Yep, stuck on a tiny Maine island with chocolate. Chocolate for breakfast, chocolate with your roast chicken. Chocolate pudding. Chocolate just for instance. Let the wind blow and ferry and mailboat stop running. All you need is this book plus a supply of chocolate, preferably bittersweet, a stove and the usual flour, sugar, butter, spices, the ingredients most provident islanders have in their pantries, and you can reemerge with the crocuses next spring in a blissed-out cocoa haze. There are worse things.

But wait! There’s more. Kate Shaffer includes her recipes for fabulous desserts, and also baked goods like Orange-Scented Chocolate-Espresso Cinnamon Buns that she serves in her café, plus directions for tempering chocolate so that it behaves while you make candies out of it, in case you are insane enough to try to approximate her famous Black Dinah Chocolates or even attempt the truffle recipes she shares. She treats us to tales of island life, too, like a hair-raising one involving chickens and a hawk, and a philosophical essay on how tempering chocolate and attending town meeting are remarkably similar.

Oh, the pictures. The pictures are that irresistible sort that get you closer to the food than you would in real life, unless you were willing to eat something you had stuck your nose on. I look at the pictures and I want to lick the page.

The cookbook begins with a chocolate primer: all about chocolate, where it comes from, and how it is made into something we can cook with. She describes, step-by-step, how to work with it and even has a problem-solving section where imaginary people who sound a lot like me say things like, “My ganache is still gooey,” and then she tells you what to do about that. There are instructions for basic items like homemade strawberry and raspberry purees and caramel sauce. It seems to me that the caramel sauce recipe alone might be worth the price of the book.

Now a few years ago, a friend of mine said that if she got three or four recipes she really liked out of a newly acquired cookbook, she was pretty happy. I suppose it is too much to hope for that we’d adore all the recipes in this book, and some frankly, don’t particularly appeal to me. And they don’t have to.

So what recipes in Desserted are going to get spattered up at my house with splashes of melted chocolate, sprinkles of sugar and flour and butter stains? Well, the caramel sauce for one. Chocolate Gingerbread Pancakes, even though eating chocolate for breakfast is for me a bit like having whiskey at coffee break. Chocolate Dipped Molasses Cookies, the same that garnish the book’s cover. The Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding, I think, would taste best if eaten in a tubful of hot water just before beddy-bye.

I might get brave enough to attempt a truffle recipe and the Black Dinah Chocolate Tiramisu. I’ll probably try the chocolate sorbet, but I’ll leave out the ancho chili powder. (So sorry, Kate, but I just can’t feature hot stuff in my sweet stuff.) I hate deep-dish fat frying, but if someone wanted to make the Ricotta Doughnut Holes to dip into Orange-Scented Dipping Chocolate, I’d be over in a heartbeat.

What an inspiration Kate Shaffer and her Black Dinah Chocolates, named for a mountain on Isle au Haut, are for us islanders who ponder insular entrepreneurial efforts. Her cookbook is generous in its recipe sharing. It will make a welcome Christmas present. Give it with some homemade truffles from pages in the 40s. (If they end up with a whitish haze all over them, Kate tells you what to do about it on page 33.)