Cook the Book: 'Bite-Size Desserts'


Here's a familiar scenario: You are sitting at a restaurant with a group of friends just finishing a satisfying meal. Your entrees have all been cleared and the waiter approaches with dessert menus. Panic strikes, eyes dart around the table, everyone is full but dessert is appealing. It's no longer a matter of hunger—it's purely dessert curiosity. Clearly everyone at the table is dying to read the dessert menu but nobody wants to ask. Then the inevitable conversation starts:

"I don't know, I'm pretty full...I really shouldn't."

But then, hopefully, someone chirps up, "Well, I guess we'll take a look."

As waiter and a diner, I've realized that once the menu exchanges hands, dessert is always ordered. Pastry chef Carole Bloom has solved part of this dessert dilemma with her new book, Bite-Size Desserts, where the desserts are portioned into one or two bite-sized pieces. All of the recipes are easy to divide between several people who claim to want just a nibble of something sweet. Bite-Size Desserts finally eliminates all of that tricky cake-slicing geometry.

Small plates and tapas-style dining has been fashionable for a while, and dessert tasting menus are starting to pop up as well. Bloom has done all of us dessert lovers a favor by penning a baking book that makes individual restaurant-style desserts accessible to home cooks. With Bite-Size Desserts, you don't have to fret over deciding between the chocolate mousse or the berry cobbler—you can make a small batch of each and everyone can have a taste of everything.

Win 'Bite-Size Desserts'

This week's Cook the Book is all about sweets. Every day this week we be sharing a tiny dessert recipe from Bite-Size Desserts. Here are some of the bite-sized desserts that are going to be featured: Mini Pistachio Tea Cakes, Salted Caramel-Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles, Spiced Buttermilk Doughnut Holes, Nectarine and Walnut Galettes, and Cardamom Pots de Creme.

Thanks to the good folks over at Wiley Publishing, we are giving away five (5) copies of Bite-Sized Desserts this week. All you have to do is tell us about your favorite sweet or savory bite-sized treat in the comments section below.

Five (5) people will be chosen at random among the eligible comments below. We're sorry, but entry is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Comments will close Monday, August 24 at noon ET. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.