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Book Review: Sweet

December 2017/January 2018 Issue
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Desserts From London’s Ottolenghi
By Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh
(Ten Speed Press; $35)

Yotam Ottolenghi, the Israeli-British chef and best-selling cookbook author, started his culinary career as a pastry chef, so perhaps Sweet, his new dessert cookbook, is overdue. (In fact, it was in the works for years.) Co-written with pastry chef Helen Goh, a longtime Ottolenghi collaborator, the book celebrates all things, well, sweet: cookies, cakes, cheesecakes, candies, frozen desserts.

If you’re familiar with Ottolenghi’s previous books, you won’t be surprised to find that Sweet is also filled with intriguing, unexpected flavor-forward combinations like Hot Chocolate and Lime Pudding and embraces international influences as in Tahini and Halva Brownies as well as Pistachio and Rose Water Semolina Cake. Readers on this side of the pond will have a chance to discover a world of British treats—Victoria sponge, sticky pudding, posset (a kind of custard), and knickerbocker glory (that’s an ice cream sundae served in a tall glass). Ottolenghi, who is now a columnist for the New York Times, includes some American-inspired recipes as well, such as Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies and the so-worth-the-effort Chocolate and Peanut Butter S’Mores. You’ll need a metric-friendly scale to get the most from these recipes, but that’s a small price to pay to get to enjoy a slice of (Double) Chocolate Banana Cheesecake.

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