Coffee & Dessert on The Coastside – Time Captured
In front of me is a beautiful, large-format, stylish coffee-table book named Coffee & Dessert on the Coastside. Author P.H. Chow claims exceptional photography and exclusive dessert recipes, her two passions. Alas, it didn’t live up to expectations in photography and disappoints in the baking department. Many of the photos are beautiful but not exceptional—they are striking by their size: full page or double spread. They mostly fall short of being photographically artistic; in fact, many are simply well-manipulated and enlarged snapshots. But the true let-down are the recipe sections. They are simple basic recipes mostly such as brownies, chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, scones, with a few more sophisticated items. Chow claims in the introduction that the ingredients are listed “in order of use.” She forgot this promise as the ingredient listings are almost random (a cookbook editor would’ve corrected this). The instructions are ambiguous, missing steps, even wrong, serving sizes are missing and the head notes are uninteresting and not informative. For some, the recipe layout is poor where instructions continue on overleaf pages. But the recipe illustrations are beautiful. There is no index; essential in a cookbook.
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