ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: Los Angeles Times, Serious Eats
Groundbreaking recipes for real desserts—sweetened entirely by fruit and other natural, unexpectedly sweet ingredients—from a pastry cook who’s worked at acclaimed restaurants in New York and France.
Brian Levy spent years making pastries the traditional way, with loads of refined sugar and white flour, at distinguished restaurants, inns, and private homes in the United States and Europe. But he discovered another world of desserts—one that few bakers have explored—where there’s no need for cane sugar or coconut sugar, for maple syrup or honey, or for anything like stevia. When Levy succeeded in making a perfect mango custard, harnessing only the natural sweetness of fruit with no added sugar, it was a breakthrough that inspired years of experimentation converting other desserts into nutritious indulgences.
In Good & Sweet, Levy stretches this experiment across 100 recipes that ingeniously deploy fruit (dried, juiced, and fresh), nuts, grains, dairy, and fermented products to create sweet treats whose flavor is enriched by whole-food, feel-good ingredients. Every recipe offers substitutions for dietary restrictions and includes a flavorful sweetener that exceeds cane sugar, from freeze-dried sweet corn to coconut cream and apple cider. A Pistachio-Studded Peach Galette gets its wings from fresh fruit, dried apricots, and orange juice; chestnuts, golden raisins, and dried apples perform a pas de trois in Chestnut Ricotta Ice Cream; and dates, milk powder, and a touch of miso paste make for a dense, caramely Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake. With sweets like these—ones that nudge you toward mindful eating but don’t compromise flavor—you’ll never have to give up dessert.
About the Author
Brian Levy is a pastry cook who previously worked at Babbo, where he was mentored by James Beard Award−winning pastry chef Gina DePalma. Outside of the kitchen, he also studied architecture at Yale.
“Good and Sweet is a treasure trove of genius ideas and inspiration, as well as great desserts; a much-needed and brand new (but not daunting) baking education for all of us!” - Alice Medrich, five-time James Beard Cookbook Award-Winning author
"Brian Levy’s Good and Sweet is an inspiring book full of sweet recipes that use the natural sweetness from fruits, grains and whole food ingredients to make delightful pastries and desserts. I can tell you that having worked with Brian, he is thoughtful, creative and attends to every detail in his cooking and baking. From sticky toffee pudding to butterscotch pots de crème to breakfast coffee cake with berry jam and cinnamon streusel Brian creates delicious recipes that are good for you too. I am looking forward to making the sweets in this lovely book." – Melissa Weller, author ofA Good Bake
“Brian Levy has captured the soul satisfying delight of desserts without adding demon sugar to the mix. Carefully calibrated formulas bring out all the natural flavors of his ingredients and the textures are equally appealing in these recipes. Our palates are changing, and Good & Sweet charts the path forward.” - Bill Yosses, author ofThe Sweet Spot
“This book is amazing! Brian Levy showcases bold and unexpected flavors alongside comforting favorites in a whole new fruit-sweetened light. There are clever techniques throughout, like folding whipped cream into rice pudding to give it a gorgeous ethereal texture, along with so many others. From Loaded Breakfast Cookies to Fudgy Chocolate Spoon Cake this book is packed with enticing recipes, and gorgeous photos that will make you want to dive right in.” - Yossy Arefi, author of Snacking Cakes andSweeter off the Vine
“Blessedly bucking the current trend towards new and alternative sweeteners in the baking aisle, Brian Levy turns to naturally sweet whole foods—fresh, dried, and freeze-dried fruit, grains, nuts, even vegetables—to give us a truly game changing collection of desserts and sweets. Crafted with skill, imagination, and a fine palate for flavor, these new recipes will instantly become part of our repertoire, as avid home bakers and professionals alike. I’m already planning desserts with Brian’s brilliant new pastry crusts, caramel sauces, and applying his deconstructed white chocolate strategy and so much more…Good and Sweet is a treasure trove of genius ideas and inspiration, as well as great desserts; a much-needed and brand new (but not daunting) baking education for all of us!” - Alice Medrich, five-time James Beard Cookbook Award-winning author of Gluten-Free Flavor Flours andGluten- Free Holiday
“In Good and Sweet, Brian Levy has brilliantly freed bakers from the slavish adherence to refined sugar. Instead, the natural sweetness of both fresh and dried fruits is used to advantage in tempting and creative recipes.” - Nick Malgieri, author of How to Bake
"Levy's mission here isn’t 'healthy' baking, but rather to create recipes that aren’t focused around the ingredient that might be missing [i.e., sugar], but instead what they might gain from using alternative ways to sweeten." - Lukas Volger, author of Snacks for Dinner and Start Simple and contributor at Epicurious