Good & Sweet: Quick Bites & Cookbook Giveaway

Enter our worldwide giveaway to win one of two copies of Good & Sweet: A New Way to Bake with Naturally Sweet Ingredients by Brian Levy.

Good & Sweet: A New Way to Bake with Naturally Sweet Ingredients by Brian Levy was just published this week. I have been waiting impatiently for its release. The wait was worth it.

Whether or not you are watching your sugar intake, these recipes deliver delicious results that will please everyone in the family. I have some bananas that are calling to be made into Double banana bread and my son has asked me to make a fruit dessert this weekend – with strawberries – so I am going to adapt one of the recipes here.

Early in his pastry career, Brian worked with the great Gina DePalma. Since that time, he has spent years experimenting in the kitchen to find the best recipe for desserts utilizing fruit, grains and other whole foods without relying on sweeteners and artificial ingredients. The result is a gorgeous book filled with exciting desserts that are made with natural ingredients.

Measurements are provided in weight and volume and the recipes are approachable for every level of baker. Each recipe shares serving size; dietary distinctions such as GF for gluten free, DF for dairy free; V for vegan; notation if the recipe is a no-bake; and total time needed to complete the dessert.

Mocha tartlets, Matcha banana custard pie; and Persimmon and spice Bundt cake with white chocolate ganache are just a sample of what is in store for us. You can check out the book’s index for a full listing of recipes.

I particularly love that the author provides “fruit file” documentation for fruits covered in the book. This full page “file” provides genus; favorite baking varieties; sugar content; harvest season; how to tell if it is ripe and more. As well as the recipe, Brian gives helpful notes such as “if you’re using unsalted peanut butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt” and so forth as well as tips to switch up the recipe with different flavors.

Brian has a number of events which we have listed on our calendar and there is one online recipe for you to try now: Rosemary-lemon shortbread.

You will want this amazing collection of recipes in your library. It will be included in my best books of 2022. Be sure to sign up for Brian’s newsletter here and follow him on Instagram for more inspiration.


Brian took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for our Members.

Brian Levy is a pastry cook who previously worked at Michelin-starred Babbo, where he was mentored by James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Gina DePalma. He left to work the fields and kitchens of farms and inns in Europe and Martha’s Vineyard, and then as a private chef. Outside of the kitchen, he also studied architecture at Yale. More details are in the first pages of the book’s introduction.

Q: What first triggered your interest in baking? Do you remember your first baking memory?

Cooking shows combined with an inherent love of sweet things likely triggered my interest in baking. I was a latchkey kid, and I remember coming home from school at least a couple of times and microwaving mixtures of sugar and water (sometimes with salt and food coloring) to see what would happen. And my sister had an Easy Bake Oven in which I made some kind of improvised oatmeal cookies when I was probably 4. A couple of years after that, my sister and I were watching Julia Child on TV and were inspired to attempt puff pastry. I’m sure it wasn’t good, but I like that it was ambitious.

Q: If you had to describe your baking style, what would it be?

I’d say my baking style is unfussy. Something I shared with  my mentor Gina DePalma is the belief that taste is more important than looks in a dessert. Don’t get me wrong; I like dishes to be pretty, but I’m not worried about pristine perfection, and I’d rather a cake look homey and inviting than sterile and intimidating.

Q: Are you a cookbook collector? If so, tell us about your collection?

I’ve always had limited space, so I’d say I’m a very selective cookbook collector – photo above. I’m most drawn to baking books that focus on a particular region’s traditions or a completely novel approach; books from chefs or restaurants I love, like the late Battersby; vegetarian and Greek recipe collections; and massive agglomerations like The Gourmet Cookbook.

My favorite cookbook authors are Amy Chaplin, Alice Medrich, Nick Malgieri, Madhur Jaffrey, Melissa Clark, Magnus Nilsson, Stella Parks, and Nigel Slater. I’m very thankful that Aglaia Kremezi’s The Foods of the Greek Islands exists. And I can’t forget Lukas Volger, Melissa Weller, Yossy Arefi and—duh—Rose Levy Beranbaum (no relation!).

