on February 3, 2008
With recipes for Whoopie Pies, Cookies & Cream Pound Cake, and Lychee Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting, "My Sweet Vegan" will unquestionably open your eyes to a new world of culinary possibilities. As a dairy lover myself I must admit that I was skeptical about a book that claims to satisfy ye `ole sweet tooth without an ounce of dairy, eggs or butter to be found. But the truth is that I was pleasantly surprised, and while I won't be giving up ice cream or cheesecake anytime soon my opinion of vegan desserts has certainly changed for the better. Kaminsky has an uncanny ability to create things like Banana's Foster Cake and Golden Glazed Donuts without any of the ingredients we so commonly associate with baking - I really don't know how she does it. Each recipe is accompanied by instructions that are both clear and uplifting - I love how Kaminsky advises readers to indulge in a little siesta after removing the peels from oranges in order to make Orangettes. "Take a break and have a snack," she writes, "or toss [the orange segments] into a salad for later on!" The Orangettes recipe appears in the "Morsels and Desserts" chapter, which features treats like Green Tea Freezer Pops and Flaming Hot Peanut Brittle, proving that the reach of this book extends beyond the realm of the oven cookery. Every recipe has an attractive photo on the facing page, while image-laden how-to sections show you how to fill cupcakes with lemon curd that peeks through an heart-shaped cutout. Finally, I was especially impressed by the "Food Allergy Index" at the back of the book that lists recipes according to individual needs. Gluten free? Try Apricot Biscotti. Wheat free? Give Sesame Chews a whirl. As a teacher who is sometimes faced with the task of baking for elementary schoolers with various allergies, this section of the book will be immensely useful. Overall I would recommend "My Sweet Vegan" to anyone who is eager to satisfy their vegan sweet tooth or stretch their culinary imagination.
Chapters Include: Sweet Starts, Cookies & Bars, Cakes & Cupcakes, Pies & Tarts, and Miscellaneous Morsels & Desserts.
on February 8, 2008
Just so you know, historically I have proven to be a pretty good cook but a pretty bad baker. I love the freedom I have when I am about to "create" a meal. That feeling quickly turns to dread when I hear either the word "bake" or "dessert". I got tired of running from the dread and tired of preparing meals with no happy ending - What? No dessert? What is WRONG with you?
I ordered this book because all of the pictures made it look so easy. I also ordered this book because we are exploring the Vegan, non-dairy diet. I was more than a little afraid, but I did not need to worry. I had no trouble locating the ingredients (a lot of them were new to me) and I had my husband select a desert. Great ... he selected one that appeared more complex than the rest ... figures! Well, I am happy to report, that I made the "Cheese" Cake Thumbprint Cookies and they were GRRREAT! We are both really big cheese fans too and they tasted incredible, I was truly expecting to miss the cheese.
This is a great little book ... right down to the size, the solid construction and the front and back flaps that keep your place. I am pretty rough on cookbooks so I take care to be gentle with them but with this one I don't have to worry about.
Hope this helps! Take care and Happy Baking!
on October 28, 2007
I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a pre-release version of this soon-to-be hot new cookbook and was overwhelmed by the beauty of the photography, and the selection of unique and creative recipes developed by this new author. It is stylish and rich in design, as well as in the breadth of desserts that are offered. I have also been the happy tester of quite a few of the final products and can vouch for the taste and presentation of each one! I am definitely getting a copy of My Sweet Vegan as a holiday gift for all of my cool friends. It will be loved by vegans and non-vegans alike.
on January 26, 2008
I own a ridiculous amount of cookbooks, vegan, vegetarian & otherwise and I bake at least every other day. This is without a doubt one of the best cookbooks for baking ever written. I've tried at least 20 of the recipes and have only been disappointed with the Lemon Lime Sunshine Bundt cake; it was pretty sweet & more dense/sticky than I envisioned. That said, it was far from a 'bad' recipe I've tried in other books, just not up to the caliber of her others. I'll admit, I haven't tried the brownie recipes (I was amazed there was a 2 star review & had to check it out), but now I'll have to try them for myself. My omnivore friends have started using vegan products because they tried the things I baked & got their own copy of the book. The Joy of Vegan Baking is excellent as well; ingredient weights are given, which would be great in this book. BUY THIS BOOK!!!
on February 1, 2008
The past few months have seen the release of a plethora of fabulous vegan cookbooks & My Sweet Vegan by Hannah Kaminsky is no exception! From the minute the book landed in my hands, I was drawn in by the beautiful layout which includes full color photos, taken by Hannah, for each & every recipe! Upon closer inspection, you find a collection of unique & tempting recipes such as Caramel Macchiato "Cheese" Cake, Lemon-Lime Sunshine Bundt, Turtle Shortbread Wedges, & Wasabi Chocolate Cupcakes, & as well as a selection of classic cookies, muffins, pies, tarts, & cakes! This isn't your standard vegan dessert book, Hannah's approach is a refreshing & exciting take on vegan sweets, yet it's approachable & easy to follow.
Before reviewing this sugary sweet selection for you, I had to try out a few recipes to see if they taste as fabulous as they look on the pages. I am a fiend for marshmallow, so the Marshmallow Mud Cake was the first up to bat, a treat to share with friends as we celebrated the new year! This chocolate cake makes use of chocolate soy milk for extra flavor & is topped in a confectioners sugar & ricemallow blend that makes for a fluffy topping for the true sweets lover! I had a bit of an issue with my frosting slipping down the sides of the cake, but that didn't stop me from trying to load it as high as possible before drizzling the top with chocolate!
