I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven with Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest book, Sweet. Published by Ebury Press, it is replete with flavours and exotic spices that I adore, such as figs, rose petals, saffron, orange blossom, pistachio, almond, cardamom and cinnamon.
Ottolenghi has produced the book in collaboration with Helen Goh, who spent seven years as head pastry chef at Melbourne restaurant Donovans. Together they bring the Ottolenghi hallmarks of fresh, evocative ingredients, exotic spices and complex flavourings to indulgent cakes, biscuits, tarts, puddings, cheesecakes and ice cream.
Ottolenghi is widely beloved for his beautiful, inspirational cookbooks, as well as his London deli’s and fine dining restaurant. But while he’s known for his savoury and vegetarian dishes, what many people don’t know is that he actually started out his cooking career as a pastry chef.
The more than 100 recipes he has included in this stunning book are such sweet treats as Flourless Chocolate Layer Cake with Coffee, Walnut and Rosewater; Tahini and Halva Brownies; Persian Love Cakes; Saffron, Orange and Honey Madeleines; Chocolate, Banana, and Pecan cookies; and Rosemary Olive Oil Orange Cake.
And what about the Cinnamon Pavlova with Praline Cream and Fresh Figs, pictured here. Isn’t it utterly divine?
There is something for everyone in Sweet, from simple mini-cakes and cookies that parents can make with their children, to show-stopping layer cakes and roulades that will reignite the imaginations of accomplished bakers.
“There’s nothing like a perfectly light sponge flavoured with spices and citrus or an icing-sugar-dusted cookie to raise the spirits and create a moment of pure joy,” he says.
Image from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. Available now from retailers, rrp $55. Image © Peden + Munk. Reproduced with the publisher’s permission.