Book Review: Sweet Revenge: Passive-Aggressive Desserts for Your Exes & Enemies by Heather Kim

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This is going to be a two-part review. I want to start by saying that I like this cookbook. It’s bright, it’s fun, it has interesting ingredients. The names of the recipes are great. “Kiss My Molasses” “You’re A Piece of Sheetcake” “TBH, You’re A Total D-Bagel” 
 
I laughed when I read, “In a big ‘ol mixing bowl beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy and you’ve expelled all your pent-up rage.”  
 
The part of me that enjoyed reading the cookbook is warring with the part of me that attempted to make two recipes. Part two of the review: Neither one worked. I wouldn’t call myself a “master” baker but I am proficient in the kitchen. I know my way around some good homemade bread, cakes, and cookies. I was up for the challenge this book presented. I made “You’re A Total Monster aka Cap’n Crunch Monster Cookies” and “You’re The Devil Food Cake.” 
 
“You’re A Total Monster aka” Cap’N Crunch Monster Cookies” have 19 ingredients. I had part of the list at home. The things I needed  I bought from Walmart:

Corn Syrup $4.46
Mini M&M’s $2.88
Mini Chocolate Chips $1.98
Butter $3.05 (calls for one cup)
Heavy cream $4.14
Graham crackers $3.00
Milk Powder $2.98
Nacho Cheese Dorito’s $3.98
Cap’n Crunch $2.98

 
I already had: sugar, brown sugar, 1 egg, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, baking
soda, salt, old-fashioned oats, and cornmeal
 
I spent 29.45 on the ingredients, and I bought store brand as much as possible to save on cost. 
 
So what went wrong? The ratio of wet to dry ingredients is way off. I had a huge bowl of oats and flour and the rest, and I had to mix it with scant wet ingredients of butter/egg/sugar/corn syrup/one tablespoon of cream. I realized after I purchased the milk powder it only called for one tablespoon. (What was the purpose…I still muse) What I ended up with was a dry, crumbly dough that did not want to stick together. At all. I baked the first batch for 18 minutes as recommended and they were dark and hard as rocks. I put more in and shortened the time to 16 minutes and out popped dark hard cookies. The third batch, 14 minutes, super hard cookies. Last batch, 12 minutes, after they cooled they were as hard as the 18-minute cookies. And I don’t mean crisp, I mean bang on the table and they don’t break, hard to bite into cookies. And all you could taste was the chocolate chips. The flavors of cereal and Doritos were missing. Even after a day, you ended up with a mouthful of dry cornmeal and chocolate chips.

 
The idea of this recipe is super fun. Cap’n Crunch, Doritos, M&M’s, oh my! But the result was not great. But forging on I said, eh, I’m going to make this cake, it sounds and looks amazing! “You’re The Devil Food Cake With Chocolate Frosting & Brownie-Streusel Crunch” 
 
This recipe is in three parts: cake, frosting, streusel. I had most of the ingredients for this recipe but still had to buy:

Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips $1.98
2 packs butter $6.10 (24 Tablespoons for the whole recipe)
Dark Chocolate Chips $2.73
Brownie Mix $.99
Cocoa Powder $3.18

 
I had: coffee, flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, eggs, milk, (the heavy cream from the cookies) more sugar, and oil. 
 
I spent 14.98 on the ingredients for this cake, and I bought store brand as much as possible to save on cost. 
 
So what went wrong? Everything, everything went wrong. The mix overflowed in this unexpectedly wild cake-explosion, the middles never cooked, the icing never set. I threw in the towel and didn’t make the brownie-streusel so I have no opinion on that. It took me a long time to assemble this cake, or I should say: the attempt to make this cake took up a huge chunk of Christmas cookie baking time with my family. Once again, the ratios seemed off as I was mixing and pouring (and praying). The icing was pure liquid, it looked like a ganache. The picture shows an iced cake and mentions nothing of ganache. What went wrongI asked as I shook my sticky fist at the sky. I stuck the icing in the fridge after it cooled and it hardened into a delicious, soft chocolate. One could use it to dip fruit, but not as icing on a cake. I had no cake to ice.

 
When I was buying the goods for the two recipes I also picked up:
Cake Flour $3.98
Cool Ranch Dorito’s $3.98
(to use with other recipes in the book)
 
I was (and maybe still will) going to make a couple more recipes. In total, I spent $52.39 on recipes that bombed so hard.

That’s the problem with this cookbook. It’s so cool, it looks like my teen and I would have the time of our lives whipping up these crazy cakes and cookies. The pictures in the book are great. The author is fun and engaging, there are “helpful tips” scattered throughout it. But I spent a ton of money trying to make TWO of the recipes in the book. I wanted this cookbook to be amazing, but the recipes need to be revised, they are not usable. Revenge is almost sweet.

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own

 

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