My cooking expertise is very broad and my results are generally excellent. I do not, however, spend much time with desserts except for a few heirloom recipes from my grandmothers. When I had the opportunity to review this book, I grabbed it hoping to find a few recipes worth a try. I was not disappointed. In fact, I had difficulty deciding which of the tantalizing recipes to make.
I did not want 18 of the same type, so I chose two recipes that both called for yellow cake mix, but I opened white cake mix by mistake. I exercised my culinary license and made the yellow cake recipes using white cake. I still got yummy results.
I chose Pineapple Upside Down and Orange Poppy Seed. One recipe called for three eggs and the other one only two. So I split the difference — beat three eggs and then dumped out what I imagined to be half of an egg. I added in the dry cake mix and blended it very well. I got two bowls of dough going — one for each of the recipes — by dividing the batter in half. I followed the directions and added the additional ingredients to each bowl.
Both recipes made nine cupcakes (a total of 18). I had some of the Pineapple Upside Down batter left over, which I divided between two mini loaf pans. The pineapple and brown sugar on the bottom took up space so the batter went further. After baking, I added the maraschino cherries on top and pumped on a little whipped cream. I did not bother with icing on the Orange Poppy Seed because my advance sampling revealed they already tasted great without the extra calories.
I do not think that I could make any of the recipes in only 10 minutes, as the title claims. And for cooks with less well-stocked kitchens, many of the recipes have out of the ordinary ingredients — dark brown sugar, heavy cream, shredded coconut, poppy seeds, ginger, raspberries, and several different flavor extracts. My grocery store happened to have extracts on sale for only $2.00, so I bought four kinds for future bakes. Complete directions also are lacking for certain recipes, but common sense should carry ordinary cooks through the process.