Reviewed by Gail Davis
You’ve heard the saying: “Life is short. Eat dessert first.” The enticing recipes in Chef Fran Costigan’s latest book will make you want to eat dessert first, second, and third. Using only minimally- processed vegan ingredients, More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts is filled with guilt-free sweet sensations that you can feel good about eating and preparing for family and friends.
Because desserts are a celebration of the sweetness in life, no vegan should ever have to feel deprived of dessert’s sweet pleasure. But, to create great-tasting desserts without the use of refined fours, refined sweeteners, dairy, eggs, or trans-fats, is a masterful epicurean achievement, and the recipes in this book prove that it can be done.
Whether you are a novice or an expert baker, Costigan shows you how to make unbelievably moist cakes, breads, and muffins, sensationally creamy puddings, mousses, fillings, and sauces, delightfully chewy cookies, fabulously flaky pie crusts, tantalizingly rich frostings, and even a heavenly chocolate ganache. (See recipe below.)
Costigan, a graduate of the New York Restaurant School and the Natural Gourmet Cookery School, perfected her pastry-chef talents while dazzling diners at New York City’s Angelica Kitchen and Luma Restaurants. The information and delicious recipes she shares in More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts are sure to inspire even the most hardcore sweet seeker to explore a more healthful, natural way of preparing and enjoying desserts.
With recipes like Coconut Cloud Layer Cake, Pumpkin Pecan Bread, Virtuous Vanilla Bundt Cake, Glazed Lemon Torte, and My-T-Satisfying Chocolate Pudding, you won’t know where to begin. I couldn’t resist trying the Honey-Free Better Baklava, and I wasn’t disappointed. I was a bit apprehensive about replacing honey with brown rice syrup (not my favorite sweetener) but was happily surprised with the result. I later ventured into a recipe that was a bit more complex, but well worth the effort. Red and Golden Raspberry Lemon Cream Tart in an Almond Cookie Crust was as gorgeous to look at as it was sensational to eat. While the filling is fat-free, you’d never know it because it’s so amazingly rich and creamy.
Dessert lovers of every dietary persuasion will be delighted with the sumptuous sweets that can be created from the recipes in this book. More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts is the most creatively enticing collection of good-for-you desserts you could ever hope to find.
Ganache is rich icing traditionally made with chocolate and heavy cream that are heated and stirred together. It is also used as a filling for cakes, pies, truffles, and other pastries. This sinfully rich vegan version from More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts substitutes non-dairy soy creamer for the heavy cream.
1 pound non-dairy semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
1 ½ cups soy creamer