Every once in a while a cookbook lands on our desk that makes us want to rush into the kitchen and start enjoying the recipes. Perfect Light Desserts (Morrow, 2006) is that kind of book. Instead of trying to take the calories out of rich and creamy desserts, which never works, authors Nick Malgieri, an award-winning baker and David Joachim, a best-selling cookbook writer, have concentrated on desserts that lend themselves to low-calorie, low-fat versions. “We wanted desserts with exceptional flavor and texture for those looking to eat light,” says Joachim.
Butter, whole milk, nuts and cream are used, but in in reasonable amounts. Instead of adding artificial ingredients, the authors let low-fat baking techniques do the work. For example, buttermilk is substituted for some of the butter in cake batters without compromising taste and gelatin is used in mousses to give a rich texture with less cream.
What is most impressive is that no serving is more than 300 calories and yet portions are generous. A piece of cake is the size of a piece of cake, not a postage stamp, and a blueberry pie serves eight happy people.
Story by Jean Kressy, a food writer in Ashburnham, Mass.