Image courtesy of W.W. Norton & Company
Yahoo Food’s Cookbook of the Week: Brooks Headley’s Fancy Desserts (W.W. Norton & Company)
The Team: Pastry chef Brooks Headley, James Beard Award-winning dessert whiz at modern Italian restaurant Del Posto in New York City, plus writer Chris Cechin-De la Rosa and photographers Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin.
The Cuisine: Offbeat desserts with a modernist tilt. Sure, some dishes are straightforward enough, such as grilled lemon pound cake with lemon glaze. But then there are those with names like “Slow-as-Hell Polenta Pudding,” “Brutally Italian Almond Cake,” and “Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast Pudding.” Oddball flavor combinations are around every corner, too, such as eggplant-and-chocolate and candied-sweet-peas-and-strawberry-gelato.
Who Should Buy It: Iconoclastic punk rockers (the foreword is written by seminal punk rock artist and producer Steve Albini) and, OK, really anyone with a sweet tooth.
Who Shouldn’t: Folks who are still really into cupcakes.
Must-Make Recipes: Eggplant and Chocolate; Lidia’s Sweet Pea Cake with Macerated Strawberries, Strawberry Gelato, and Candied Split Peas; Lemon-Ginger Curd with Rhubarb and Polenta Chips; Sugared Green Strawberries with Toasted Funnel Cake, Candied Fennel, and Mint Gelato.
Noteworthy: Writes Albini in the foreword: “Brooks Headley is my favorite kind of artist. He does his thing, his beautiful, unique thing, and presents it to you with no fanfare. You’re going to love it of course, but what he’s doing isn’t only for you. He does it because he’s found his thing, the thing that animates him uniquely, and screw it, might as well devote his life to it. Other people—you—get to enjoy it, and he takes his responsibility to you seriously.”