Q: What is the best part of your job? Do you sometimes feel like working with food all day keeps you from wanting to get creative in the kitchen?

I’m lucky enough to have turned writing into my main occupation a couple of years ago, so for me when the chance comes to test ideas out in the kitchen—or to make a necessary meal—it feels like an active, meditative break from sitting and thinking. I think I keep myself feeling pretty creative in the kitchen mostly because I don’t like shopping too often and I like figuring out how best to work with what I have on hand!

Q: What is your go to for a quick dinner – quick dessert?

My go-to quick dinner is either a socca (chickpea pancake) topped with roasted vegetables and yogurt or feta; or a really simple Greek chickpea stew (revithada). For dessert, you can’t get much quicker than an affogato.

Q: Tell us about your cookbooks or any future projects you are working on?

It’s hard to believe that Good & Sweet has just been released! I’m now working on writing and illustrating a (food-related) children’s picture book, the idea for which came to me around the same time at Good & Sweet. I’m working on potential cookbook ideas, and I’ve begun to contribute to Serious Eats. Possibly with food themes as an anchor, I’d like to make time to work on memoir and short story writing.

                                                                                                            

Special thanks to the publisher for providing two copies of this title in our promotion. Entry options include answering the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option – the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on September 29th, 2022.

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169 Comments

  • matag  on  July 29, 2022

    Mango custard

  • Tina99  on  July 29, 2022

    fig frozen yogurt!

  • Gachabot  on  July 29, 2022

    pistachio peach galette!

  • mcrimmins  on  July 29, 2022

    Sweet Corn Buttermilk Bisquits

  • miggsy  on  July 29, 2022

    Cherry-coconut clafoutis

  • GoodLifeVan  on  July 29, 2022

    How could I possibly choose?

  • BMeyer  on  July 29, 2022

    pistachio peach galette

  • redcurrant  on  July 29, 2022

    Banana-date-lime ice “cream”

  • roxlet  on  July 30, 2022

    Pistachio peach galette

  • ravensfan  on  July 30, 2022

    Fluffy banana buttermilk pancakes

  • maci234  on  July 30, 2022

    Fluffy banana buttermilk pancakes

  • Sand9  on  July 30, 2022

    Almond & Orange Bread Pudding x

  • Isis1981uk  on  July 30, 2022

    Coconut crepes with bananas & “new-tella”

  • erinrobinson  on  July 30, 2022

    Farmstand blueberry pie with sweet corn whipped cream

  • SheenaBatey  on  July 30, 2022

    Almond & Orange Bread Pudding

  • Plumbobmummy  on  July 30, 2022

    Double banana bread

  • trudys_person  on  July 30, 2022

    I’d make the Salted Chocolate Buckwheat Cookies, sweetened with Medjool dates. I’ve made something similar with sugar/brown sugar, and they were delicious and had a lovely texture. The dates might even make them better!

  • janv  on  July 30, 2022

    sweet corn whipped cream

  • Vidon33  on  July 30, 2022

    Blueberry biscuit cobbler (Everything sounds delicious)

  • bopper  on  July 31, 2022

    Pignoli cookies

  • dataentrytard  on  July 31, 2022

    I would like to try Chestnut flour currant scones

  • Dendav  on  July 31, 2022

    Almond and orange bread pudding

  • bookmark77  on  July 31, 2022

    Fluffy banana buttermilk pancakes

  • youngsvnnhrs  on  July 31, 2022

    Olive oil zucchini spice cake

  • hibeez  on  July 31, 2022

    Salted dark chocolate sorbet.

  • lilmiztam22  on  July 31, 2022

    Cherry coconut clafoutis

  • teamkies  on  July 31, 2022

    Five-spice carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

  • bookmark58  on  July 31, 2022

    Almond and orange bread pudding

  • swissjen  on  July 31, 2022

    Chestnut ricotta ice cream!

