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The official Vegan Desserts: Sumptuous Sweets for Every Season review thread

http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Desserts-Sumptuous-Sweets-Season/dp/1616082208
by Hannah Kaminsky, the author of My Sweet Vegan

SPRING
Avocado Crème Pie
Carrot Cake Ice Cream
Omg so good. I really liked the carrot cake ice cream from Vegan Scoop, except for the texture of the frozen, cooked carrots. Here I blended everything (including the cream cheese ripple), and it was GREAT. Sweet, spiced, good. (fb)
Chilled Rhubarb Torte
Coco-Nut Macaroons
Coffee Poppy Seed Cake
I had to add extra oil to the crumb portion to get it to be reasonable, and in the end the cake ended up being pretty crumbly. I added *maybe* half of the poppy seeds to the center as it said (it was just plain poppy seeds, so a ton concentrated there seemed too crumbly). I think the center would be better if it was just like the crumb topping, vs a ribbon of plain poppy. Overall the cake was good though. (fb)
Grasshopper Layer Cake
Hamantashen
Ispahan Crisp
Kiwi Colada Tartlettes
Kumquat Poppy Seed Scones
Lemon Tea Cheesecake
Before refrigeration, this tastes a bit more like lemon-flavored tea. After refrigeration it tastes more lemony. It tastes just like an arnold palmer, and it's kind of odd to have a "light" flavor like that combined with something heavier/decadent. I made half the filling, but it still filled up a crust reasonably well; for the full amount of filling you'd probably need one of those extra-large pie crusts if using premade. It would be interesting to do a black tea and orange or green tea and lime version of this. Now to figure out what to do with all that instant tea... (fb)
Lemongrass Mac-Nut Blondies
Luscious Lemon Mousse
Marbled Chocolate and Zucchini Bread
Mexican Chocolate Crème Caramel
Mimosa Tiramisu
Really good. It's only tiramisu in the sense of the types of layers used - there's no coffee or chocolate here. The ladyfingers from this book worked well here, and only got a *little* mushy after spending days in the fridge. I think the cream part could stand to be more strongly flavored, but it's also good as is. Not overly citrusy or anything. It'd be especially nice for someone who can't have chocolate or caffeine. (fb)
Mojito Sugar Cookies
Really good. I wasn't too sure how much I'd like them, 'cause sometimes I'm picky with lime, and fresh real mint is weird in a cookie, and I'm not too keen on alcohol... but they're really good. The mint makes them taste a little earthy, and for the lime zest (no fresh limes!) i used a little lime extract instead (i found some conversion thing online). The icing is pretty pleasant - rum flavor, but not overpowering alcohol flavor. I had to add more liquid to the icing to make it spreadable, but no big deal. (fb)
Olive Oil Ice Cream
Samoa Tart
Spring Fling Muffins
Strawberry Charlotte
I just made the strawberry mousse part, no agar added (I think I'd like the texture better as mousse), and skipped the ladyfingers because at that point, I had eaten all the ladyfingers I made. Pretty simple, pretty strongly flavored (hard to eat much at once). It's nice to have a real strawberry-flavored thing (vs artificial strawberry milk or pudding) that yet doesn't taste super healthy or tart, but I guess that all depends on the strawberries you use. (fb)
Strawberry-Kiwi Pie
Spiced Beet Cake Bites
Sweet Basil Shortbread
Zesty Rhubarb Ripple Cake

