Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cookbook Review: My Sweet Vegan

Self-Frosting Cupcakes!
Self-Frosting Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

One of the greatest joys of entering the blogging world has been meeting so many talented, large-hearted bakers and cooks who share my passion for good food. One of these amazing individuals is Hannah Kaminsky, vegan baker extraordinaire and mastermind behind the lovely Bittersweet blog. Her credentials are beyond impressive: she'd won baking awards and written a cookbook by college! When her publisher offered me a free review copy of her book, My Sweet Vegan, I naturally jumped at the opportunity.

I was immediately impressed by the variety of offerings in this book. The recipes are divided into 5 sections: Sweet Starts (like Golden Glazed Donuts), Cookies and Bars (like "Cheese" Cake Thumbprint Cookies and Peanut Butter Bombs), Cakes and Cupcakes (like Bananas Foster Cake and Mocha Devastation Cake), Pies and Tarts (like Baklava Tart and Pink Lemonade Tartlets), and Miscellaneous Morsels and Desserts (like Green Tea Tiramisu and Hazelnut Ravioli). Plus each and every recipe comes with a color photograph and inviting introduction from Hannah.

Orange Hazelnut Biscotti
Orange Hazelnut Biscotti

Ultimately I tested the Self-Frosting Peanut Butter Cupcakes, Orange Hazelnut Biscotti, and Green Tea Freezer Pops. All delicious, and even my non-foodie boyfriend raved about the cupcakes and biscotti. The self-frosting cupcakes, made by swirling the chocolate "frosting" into the batter before baking, were a tasty and much faster alternative to my usual. With a cake so moist and flavorful from the peanut butter, butter and eggs weren't missed at all. The popsicles were fast, easy, and refreshing. Featuring almond and green tea flavors paired to great effect. Finally, you can find my detailed review of the biscotti (with recipe) in this past post.

Matcha Green Tea Popsicles (from My Sweet Vegan)
Green Tea Freezer Pops

It's true that recipes are the heart and soul of any cookbook. Yet sometimes it's the little thoughtful touches that win me over. In My Sweet Vegan, these were the Ingredient Guide and Food Allergy Index. While many ingredients in this book are probably already in your kitchen, a few are made especially for vegan cooking (like vegan cream cheese and soy yogurt). Luckily Hannah provides a lot of guidance for finding these. Unlike many cookbooks that just say an item is "available at specialty stores" (as if that's helpful?!), Hannah tells you not only the type of store but often the section where you're likely to find it. She also provides an index of the recipes that are gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, etc. at the end of the book for those struggling with allergies.

Are you starting to get the impression that I like Hannah and her book 8p? I had so much fun reading and baking from it, I hope you'll give it a chance, too. If you've got holiday shopping left to do, My Sweet Vegan would make a lovely and affordable gift for any adventurous bakers or vegans in your life (yourself included ^_^).

36 comments:

  1. Lovely treats! I particularly like the biscotti.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Thanks for the review. Hannah has a wonderful blog -- it's great to read your input about the book!

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  3. I am intrigued. Really want to try vegan recipe ! beautiful photo as usual.

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  4. I really am enjoying the rustic-ness of your photos... very chic, modern, yet very "home country" and comforting. I'm not a Vegan...but after living in Japan, I do eat less meat..

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  5. Hannah is one of my favorite bloggers! So excited that you got to review this book. I've always wanted it but just haven't gotten around to buying it yet. Everything you made looks fantastic!

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  6. Just Cake Girl - Thanks!

    Rosa - The biscotti was super yummy. Please do try the recipe!

    Awbluemondays - Isn't it lovely? Glad you enjoyed the review.

    Elra - If you click on the biscotti link, I posted a recipe that's really worth trying and so easy!

    New York Expat - What a wonderful compliment. Thank you thank you! My boyfriend lived in Japan for a year. I think he ate less meat afterward, too.

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  7. Vegan food is so good! I had a vegan Nutella cheesecake made with tofu and strawberries on top! YUM!

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  8. The pops look cute! Even the weather is cold for the pops right now, I still want them! Your photos are so beautiful.

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  9. tout a l'air délicieux, bravo !

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  10. look delicious! I'm a big fan of Hanna's blog, too :)

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  11. I'm a big fan of Hannah's blog. Great review!

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  12. Lovely recipe and well stacked

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  13. Those Self-Frosting Peanut Butter Cupcakes look especially delicious! I just discovered your blog, totally loving it (and your pictures) :)

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  14. It looks like the limitations on vegan cooking have been removed! So much diversity here!

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  15. Aww, you're too sweet- You're making me blush over here!

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful review and kind words, I can't tell you how much it means to me. I'm glad that you took your time in doing a write up, because truly there was no rush, so don't worry about "taking so long." I'm just thrilled that you would take the time in the first place. :)

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  16. Looks very yummy:) I love vegan!

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  17. That sounds like a lovely book! I lurk in Hannah's blog all the time too! lol

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  18. The vegan book sounds cool. I love that green tea pops especially.

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  19. This is a great review of Hannah's book. I adore her blog and although I'm just a fledgling vegetarian wannabe, I love her vegan recipes. They're fabulous no matter what your culinary preferences are.

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  20. Such gorgeous photos!! This book sounds lovely and what great recipes too :) I really adore your blog!

    - the runaway

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  21. That sounds like a great cookbook! In fact I know a few people that would love it for Christmas. Thankyou for your review! :D

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  22. Although i'm not vegan, this book appears to have some fantastic recipes. The orange hazelnut biscotti sounds fab.

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  23. Oh! Nice vegan treats...love the orange biscotti :-)

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  24. Schweet review. I wanna try those green tea freezer pops! :D

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  25. What a great blog you have. Love your photos! I will definately try your recipes!

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  26. Looks so delicious! i love biscotti!

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  27. I love Hannah's space! The biscottis sound fabulous.

    your photographs are beautiful.. loving the earthy tones here.

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  28. Those cupcakes really looks tempting! Perfect for the green tea pops, cuteness i adore green tea mixed with lemon specially for afternoon tea. That biscotti is sure winner with that chocolate dip. Yum Yum. Enjoy the season!

    aion account

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  29. The book sounds wonderful but these photographs are really stunning. Beautiful job, Xiaolu!

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  30. Thanks for the lovely comments, everyone! I'm glad many of you are already big fans of Hannah's site. It's a great source of baking/cooking inspiration.

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  31. Wow. I've never seen a vegan dessert look so good! Good luck on your finals!

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  32. This book sounds wonderful. Will definitely have to give a try since I don't have any experience baking vegan treats.

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  33. Xiaolu, I want those grean tea frozen pops :)

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  34. A great review. That biscotti looks delicious! Never heard of Bittersweet, off to check it out :)

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  35. I can't believe I still don't have this cookbook! Everything you made looks amazing as always.

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