Review by: Liz Williams
$25, The Taunton Press
I am one of those people born without a serious sweet tooth. I enjoy a sweet treat, but given a choice between another piece of fried chicken or a piece of pie, I will probably choose the chicken. Given this handicap, a sweets cookbook had better be damn good to get my attention.
Despite a reference to N’Awlins (one of my pet peeves) I was charmed by this personal book. Guas manages to be traditional, nostalgic, and modern. And the book doesn’t dumb down recipes for the home cook. For example, the éclair recipe instructs the cook to use a pastry bag. It even allows the cook to use his or her own judgment in filling the éclairs. I appreciate that.
The instructions are clear, but the writing is sassy and personal. This is David’s experience of New Orleans, not the generic version. And when he deviates from tradition, he owns it.
My favorite recipe is the Double Chocolate Bread Pudding with Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce. I love the idea of using leftover king cake in a bread pudding – why not? The caramel sauce is easy to make and delicious.
His king cake recipe is traditional, as is the pecan pie. His Chocolate Cupped Cakes with Coffee and Chicory are marvelous and modern. For a person who isn’t naturally a sweets lover, this book is one from which I will actually cook. Cane Syrup Snaps with hot sauce. I love it!