. She goes onto give some brilliant advice on how to avoid 'pitfalls in classic cheesecake production' and goes onto 'walk' us through the 'potential problems'. This is so handy because the author shares her expertise on the kind of cookware to use. She also advises the reader on why the correct oven temperatures are crucial. I can be a little nonchalant in such matters so this portion of the chapter really helped me appreciate the importance of taking heed to such instructions.

      ~'The Big Cheese'~

      I decided on the 'Chocolate and Orange Cheesecake' in this brief chapter for my choice of dessert. I adore the combination of Chocolate and Orange so I felt that the taste would be scrumptious as a cheesecake recipe. The calorie count is 269 and fat content of 5g preserving. Quite a difference from the one Sue refers to in her Foreword, 'from Lindy's, the legendary Broadway restaurant, purveyor of cheesecakes and strudels, immortalised by Frank Loesser in Guys and Dolls'. This cheesecake contained 2 ½ lb. of full-fat cream cheese (80% fat)!'One slice (one twelfth) of a large cake contained 6oo calories and 47 grams of fat. Jane and Michael Stern described it in Good Food in 1983 as 'The richest dessert in history; pure edible ivory'! The dessert I was to prepare, though far more lower in calories and fat content, the author still notes as a 'seductive variation on the classic'! The crumb crust that was to be the base for this delicious dessert is located on page 140.

      On many of the recipes, the author directs the reader to a page to prepare a standard or basic base from another recipe. Added to this, even one of the 'filling' ingredients of 'oil and spray' I needed to turn to another page for! I can see the practicality of the formatting in this book for the author and publishers, but it isn't truly cook friendly. I did find this method a little exasperating. I like a recipe to be written in complete form, rather than having to turn to separate pages. When I am following a recipe, I have the cookery book resting open on the relevant page on my book stand. Turning pages often result in messy contact with the pages of the book as I attempt to turn the pages without getting any ingredients I am currently working with on the paper. Other than this rather annoying division of some of the recipes, the rest of the ingredient's and instructions for the fillings etc., are on the Dessert entitled page.

      The filling to this dessert contains low fat soft cheese which really helps keep the fat content down. But I was surprised at the sugar content, 11 ounces of caster sugar is used! But, spread out between the directed '14-16' servings the author recommends, the portion calorie and fat contents are accurate. Again, I found the instructions easy to follow, each step being carefully explained in straight forward terms. As I have found in many of the recipes, the author uses italics if there is an especially important instruction that is imperative to follow. For example, in this recipe, within the last stage of preparation, Sue states, 'refrigerate the cake in the tin for at least 5 hours before removing the side of the tin'. Then using italics to specify the necessity of this by saying 'This is very important; the cake may collapse if the 5-hour period is cut short'. You can be sure I followed her warning to the letter, with excellent results. I now realised why my previous attempts at certain desserts were left wanting. The recommendations, tips and advice are all there to help the reader succeed in the making of these delectable desserts.

      ~'No Trifling Matter'~

      Chapter three furnishes the reader with the varied desserts of 'Tiramisus, Trifles And Cream Desserts'. I cannot pin down, which I prefer more, Tiramisus or Trifles! The author's foreword to this section is only a brief three paragraphs but I found it so interesting to read. Many of the Dessert origins I had no idea of until reading the forewords to the chapters. 'Tiramisu began as the quintessential Mama's tonic for her poorly son', I refrained from passing this piece of information onto my son, he would only tease me that I had certainly not given him the best medicinal treatment after all! :~)

      The author furnishes the reader with an easy tip for a simple tiramisu, by just sprinkling 'the sponge fingers with coffee and liqueur, and smother with ricotta or a combination of quark and ricotta, or low-fat soft cheese and ricotta mixed in a food processor with a touch of icing sugar'. These uncomplicated tips really work but provide results that give the impression that so much effort has taken place in the preparation stages!

