Sunday, September 15, 2013

review and giveaway :: chloe's vegan desserts

Gooey, chocolate goodness and so easy to make.
Time for a way-overdue review and giveaway. The nice folks at Simon and Schuster sent me Chloe Coscarelli's Chloe's Vegan Desserts way back in February, and I'm just getting to it now. ***hangs head in shame*** I am extremely backed up on reviews, so in the coming weeks, I'm going to make a concerted effort to try to catch up. That means lots of giveaways for you lucky readers, so check back often.

Back to Chloe's Vegan Desserts ... for those of you who have been living on another planet, Chloe is famous for winning TV's "Cupcake Wars" by wowing zee fussy judges with her Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with Candied Orange Peel.

Let me cut to the chase: This is an adorable, unpretentious cookbook featuring 100+ easy, plant-based dessert recipes, from cupcakes and cakes to puddings, cookies and milkshakes. The photography is mouthwatering, and so are the "Giada-esque" glam shots of the lovely Chloe and her impossibly white teeth. Paging through the book, I tagged about 25 recipes I wanted to try. I ended up making three, all with fabulous results. Read on and see how they turned out, then enter to win a free copy of Chloe's Vegan Desserts

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding made with arborio rice
Chloe's Rum Raisin Rice Pudding was ridiculously easy and was – no lie – the best rice pudding I've ever made. She uses arborio rice, which cooks up extra creamy, along with a shot of caramelly dark rum. The recipe said it made 10 servings. Maybe it's the effect of marathon training on my appetite, but but realistically speaking, I would call it 5 servings. [Who eats 1/4 cup of rice pudding, especially when it's this good?] I think I'll add a bit of lemon or orange zest next time, to tease out the flavors even more.

Hot Fudge on the Bottom Cake
Chloe's Hot Fudge on the Bottom Cake makes this book worth buying, even if it's the only recipe you make; you will bake this easy-peasy, magical gem again and again. It's reminiscent of a 'chocolate lava" cake, with gooey, pudding like yumminess oozing from the bottom [To see what it looks like sliced, see first photo in post]. I am not the world's biggest chocolate fan, but this recipe won me over. I liked that it was decadent without being so heavy that you needed to nap after enjoying a slice.

Yes, I'm crunched out. I made Chloe's Granola.
The Homemade Granola was easy, delicious and yielded a gleefully large batch. If you are a cereal-and-milk person, you will adore this. I'm not a huge cereal and [non-dairy] milk kind of girl, so I ended up snacking on this granola by the handful and also sprinkled it atop my vanilla coconut yogurt.

My quick-n-dirty assessment of Chloe's Vegan Desserts:

The good: Easy, delectable vegan recipes. Good for both seasoned and newbie vegan cooks. Uses vegan pantry staples. Gorgeous photos. Positive, uplifting tone. Very approachable.

The not-so-good: Honestly, there's not much to not like about this little number. My only real issue with the book were the way a few of the ice-cream recipes were written. They were not really "ice cream" recipes as much as they were "gussy up your ice cream" recipes, aka "Semi-Homemade." And I'm not a fan of Semi-Homemade. For example, the Coconut Sorbet with Cashew Brittle calls for a pint of coconut sorbet, and the Praline Ice Cream calls for a quart of vanilla non-dairy ice cream.  I wanted to know how to make the Coconut Sorbet! But given all the other positives, this is a minor transgression.

To win your very own copy of Chloe's Vegan Desserts leave a comment with your favorite vegan dessert. And don't forget to leave some sort of contact info either an email or blog, otherwise you will be disqualified. Extra "vegan brownie" [yuk-yuk] points for following me and/or Chloe on Twitter. US readers only please. I'll announce the winner next week. Good luck!

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59 comments:

Tyme said...

Normally, I'd go straight for the chocolate dessert. But, I must say, that rice pudding looks mighty tasty! Would love to have Chloe's dessert cookbook.

(Just ordered one of her others -- x2, for co-worker omnis who have expressed interest in veganism. I don't even own one!)

