Cover image for Short & sweet : sophisticated desserts in no time at all
Short & sweet : sophisticated desserts in no time at all
Barnard, Melanie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, [1999]

Physical Description:
238 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX773 .B365 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Irresistibly simple and elegant desserts that can be made fewer than seven ingredients Some of the best desserts are also the simplest and the fastest. And with Short & Sweet, there's no reason for anyone to sacrifice dessert just because she's short on time. Delicious recipes include cool poached pears in wine syrup with shavings of chocolate, broiled peaches with a crunchy, buttery topping, a mound of ice cream melting under rivulets of warm caramel sauce, a feathery light blueberry cornbread. Melanie Barnard, a coauthor of "30-Minute Main Courses," the second most popular feature in Bon Appétit magazine, explains how to prepare quick desserts from scratch or cleverly take advantage of the many high-quality convenience products on the market. Whether it's a homey dessert like Brownie Thins or Peanut Butter Mousse or Hot Fudge Pudding Cake or an inventive creation like Raspberry White Chocolate Soufflé or an Apricot and Balsamic Cherry Sundae, all use seven ingredients or fewer ingredients and take less than half an hour to make.

Author Notes

Melanie Barnard is the coauthor of Bon Appetit's monthly column "30-Minute Main Courses." Her previous book, The American Medical Association Family Cookbook (with Brooke Dojny), won a James Beard Award. Barnard writes for many national magazines, including Family Circle, Woman's Day, Cook's Illustrated, and Gourmet. She lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, where she makes dessert for her family every single day.



Nutmeg Crumb Cake6 servings6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 large egg yolkPreheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick oil spray. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan or in a mixing bowl in a microwave oven. Stir in the flour, brown sugar, and nutmeg until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Measure out and reserve 1/2 cup of the crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk the baking soda into the buttermilk or yogurt, then whisk in the vanilla and egg yolk. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Spread the batter evenly in the pan, then sprinkle with the reserved 1/2 cup crumbs. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature on the day of baking. (The cake may be covered and frozen for up to 1 month.) Little Cheesecakes6 to 8 servings12 chocolate wafer cookies (about one-third of a 9-ounce package) 8 ounces cream cheese cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 large egg 1/2 cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, melted (optional)Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 6 to 8 (depending upon the depth) standard-sized cupcake cups with paper liners. Set a chocolate wafer in each cup. Crush the remaining cookies in a food processor, then remove from the work bowl and set aside. There's no need to wash the work bowl. Place the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg in it and process just until smooth and fluffy, about 20 seconds. For chocolate cheesecakes, add the melted chocolate and process just until blended in. Divide the batter among the cups. For marble cheesecakes, pour some of the chocolate on top of each cheesecake, then use a table knife to swirl the chocolate into the batter. Sprinkle the cheesecakes with the cookie crumbs. Bake until the cheesecakes are set and lightly colored on top, about 20 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then gently transfer the cups to a baking sheet and set in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before serving. (The cheesecakes can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.) Chocolate Thin Mint TrianglesMakes 32 large pieces12 ounces (2 cups) mint chocolate chips 6 ounces (1 cup) white chocolate chips 3-4 drops of green food coloring Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, allowing a 1-inch overhang on the sides. In a medium bowl set over simmering water or in a microwave oven, gently heat the mint chocolate chips until they are nearly melted (1 1/2 to 2 minutes in a microwave, stopping to stir once or twice). Remove from the heat and stir until completely melted and smooth. Spread half the melted chocolate evenly over the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate chips in the same way. Stir in enough food coloring so the mixture is mint green. Spread all the white chocolate over the layer of dark chocolate. Refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes. If the remaining dark chocolate has become too firm, heat gently to melt again. Spread the layer of dark chocolate over the white chocolate. Refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes. Use the foil to remove the candy from the pan. Peel off the foil, use a small knife to trim the edges evenly, then cut the candy into sixteen 2-inch squares. Cut each square in half to make 32 triangles. Cool to room temperature before serving. (The mints can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.) Excerpted from SHORT AND SWEET: 150 DESSERTS IN NO TIME AT ALL by Melanie Barnard, Ann Stratton (Photographer). Copyright 1999. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Short and Sweet: 150 Sophisticated Desserts in No Time at All by Melanie Barnard All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 11
The Short and Sweet Basic Pantryp. 13
The Secrets of Sweet Successp. 15
A Quick Chocolate Primerp. 18
Topping It Off: Whipped Cream Basicsp. 20
Cool Fruitsp. 23
Warm Fruitsp. 49
Frozen Dessertsp. 75
Fools, Mousses, and Cool Custardsp. 105
Puddings and Soufflesp. 129
Cookiesp. 149
Cakesp. 171
Tarts and Turnoversp. 199
Candyp. 215