      ~' Seven Days Without Chocolate Makes One Weak'! ~

      I decided on the 'Chocolate Tiramisu' as the ingredients included the warming spirit of rum along with a choice of Amaretto or Tia Maria. Thankfully, this recipe was only situated on the one page (54) which meant I didn't need to turn to any other section and get chocolate over the pages of the book! :~) There are only 3 easy steps to this super quick dessert. The ingredients are all found in most grocery stores. I love that this rich dessert only has 217 calories. Tasting the finished product will surprise you; it almost feels like a slimmer's sin to indulge in what seems like a full fat dessert! The amalgamation of the alcoholic ingredients goes perfectly. You will never want a sponge that doesn't taste of this liqueur infusion again! :~)


      Chapter four is entitled 'Meringues'. The foreword is such a great guide 'for successful meringue making'. Sue provides just 5 directions, one of which I found invaluable! The ground rule located within part 3 notes, what may seem obvious but can explain so many failures concerning this dessert, 'All utensils must be spotlessly clean. The slightest speck of grease will prevent the whites from whisking into a meringue'. I have a tendency to use the same whisk that only moments before I used on one ingredient, then use for the next, thinking a little residue of the former wouldn't make a difference. I now know better!

      By the way, never know 'what on earth to do with all those left-over' egg yolks? Well the author presents economical ideas within a box at the conclusion of her foreword. She gives three ideas. The first one explains that feeding the cooked yolks to one's dog, is beneficial for a shiny coat. As 'dogs metabolise cholesterol differently from humans' they are not harmful to our pets. The second idea is to do with cosmetic usage but the third I will leave you to find out; an extraordinary idea I would never have imagined!

      Within this chapter, on page 65, there is another close up photograph of a dessert. The dessert in question is 'Fruit on Toast with Orange and Grapefruit segments and Winter Dried Fruit Compote. This dessert is located on page 78 and is in the next chapter, entitled ''Fruit Desserts'. Perhaps not as grand in imagery as the aforementioned photographs I have commented on but still colourful and appealing to the eyes. The fruit looks so fresh and zesty. Of Italian origin this idea of fruit on toast, presents 'a wonderfully warming, old fashioned type of fruit pudding' that can be made as simple or complicated as one wishes. A pretty apt dessert for our changeable weather!

      Now, the picture on the reverse side of this page instantly caught my attention! It is 'Orange-Scented Trifle, located on page 53, but called 'tiramisu' instead of 'trifle' for some reason I have no idea why! With differing shades of blue for the background, a wine shaped glass dish sits proudly on a shiny white side plate. The recipe states some variations the reader can alternate ingredients with. But the picture on page 64 shows a grapefruit coloured sponge base, orange segments, pure white creamy topping with a long curled peal of orange adorning the centre of the dessert along with two deep chocolate thin flakes. This picture really is so mouth-wateringly delicious!

      ~Mess About! ~

      I chose the dessert entitled 'Eton Mess' on page 68 as I had in mind to enjoy this with the grand-tots, avid fans of meringues. The preceding paragraph to the ingredient's list states 'If you have left-over meringues, crumble them and use them in this low-fat variation on a summer classic'. This recipe also notes a neat 'variation' at the base of the page, noting peaches as an alternative. I kept to the recipe of strawberries as the children are such fans of this sweet and juicy fruit. The addition of mild runny honey furnishes the dessert with a lovely mellow puree combined with the extracts of vanilla. The fromage frais gives this appetising dessert such a creamy texture that is simply, as the grand-tots describes, 'yummy'! At only 139 calories and 1g fat per portion, I can enjoy with no guilt :~)

      ~' Judge a tree from its fruit, not from its leaves' - Euripides~

      Chapter five gives us 'Fruit Desserts'. Sue's foreword to this chapter offers some amazing ideas to liven up the standard fruit dessert. For example, her suggestion of 'putting the flesh of a very ripe mango in a food processor with a carton of ricotta and a dash of vanilla extract..and process until perfectly smooth'. I have found such ideas as this of such benefit; I have avoided throwing away fruit I thought past its use!

      ~'Cut and Dried'! ~

      I tried the 'Winter Dried Fruit Compote' on page 88 of this chapter as I already had a large pack of dried mixed fruit in the cupboard. The author provides a very important comment underneath the title that prevented me making a mistake that would have ruined the dessert! She says 'don't use ready-to-eat (pre-soaked) fruit for any of the compotes, or they will turn to mush'. This is one of the real positives about this cook book, by furnishing the reader with these supplementary and invaluable tips, avoids unnecessary mistakes that cost time and money! I often substitute ingredients and even carry out short cuts in recipe instructions, but this author has revealed in this book why this method of cooking can be detrimental to the results.