  • chromiumman  on  July 31, 2022

    fluffy banana buttermilk pancakes

  • LaurenE  on  July 31, 2022

    Mango custard

  • lmo333  on  July 31, 2022

    Olive oil zucchini spice cake

  • prettypistol  on  August 1, 2022

    Cherry-coconut clafoutis

  • kmn4  on  August 1, 2022

    Saffron & lemon rice pudding

  • ellsve  on  August 1, 2022

    pistachio peach galette!

  • sarahawker  on  August 1, 2022

    Five-spice carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

  • DNAYAR  on  August 1, 2022

    Double banana bread

  • Zitakd  on  August 1, 2022

    Sweet Corn Blueberry Muffins

  • FattyNaddy  on  August 1, 2022

    Peaches & cream brioche tart!

  • rkosully  on  August 2, 2022

    I would love to make the Loaded Breakfast Cookies!

  • Olgajoanne  on  August 2, 2022

    Olive oil zucchini spice cake

  • Snuggleberry  on  August 2, 2022

    Strawberry sweet corn shortcake!

  • RSW  on  August 2, 2022

    Double banana bread

  • Shelley.b  on  August 3, 2022

    perfect currant scones

  • ceejayen  on  August 4, 2022

    Ricotta-chestnut fritters with sweet cinnamon dust

  • wildchild  on  August 4, 2022

    Peaches & cream brioche tart

  • sakcrisler  on  August 4, 2022

    Pistachio cake

  • leknit  on  August 4, 2022

    Butterscotch pots de creme

  • Yarnia  on  August 5, 2022

    Fig newtons.

  • lauriesk  on  August 5, 2022

    Chewy Oat Bars

  • Roosta  on  August 5, 2022

    Hazelnut milk chocolate ice cream

  • reader1trees  on  August 5, 2022

    Fig Crumble

  • JP  on  August 6, 2022

    Ricotta-chestnut fritters with sweet cinnamon dust

  • dzm  on  August 6, 2022

    double banana bread

  • ChicagoJen  on  August 6, 2022

    Derby date pie

  • lucymajor94  on  August 6, 2022

    Fluffy banana buttermilk pancakes

  • GreenhouseCheryl  on  August 6, 2022

    Chocolate peanut butter patties

  • JEWGAL777  on  August 6, 2022

    Rosemary-Lemon Shortbread

  • foodie16  on  August 6, 2022

    Fudgy chocolate spoon cake

  • skyejaden  on  August 6, 2022

    For sure the Coconut crepes with bananas & “new-tella”!!

  • demomcook  on  August 6, 2022

    Date, rye & olive oil brownies!

  • sarahteertzah  on  August 7, 2022

    Peaches & cream brioche tart

  • virjeania  on  August 7, 2022

    Double banana bread

  • Pamyoungvb  on  August 7, 2022

    So many dishes sound interesting!
    My first recipe from this book would be Fig Crostata.

  • CatsintheKitchen  on  August 7, 2022

    Sesame Semifreddo with Chocolate Cookie Crust

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  August 8, 2022

    would like to try the sticky toffee pudding cake found on page 193 first

  • MarciK  on  August 8, 2022

    Sweet corn buttermilk biscuits

  • Laura1  on  August 8, 2022

    Salted Chocolate Buckwheat Cookies

  • Jow  on  August 9, 2022

    I’d love to make the Five-spice carrot cake with cream cheese frosting first

  • rochkay  on  August 9, 2022

    The Brown butter banana cake (page 168)… it sounds yum!

  • Shelley.b  on  August 9, 2022

    double banana bread

  • mrscahughes  on  August 10, 2022

    sweet corn buttermilk busquits

  • skichick  on  August 10, 2022

    Cinnamon & bourbon fried apple rings

  • elysedc  on  August 10, 2022

    how to pick???? Salted chocolate buckwheat cookies look intriguing, Strawberry sweet corn shortcake, Blueberry biscuit cobbler (sweetcorn powder??? what?!?), stuffed plums… oh man I need this book

  • Heaton99  on  August 11, 2022

    loaded breakfast cookies

  • artthecat  on  August 11, 2022

    Fig ice cream

  • melspot  on  August 12, 2022

    Rosemary Lemon Shortbread!

