Hailed as Australia’s Willy Wonka, Darren Purchese is renowned for his stunning high-end dessert creations. Known as the chef with the tricks, with a scientific approach to food and ingredients, in Lamingtons & Lemon Tart, he turns his eye to the classics, cast with his trademark flair for the home cook who might be ambitious, but also wants to feel that the recipes are within their grasp—and that ingredients can be sourced with ease.
We could all use a little less sugar in our diet. Some need to lower sugar intake for health benefits, and others are baking for their children, who should be discouraged from worshipping sugar. I, for one, am not ready to totally ditch the sweet stuff. Thankfully there’s Joanne Chang, of Flour Bakery + Cafés in the Boston area. In her latest book, Baking with Less Sugar, she has completely reformulated Flour favourites with much less or zero refined white sugar.
The book’s five chapters tackle 60-plus recipes using minimal or no refined sugar. You’ll find the famous Flour banana bread made with only six tablespoons of refined sugar. Using natural sugar alternatives such as honey, maple syrup, chocolate, and fruit, make for more complex flavours and bring deeper, more interesting elements to the desserts. Keith’s Super-Snappy Gingersnaps derive some of their spicy snap from the bite of molasses, and a carrot layer cake is sweetened with apple juice. An entire chapter is devoted to chocolate, most intense when not tempered by the addition of sugar.