      I loved making this dessert because it uses ingredients that are readily available in the store cupboard and has just three easy preparation steps. Furthermore, the compote only takes one hour in the oven! There is another note at the base of this recipe that gives a neat idea on a 'great compote', using prunes (very helpful if you need to get regular!), lemon Verbena tea and Honey Vanilla Cream. The recipe for this is noted on page 151 of the book.

      Unfortunately, yet again, the recipe for the 'Winter Dried Fruit Compote' is broken up to combine with another page much further ahead in the book! Although it is to do with the finishing touches on serving the finished compote, it made me feel irked that I had to keep going to and fro in the book.

      ~'Sunday Best'~

      Chapter six is entitled 'Ice Creams, Sorbets and Sundaes'. This chapter brought back some pretty moving memories for me. When my son was a tot, he suffered extreme eczema. I used to bake home-made wheat free bread, meals free from any unnatural additives etc., but I used to buy Sorbets as an alternative to ice-cream as a treat for my dear son. I was so excited to see Sorbets in the chapter as now I wanted to make one myself and present it to my son as a 'blast from the past' on foods he used to adore.

      Sue's foreword provided me with a great tip that saved me so much effort and time. All I had to do is gather together pieces of my favourite very ripe fruit, which again saved fruit that I would have considered throwing away feeling they were past their freshness. Making sure I kept the fruit collection separate from each other and freeze them using a baking sheet. I was then able to store them in my freezer ready for when I next needed the fruit chunks. Once I had a little free time to make some ice-cream, I just took the frozen assorted fruit pieces out of the freezer, popped them in the processor, I used one of the suggested alternatives of honey as a sweetener, along with the fromage frais, another alternative provided and processed for one minute. This is what I love about this book; I am provided with so many alternatives that I can personalize the desserts to my family's taste. Added to this, I always have at least one of the alternatives suggested already in store, making the dessert so economical for me. The instructions finish by directing the reader on how to complete the dessert in such a simplified and uncomplicated way. The large size 14 font presents easy on the eye formatting.

      There is a photograph on page 97 of this chapter which shows the finished product from the recipe 'Apple Clafoutis' on page 80 of the book. The observer is only shown a section of the dessert, but close-up! This dessert appears like a very puffy fruit filled pancake, a real comfort pie. The tiny cubes of apple are golden brown and tucked in beside the little chunks are dried fruit pieces that are varied shades of mulberry reds and browns. A beautiful Apricot glaze glistens over the fruit, with the brown crust looking to appetizing for words. The dessert is completed with a light dusting of icing sugar. The photograph makes the dessert look amazing. The green back ground compliments the golden bronzed apple content of the pie. It is here I would like to add of a little extra touch that the author adds to some of the pages in her book. Sue includes brief pieces of poetry, or in this case, Scriptural gems 'Comfort me with apples, for I am sick of love.' ~ Song Of Solomon. I love reading such thought- provoking text.

      The picture that is on the reverse side is of 'Chocolate and Raspberry and Cheesecake with fresh raspberries', a recipe taken from page 44 of the book. The back ground to the photograph is in rich olive greens. The Chocolate cheesecake looks delicious with its brown crispy oven cooked honey browns. A stainless steel fork is shown slicing off a section of the dessert as it delicately crumbles towards the white plate. A few fresh ripe velvety looking raspberries adorn the white plate alongside a sprig of lime green leaf. The photograph of this dessert is so appealing.

      ~'Go Bananas'~

      Instead of a sorbet, I actually tried the 'Banana and Ginger Ice Cream' first as the author describes it as 'the simplest banana ice cream in the world'. I had never made such desserts before so thought this would be a prudent way to begin. It isn't an ice-cream in the truest meaning of the word but certainly taste like one. I will add though, I was pretty miffed yet again, as the recipe notes the reader needs to turn to another page to get the recipe for the Mango sauce that was needed to serve. Aside from this, there are only two easy instructional notes to make the dessert. Thankfully, the alcoholic expensive spirits were optional so I didn't need to include these. Another real plus I found, that I was very happy about, is that the dessert only contains 138 calories and a smidgen of 0.5g of fat! I found that the banana content makes for a more filling dessert.