  • betsyradelow  on  August 12, 2022

    Olive oil granola with pistachios & cherries

  • satkins08  on  August 12, 2022

    Blueberry biscuit cobbler

  • justcooking  on  August 13, 2022

    matcha banana custard pie

  • LeMinou  on  August 13, 2022

    Mango custard

  • silversand  on  August 14, 2022

    Chewy oat bars

  • michelle666  on  August 15, 2022

    Double banana bread

  • lils74  on  August 16, 2022

    Peaches & cream brioche tart!

  • pavolva  on  August 17, 2022

    I’m so curious about the recipe for rice pudding ice cream! Using five spice in a carrot cake is another brilliant idea from the book. Love the Gina DePalma influences that shine through in this interview.

  • chezlarios  on  August 18, 2022

    Loaded breakfast cookies

  • sayeater  on  August 18, 2022

    No-bake sesame peanut chews

  • Jennwalker314  on  August 19, 2022

    Olive oil zucchini spice cake

  • Lafauvette  on  August 19, 2022

    Double banana bread

  • Shelmar  on  August 19, 2022

    Perfect currant scones

  • RickPearson54  on  August 19, 2022

    mango custard

  • luccio  on  August 19, 2022

    Hazelnut milk chocolate ice cream

  • Aproporpoise  on  August 20, 2022

    Coconut crepes all day. Or the fig frozen yogurt!

  • Elbyem  on  August 20, 2022

    Perfect currant scones

  • KennaCupcake  on  August 20, 2022

    Sweet corn blueberry muffins

  • lene  on  August 21, 2022

    Chewy oat bars

  • Dannausc  on  August 25, 2022

    Double banana bread

  • Dannausc  on  August 25, 2022

    Eat breathe cook

  • Emmydee  on  August 26, 2022

    Nana Wafers sound yummy

  • infotrop  on  August 26, 2022

    New Orleans-style mocha tartlets

  • acecil  on  August 26, 2022

    sweet corn buttermilk biscuits

  • JPurser  on  August 26, 2022

    Cinnamon & Bourbon Fried Apple Rings

  • Leonard5854  on  August 26, 2022

    Blueberry shortbreads

  • tamtamgold  on  August 27, 2022

    Sweet corn blueberry muffins

  • jeffk24  on  August 28, 2022

    Date Rye & Olive Oil Brownies

  • TBipp  on  August 28, 2022

    Mango Custard

  • Megsycle  on  August 30, 2022

    Apricot rugelach

  • Ren23  on  August 30, 2022

    Salted Chocolate Buckwheat Cookies

  • GregH  on  August 31, 2022

    Derby date pie

  • calguire  on  September 2, 2022

    Derby date pie

  • AIC  on  September 2, 2022

    Peaches and Cream Brioche Tart!

  • banba1  on  September 3, 2022

    Peaches & cream brioche tart

  • curafresh  on  September 3, 2022

    pistachio peach galette🙂

  • emi10383  on  September 3, 2022

    Fluffy banana buttermilk pancakes

  • t.t  on  September 4, 2022

    Ricotta, blueberry & fig pound cake

  • FigsandOkra  on  September 7, 2022

    Fried apple rings and bourbon would be an immediate try!

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  September 9, 2022

    I would like to make the coffee cake with berry jam & cinnamon streusel.

  • avonleajules  on  September 9, 2022

    Almond & Orange Bread Pudding

  • roseryan1972  on  September 11, 2022

    Salted chocolate buckwheat cookies

  • clairew137  on  September 11, 2022

    Mango custard

  • JenjiD  on  September 11, 2022

    Double banana bread

  • Peach1234  on  September 12, 2022

    Fluffy banana buttermilk pancakes

  • Lesevans6  on  September 13, 2022

    Fluffy Banana Buttermilk Pancakes

  • GrooveHeart  on  September 13, 2022

    Sweet Corn Buttermilk Biscuits

  • angiejackson  on  September 13, 2022

    the Almond and orange bread pudding sounds yummy

  • debbiehb  on  September 13, 2022

    Rosemary-lemon shortbread

  • me11g11  on  September 15, 2022

    Sweetcorn buttermilk biscuits – sweetcorn is my favourite food but i have never thought to put it in a biscuit before!

