After years spent traveling and sampling sweets throughout her native Mexico, celebrated pastry chef Fany Gerson shares the secrets behind her beloved homeland’s signature desserts in this highly personal and authoritative cookbook. Skillfully weaving together the rich histories that inform the country’s diverse culinary traditions, My Sweet Mexico is a delicious journey into the soul of the cuisine.
From yeasted breads that scent the air with cinnamon, anise, sugar, fruit, and honey, to pushcarts that brighten plazas with paletas and ice creams made from watermelon, mango, and avocado, Mexican confections are like no other.
Stalwarts like Churros, Amaranth Alegrías, and Garibaldis—a type of buttery muffin with apricot jam and sprinkles—as well as Passion Fruit–Mezcal Trifle and Cheesecake with Tamarind Sauce demonstrate the layering of flavors unique to the world of dulces. In her typical warm and enthusiastic style, Gerson explains the significance of indigenous ingredients such as sweet maguey plants, mesquite, honeys, fruits, and cacao, and the happy results that occur when combined with Spanish troves of cinnamon, wheat, fresh cow’s milk, nuts, and sugar cane.
In chapters devoted to breads and pastries, candies and confections, frozen treats, beverages, and contemporary desserts, Fany places cherished recipes in context and stays true to the roots that shaped each treat, while ensuring they’ll yield successful results in your kitchen. With its blend of beloved standards from across Mexico and inventive, flavor-forward new twists, My Sweet Mexico is the only guide you need to explore the delightful universe of Mexican treats.
Rare is the cookbook that successfully infuses scholarly research with the pure joy of food, but this collection, focusing on the sweets of Mexico, nails it. Gerson, a pastry chef (Eleven Madison Park; Rosa Mexicano) has dutifully catalogued the confections of her native Mexico many of which are endangered species in the age of industrialized food. The introduction and individual chapter essays trace sweets to their ethnic origins, detailing how sugar production, holiday symbolism, and technology have impacted their evolution. Indeed, an entire chapter is devoted to the specific sweets pumpkinseed candy, chestnut flan, and, ironically enough, wedding cookies traditionally made in convents. American readers who have only encountered the occasional tres leches cake in a Mexican restaurant will be stunned by the breadth and depth of recipes here, ranging from coffee-flavored corn cookies to guava caramel pecan rolls and hibiscus ice pops, all culled from Gerson's family, friends, and generous strangers. Gerson showcases the rainbow of fruits (soursop, arrayan, zapote) and special equipment that are indigenous to the country, offering guides to working with fresh coconut, making spiced chocolate tablets, and wrapping marzapanes. Gerson's vivid descriptions, exacting instruction, and obvious passion for her subject matter make this volume a substantial read about the most tempting indulgences. Photos.