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Pure Dessert: True Flavors, Inspiring Ingredients, and Simple Recipes


Pure Dessert: True Flavors, Inspiring Ingredients, and Simple Recipes Cover




In pursuit of pleasure

Faced with an overly sweet, complicated dessert or one made with mundane ingredients, I sometimes long instead for a bowl of good plain yogurt drizzled with honey and sprinkled with walnuts or pistachios, a piece of bittersweet chocolate, or some ripe figs.

I haven’t given up dessert, but when I eat it, I want it to taste as good as that bowl of yogurt or piece of chocolate. I want the soul satisfaction and the sensual pleasure of real flavors. The best chefs cook savory food simply, with the best ingredients. That’s how I like to eat. Why don’t we make more desserts that way?

The dessert repertoire needs an infusion of new and better ingredients and new approaches to working with them. High-quality ingredients of all sorts are available now. Fresh, delicate cheeses (cow, goat, and sheep) can redefine cheesecake. Interesting grains should not be reserved for heavy loaves and health food: their toasty, nutty flavors can bring nuance and depth to indulgent buttery cookies, delicate wafers, and moist, tender cakes. Organic yogurts, milks, and creams can transform ice creams and sherbets. Great chocolates and cocoas can elevate simple desserts, as will flavors captured from fresh flowers and herbs, coffee beans, and tea leaves.

Pure Dessert is a collection of simple, ingredient-driven recipes for cakes, cookies, tarts, ice creams, and other desserts, made from fresh, artisanal, organic, natural, or otherwise distinguished “real” ingredients. Such ingredients are increasingly abundant in better supermarkets as well as in the obvious places: farmers’ markets, cheese shops, gourmet and natural food shops online, and a growing number of urban and suburban gardens.

Authentic ingredients are important because they taste good. Simple recipes are essential because they allow us to savor that goodness. The emphasis on flavor means desserts that are often (but not always) less sweet and/or less rich than mainstream desserts. If they are less sweet and rich, it is primarily in pursuit of pleasure. Incidental health benefits are just bonuses.

My pure desserts are simple, relaxed, convenient, and elegant. These accessible, home-kitchen–friendly recipes include tips to ensure success and notes that reveal the method to my madness. Pure desserts are for busy people who love food and care about what they eat, for people who are curious and open to new tastes, and for those who appreciate the details that make the difference between a good dessert and a great one.

Pure desserts can stand alone or be mixed and matched for special occasions. Sour Cream Ice Cream, Tropical Lace Cookies, and strawberries is worthy of a dinner party, but each component is delicious on its own. Pure dessert recipes are brief and inviting, and they welcome improvisation.

The media proclaim the message: organic, natural, local, “slow, ” hand-crafted, and authentic. So what more could we ask for? Here are recipes and techniques that are simple, and as easy for the home cook as the chef. That’s the cherry on the top.

Product Details

Medrich, Alice
Courses & Dishes - Desserts
Cooking and Food-Desserts
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
10.0 x 7.43 in

Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Desserts and Candy » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
Metaphysics » General
Young Adult » General

Pure Dessert: True Flavors, Inspiring Ingredients, and Simple Recipes
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Product details 272 pages Artisan Publishers - English 9781579652111 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "If vanilla is your idea of plain, Medrich will revolutionize your thinking. In her vocabulary, vanilla is a flavor; she distinguishes among the nuances of Bourbon, Mexican, and Tahitian extracts, powders, and beans. Plain means tasting the milk, butter, flour or fresh cheese that defines a cake or custard. She describes 10 different sugars, from 'neutral' granulated white to slightly 'smoky' dark brown piloncillo. Her three previous cookbooks (including BitterSweet) won awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and her new book is sure to attract the new generation of cooks devoted to elaborate simplicity. Readers should be aware, however, that the brevity of ingredient lists may mislead; some gardens and markets may lack such nonfungible items as lemon verbena, chestnut flour and muscovado sugar. But all will welcome the ultimate summer pudding recipe-berries, bread, sugar, whipped cream-and the liberating range of frozen desserts." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Alice Medrich reshapes the universe of sweets by focusing on fewer but finer ingredients and using them in fresh ways.

Always an experimenter, tinkerer, and thinker, the renowned baker and three-time Cookbook of the Year winner Alice Medrich expands the dessert-making vocabulary in Pure Dessert. Using an exciting array of delicate handmade cheeses, wholesome grains, and other ingredients (often ethnic) that are now widely available, she broadens our flavor palate even as she simplifies and demystifies baking techniques.

Grains such as buckwheat bring a lovely nutty quality to cookies and strawberry shortcake. Pound cake takes on a whole new identity with a touch of olive oil and sherry. Chestnut flour and walnuts virtually transform meringue. Varietal honeys and raw sugars infuse ice creams and sherbets with delectable new flavor.

The desserts that Medrich has devised are not only better-tasting and unusual, but—because they’re not heavily sauced or sugared—they’re more healthful as well. With eye-catching, full-color photographs that show how easy it is to make these 150 simple, straightforward recipes, Pure Dessert is a revelation.

"Synopsis" by , Medrich reshapes the universe of sweets by focusing on fewer but finer ingredients and using them in fresh ways. The renowned baker and three-time Cookbook of the Year winners recipes are not only better-tasting and unusual, theyre more healthful as well. Illustrated.
"Synopsis" by ,
Just one slight turn of a kaleidoscope and the tiny colored pieces shift ever so slightly, but enough to create a beautiful new pattern. With just such a shift, Alice Medrich creates a whole new picture of what dessert can be, focusing on fewer but finer ingredients and using them in fresh ways.
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