Book Review – Chloe’s Vegan Desserts
Goodness, I love desserts. I have a huge sweet tooth and while it’s not as bad as it used to be, I still have a major soft spot for dessert. When I found out that Chloe Coscarelli, a vegan chef and the first vegan winner on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”, had a vegan dessert cookbook coming out, I was immediately interested.
I really like that Chloe points out that many of her vegan recipes can easily be modified to be gluten free as well. She has a section in the introduction about gluten free flour and mentions the need to add xanthan gum to thicken, stabilize, and emulsify batters to create the best baked texture. There’s a recipe in the back for a basic gluten free pie crust. In addition, she has comments about modifying her recipes to suit soy-free and sugar-free diets.
Chloe writes that her “secret to perfection” is renaming desserts that don’t turn out the way she intended. For example, peanut butter cookies that came out too crispy will be presented as “peanut butter crisps” and a pie that didn’t set properly can be relabeled as “pudding pie”. While this is quite smart, I’d be cautious about overusing this “secret”. Repeatedly serving improperly cooked or poorly prepared food does not seem like a good habit to get into.
The cookbook is full of not only many delicious sounding recipes but also some beautiful photography of the sweet treats. It’s as much a cookbook as it is a visual delight. The book is divided into sections of recipes by similar theme: desserts for breakfast (such as cinnamon rolls, beignets, doughnuts), cookies and bars, pies, tarts, and cobblers, cakes and cupcakes, spoon desserts (ice cream, mousse, and puddings), sweet drinks (hot cocoa, milkshakes, and lattes), and a section of basics (simple frostings, chocolate sauce, pie crusts, and more).
I decided to try out Chloe’s Yoga Cupcakes, which she says she likes to enjoy after practicing yoga. I used her recommended modifications to make them gluten free. However, her vegan recipe uses dairy-free chocolate chips for the frosting and I used white chocolate chips made of dairy since that’s what I had on hand. If you want the cupcakes to be truly vegan, make sure to use dairy-free chips.
These cupcakes were, uh, kind of really incredible. My husband claims they are the best vegan food he’s ever put in his mouth. My mom, an avid baker and semi-professional cake decorator, was impressed by how well they rose. My kids couldn’t get enough and cried when I said they couldn’t have another one. These cupcakes are seriously going into my regular dessert rotation and I’m anxious to make more of Chloe’s desserts.
Chloe’s Vegan Desserts: More than 100 Exciting New Recipes for Cookies and Pies, Tarts and Cobblers, Cupcakes and Cakes–and More! is available for pre-order on Amazon now and will be released this Tuesday, February 19. If you’re a dessert lover like me, I’d definitely encourage you to check it out!