cover image Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence

Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence

Claire Saffitz. Clarkson Potter, $35 (368p) ISBN 978-1-984826-96-1

“I wrote this book to celebrate and defend my love of desserts,” writes Saffitz, pastry chef and host of Bon Appétit’s Gourmet Makes YouTube show, in her exceptional debut cookbook. Chapters are divided into types of baked goods, such as pies and tarts, and bars and cookies, and the recipes are thoughtfully organized by their difficulty level: in loaf cakes and single-layer cakes, for example, one of the “very easy” recipes is almond butter banana bread, and toward the end of the section is a recipe for a pineapple and pecan upside-down cake of “moderate” difficulty. Novices in particular will appreciate the helpful footnotes Saffitz shares; for instance, when baking a tarte tatin, she writes: “Very firm, fresh apples could take twice as long to soften than... apples from the supermarket,” and for her buckwheat blueberry skillet pancake, she explains that cooking a third of the batter before adding the rest “creates a platform for the berries, so they don’t sink to the bottom.” But it’s not all confections, and Saffitz devotes a valuable chapter to savory recipes, such as caramelized endive galette and pull-apart sour cream and chive rolls. This should become a go-to reference for any home baker. (Oct.)