SUMMER
Ant Hill Cake
Apricot Frangipane Tart
Banana Split Cheesecake
Black Velvet Cupcakes
Blueberry-Beet Patés de Fruit
Blueberry Biscotti
Cherries Jubilee Bundt Cake
Cherry Macaroon Tart
Cherry-Berry Peanut Butter Cobbler
Mango Lassi Popsicles
Mean, Green Pistachio Ice Cream
Hmm pretty weird. I was expecting to totally love this, because pistachios are delicious, and avocado's been used to make chocolate pie. Yet this just came out off. It wasn't sweet enough, so I added more sugar to the base (not sure how much). After freezing, it tasted less sweet, so I wish I had added even more. The avocado flavor actually kind of comes through, and not in a good way! Maybe my avocado itself was weird, 'cause the quality's been inconsistent lately... anyway, definitely add stuff to taste on this. Pistachio ice cream should be delicious! (fb)
Paradise Sunset Parfaits
Peaches and Crème Breakfast Buns
So so great. The filling pretty much oozed a lot when rolling - it would probably help to refrigerate or even freeze both components, and longer, but I was too impatient to compensate for that. Anyway, they came out really good. I like the idea of using the juiciness from the peaches for the glaze, and it came out just lightly peachy from that. The filling was creamy, the roll part itself was a good texture. A nice summery ("healthy"?) twist on cinnamon rolls. (fb)
Poached Apricots
Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles
Raspberry Lavender Cupcakes
Raspberry Mocha Semifreddo
Red, White, and Blue Layer Cake
Roasted Apricot Ice Cream with Almond Praline Ripple
S'mores Pie
Sunny-Side-Up Apricot Danishes
Toasted Coconut Key Lime Ice Cream
True Blue Bundt Cake
Watermelon Bombe

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AUTUMN
Apple Spice Scrolls
this has a LOT of filling versus dough, but it manages to all fit. The filling was pretty easy to put together and though it thickened up quite a bit, there was never an issue with having to stir to prevent burning or anything. The dough is all right... I think I'd prefer something either flakey or more bread-like (like a cinnamon bun), but it was fine. The filling itself could be used like chunky apple butter or something; it tastes pretty much just like the stuff I buy. (fb)
Black Cat Cookies
Oh, black cocoa. So great. These were pretty easy to prepare; I didn't need to add any liquid or flour to the dough, it rolled out/cut well without much refrigeration. Also, I was able to do little decorations/designs with a toothpick like depicted in the photo, and it baked well like that. The cookies barely spread, and were crispy but still a bit soft. They lasted well at room temperature for about a week. They're just sweet enough, and the black cocoa gives a good richness like oreo cookies (fb)
Blushing Apple Sorbet or Granita
Butternut Vanilla Bean Pancakes
They're ok. I love butternut squash, and since there's pumpkin pancakes and carrot cake pancakes, why not butternut? But IMO, it just doesn't go. I dunno why. Maybe I have too strong of a vegetable association with butternut. I'd advise to thoroughly blend the cooked butternut with the other liquids, because it can be kind of stringy (mine was). (fb)
Buttery Pecan Ice Cream
Candied Apple Cookies
So fun to make. The cookie part came together pretty easily, and taste pleasant appley on their own. They were easy to roll out and cut and such. The sticks were easier to insert than I expecting (I saw a tip online that helped - if you slowly twist the stick in while holding the dough over the stick with the other hand, and pinching the dough around where the stick enters at the end). The cookies stayed on the sticks easily after baking, too. The candy portion was pretty easy as well, and it took a while to get up to the proper temperature (but as a note - as it gets closer to 300, the temperature rises pretty rapidly. I'm guessing because it's getting close to caramelization? So it seemed to be slow going for a while, but around 280-285 it quickly got to the required temp). In the instructions it says to lay these cookie pops on parchment after coating them, and I used wax paper figuring eh, all the same... but it stuck! I found out of the internet solutions, slowly heating it is what worked (holding the pop above some simmering water). I'm concerned that technique will dampen the candy/cookie though. Anyway, DEFINITELY use parchment as directed. Maybe the lightest coats of oil after hardening will also help prevent it stick to the wrapping, not sure. In the end the candy kind of takes over in flavor (it's harder to taste the apple in the cookie), and it's VERY chewy, bur also very good. (fb)
Cranberry Custard Pie
Citrus and Spice Waffles
Eh, not that great. They never really got crunchy. They browned a bit like in the pic she has on her blog, but it never got the outer crust that I'd like. Also, the combo of orange and cloves, nothing too great. (fb)
Cranberry Streusel Bars
Figgy-Coffee Parfaits
Gingerbread Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Golden Saffron Pound Cake
For the saffron, I just steeped some threads in the soymilk (not as much as called for). The flavor was pretty good, the saffron was definitely noticeable. But, I should have waited more for the soymilk to cool, because I ended up developing the gluten too much and the cake turned out pretty tough. Oh well. I'm sure the texture would have been better had I waited. (fb)
Licorice Lover's Almond Biscotti
No-Bake Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
Not-a-Newton Fig Tart
Pecan Praline Trifle
Persimmon Blondies
Pumpkin Butter Cookies
Roasted Apple Cheesecake
I added a couple more spices to the cheesecake portion. I thought the baking time was a little low - only about 25 minutes for a cheesecake - but it turned out fine (still creamy, but didn't come off as raw filling). Very pleasant, cinnamon-y filling, and the apple flavor isn't super strong. Instead of the directed crust, I just used a pre-made graham crust, which went well. (fb)
Rosh Hashanah Rugelach
Rum Raisin Brownies
these brownies mean business. They're pretty heavy, and have a strong alcohol flavor (not a fan). The chickpea flour... not sure what I think of it. I think that might have contributed to that strong flavor too, not sure. Also, I didn't add raisins. I'd say these are better brownies for someone who wants the flavor of an alcohol-soaked baked good, not a light rum flavoring. They were dense and fudgy, though. (fb)
Sticky Toffee Donuts
Stuffed Cider Donuts
I started making these, and I was like no, cake donuts?! My last experience making cake donuts was not so great, and my last time eating cake donuts was not so great either. But these are really good! The dough is flavorful and well-spiced, and pretty easy to work with, even though I refrigerated less than called for. I would say, though, to roll the dough out to (actual) 1/2" thickness or even less, because the middles were often still doughy; I'm pretty sure the thickness I used was what was intended, because the yield was the same as was the width of the donuts. Anyway, the doughiness might come in handy for filling them, but alas, I seem to be terrible at filling these things. I set up the piping bag with the (delicious) filling as directed, poked well into the donut, and it seemed like I was adding a good amount of filling (some of the donuts started cracking from the pressure), but the ones I've eaten have had, like, 1/4-1/2tsp filling (NOT EVEN KIDDING). Man, so I've got this tasty filling leftover, so I just eat it with the donuts (still delicious, just less user-friendly). Hmm. I've never filled stuff before, so it's probably on me. I didn't need as much cinnamon-sugar as called for - maybe half, or not even - and it actually stays on the donuts fairly well. Also, these brown pretty easily, so at first I was afraid I'd burnt them, but I hadn't. Nice donuts, good filling, not too difficult, cooks quickly! (fb)
Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes
Torta al Vino

