By Alice Medrich
(Artisan Publishers, Hardcover, 9781579652111, 262pp.)
Publication Date: September 2007
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When you are working with great ingredients, you want to keep it simple. You don't want to blur flavor by overcomplicating. This is why "Pure Dessert," from the beloved Alice Medrich, offers the simplest of recipes, using the fewest ingredients in the most interesting ways. There are no glazes, fillings, or frostings--just dessert at its purest, most elemental, and most flavorful.
Alice deftly takes us places we haven't been, using, for example, whole grains, usually reserved for breads, to bring a lovely nutty quality to cookies and strawberry shortcake. Pound cake takes on a new identity with a touch of olive oil and sherry. Unexpected cheeses make divine souffles. Chestnut flour and walnuts virtually transform meringue. Varietal honeys and raw sugars infuse ice creams and sherbets with delectable new flavor.
Inspired choices of ingredients are at the heart of this collection of entirely new recipes: sesame brittle ice cream, corn-flour tuiles with tangy sea salt and a warming bite of black pepper, honey caramels, strawberries with single-malt sabayon.
To witness Alice's idea-stream as she describes how she arrived at each combination is to instantly understand why three of her books have won Best Cookbook of the Year. She's an experimenter, tinkerer, and sleuth, fascinated with trial and error, with the effects of small changes in recipes, exploring combinations tirelessly and making remarkable discoveries. Does cold cream or hot cream do a better job coaxing out the flavor of mint leaves or rose petals? Why is it that dusting a warm brownie with spices gives it an enticing aromatic nose, whereas putting the spice in the batter blurs the chocolate flavor? Do cooked strawberries or raw make for the better sorbet?
Loaded with advice and novel suggestions, with great recipes and eye-catching, full-color photographs that show off these simple, straightforward desserts, "Pure Dessert" is an education and a revelation. Thank you, Alice