by Sybil PrattSeptember 2007
Many dessert cookbooks come my way, but few have grabbed my attention like Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert: True Flavors, Inspiring Ingredients, and Simple Recipes. Medrich is a dessert maker's dessert maker. These recipes are elegantly uncomplicated, the techniques and ingredients intensely considered indeed, this is a cookbook devoted to and driven by ingredients. Medrich is determined to infuse the dessert repertoire with new and better ingredients fresh delicate cheeses, novel grains, great chocolate, herbs, spices and spirits while keeping each recipe superbly simple, an eloquent expression of its defining ingredient and totally doable in a home kitchen. You can't help but be tempted to try something brand-new or an innovative take on a classic: tender-textured golden Kamut shortbread, made with a nutty-flavored, more nutritious ancestor of wheat; sour cream ice cream topped with raw sugar toffee sauce; Nibby buckwheat butter cookies with bits of roasted cocoa beans; very tangy lemon bars; new bittersweet brownies made with 70 percent bittersweet chocolate, sheer bliss for chocoholics; and a trio of silky panna cottas flavored with saffron, honey or jasmine. You'll get your just desserts and more in these 150 recipes, illustrated with 45 gorgeous, full-color photos.