@_ivegan
editor@ivegan.org

(Have followed you & Chloe for a long time!)

Amy said...

My favorite vegan dessert is oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Elizabeth said...

I'm pretty flexible when it comes to dessert, but I think my absolute favorite is the Smlove Pie from Veganomicon. I follow you both on Twitter (@ebrion).

Natasha said...

My favorite vegan dessert is a vegan pumpkin bread that I make!

Natasha said...

And I follow you on Twitter! :)

Stacy said...

Ooooh I got this book out from the library a few months and loved it. I made that chocolate on the bottom cake and have to say that it is my favourite vegan dessert to date (well that and vegan cheesecake.
grian_teaghlach@telus.net

Sarah said...

I love the Hot Fudge on the Bottom cake! So yummy! And I would love a yummy vegan bread pudding recipe—perfect for fall.

I follow you and Chloe on FB, twitter, and instagram! @FriedDandelions

sarah@frieddandelions.com

Anne said...

Favorite vegan dessert is chocolate peanut butter ice cream (made with soy milk). I already follow you both on Twitter! :-)

Tina. said...

It's so hard to pick one favorite dessert. I guess my friend Sarah's apple crumble or any kind of good pie that my other friend Sara makes would be the answer, if I had to choose. (tinazigon at google dot com)

Deborah Davis said...

I am such a healthy eater that I tend to eat watermelon for dessert and feel quite satisfied. But if prodded, my favorite vegan dessert is the Kanten parfait with cashew cream and vegan cookie crumbles at Angelica's Kitchen.

Lymie said...

I love a good brownie sundae.

Lee Ann said...

Right now my favorite is Fruit Cobbler.
I love using whatever fruit is in season.

(Maudie dot 2008 at hotmail)

Carla Anderson said...

My favorite vegan dessert is carrot cake! My recipe always comes out very flat and pudding-like, though, so I'd like to find a recipe that rises more without getting too dry.

Cat said...

Ice cream from Lula's! Also pumpkin cake.

Edward said...

My favorite vegan dessert would probably be anything with chocolate!

Anonymous said...

My favourite dessert is actually that hot fudge on the bottom cake!! My brother's girlfriend who is also vegan made it for a potluck one night and OMG it was delicious. I need this book lol.

I follow you both on Twitter :)

@bellaveg

dreaminitvegan said...

Most anything chocolate and then of course good ole apple pie!
dreaminitvegan@yahoo.com

vegAnn said...

I love raw chocolate avocado mousse.

vegAnn said...

I follow you on twitter @coniecone and u can see my email through my blogger profile if u click vegAnn :)

Andrea said...

I reviewed Chloe's book a while back and would have to agree with you that the desserts are really good. I made different things than you did and both were top notch. In fact, the cookies I made are now my go-to recipe and my favorite dessert.

The Boss said...

My fave vegan dessert is Key Lime Cheesecake. It was the first vegan dessert I ever made and when I made the discovery I'd be able to eat all the batter I wanted from that day forward.

The Boss said...

Thatssoboss at gmail dot com

Rebecca said...

I really enjoy vegan vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and fresh cut strawberries. so simple. so delicious :D

BeccaMFerguson@aim.com

Vegyogini said...

Hmm...my favorite dessert is vegan ice cream! Thank you for the giveaway.

Vegyogini said...

I follow you on Twitter (@huggerfood)

Vegyogini said...

I follow Chloe on Twitter (@huggerfood)

Renee G said...

My favorite is huckleberry sorbet.

Renee G said...

Oops I forgot to tell you my email is rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

Jan Scholl said...

I am not a dessert type person. But I do love to make them for others. However, that rice pudding above is calling to me! I would consider it my entree for the evening!

Johanna said...

I'm not that much of a dessert person on a regular basis, but I love to make them for other people as often as I can. I really love a good piece of chocolate cake or torte.

MonsterAteMy said...

My sweet tooth has greatly diminished since I cut all dairy from my diet, but I still love a good pie. I'll say the crazy good tofu-based chocolate cream pie with the coconut cream topping that I made twice last fall is my favorite. Mmm...and it's nearly fall again!

shannon said...

