Pavlovas and tin cakes and tarts, oh my!

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Peden + Munk © 2017

Here in the U.S., most of us associate the name Yotam Ottolenghi with sculptural salads, beautifully textured but not necessarily sweet. However, the British-Israeli chef’s culinary career began in the back of a Michelin-starred restaurant in London where, with no formal training, Ottolenghi would whip up eggs for soufflés at the beck and call of the head pastry chef. The refracted view that Americans get of his work comes from the savory dishes he made later and the cookbooks he wrote about those meals. Now, Ottolenghi and his collaborator on all things sweet, Helen Goh — who, interestingly enough, was trained in psychotherapy before becoming a pastry chef — have written a book of dessert recipes. The book is aptly named “Sweet: Desserts from London’s Ottolenghi.”

The recipes, Goh says, are anything but conventional. “He is very open, in a way that you don’t have that sense of tradition. So you are open to exploring and you don’t mind mucking with others’ traditions. Whereas [with] the Australians or the Americans, you have your s’mores a certain way or your powder puffs a certain way and you want to keep it. But Yotam pushes the envelope and nudges me to be a bit bolder and braver with the flavors.”

The latest cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh is aptly named.