5 Questions

Faith Durand on Bakeless Sweets (plus a Giveaway!)

June 11, 2013

We're sitting down with our favorite writers and cooks to talk about their upcoming cookbooks, their best food memories, and just about anything else.

Today: Faith Durand, executive editor of The Kitchn, is discussing her latest cookbook, her job, and dinner tonight. Want to get your hands on a copy of Bakeless Sweets? Leave us a comment -- we're giving away 3 copies!


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When summer's heat intensifies, our desire to bake disappears, but our sweet tooth persists. Which is why bakeless desserts are so crucial. Thankfully, Faith Durand, executive editor of The Kitchn, has written an entire cookbook dedicated to these sweets, from fools to puddings to icebox pies. Today, she's sharing her tips for summer desserts, and giving away books to five lucky readers! 

Strawberries are finally in season here in New York. What's your favorite way to use them?
One of the things I love about panna cotta is the way you can substitute fresh fruit purée for some of the milk. This gives the pudding an intense fruit taste, and strawberries are my first choice. Made with fresh, in-season strawberries, strawberry panna cotta is one of my favorite desserts of all time. The fragrance and sweetness comes through just as if you were biting into a ripe strawberry. 

What are the ingredients you should always have on hand for bakeless desserts in the summertime?
Whipping cream! Fresh cream is the base of so many no-bake desserts, from panna cotta to whipped cream fools to icebox cakes. Milk helps out too, and fresh fruit. The simplest no-bake dessert, after all, is fresh strawberries or peaches with a touch of whipped cream. It doesn't get better than that. 

More: Get Faith's recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Fool.

Strawberry Rhubarb Fool

What are the most important tools to have on hand for bakeless sweets?
Whisks. I'm obsessed with them. They come in so many sizes and shapes! You only need one good balloon whisk for making a smooth custard, but I also have great affection for my sauce whisk, and the tiny whisk that makes my vinaigrette in a mug, and the Joseph Joseph whisk that twists flat for storage…you get the picture. 

What will you be making for dinner tonight?
Chicken stir-fry with shiitake mushrooms and leeks, with brown rice, and the spicy, tangy coconut kale from Vij's cookbook

And finally, of course: chocolate or vanilla?
If I can't have butterscotch, then it'll have to be vanilla. 

We're giving away five copies of Bakeless Sweets! Tell us in the comments: what's your favorite no-bake treat? We'll choose three lucky winners on Friday, June 14 at 3 PM EST.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jessica Garcia
    Jessica Garcia
  • Tia Fletcher
    Tia Fletcher
  • Jen P
    Jen P
  • Monica C
    Monica C
  • Lexi Earl
    Lexi Earl
Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull



Jessica G. June 18, 2013
Tia F. June 17, 2013
Oreo icebox pie! Yummm
Jen P. June 14, 2013
Lemon icebox pie.
Monica C. June 14, 2013
Milkshake smoothie made of fat-free frozen yogurt and berries
Lexi E. June 14, 2013
Custard. Eaten in large quantities. Sometimes with berries, often times just along.
Nichole K. June 13, 2013
Strawberry watermelon salad with jalapeño and lime vinegarette.
angerawrrr June 13, 2013
Mousse, for sure. Or curds. Definitely curds. I can eat lemon curd by the spoonful! I'm horrible at making them but I just lovvvvvve them!
Slow C. June 13, 2013
Big fat summer berries (strawberry, raspberries, cherries, mulberries, serviceberries, whatever is in season)dunked in dark chocolate mousse (the kind that is made with whipped eggs whites and cream, super fluffy, and has little specks of dark chocolate suspended in the chocolaty chocolate cream egg dream). Now I'm drooling.
crin June 13, 2013
biscoff butter and chocolate graham crackers...yum.
t-mo June 13, 2013
And my favorite bakeless dessert is definitely the simplest: fresh fruit with whipped cream.
t-mo June 13, 2013
I love Faith Durand and The Kitchn! So glad to see she has a new book out.
coffeebun June 13, 2013
Almond tofu! Pichet Ong has a great version in his cookbook "The Sweet Spot."
AmandaN June 13, 2013
Has to be ice cream, despite my lactose intolerance.
mikansan June 13, 2013
strawberries with brown sugar and creme fraiche... so yummy...
Monica C. June 13, 2013
chilled Tapioca Cantaloupe (coconut milk) soup... a delicious summer dessert
sonja June 13, 2013
whipped cream anything
alywit June 12, 2013
Macerated strawberries with a hit of aged balsamic vinegar over almost anything.
Gibson2011 June 12, 2013
summer pudding
Dr R. June 12, 2013
Gotta be ice cream for me.
BakersFancy June 12, 2013
I have loved Icebox Cake made with chocolate wafers and whipped cream since my mother made it for me as child. Now, as an adult I serve it with macerated berries to add texture and layers of flavor! It has also led me to exploring other "icebox" treats.