Book review: The New Sugar and Spice by Samantha Seneviratne

the new sugar and spice

The New Sugar and Spice by Samantha Seneviratne
Publisher: Ten Speed Press (September 2015)
Genre: Cookbook
Pages: 240 (80 recipes)

Nomnomnom! A dessert cookbook up for review this time. In The New Sugar and Spice author Samantha Seneviratne delivers 80 delicious recipes, that use more than just sugar to taste good. She acknowledges the problems that come from sugar. Addiction, over-eating, she does not shy away from them. Instead it encouraged her to find a new way. Keep making delicious desserts, but using other flavourings instead of merely sugar.

She talks a lot about her own life, and especially about her brother, who passed away. We are brought into their childhood and find out that food played both a connecting and a disruptive role (especially for the best pieces of brownie). Not just between the chapters, but also before each recipe do we find a short personal story.

The chapters are subdivided by spice, there is ‘Peppercorn & Chile’, ‘Cinnamon’, ‘Nutmeg’, ‘Clove & Cardamom’, ‘Vanilla’, ‘Ginger’ and ‘Savory Herbs & Spices’. I loved most of these chapters, though I kinda feel that recipes with cinnamon and vanilla don’t add too much to the idea of this book. Everyone already uses them for baking, maybe switch them for some less well-known spices?

Not all the recipes have pictures, that is a pity. I know this is always my comment with cookbooks, but I honestly don’t understand why they leave the pictures out. They are the most important parts of the book, selling the recipes, making people salivating by just flipping through the pages. Especially, when there are, like in this book, a lot of additional photos of cutlery, scenery and ingredients, I would have preferred more recipe photos.

The author mentions in the introduction that she is aware of the dangers of sugar and wants to use spices instead. Her recipes are quite fat, sugary and not that healthy at all. I don’t think they are healthier than the ones in any random dessert cookbook. Maybe she cut out some sugar, but most recipes still ask for a significant amount of it. Not that I mind, but it’s a bit weird to alert people to the problem and then do (almost) nothing about it. I do think that once you start using more spices, you can decrease the amount of sugar that is used in the recipes.

This cookbook does make me hungry! Every time I look at the variety of recipes, I feel like making something new! So if you’re ready to cut down on sugar, but not on delicious desserts, this is the book for you.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

*** I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review ***

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