Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Sweet Vegan Review

The generous publishers of My Sweet Vegan sent a copy my way a couple months ago, and I have been gushing ever since I opened the box and saw the cover.
Upon opening it and reading the recipes and introductions, and gazing at each recipe's photo, I already felt the sugar rush coming on.

I was honestly already a fan of Hannah's, so I knew I was in for a treat, ba dum! I've been reading her Bittersweet Blog for awhile and was even more impressed with her projects upon interviewing her for the online edition of Herbivore Magazine last year (full article for subscribers here, snippet here). My dear friend Michelle (link fixed!) interviewed her regarding crafts, and I dealt with food.

An adorable, enthusiastic and attentive personality shines in Hannah's writing online, and that extends into her cookbook. Each recipe not only showcases her top-notch photography and food presentation skills, but again, her writing shines.
Every recipe has an introduction - whether it describes why Hannah created it, what to serve alongside, when to make - it's inspiring.

My Sweet Vegan features more sweets than you think you can handle, but you want to.
This book is one I'd recommend for vegan bakers with an appreciation for style - whether you're a passionate beginner or accomplished home baker. Even Hannah's more basic recipes put a neat spin on things. You'll find yourself realizing you NEED a heart shaped pan, for example, because it makes life that much cuter. There are also several gluten-free recipes, one being the tempting looking and sounding Cashew Creme Pear Tart.

I'm glad to have this book in my collection. If Hannah has written this book by age 18, imagine what decadence the future holds!

I've made four treats from the book so far, spoiling my coworkers along the way:

(Triple) Chocolate Cheesecake

My most recent creation was the Triple Chocolate Cheesecake. I did skip the chocolate crust and opted for a storebought graham cracker one. So, let's call it double chocolate. It was very easy to make, and obviously freaking delicious. I added some peanut butter caramel on top, because I can never things alone.


Peanut Butter Bombs

These were eaten very quickly by my coworkers, and with good reason. They are surprisingly moist, and the peanut butter filling is a excellent incentive for biting into one!

Sadly, I should have put more filling in than I did, but that my was my fault.

Black Bottomed Brownies

Crumb-topped Cranberry Muffins turned Mini Loaves

My boyfriend's favorite from the book. The cranberry flavor was SO good, and I liked how the citrus added to it. The crumb topping was more sweet coating than 'crumby' but it was still good!

And here's the cheezecake again...

I will note that if you are not a fan of soy yogurt, at least in desserts, know that I found the flavor (using different brands) to be noticeable in some of the above. I've also heard this sentiment elsewhere. I'm not saying this negatively impacts the recipes entirely, but it was there.

However, you can try upping the extract, or adding an additional flavor element to mask it.
I am a fan of the moistness soy yogurt can bring to a recipes, so I understand what's going on there.

The peanut butter and chocolate cookies were the biggest hits at my office. The muffins turned loaves were the biggest hits with my boyfriend. I could taste the yogurt, whatever, but the lemon and cranberry 'plosion came through so wonderfully.

I really liked how fantastically easy and striking the black bottomed blondies were to make, but I would consider adding another flavor element the next time I made them - like orange rind or jam. I am such a sucker for blondies.

To my readers, I ask, what's your favorite recipe so far?

Congrats, Hannah! The vegan blogging community is so proud of you!

I must admit, I was looking for bittersweet chocolate in a recipe, and did not spot it : )


Vegyogini said...

My favorite, so far, are the Pistachio Creme filled cookies. They're delicious and I'd never had anything like them before trying Hannah's recipe. :)

Romina said...

Oh if I could get my hands on a copy of that book... I wish they sold it in Canada. Everything looks delicious!!

Elizabeth said...

I've made: the Root Beer Float cupcakes, the doughnuts, and the crumb-topped brownies. I think the last is my favorite, though the doughnuts were quite the guilty pleasure! The brownies do have quite a bit of chocolate in them, cocoa and chips. Even my decidedly un-vegetarian friend (who doesn't even like sweets much) just raved about the brownie I gave her!

Bianca said...

I've tried some strawberry muffins from My Sweet Vegan. The recipe was on the FARM Meatless Mondays email blast...and man, they were damn tasty! But that cheesecake is sending me into a food coma! I need to buy the book!

VeganFabulous said...

I really REALLY want that book but it would be very dangerous at my house. I would eat too much...

Urban Vegan said...

Isn't it a great book? HArd to believe she's just ayoung 'un.

I just KNEW you would make that Triple CHocolate Cheesecake, Jess.

Michelle said...

Not that your dear friend ever updates, but she's at spicemustflow.blogspot.com!

I wish i had this book, though I make enough sweets lately as it is!

Wannabe said...

My fav so far are the Crumb Topped Brownies. OMG! SOOOOO good.

Hannah said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thorough review! I'm thrilled to hear your positive comments, and I really appreciate your honest input, too. I hope you continue to enjoy the book!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

My cookies seemed a bit low on filling as well, but they were tasty. Mmm, PB caramel is good for everything!

Vegan_Noodle said...

The peanut butter bombs have definitely been my favorites, I've made them a few time already. That and the mocha devastation cake.

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