  • Yatota74  on  September 15, 2022

    Chocolate peanut butter patties

  • Pizzacat13  on  September 15, 2022

    How good does Mango Custard sound- yum!

  • maggz19671  on  September 15, 2022

    Fig frozen yogurt

  • jezpurr  on  September 16, 2022

    Pistachio cake!!!^_^

  • looly6355  on  September 16, 2022

    Peaches & cream brioche tart

  • kinibellini  on  September 16, 2022

    Fluffy banana buttermilk pancakes

  • krnries  on  September 17, 2022

    Double Banana Bread xx

  • antpantsii  on  September 18, 2022

    Poppy seed jam strudel sounds amazing!!

  • nocona  on  September 19, 2022

    Almond & Orange Bread Pudding sounds divine!

  • milly_matthews  on  September 20, 2022

    Blueberry biscuit cobbler!

  • sheridarby  on  September 20, 2022

    Pistachio peach galette

  • kkez  on  September 20, 2022

    Sweet corn buttermilk biscuits

  • orchidlady01  on  September 21, 2022

    Coffee cake with berry jam & cinnamon streusel

  • paulo_b  on  September 21, 2022

    Cherry-coconut clafoutis

  • portkey  on  September 21, 2022

    Mango custard

  • DimensionAEB  on  September 21, 2022

    Almond & Orange Bread Pudding

  • Emmamaryd  on  September 21, 2022

    Mocha tartlets

  • v.t  on  September 21, 2022

    Loaded breakfast cookies

  • Carolyn99  on  September 22, 2022

    Pistachio peach galette

  • zeeenie  on  September 22, 2022

    Sweet corn buttermilk biscuits

  • mummydinosaur  on  September 22, 2022

    Almond and orange bread pudding

  • Emmaeng  on  September 22, 2022

    Matcha banana custard pie

  • jrhymer  on  September 22, 2022

    Loaded Breakfast Cookies

  • Pretenna  on  September 22, 2022

    Rosemary-lemon shortbread

  • Glimble  on  September 22, 2022

    Rosemary lemon shortbread

  • misty33  on  September 22, 2022

    Sticky toffee pudding cake

  • ickle0ne  on  September 22, 2022

    Poppy seed jam strudel

  • ClaireHamilton  on  September 22, 2022

    Salted dark chocolate sorbet

  • PatBarrett  on  September 22, 2022

    Sweet Corn Buttermilk Bisquits

  • Twiddle  on  September 22, 2022

    pistachio peach galette!

  • nuj  on  September 23, 2022

    Just the cookbook I need for my sweet dessert loving family!

  • hillsboroks  on  September 23, 2022

    Almond and Orange Bread Pudding

  • RachelinTX  on  September 23, 2022

    I’m trying to stay good and sweet, so this seems up my alley. I like the sweet blueberry cornmeal muffin or poppy seed jam strudel

  • Lazlo  on  September 23, 2022

    With my love of both persimmon and spices it has to be persimmon and spice Bundt cake that gets my first attention from this appetising collection

  • Lazlo  on  September 23, 2022

    With my love of persimmon and spices it has to be Persimmon and Spice Bundt Cake that gets my first attention from this amazing collection

  • biro  on  September 23, 2022

    Matcha banana custard pie, e.g.

  • terawong  on  September 23, 2022

    Coffee cake with berry jam & cinnamon streusel looks good

  • amweeks  on  September 24, 2022

    I’d make the Pignoli cookies!

  • lollipop123  on  September 25, 2022

    fluffy banana buttermilk pancakes

  • KarenDel  on  September 26, 2022

    Chestnut flour crepes with apple butter & whipped ricotta

  • jd5761  on  September 26, 2022

    Salted dark chocolate sorbet for me

  • Badgerlord  on  September 27, 2022

    banana buttermilk pancakes

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