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DamGoodSweet

DamGoodSweet

SKU# 071264

Desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth, New Orleans style

David Guas
Raquel Pelzel

Hardcover

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Details
  • Product # 071264
  • Type Hardcover
  • ISBN 978-1-60085-118-6
  • Published Date 2009
  • Pages 176
  • Photos 45 photographs
The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) has named DamGoodSweet by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel a 2010 Cookbook Award Finalist in the American category and Baking and Dessert category for the 2010 James Beard Foundation Book Awards.

50 down-home dessert recipes from New Orleans. Don't miss this delicious opportunity to experience the tempting treats of this richly diverse city in a fascinating cookbook that's part travelogue and part memoir.

A rich gumbo of authentic Southern sweets. You won't be able to decide which one of these amazing recipes to try first! Finally, the culinary secrets and stories behind the exquisite sweets unique to the heart of Louisiana are revealed. Along with the insights that only a native son -- and a cooking pro -- can provide.

Beignets to peanut brittle to bananas Foster! Now you can recreate the to-die-for sweets -- pralines, heavenly hash, and, of course, pecan pie -- that are synonymous with New Orleans. Just a taste of what awaits you...

  • Sweet Potato Tart Tatin
  • Calas Fried Rice Fritters
  • Lemon Icebox Pie
  • Cafe au Lait Cème Brûlée
  • The GAP's Fried Apple Pie
  • Mahatma Rice Pudding
  • Cane Syrup Ice Cream
  • Black & Blue Crumble
  • Red Velvet Cake and more

Pastry Chef of the Year. That's just one of the accolades awarded author David Guas. This outstanding chef-turned-restaurant-consultant captures the essence of down-home cooking he learned as a teenager in his Aunt Boo's country kitchen. And writer Raquel Pelzel contributes her vast culinary experience as a former editor and cookbook author.

A lagniappe at its very best! A chapter of this book is devoted to "lagniappes", a Southern term for small unexpected gifts. And it's a fitting way to describe this cookbook -- a gorgeously packaged sampling of New Orleans's sweetest treats!

Order yours now!

Read what others had to say about DamGoodSweet:

"When I take a bite (well, okay, 15 bites) of David Guas' Chocolate Bread Pudding and Red Velvet Cake I think, thank goodness for his Aunt Boo and his childhood sno-ball stand. There's no one more qualified to bring us all the delicious flavors, smells, and memories of a lost New Orleans."
-- Tanya Wenman Steel, Editor-in-Chief, Epicurious.com

"A one-man preservation society and dessert cart marching band, pastry chef David Guas' irresistible New Orleans recipes should ignite more joy and abandon than a month of Mardi Gras."
-- Michael Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, Food Arts Magazine

"Your desserts have always been the talk of the town and your reputation as a pastry chef is equal to none. We are looking forward to the unveiling of more of your wonderful creations."
-- Roland Mesnier, former White House Executive Pastry Chef

"This is a great book that truly makes the refined world of sweets approachable. David Guas does a marvelous job of incorporating his love and passion of the Southern larder with soulful pastries and sweets. A Dam Good Sweet book!"
-- John Besh, Chef of Restaurant August, named Best Chef of the Southeast by the James Beard Foundation in 2006

"New Orleans is a city rich in a culinary tradition of sweets. In his recipes, David allows us to share in these Southern traditions, which include quintessential desserts like beignets and bread pudding to lesser known but still important Fried Apples Pies and Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafer Crumble."
-- Emily Luchetti, Executive Pastry Chef, Farallon and Waterbar Restaurants, and author of Classic Stars Desserts, A Passion for Desserts, and A Passion for Ice Cream
Table of Contents
OLD SCHOOL N'AWLINS
Buttermilk Beignets
Bananas Foster
Éclairs
Double Chocolate Bread Pudding with Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Crêpes du Vieux Carré
King Cake
Calas Fried Rice Fritters

CRUST & CRUMB
The GAP's Fried Apple Pie
Pecan Pie
Sweet Potato Tart Tatin
Coconut Cream Pie
Nana?s Banana Bread
Black & Blue Crumble
Lemon Icebox Pie

CAKES IN ALL SHAPES
Red Velvet Cake
Lemon Doberge Cake
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Buttermilk Drops
Ponchatoula Strawberry & Brown Butter Shortcake
Gâteau de Sirop
Sweet Corn Cake with Root Beer Syrup
TAG's PB Brownies
Chocolate Cupped Cakes with Coffee & Chicory

SOFTIES & SPOON SWEETS
Cup Custard
Vanilla Bean Pudding
Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafer Crumble
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding
Mahatma Rice Pudding
Café au Lait Crème Brûlée

100 DEGREES IN THE SHADE
Lemon-Herbsaint Poppers
Watermelon Granita-Topped Sno-Balls
Straight Up Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Cane Syrup Ice Cream
Pecan & Brown Butter Ice Cream
Brandy Milk Punch Ice Cream

SPREADABLE SWEETS
Hammond-Independence Blueberry Jam
Ponchatoula Strawberry Jam
Lemon Curd
Fig Jam
Honey-Poached Kumquats
Red Pepper Jelly

LAGNIAPPES
Heavenly Hash
Pralines
Roman Chewing Candy
Spiced Pecans
Cane Syrup Snaps
Caramel Peanut Popcorn
Turtles
Salted Caramels
Peanut Brittle
Introduction
I was no angel growing up in New Orleans, a city that caters more to debauchery than to chastity. At the ripe old age of 14 I'd break out of my bedroom window and sneak into the garage to "borrow" my dad's car, coasting in neutral until I was midway down the block before daring to turn on the ignition. I had a fake ID and routinely snuck off my high school's campus. I'd lie to my parents, fight with my sister, and be an all-around punk of a kid--and when I pushed mom and dad too far, they'd send me to Aunt Boo's in Abbeville, three hours west of New Orleans, where I could, according to Aunt Boo, have some good, clean fun and gain back my righteousness by making roux.

