Since Grub Street is still carrying dessert on our minds, it was serendipitous to recently run into Grace Bauer, the author of the Los Angeles Classic Desserts cookbook, which tells readers how to make notable standard sweets from Spago, Palate Food + Wine, Joan's on Third, La Brea Bakery, Loteria, and Jar, among other renowned L.A. eateries. Since we focused solely on L.A.'s newest desserts last month in our national slideshow, we felt this the perfect opportunity to ask Bauer what classics our readers should seek out in the city. What did she have to say about her own favorite L.A. dessert picks?
Bauer struggles in trying to choose and tells us, "Selecting two or three favorite desserts from Los Angeles Classic Desserts is sort of like selecting one or two of your favorite children. I love each one in their own way, and I have found a new favorite from BLD on Beverly Boulevard and Pastry Chef Maria Swan."
• "I admire the presentation that Il Cielo's owner Pasquale Vericella puts into his panna cotta with rose petals. With its sugar coated rose petals and raspberry compote surrounding the creamy Panna Cotta, one can feel the love of this favorite recipe from his Grandmother's kitchen. And, it’s a true crowd pleaser."
• "Classic red velvet cake is transformed with the addition of chocolate pudding and chocolate truffle surprise inside to create Water Grill's Red Velvet Pudding. The excitement begins as the warmed pudding is placed on a plate with chocolate sauce, berry sauce and ice cream topping. Oh My! And, again, what’s not to like?"
• "Apples are a favorite fruit and the Pink Lady apple crostata from Christina Olufson of AOC gives one a new perspective on this classic dessert, topped with vanilla caramel sauce and cream. Simple ingredients. Astonishing flavors. Plan for extra helpings."
• "Last but not least, the new favorite: Mariah Swan's spicy brownie sundae with salted caramel sauce at BLD. The brownie is filled with bittersweet chocolate, cinnamon, ancho chili powder, and cayenne pepper and is served - sundae style - in a large dessert bowl with brownie crumbled on the bottom. Next, two scoops of chocolate ice cream, the caramel sauce, a little whipped cream, another drizzle of caramel sauce, and some cocoa nibs sprinkled on top. Completely decadent with a little kick at the end and a sliced strawberry for a little color."