Three Quarters of a Baker's Dozen

Three Quarters of a Baker's Dozen

Desserts: Mediterranean Flavors, California Style

by Cindy Mushet

Scribner, 347 pp., $30

Former Bay Area pastry chef and cooking teacher Cindy Mushet calls Los Angeles home these days and her first major cookbook reflects the influence that Mediterranean flavors have on California cuisine of late. With similar climates, both areas offer a huge palette of flavors and textures to the dessert baker, and Mushet has done a superlative job of bringing the two together. This book arrived the same week a friend had returned from Turkey with a gift basket of herbs, pistachios, dates, and apricots so I began testing recipes immediately. I loved the Pistachio Layer Cake With Nougat Cream, the Pistachio and Apricot Baklava, the Mascarpone-Stuffed Dates, and Tiropetes With Chocolate and Apricot filling. I picked up some pomegranate molasses at Central Market and tried the Pomegranate Dacquiose and then the Pomegranate Granita. Heavenly. This book offers a fascinating collection of flavors. I'd love to see some of these desserts show up in some of our wonderful new Italian restaurants.

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Desserts: Mediterranean Flavors, California Style, Cindy Mushet

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