February is a sweet month: sweethearts, sweetie pies, sweet nothings. Pastry chef and cookbook author Malika Ameen, thinks it should be spicy, too.
In her first cookbook, Sweet Sugar Sultry Spice, Ameen serves up a variety of accessible, spice-enhanced desserts guaranteed to inspire even the most seasoned baker. Among the best are Chipotle Glazed Angel Food Cake and Mango and Cream Meringue Cakes.
We liked them so much we featured them in the February issue of Latina Magazine. (Click through for the full recipes plus a Mexican Chocolate Cupcake recipe Ameen created exclusively for our readers.)
But don’t worry, the book’s 78 recipes, organized by the sensations they evoke – spicy and warm; floral and aromatic; bright and fresh; savory, earth and nutty; complex and mysterious – are not limited to cakes. Among them are also tarts, cookies, bars, ice creams, and brittles, to name just a few, as well as a comprehensive spice glossary and useful baking tips.
Ameen, who is also a former Top Chef: Just Desserts contestant, regular guest on NBC’s Today, and frequent contributor to the New York Times, says her goal is to “push spices beyond the realm of the savory and into the world of the sweet.”
Sweet Sugar Sultry Spice pays homage to this philosophy, and anyone who gets hot under the culinary collar thinking of clover, chiles, and cardamom, would be wise to pick up a copy tout suite (or tout sweet, wink wink).