      ~'Virtual Chocolate'~

      Once I felt satisfied I could make the above dessert and it turned out fine, I went onto the sorbet I wanted to make my son. I chose the one on page 99, 'Chocolate Sorbet'. I giggled as I read the authors note on the page, 'no dairy products at all, and no whole chocolate, yet it has a breathtakingly dark chocolate depths that will strike you squarely in the center of your chocolate-loving heart'! The author personalizes the book throughout, making you feel you are reading a dear friend's correspondence, making you smile or outright laugh. I find this such a welcome change to the rather serious, almost studious types of cook books that array the book shelves in stores!

      There are only three simple ingredients to this sorbet, the chocolate content being provided by cocoa powder. The three simple steps had me annoyed with myself that I hadn't made this before. I could have saved myself money in the days when I experienced particular financial hardship. Um, if I think things are tough now, back then....Anyway, at last, now,my son received a home-prepared sorbet from his Ma :~)

      ~How many calories are there in a piece of chocolate? Who cares'! ~

      Chapter seven is dedicated to 'Chocolate Desserts'. Sue's foreword again had me chuckling as she observes 'A life without chocolate just doesn't seem complete somehow. The is something about its dark, smooth, naughty richness that administers to a need deep within the recesses of our souls....forgive me! Every time I write about chocolate, I go all funny and strangely metaphysical. I have no idea what I'm talking about; I just know I love it, I want it, and I need it'! You just gotta love this woman. I find that she brings real character to a cook book, not to mention fun and a whimsicality all good cook books should have in copious amounts!

      ~"What use are cartridges in battle? I always carry chocolate instead."~

      I chose the 'Microwave Chocolate Pudding or Spread' as I felt this would be a lovely recipe for my grand-children. The grand-tots love chocolate spread and I wanted to impress them with Nanny's own produced one! Under fifteen minutes a scrumptious chocolate spread was ready to store in the fridge. Not that it mattered to the grand-tots, but at only 152 calories and 2g of fat, this spread gives the more expensive and high fat brands a run for their money!

      ~'The Proof Is In The Pudding'! ~

      The eighth chapter is on 'Old-Fashioned Puddings'. Sue brings traditional beloved puddings up-to-date, with 'a little booze here and there'! I feel that Apricots can be understated and not truly valued for their wonderful nutritional value and taste so I couldn't wait to try the 'Apricot Bread and Unbutter Pudding' on page 120. What pleasantly surprised me was reading that there are only 185 calories and 2g of fat in each portion. Although these particular versions of puddings are truly low in fat content, they certainly deliver a marvellously sweet comfort based dessert! I found this dessert a most agreeable alternative to the more heavily textured puddings of yesteryear. Another advantage I find in making such puddings is that I can use up bread that may have ended up wasted. The three straightforward steps to making this pudding are so easy. I found that the six to eight serving allowance noted is accurate and provides a moist sumptuous and filling tasty dessert.

      ~' Marge, it's 3 AM. Shouldn't you be baking'? ~ Homer Simpson~

      Only one paragraph is given in the author's foreword to this chapter. But, Sue furnishes the reader with some valid thought-provoking points on over consumption! The penultimate picture to the book is located within this chapter nine and shows the observer a photograph of 'Sweet Potato and Ginger Custard Torte with Mango and Cranberry Compote', recipe detailed on page 86 and 87 of the book. No shortcuts are taken in this photograph; another close up of a colourful dessert adorns the page. A dusty sky blue lilac background compliments the warm tones of glazed ruby red cranberries and moist burnt orange and yellow shades of the ginger custard filling. The brown crumble crust looks so moist and oozes with mouthwatering appeal to the eyes. A couple of the shiny cranberries combined with a tiny portion of the filling finishes the scene as it lays invitingly on the white plate.

      The photograph on the reverse of this picture looks fun and very contemporized. The 'Meringue Layer Torte filled with Amaretto Cherry Cheesecake Mousse and stones, halved cherries macerated in Amaretto di Saronno', seems to me the longest entitled dessert I have ever come across! The recipe can be found on page 63 of the book. The small amount of background is a most beautiful candied ice cream deep pink. The dessert is tilted and looks rather like one of those elaborate hats ladies wear at Ascot! I love the glimpse of the white swirly thin grooved plate that is in keeping with the look of the desert's playfulness. Three flat round meringues are separated with the thick pink pebbled filling along with copious amounts of crimson red shiny cherries. Three full cherries with roots and a couple of pale green sprig leaves adorn the center of the top meringue delightfully.

