Our colleague Hannah Kaminsky, of Bittersweet Blog, is a regular contributor to THE NIBBLE. She has written six cookbooks!
A long-time vegan, Hannah oriented her sweet tooth to creating vegan recipes for herself and others who want delicious cookies, cakes, pies and other sweets.
Her sixth cookbook, Sweet Vegan Treats (photo #1) has just been released.
It’s timely: November is World Vegan Month; November 1st is World Vegan Day.
The recipes are so good, that omnivores won’t even suspect they’re vegan. Every recipe was taste-tested and approved by both vegans and non-vegans.
Since the recipes are entirely plant-based—no eggs, dairy or other animal products—they may also be welcomed by kosher eaters and people with those specific allergies.
Here’s a sample of the 90 recipes:
Equally as important, Hannah places vegan baking in its context: the ingredients, techniques, and troubleshooting.
Since we’re heading into cranberry season, here’s a recipe from the book (photo #2).
You can turn it from a vegan recipe into a conventional one by substituting the vegan butter and cream cheese and the nondairy milk for conventional ingredients.
1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F and lightly grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
2. COMBINE the cranberries, brown sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Stir periodically and allow the mixture to stew for 10 to 15 minutes, roughly mashing the cranberries against the side of the pan to help thicken the mixture.
Once it reaches a jammy consistency, thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, turn off the heat and let it cool for at least 15 minutes. In the meantime…
3. TOSS the cooked beet, oil, nondairy milk, beet juice, vanilla and vinegar into the blender and purée on high speed. Blend until completely smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides of the canister if needed.
4. WHISK together in a separate large bowl the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Make sure that all the dry goods are equally distributed within the bowl before adding in all of the blended wet ingredients along with the stewed cranberries.
Stir with a large spatula to bring everything together into a smooth batter, being careful not to overmix. A few remaining lumps are just fine.
5. DISTRIBUTE the batter equally between the two cake pans and tent the pans loosely with foil to prevent the tops from browning. Bake for 28 to 32 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centers pulls out cleanly. Let cool completely before frosting.
6. PREPARE the frosting: Combine the cream cheese and butter in the stand mixer with the whisk attachment installed. Beat the two together thoroughly until smooth and homogenous, before adding in half of the confectioners sugar with the vanilla and salt.
Start the mixer on a low speed to incorporate the sugar, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula. Add in the remaining sugar in the same fashion, giving the mixer plenty of time to blend it in.
7. TURN the speed to high and whip the frosting for a full 5 to 10 minutes, until light and fluffy. Apply to the cake as desired (see photo #2). Because this frosting is fairly soft, it’s advisable to store the finished cake in the fridge just prior to serving, if you make it in advance.