Modern Art Desserts
The Modern Art Desserts book of creative dessert recipes includes confections inspired by master artworks, from an Ellsworth Kelly-inspired fudge pop to cakes based on Wayne Thiebaud’s paintings, complemented by curator perspectives on the original pieces.
Who wrote it: Caitlin Freeman
Who published it: Ten Speed Press
Number of recipes: There are about 30 desserts in the book, with each dessert comprised of a few different recipes (cake, frosting, filling, accompanying sodas, etc.).
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Recipes for right now: This isn’t a seasonal book, but any of the strawberry-based recipes such as the Thiebold Pink Cake, the Zurier Ice Pop, or the Matisse Parfait would be good. For something simple: the Kahlo Wedding Cookies. For something off the charts: the Mondrian Cake pictured on the cover, obviously, but also the Avedon Parfait which consists of a honey-pistachio parfait incased in a white chocolate box covered with black bees.
Other highlights: Look, let’s just get this straight right off the bat. This is not your beginner’s cookbook, nor is it your everyday go-to dessert book or your cake bible. This is the cookbook you’ll reach for when you want to immerse yourself in a cooking project, when you are in the mood for a challenge, when your best pal hits a birthday that ends in a “0” and you want to make her a very, very special cake.
Each dessert is based on a piece of art in the SFMOMA collection, or on an upcoming show at the museum. They are delightful, funny, and just as important, they sound delicious, proving that as much attention went into their flavors and textures as did their ability to reflect art. Most of these recipes are complicated construction projects, but not all.