Do you know what I love about the title of Alice Medrich's Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts? The "sin" part of it is the ease, not the sugar.

Cooking columnist Sybil Pratt loves Medrich's style, too: "To prove that desserts can be delicious, sophisticated, luxurious, even decadent, without being complicated, she offers an array of forgiving, flexible, fabulously flavorful recipes, doable when time is short and skills are not professionally honed."

No stress, all goodness.

Plums in Brandied Coffee Syrup

Serves 4 to 6

These are heavenly—rich tasting with a velvety texture. Serve with a little mascarpone or with mini scoops of vanilla ice cream after an elegant meal. Or spoon them around a serving of Fresh Ginger Gingerbread.


  • 2 cups strong coffee (not espresso)

  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar, or more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons brandy

  • 1 ¾ to 2 pounds prune plums, halved and pitted (5 to 6 cups)


Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, turning the plums gently once or twice, until just tender. Taste and add sugar to balance the flavor if necessary. Serve hot, warm, or chilled. The plums keep in the refrigerator for at least a week.

Excerpted from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich (Artisan Books). Copyright 2012. Photographs by San Ang. Read our review of this book.

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