Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth,
New Orleans Style
by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel
Beignets, Bananas Foster, Lemon Icebox Pie, Red Velvet Cake, Salted Caramels and Syrup-Soaked SnoBalls are just a few of the 50 recipes in DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style, the debut cookbook by New Orleans-bred pastry chef David Guas and food writer Raquel Pelzel. Food & Wine magazine chose it as one of the best dessert books of 2009.
Here is just a taste of what you will find inside some of the chapters:
- Classic New Orleans Desserts features Buttermilk Beignets from Cafe du Monde, Bananas Foster from Brennan's, Double Chocolate Bread Pudding with Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce and King Cake, the signature dish of Mardi Gras.
- Pies, Tarts, Cobblers & Crisps includes recipes like Great Aunt Patty's Fried Apple Pie, Nana's Banana Bread, David's Black & Blue Crumble or his Lemon Icebox Pie inspired by the stellar version at Clancy's restaurant.
- Cakes in All Shapes presents Red Velvet Cake, Lemon Doberge Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake, Ponchatoula Strawberry & Brown Butter Shortcake, and Gateau de Sirop.
- Puddings & Cup Custards emphasize David's father's Latin side and his mother's Louisiana roots, with recipes like Vanilla Bean Pudding, Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafer Crumble, Mahatma Rice Pudding, Café au Lait Crème Brulee and Old Fashioned Chocolate Pudding.
- Ices, Ice Creams & Frozen Confections highlights Watermelon Granita-Topped Sno-Balls, Straight Up Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and Brandy Milk Punch Ice Cream.
- Curds, Jams & Preserves offers fruit to put up for nearly every season, from late winter and spring's strawberries to summer blueberries, fall figs, and winter lemons. Try Ponchatoula Strawberry Jam, Lemon Curd, or Red Pepper Jelly. David also includes a recipe for proper Southern Biscuits.
In DamGoodSweet, bits of New Orleans history are revealed, like:
- From the mid-19th century, New Orleans was a major port of entry for bananas. Bananas Foster was invented in 1951 by chef Paul Blange at Brennan's.
- The G.H. Leidenheimer Baking Company has been baking New Orlean's signature French bread for more than one hundred years.
- January 6, also known as Twelfth Night, marks the beginning of New Orleans' Carnival celebrations and the start of King Cake season. King Cake is to Mardi Gras what pumpkin pie is to Thanksgiving.
- Hubig's Pies (Say it HYOU-bigs)—The Simon Hubig Pie Company makes more than 30,000 hand-size pies a day. Made with a from-scratch piecrust and filled with seasonal and mostly local fruit like cherries, peaches, sweet potatoes, lemon and apple, they're a beloved staple of school kids, truck drivers, and legislators alike—heck, even long-term overnighters at the Orleans Parish Jail are fans.
- Doberge cake is the birthday cake of New Orleans.
- New Orleans Roasters—The port of New Orleans has been a site of international trade since 1718, with the first coffee shipments coming from Cuba and the Caribbean soon after. By the 1840s, the port was the largest importer of coffee after New York City, and nearly 250,000 tons of green coffee beans come through the port every year.
- SNO-BALLS (Not Snowballs)—The first sno-ball stand opened in New Orleans in the 1930s.
- Cane syrup is to Louisiana what maple syrup is to Vermont. Sweeter and less bitter than molasses, cane syrup has been produced by Steen's since 1910.
- Brunch in New Orleans is sacred. It's all about eggs, a quarter-pound of jumbo lump crab meat, and buttery hollandaise—all accompanied by a spiked libation on the side, like a Sazerac, a Ramos gin fizz, an absinthe frappe, or brandy milk punch. These are the cocktails to order in the land where many believe the cocktail was invented.
- Louisiana grows the finest, sweetest, and most delicious strawberries in the town of Ponchatoula, about 1 hour north of New Orleans and officially known as the "Strawberry Capital of the World."
- The Birth of Pralines: The story goes that a New Orleanian gentleman was visiting Paris on business, ate a praline, and fell in love with it. He brought some home and asked his head cook to replicate them. Instead of making them with almonds, the cook made them with native Louisiana pecans and that was that—the praline was born.
- The Roman Candy Man—Ron Kotteman is the Roman Candy Man. He started helping his grandfather with the Roman candy business when he was just 14 years old. In 1971, he took over the business and has been hand-pulling chocolate-, strawberry-, and vanilla-flavored taffy ever since. And he has kept up the long-standing tradition of selling the candy out of the candy man cart. Although his long-time mule and compatriot, Patsy, sadly passed on in the fall of 2008, Ron now pulls the cart with his pick-up truck and rings the bell to let people know he's there. Long live the candy man!
About the Authors
David Guas owns DamGoodSweet, a D.C.-based consulting company, and assists restaurants and restaurant groups in creating dessert menus and recipe development, among other things. He is the former Executive Pastry Chef for Acadiana, Ceiba, DC Coast, and Tenpenh restaurants in downtown D.C. David's recipes have been featured in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Cooking Light, and Chocolatier, among others. He is also a frequent guest on the Today Show. David lives in northern Virginia.
Raquel Pelzel is a cookbook author and food and travel journalist. She is the author of New Flavors for Desserts, and the coauthor of Two Dudes, One Pan; Simply Delicioso; and American Masala. A former Cook's Illustrated editor, Raquel's work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Saveur, Fine Cooking, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn. She lives in Brooklyn.
Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style
- by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel
- The Taunton Press 2009
- Hardcover; 176 pages; $25.00
- ISBN: 1600851185
- ISBN-13: 978-1-60085-118-6
- Information provided by the publisher.
Buy DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style
This page created July 2010