      ~ 'Cherry Picking'~

      I chose the 'chocolate-Cherry Trifle' for my first recipe in this category, a full 414 calories in each portion! The good thing about this rich dessert is that it only has 2g of fat so I excused the calorie content without guilt! :~) This is a real celebration of a dessert as it has a serving value of 10. I love that it only has five easily accessible ingredients and four instructions to make this delectable trifle. I took the author's advice and chilled in the fridge overnight as opposed to during the day. It takes several hours to set and by making it the day before, it takes the pressure off me when I entertain friends and family as I only then need to concentrate on the main courses for that day. There are alternatives given for this trifle and all of the suggestions really do present a 'trifle extravaganza to feed a crowd'!

      ~'Back To Basics'! ~

      So, here we are the final chapter! All the primary recipes required throughout this book are in chapter ten. There is crumb and pie crust recipes, sauces, purees and creams. I love the 'Ginger Cream' recipe at only 32 calories, but be warned, it does have an arguably 18g of fat! Pages 157-159 contain the comprehensive index listing. Unfortunately, alike the calorie and content details, but a little larger, in an 11 font size, is the rather small text. A picture of the author adorns the inner leaf of the back dust cover, with notes about Sue and some other cook book titles she has published.

      ~'Foregone Conclusion'! ~

      I continue to return to this book on many occasions for innovative and fun recipes. I tend to stick to certain tried and tested favourites that have been a success in the family.

      ~Positive Thinking'~

      There are many pros that I have found in this low fat cook book. I find this book affords a wide range of desserts, many of which are traditional but up-dated to provide a healthier substitute, but nonetheless flavorsome. I have found the accuracy of the ingredient combinations, variations, tip, suggestions, measurements and instructions spot on.

      The author's method of writing forewords and supplementary notes are humorous and personalizes the book making it a pleasure to read. The book is sprinkled with snippets of poetry and more that add a cultured flavour to the pages. The fragment of historical pieces that delve into the interesting origins of the author and the desserts she contemporizes is an extra delight to read.

      ~'Negative Performance'~

      I have now placed colour coordinated tabs that combine recipes that are separated but need to be combined, thus avoiding touching the pages and chancing messy fingers from ingredients contaminating the paper. Unfortunately there are only eight beautiful colour photographic images to this book which I find disappointing as I love to see the author's results of what a specific dessert is supposed to look like! The smaller text depicting important information such as the calorie and fat content I find very impractical.

      ~Would I recommend? ~ 'Lie Low'!~

      Yes, I most certainly do recommend this book. Even although it is now been over fourteen years since being published, the book is as current for cooks today. Sue has provided such innovative aspects to traditional recipes that the book will be practical for years to come. As I have noted in the section dealing with negatives that coincides with comments I have made in my review, there are some irksome down sides in the book's formatting but with a little bit of initiative, this can be overcome. Furthermore, there are also a few desserts that seem to dispute the 'low-fat' title of the book. Although, when the servings are sectioned off, care can be taken to lessen the amount of negative fats.

      Overall, this book is a professionally written, humorous and thought-provoking take on the process of making desserts that are both incredibly tasty and fills the senses with delight. I love the quotes and random text that are sprinkled on the pages of the recipes here and there. Sue makes simple on desserts that I would have deserted otherwise! :~)

      The recipes can be varied to make them more elaborate or family-friendly. I love that the author furnishes so many labour saving, cost effective ideas. Sue furnishes us with a nostalgic look at the past within the cook's kitchen and provided amazing adaptations of those scary 'high-fat originals'. The inner dust cover leaf of this book explains that the contents include 'a treasure trove of more than 100 luxurious recipes', concluding with, 'So now you can have your cake and eat it'! Ditto :~)

      The book is currently available online, but Amazon is currently selling new and used for under £2


      Thank you for taking the time to read my review on Sue Kreitzman's Low-Fat Desserts. :~)


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