Sweet Eats for All: Review & Butternut Pots de Crème

There’s another vegan cookbook in town! 2014 really has been the year for us vegans. It’s amazing to see not only the huge quantity of vegan cookbooks on bookshelves but the incredible quality of them all.

Sweet Eats for All by Allyson Kramer is one of the latest and definitely not to be missed…especially if you’ve got a sweet tooth!

Sweet Eats for All: Allyson Kramer - Review & Recipe

As a vegan myself, I know that oftentimes we get left out when it comes to dessert. Throw celiac disease or gluten intolerance into the picture and I can only imagine what it’s like. This book covers both bases, featuring 250 (yep! 250!) decadent dessert recipes that are free from gluten, dairy, eggs, and/or other animal products.

There’s a great introduction with advice on “Stocking a sweet pantry” and “Tools of the trade”. I particularly appreciated the comprehensive “Flours and starches” section, as, though I’m doing alright with gluten-free baking, it’s nice to get some expert advice on which flours are best for which purposes, which combine best, etc.

N.B. The recipes in this book don’t call for “all-purpose” gluten-free flour but have been developed with a small selection of individual flours, each chosen for their unique properties.

There are a good number of pictures throughout the book (not for every recipe, but remember there are 250!) and each recipe also has an icon designating whether it’s also soy-free, nut-free, corn-free, and/or bean-free so you can decipher right away whether a recipe is suitable. 

Gingerbread Squares from Sweet Eats for All by Allyson Kramer (Vegan, Gluten-free)

Gingerbread Squares

I always like to try out a few recipes before discussing a book on here so that I can give a more complete review  but gosh was it hard to decide where to begin with this one!

It’s a good thing ’tis the season for baking as the recipes are definitely on the indulgent side and perfect for a celebration. I’m more used to healthier sweets these days and found I was especially drawn to the large section on “Refined sugar-free treats”. Allyson remarks that you should have good results making any of the recipes without refined sugar though.

There are seven other sections to explore:

- Killer cakes and toppings

- Captivating cookies and bars

- Luscious pies, pastries, tarts and cheesecakes

- Fabulous frozen treats

- Tempting puddings, custards, jellies, and fruits

- Choice chocolates and dandy candies

Can you see how I had a hard time choosing?!

Sweet , Salty, and Soft Granola Bars from Sweet Eats for All by Allyson Kramer (Vegan, Gluten-free)

Sweet, Salty, and Soft Granola Bars

In the end, I settled on some of the quick recipes I could get away with making without a birthday or special occasion as an excuse to indulge. The Gingerbread squares are very easy, oil-free and low on sweeteners and, most importantly, just as rich and spicy as the traditional version. Perfect for this time of year!

The Sweet, Salty and Soft Granola Bars are amazing. These are definitely too sweet for me as a breakfast bar but they make a delicious snack or dessert. I love how chewy they are, and the balance between sweet and salty is spot on. ( I added cacao nibs for a little extra crunch)

Butternut Pots de Creme from Sweet Eats for All by Allyson Kramer (Vegan, Gluten-free)

 Butternut Pots de Crème 

My favourite of the three recipes I’ve tried so far was the Butternut Pots de Crème. You would never guess that the base of this rich chocolate dessert is a vegetable! I actually misread the ingredients and only used half the sugar listed in the recipe but still thought it was delicious!

The book publisher’s Da Capo Press, have kindly allowed me to share this recipe with my readers so you can give this one a try while you wait for your copies to arrive!  

Butternut Pots de Crème

Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 C Cubed, roasted butternut squash
  • 1/2 C Coconut sugar OR packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 C Cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C Sorghum flour
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Smoked salt for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C and lightly grease two 4-inch ramekins.
  2. Purée the squash in food processor until smooth. Add in the sugar, cocoa powder, sorghum flour, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend until all ingredients are well combined, scraping the sides as needed.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the two ramekins and sprinkle smoked salt onto the custards. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or untl the sides of the pudding begin to pull away from the ramekins.
  4. Serve hot for a softer pudding of serve chilled for a firm dessert. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Notes

From Sweet Eats for All by Allyson Kramer. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014

http://www.coconutandberries.com/2014/12/15/sweet-eats-review/

My copy is already stuffed with post-it notes as there are so many recipes I want to try. Just a few  of the ones I’ve bookmarked are: Marbled Cake, Cherry Bombs, Florentines, Date Drop Cookies, Belgian Waffles, Mini Maple Donuts, Cranberry Faux-Gurt, Salted Espresso Truffles and Apple nachos

The “look inside” feature on Amazon allows you to see the recipe index. Tell me which recipe you’d make first!

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