What’s For Dessert? Claire Saffitz Shares 7 Of Her Best Recipes

Photographed by Jenny Huang.
The following is an edited extract from Claire Saffitz's book What's For Dessert.
Asking “what’s for dessert?” is more than a nightly routine; it’s a personal exercise. It prompts me to imagine all the ways I can bestow myself and those around me with (edible) pleasures and comforts. Conceiving an answer and bringing it to life are acts of self-care and care for others. During the pandemic, when many of our normal sources of enjoyment disappeared, the question took on new import. I found myself at home thinking of new and creative ways I could add a little sweetness to daily life — literally.

This collection of desserts feels classic to me. That sense is a reflection of my family history, my childhood growing up in the Midwest, my culinary education in Paris, and my time living in New York City. Though what constitutes a “classic” differs for everyone according to age, geography, and life experience, I think you’ll find desserts here that give you a taste of the comforting and familiar, too.

This book is my love letter to dessert. Writing it taught me more than I imagined possible about the fascinating and delicious realm of sweet flavours and deepened my appreciation and admiration for the process of creating them. Though I originally embarked on writing this cookbook to expand my own horizons and become a more well-rounded dessert person, it quickly became a vehicle for providing my fellow dessert people with a wide variety of approachable recipes. As dessert people, we share the recognition that food is about pleasure rather than guilt, sociability rather than snobbery, and inclusivity rather than exclusivity. Whether you're a fruit dessert person or a chocolate dessert person, a frozen dessert person or a baked dessert person, this book answers your burning question: What's for dessert?

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