I let my husband pick out another recipe to try & it was a peanut butter & chocolate combination in a cookie form; Peanut Butter Bombs. These are a chocolate cookie with a baked-in peanut butter center & a true treat! I was lucky enough to have him on filling duty, so these came together quickly & were immediately dipped in soy milk & consumed once they came out of the oven.
I have no doubt you'll be seeing Lace Sugar Crisps, Black Bottom Blondies, Peach Melba Layer Cake, & maybe even a Mocha Devastation Cake from My Sweet Vegan coming out of my kitchen in the near future!
on December 17, 2007
I had no idea until I got this book that there were so many alternatives out there for baking. Since I have a lot of Vegan readers on my blog I thought I would give this book a go.
It reads like a conversation and less like someone lecturing you. There are photographs of every recipe, which is a super plus in my book. There is an Ingredient Guide which as a non-Vegan I really appreciated since I was unaware of what some of the ingredients were.
I made my dog the Canine Cake and my husband and I the Dried Fruit Focaccia Bread. My dog loved hers and the bread was great. I plan on making the Orange Dreamsicle Snack Cake next week when my Vegetarian friend comes over for lunch.
Definitely a great cookbook for Vegetarians and Vegans as well as anyone who enjoys baking.
on January 22, 2008
If it's true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then My Sweet Vegan may end up being the wordiest cookbook ever. Eighteen year-old Hannah Kaminsky, is both author and photographer of this creative dessert-lover's tome. The photographs alone could be the makings for a monthly desserts calendar. The only problem would be selecting only twelve of the over seventy mouth-watering photos.
Hannah's goal was to create original recipes sure to please any palate, not just those of vegans. To that end, she includes a Food Allergy Index so that those with special dietary needs can find a recipe at a glance. Whether you're gluten-free, wheat-free, peanut-free, tree-nut free, or soy-free, there is a recipe for you.
The Table of Contents (which reads more like a Recipe Index) includes Sweet Starts (such as Sweet and Simple French Toast, Golden Glazed Donuts, Power Hungry Granola), Cookies and Bars (such as Apricot Biscotti, Butterscotch Blondies, Whoopie Pies), Cakes and Cupcakes (such as Chai "Cheese" Cake, Pomegranate Ginger Cupcakes, Pina Colada Mini-Bundts,) Pies and Tarts (such as Baklava Tart, Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie, Coconut Custard Pie), and Miscellaneous Morsels and Desserts (such as Matzah Toffee, Green Tea Freezer Pops, Five-Minute Coconut Fudge).
Most of the ingredients are easy to come by and some of the more obscure ingredients like Matcha Powder, and Black Cocoa Powder are listed in the four-page Ingredients Guide. A few of the recipes call for corn syrup which I would replace with healthier brown rice syrup, and vegetable shortening which some might confuse with Crisco instead of non-hydrogenated shortening, which I believe is what Hannah means to suggest.
As she completes her freshman year in college (and gives new meaning to the word "sweet" mate), Hannah joins ranks with some of the more formidable, seasoned vegan dessert cookbook authors; age notwithstanding, Hannah holds her own in this category. My Sweet Vegan is a fresh approach to baking and is sure to satisfy the sweet tooth of vegans and non-vegans alike. Be sure to check out Hannah's comprehensive blog at [...] also [...] and [...]
on January 27, 2008
I am not vegan but this book caught my eye with its lovely cover photographs. I love all the photography in the book. In this era of "healthy eating" I thought I would try a few of the recipes and found them delicious. The Graham Flour fig scones provided a delicate flavor with a hearty texture. The Marshmallow mud cake provided a delightful birthday treat for my Dad! The write-ups which preface each recipie are amusing and informative.
on August 20, 2010
I probably have no business writing a review since I've only tried a few recipes, but this is a very impressive book of upscale, creative desserts. There are quite a few books dedicated to vegan baking, but this one is incredibly well produced with amazing color photos for every recipe, and a really gorgeous layout.
Anyone who reads a food blog can make a vegan chocolate chip cookie - this book is for those of us who like to show off a little bit. The recipes include a few popular favorites but the majority are unusually elegant, which means even if you own some popular books like "Joy of Vegan Baking," this will not be overkill. Kaminsky spices things up with flavors like chai, cranberry, lychee, root beer, green tea, pink lemonade and wasabi, so you can subvert the dominant potluck with something new and unique. Aside from cakes, cupcakes, and cookies/bars, Kaminsky offers donuts, peanut brittle, tarts, truffles, scones and assorted breakfast treats, and no-bake goodies like parfaits and popsicles.
In my opinion many or most of these recipes are not suitable for beginners, rather they're for people who have baked at least a few layer cakes in their time.
Highly, highly recommended for the creative home chef, vegan or omni.
This beautiful book is full of unique, delicious recipes. From Almond Avalanche Bars to Chai "Cheese" Cake to Chocolate Cookie Pie to Whoopie Pies - you'll want to make them all. I love the orginal combinations like a fruit crisp topped with a cocoa crumble and the Green Tea Freezer Pops. Best of all, each recipe is accompanied by a full color photograph.
This book would make a wonderful gift - but be sure to buy one for yourself as well.