LEON: Baking and Desserts is quite serious about creating good food, and we are prompted to ask if a serious cookbook can be lighthearted, and ultra-delicious while being instructive? Can delicious sweets actually be good for you? The answer is yes if the book is beautifully illustrated, artfully designed, and packed with thoughtful, fresh new recipes for every day, as well as for celebrations.
A buxom angel with spread wings flies on the cover of LEON: Baking & Desserts. She bears a tattoo on her leg that reads "Have your cake and eat it.' In one hand she holds a beautiful dessert, while in the other she blows a horn that must be announcing good recipes to come. This unnamed deity of desserts sets the tone for LEON: Baking and Desserts, and we know we will have angelic desserts, but we will also have fun. LEON: Baking and Desserts is a zesty, inspiring book that will have you singing in the kitchen, and purring at the table. And to put a topping on this delicious concoction, the majority of the recipes are sugar, dairy, wheat or gluten free. Be you inclined to health foods, or looking for the best recipes, Leon: Baking and Desserts will be a star on your kitchen bookshelf.
First and foremost, LEON is a family cookbook. As such it is divided into two parts, one devoted to everyday dishes that can also be treats, such as granolas, cakes, breads, and pizzas. The second part of the book is for celebrations (with or without tattooed angels), and gives recipes that are indulgent, but healthy. The authors see no reason to separate taste from health, and the recipes are geared to satisfy. You will find recipes such as flourless chocolate fudge cake, toffee apples, caramelized onion and olive tart, and plum ice-cream!
LEEO: Baking & Desserts is a celebration of life, and is designed to express the authors' joy in being alive, and that joy means responsible recipes. They tell us "the dishes you will find here look indulgent, sound naughty, and taste like the kind of treats that normally come with a side helping of guilt. Yet, three-quarters of the recipes are wheat, dairy, or sugar free, with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options." There are two indexes: one is the standard index, arranged alphabetically, the other an index where you can choose among Low Saturated Fat, Good Carbs (Low GI?Good Sugars), Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free. There are symbols throughout to indicate difficulty (beginner, medium, and feeling brave), as well as tips for perfection.
The very serious aspect of the book is supported by the extensive, and simply-told discussion of ingredients, tools, tips and techniques. Whatever might be new or mysterious is explained simply, but with authority. You will understand flours (from chickpea to gluten-free(, oil and butters, sugars and sweeteners.
A book to savor and enjoy, Leon: Baking & Desserts is filled with photos of food, and of people with food by Georgia Glynn Smith, as well as illustrations by Anita Mangan and Matilda Harrison. The latter is responsible for the buxom,, tattooed angel. Leon is sure to become a heavenly star in your cookbook library.