I love Chocolate Über Chunk from Vedge!

sherman1971@yahoo.com

Jennipher said...

I love the Chloe-O's and so do my kids. Surprisingly easy for an assembled cookie. Chloe's Salted Caramel Cupcakes were also amazing. I checked her book out of the library and would LOVE to win my own copy.

I follow you both on twitter!

Thanks! @VeganGreenMum

Gabrielle said...

I follow you and Chloe!

I really, really miss chocolate eclairs. I have yet to find a suitable vegan version!

acookinthemaking said...

You can never go wrong with a good vegan cupcake! The Banana Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting from Chloe's Kitchen are a particular gem.

Lizzie Bordello said...

I love a good strawberry rhubarb pie. The recipe I have adds some almond extract, and that just kicks the whole thing up a notch!

wickedliz at hotmail dot com

Oh, and I do follow you both on Twitter. :)

foodfeud said...

Oh man, my brother and sister in law have this cookbook (and Chloe's other one) and cook EXCLUSIVELY from them! It must be good. my favorite vegan dessert is probably tiramisu... I'm a sucker for coffee + chocolate.
I follow you on Twitter also! (@antimaud)

sarahhhhhh said...

I big ole bowl of granola and almond is milk is mine!

Melissa Dion said...

I love vegan brownies for dessert!

Diane said...

Luckily I'm nearly always happy with just seasonal fruit, but that rice pudding is calling my name :)

sharyn said...

My favorite dessert has got to be a chocolate cupcake made with a good stout. Delicious vegan cupcake made with beer makes my weekend :-)

Ritika said...

Tapioca Coconut pudding is my all time favorite vegan dessert.
I follow you both on Twitter @ritz1311

Joey said...

That pudding would make a grown vegan weep with joy. Not in the US, so alas can't join in, but those desserts look fab.

doemora said...

My favorite vegan dessert is triple ginger macademia cookies, based on a Vegn Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar recipe. Almost moved in enough to try YOUR new pie book!
mora.dorothy@gmail.com

mariamashta said...

Vegan tiramisu!! *sighs longingly*

I follow you and Chloe of course! my twitter account is @RiaLaVida. Thanks!

Maria

Tabatha Alward said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe, It looks very delicious. The next time can you give us some recipe that using pressure cooker ? . I bought a new one but lacking the ideas to use it :(

Maggie Fout said...

I love chocolate chip cookies veganized. Maggie_fout@yahoo.com
Following you on twitter @maggiefout

charj said...

My favorite vegan desset is chocolate avocado pudding.

Susan G said...

Banana spice cake with caramel frosting

Heather said...

I love Chloe's Kitchen cookbook. I have used many of her recipes. My favorite vegan dessert so far is my old and trusty chocolate chip cookie recipe. When I went vegan, I just modified it until it worked!

sporty1222@hotmail.com

Heather said...

I love Chloe's Kitchen cookbook. I have used many of her recipes. My favorite vegan dessert so far is my old and trusty chocolate chip cookie recipe. When I went vegan, I just modified it until it worked!

sporty1222@hotmail.com

Deborah said...

I'm just starting the vegan lifestyle so I'd say some fresh fruit is what I've been doing for dessert. I'd love to win this cookbook so I can try something new!

drs511@yahoo.com

Deborah said...

I'm just starting the vegan lifestyle so I'd say some fresh fruit is what I've been doing for dessert. I'd love to win this cookbook so I can try something new!

drs511@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I love making vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! Cant wait to see what Chloe has in her new book!

Lori

Lwaldman08 at gmail dot com

Jennifer K said...

I love vegan cheesecake and cupcakes too

Jennifer K said...

I already follow you both on Twitter

melanie richie said...

Vegan desserts are easier compared to finger food catering desserts. But I love making them both. I am always excited making different desserts.

Jenn Liden said...

OMG, I have to say, that rice pudding looks to-die-for!!!

Gloria Lundstrom said...

Dessert dish that I always dreamed of eating it every day, the question is: cook this dish for how long.