Pastry chef David Lebovitz is known for creating desserts with bold and high-impact flavor, not fussy, complicated presentations. Lucky for us, this translates into show-stopping sweets that bakers of all skill levels can master. So if you’re ready for dessert (and who isn’t?), try any of these sweet indulgences – you and your guests will be overjoyed.
A while back, a recipe for chocolate chip cookies appeared in a newspaper food section – the cookies were supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread (or sliced cookies). Word spread quickly and it seemed folks couldn’t pull out their flour bins fast enough to give them a try.
Not to be outdone, I went into the kitchen and whipped up a batch of my chocolate chip cookies, which, admittedly, I hadn’t made in a while, just to see if they still held up. When I bit into one bursting with gooey chocolate chips and crisp toasted nuts, with all due respect to the author of that recipe, I couldn’t imagine chocolate chip cookies tasting better.
This is the French classic that everyone knows and loves. I’ve resisted doing anything to change it, except be more generous with the chocolate than the pastry chef in the average Parisian bistro. Excusez-moi, but I like chocolate so much that I just couldn’t help myself.
This recipe is a good place to use top-notch chocolate, French or otherwise. You won’t regret it when your spoon cuts through the glossy surface and dives into the smooth custard below. For best results, use a high-percentage dark chocolate, one that’s 60 to 70 percent cocoa.
Here’s a version that blends in fresh berries and sorbet for an unforgettable treat.
I have a blanket mistrust of any recipe with a superlative in the title. “The ultimate” or “the world’s finest” always makes me raise an eyebrow. But how else can I describe these brownies?
I’ve made a lot of brownies in my life, and these really are the best. I learned to make them from the late Robert Steinberg, who changed the world of American chocolate when he co-founded Scharffen Berger chocolate.
The first time I made these brownies, they were a dry, crumbly disaster. Robert asked if I has stirred the batter vigorously for 1 full minute. I admitted that I cut that step short. So I made them again, and discovered that was one life-changing minute.
Reprinted with permission from Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz, copyright © 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.