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Cookbook review: Chloe's Vegan Desserts by Chloe Coscarelli

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Desserts to drool over!

Satisfy your sweet tooth with these fab vegan recipes for cakes, doughnuts, gelato and much more. Everyone will find a favorite!
Bollywood Cupcakes

If you've got a sweet tooth, Chloe's Vegan Desserts by Chloe Coscarelli has what you need. This book has oodles of recipes (more than 100) for cookies, pretty pies, tarts and cobblers of all kinds, gelato, sauces, frostings and even dessert-style pancakes.

Accessible sweets

One distinction about this cookbook, as the title suggests, is that all the goodies are vegan. Not only that, but it won't take much effort to run down the ingredients used in these recipes. These desserts are made without dairy and eggs, and instead are made with simple, accessible substitutions.

hloe’s Vegan Desserts Sweet inspiration

Chloe Coscarelli is an award-winning vegan chef most people recognize as the first vegan chef to win Food Network's Cupcake Wars in 2010. Her goal for this all-dessert cookbook was to share her original recipes to show people that vegan baking can be easy and delicious. She notes that "the best part of bringing vegan desserts to a mixed crowd is that everyone can enjoy and not question the ingredients."

"I get inspiration from nonvegan desserts," explains Chloe. "I am compelled to master 'veganized' versions of the ooey-est, gooey-est, butter-laden desserts to prove to people that dairy- and egg-free baking can be just as delicious — and without that heavy feeling that leaves you in a dessert coma. That's the fun of being a vegan pastry chef!"

Expect the unexpected

She uses ingredients to amazing effect. For example: cashews to make a cream alternative. Coconut milk as a sub for heavy cream. Nonhydrogenated margarine instead of butter and many other stand-ins for animal products that don't sacrifice taste or texture. In the recipes for this book, Chloe also provides substitutions for those who need to avoid gluten, soy and sugar.

The recipes truly are easy to follow and include ingredients you'll be familiar with, and comfortable using. To make matters better, the glossy, detailed photos on nearly every page will help serve as your motivation to make many of Chloe's mouthwatering delights. Also included in the book is a guide that will help you understand how certain ingredients function in the role of vegan baking (no science degree required to follow along).

Try a recipe from Chloe's Vegan Desserts:

Bollywood cupcakes

Yields 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup soy, almond or rice milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons white or apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the buttercream

  • 1 cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 3-5 tablespoons soy, almond or rice milk
  • Gold pearls or dust for garnish (optional)

Directions:

For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners and spray with nonstick cooking oil.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the nondairy milk and saffron. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cooled saffron mixture, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with the batter. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out dry with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  6. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

For the buttercream

  1. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the shortening until it's smooth.
  2. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla, cardamom, and 1 tablespoon of nondairy milk at a time, as needed, until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.
  3. Increase the speed to high and beat for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Pipe or spread a thin layer of buttercream on the cupcakes. If desired, garnish with gold pearls or dust.

*For a gluten-free alternative, substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour plus 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum.

About the author

Chloe Coscarelli is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute of Health and Culinary Arts in New York City and the University of California, Berkeley, as well as Cornell University's Plant-Based Nutrition Program. The first vegan winner of Food Network's Cupcake Wars, Chloe Coscarelli is the author of the popular Chloe's Kitchen and creator of ChefChloe.com. She lives in Los Angeles. To learn more about Chloe, join her community at ChefChloe.com.

Get your copy of Chloe's Vegan Desserts.

More cookbooks to try

Betty Goes Vegan, by Annie and Dan Shannon
Nigellissima, by Nigella Lawson
Small Changes, Big Results, by Ellie Krieger

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