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WINTER
Almond Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
Black Bleeding Hearts
Black Pearl Truffles
Blood Orange Upside Down Cake
Chai-Spiced Pomegranate Pears
Chestnut Muffins
Chocolate Chestnut Torte
Five-Spice Snaps
Grapefruit Gems
Green Tea and Grapefruit Cupcakes
Irish Crème Squares
The crust is a bit crumbly, but it doesn't really matter because the texture of the topping holds it all together. The topping has a fairly significant amount of alcohol for the volume, which was not as appreciated by me as it was by J. The crust was more chocolate, the topping more coffee. (fb)
Jeweled Pomegranate Cookies
Lemon-Lime Madeleines
Maple Corn Muffins
Maple-Pecan Layer Cake with Gingerbread Frosting
Marzipan Tea Cake
Meringue Kisses
Mint Chocolate Macarons
Peppermint Mocha Trifle
Personal Panettones
Pistachio Nog
Pomegranate Granola
Triple Citrus Cupcakes
Triple Ginger Cheesecake
Warming Lemon Risotto

Components and Accompaniments
Cake Truffles
Canine Cookies
Caramel Syrup
Chocolate Wafer Cookie Crumbs
Coffee Liqueur
Dulce de Coco
Five-Spice Powder
French Vanilla Ice Cream
Gingersnap Cookie Crumbs
Graham Cracker Crumbs
Intense Chocolate Sorbet
Lady Fingers
I think I've had a ladyfinger like... once. A long time ago. So I can't really say if these are the real deal or what. However, they're really good. They're like dense moist cake cookie things that are sweet and vanilla-y, almost custard-like in flavor (maybe from the yogurt?). They don't really brown much - I was wondering if they were under-done - but they're fine, just pale. They worked well for the tiramisu, and are kind of addictive on their own. (fb)
Lemon Drop Jam
Limoncello
Nonpareils
Pumpkin Butter
Shortcut Marzipan
Sweetener Substitutes
Vanilla Wafer Cookie Crumbs
Whipped Cream

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