"People like anything fried," says pastry chef Breanne Varela of Los Angeles's Tavern, and the Larder at Tavern, co-owned by chef Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne. Deep-fried sweet-potato doughnuts with bacon-caramel sauce are among Varela's most popular desserts, rivaled by her chocolate chip cookies: She and her staff make over 35 pounds of cookie dough at a time and sell almost the whole batch in one day. So how does Varela stay slim around so many sweets? She has several rules: "I don't bake at home. I don't eat sweets outside of work. I taste a little, then move on. And I never overindulge." To help home bakers who may lack Varela's discipline, F&W turned her indulgent recipes into simple, healthy desserts. They're delicious even without the bacon-caramel sauce.
Breanne Varela Says: "I love chef Suzanne Goin's sweet potatoes with bacon, so I imitated those flavors."
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Chef Way Breanne Varela deep-fries her sweet-potato doughnuts, then serves them with bacon-caramel sauce and homemade maple ice cream.