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Sweet and Vicious

Libbie Summers is not your run-of-the-mill cook. Growing up, she was the kind of child who dunked her potato chips into chocolate syrup to see if it might taste good (it does). That insatiable curiosity – and sweet tooth – stuck with her throughout her career as a chef and food stylist, and that is what fueled this book. Sweet and Vicious is all about exploring new taste sensations in the realm of baking. It is a no-holds-barred approach to baking outside the box, crazy, brilliant combinations. Savoury and spicy flavours come into play often, such as in Habanero Carrot Cake, Fig and Pig Pie, and Mojito Cookies. Other times, the innovation comes in the form of a cooking method or serving presentation borrowed from another side of the kitchen. In this category are Mexican Chocolate Cugs (cake baked in mugs), Dutch Oven Muffins, and Grilled Lemon Cake. There’s also a healthy dose of humour sprinkled around – with recipes like Gingerbread Working Girls, Bad-Ass Pie Dough, and Bucket Cake.

Essential to the philosophy is that sweets are supposed to be over the top, that there is no point in firing up the oven if you are not making something so good it hurts. So butter and sugar are dispensed with abandon, portions are ample, and serving style is always easygoing. No calorie counters, vegans, picky eaters, just-one-bite-for-me, hold-the-sauce readers allowed.

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