Brian Levy

Good & Sweet

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ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: Los Angeles Times, Serious Eats

Groundbreaking recipes for real desserts—sweetened entirely by fruit and other natural, unexpectedly sweet ingredients—from a pastry cook who’s worked at acclaimed restaurants in New York and France.


Brian Levy spent years making pastries the traditional way, with loads of refined sugar and white flour, at distinguished restaurants, inns, and private homes in the United States and Europe. But he discovered another world of desserts—one that few bakers have explored—where there’s no need for cane sugar or coconut sugar, for maple syrup or honey, or for anything like stevia. When Levy succeeded in making a perfect mango custard, harnessing only the natural sweetness of fruit with no added sugar, it was a breakthrough that inspired years of experimentation converting other desserts into nutritious indulgences.

In Good & Sweet, Levy stretches this experiment across 100 recipes that ingeniously deploy fruit (dried, juiced, and fresh), nuts, grains, dairy, and fermented products to create sweet treats whose flavor is enriched by whole-food, feel-good ingredients. Every recipe offers substitutions for dietary restrictions and includes a flavorful sweetener that exceeds cane sugar, from freeze-dried sweet corn to coconut cream and apple cider. A Pistachio-Studded Peach Galette gets its wings from fresh fruit, dried apricots, and orange juice; chestnuts, golden raisins, and dried apples perform a pas de trois in Chestnut Ricotta Ice Cream; and dates, milk powder, and a touch of miso paste make for a dense, caramely Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake. With sweets like these—ones that nudge you toward mindful eating but don’t compromise flavor—you’ll never have to give up dessert.
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