At Aunt Boo's house, the kitchen was sacred. It wasn't fancy, dressed up with polished copper pots and the like; it was functional. She had a few time-honored and blackened cast iron pots and skillets that she used for her gumbos and étouffées, a few baking pans, and a hard-working oven. I'd enter the kitchen and find her at the stove, a wooden spoon in one hand, a cold beer in the other, stirring up a pot of something that smelled so amazing I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I took comfort in her kitchen, a place of order and rules that were not broken under any circumstances. She was the master and I her apprentice. It was my first taste of kitchen hierarchy.

Together, Aunt Boo and I made classic Louisiana dishes like shrimp Creole and a spicy redfish and tomato stew called coubeyon (say it: coo-BE-yawn with a silent "n" at the end). She taught me how to blacken fish, whip up her Nana's old-school banana bread, and make my first roux. Heck, she even gave me my first cast iron pan. The most important lesson that I learned from her was that there's a time for fun, and a time to be serious, and cooking good, honest food was a serious matter. It was in her kitchen that the seeds for my future as a chef were sown.

I got my first break as a pastry chef at the age of 11, when I was hired to make sno-balls (New Orleans-style shaved ice) at an old storage room that had been converted into a sno-ball stand on Chef Menteur Highway. It was the first time I ever made something that other people paid to eat. Little did I know this was the beginning of my career in desserts.

After high school, I went to college and was home within two years--the party-going New Orleanian in me came out, and my studies suffered. I got a job slinging steak in a cheesesteak shop and quickly climbed the ranks from grill cook to manager. Once again, I discovered how satisfying it was to make other people happy. Making cheesesteaks wasn't glamorous, but it pointed me in the right direction: culinary school.

I was looking through the paper one day and saw an ad for Sclafani Cooking School in Metairie. All of a sudden it clicked--I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life. I learned about mother sauces, stocks, consommés, and how to season food; the whole pastry session was--at most--three days long!

When I went looking for a job, I started with Gerard Crozier, one of the premiere French chefs in the city. He hired me to work at his restaurant, but a few days later unhired me because the person whose job I was taking changed her mind. It was a tough break but actually a lucky one, too, because a few days later I went for an interview in the best kitchen in all of New Orleans, at the Windsor Court Hotel. I applied for a job in the savory kitchen, but the only department hiring was pastry, so I interviewed for a job there with the executive pastry chef, Kurt Ebert, a master pastry chef from Germany. He wasn't too impressed with me, but I convinced him to hire me. It changed my life.

On my first day I got a crash course in how to hold a pastry bag by piping meringue onto 400 lemon tartlets, and I learned how to use a dough sheeter by making a seemingly never-ending supply of spicy cheese straws. I didn't catch my breath for nearly two years. Jeff Tunks, the Windsor's executive chef, would come to the pastry department in the basement and we'd shoot it for hours, him perched on a few 50-pound bags of flour and me piping, whisking, kneading, and rolling. He spoke elusively about a project he was involved with in Washington, D.C. He had his goons (a term I use lovingly to describe his sous-chefs), Cliff and Linton, take me out for billiards and Buds® and ask me all kinds of hypothetical questions, like would I leave town if the right job came along? I guess I answered the questions right because in February of 1998, I packed up and left New Orleans for the nation's capital to open a restaurant that would be known as DC Coast and to serve as its executive pastry chef.

Within seven years I had helped to open three more restaurants: TenPenh, Ceiba, and Acadiana, with me being the head of pastry for the whole family. To get inspiration for TenPenh, I went to Indonesia to learn about Southeast Asian sweets for the dessert menu. For Ceiba, a Cuban-influenced restaurant, I tapped into my Cuban heritage (my dad was born in Havana, though his mother is a native Louisianan) and traveled to Miami to hang with my Cuban cousins. I revisited the desserts I loved best from my hometown when I compiled recipes for the Louisiana-influenced menu at Acadiana. It opened just twelve days after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

The neighborhoods I grew up in, New Orleans East (a part of the Ninth Ward), and my parents? home in Lakeview were nearly erased by Hurricane Katrina. It hit me hard. After Katrina, I was inundated with memories of New Orleans. It was then I knew I had to record and preserve not only the dessert recipes of the region but my memories, too.

DamGoodSweet is the culmination of these efforts. About two years ago I left my DC Coast family to start my own consulting business. And soon I will be opening my own bakeshop, where I?ll showcase the flavors of New Orleans and the surrounding region.

Whether due to Katrina or for other reasons, like new real estate developments or older proprietors who choose to retire, many of New Orleans's institutions, including Lawrence?s Bakery (also called Mr. Wedding Cake) in Gentilly on Elysian Fields Avenue and McKenzie's next to the A&PSM in New Orleans East, have faded away. But many are thriving, like Hansen's, Hubig's, and Clancy's.

Writing this cookbook is a way for me to celebrate the restaurants, bakeries, and sweet shops that remain and thrive in New Orleans as well as to keep alive the traditions of long-gone institutions. DamGoodSweet is for my family, friends, and anyone who holds dear the traditions and institutions of this unique city.

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