Raw for Dessert review and giveaway
Traditional vegan baking will have to step aside. I have no desire to turn on the oven today. Instead, I’m going to indulge in a few no-bake treats from Jennifer Cornbleet’s Raw for Dessert. Would you like to join me?
I wish I had come across Raw for Dessertwhen I first started dabbling in raw dessert-making. Unlike other raw recipe books that can seem intimidating and complex, this book makes use of simple ingredient combinations. After a basic primer on raw ingredients, equipment, techniques and knife skills, the book launches into 94 pages of recipes, the first chapter of which includes basic raw milk, creams, sauces and fillings that many of the subsequent dessert recipes require.
Skimming through the desserts’ ingredient lists, it’s not hard to realize that each dessert strikes a perfect balance between indulgence and health. Every recipe is vegan and is completely void of refined sugars and flours—rather, the flour is swapped for ground nuts, dates and natural sweeteners for sugar, and fresh coconut and avocado for cream and butter.
Who can resist the idea of a raw take on traditional chocolate pecan pie? Its almond-pecan crust is rich in calcium, manganese and vitamin E, while the chocolate ganache and date syrup filling highlight antioxidant-rich cocao and fiber-rich dates. Making mine into individual mini pies, it was only a matter of blending, forming the crust into tart tins, soaking the agar and blending some more, before a brief chill and all was done. I have to say this is one simple yet incredibly impressive dessert that may very well convert full-fledged carnivores to the idea of raw foodism (or even just another slice of pie?).
Turning next to a simple yet popular holiday treat, the dark chocolate truffles are tiny balls of delight that melt in your mouth like velvety-smooth ice cream. Made with a combination of coconut oil, cocao, dates and maple syrup (the last of which is not raw but is often used in raw dessert-making), these versatile treats can be rolled in any coating you wish and renamed to suit their flavour.
Finally, the idea of raw ginger spice cookies were too tempting to resist. Delightfully sweet and chewy, with nothing to impede the pure flavours of nuts, dates and select spices, it’s hard to believe these were created with the simplest of ingredients, and with no baking time required!
Unfortunately I had to skip the entire section on raw ice creams and sundaes because I don’t own an ice cream maker, but maybe some day I will (fingers crossed). Nevertheless, this book is worthy of a gander. What I love most about it is that you don’t have to be vegan or raw to indulge in these treats—the only requirements are that you love desserts, simple processes and healthful ingredients. Check out Jennifer Cornbleet’s website for more information on her book and recipes.
In honour of Vegan MoFo, I have a copy of Raw for Dessert from the Book Publishing Company to give away to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment below letting me know your favourite raw dessert. A random winner will be chosen on Friday, November 12. Good luck! [UPDATE: This contest is now closed.]