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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise

Vegetarian Books

Each issue the VIP birds endeavor to soar to the highest literary peak to peck out the most unique, informative, and accomplished book that contributes to vegetarian enlightenment.

This month we review a book that tells you how to make luscious raw desserts in minutes.

Raw for Dessert:
Easy Delights for Everyone

By Jennifer Cornbleet

Book Publishing Company, 2009
Paperback, $14.95

Raw cookbook author Jennifer Cornbleet knows how to tease the sweet tooth into submission with a mere flip of the blender switch. In Raw for Dessert she skillfully guides the home chef through the process of making dazzling desserts that never experience the heat of the oven. Each of the 85 tantalizing recipes, plus variations, is raw, preserving its natural flavors, vitamin content, and wholesome fiber.

Jennifer teaches and lectures throughout the U.S. and travels globally to share her techniques for preparing raw foods. A graduate of the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in Fort Bragg, California, she now serves as an instructor at the school.

With minimal ingredients and few basic kitchen tools and appliances, this author shows how to prepare raw desserts that mirror classic favorites like Coconut Cream Pie with Chocolate Cookie Crust or Chocolate Cake with Fudge Frosting. The reward comes when those desserts can also be made healthful as well as visually exciting.

Raw for Dessert Simplicity is the key that guides the preparation of these desserts. Because of the author's own busy schedule, she knows few people have time for making fussy desserts the way our grandmothers did. Essential Information lists and explains the ingredients that become the tantalizing desserts. Some less familiar items, like young coconuts, cocoa or raw cacao powder, and soy lecithin powder are described in more detail. Also covered is a detailed listing of the kitchen tools, appliances, and serving ware she uses to make and present her rich creations.

Knife skills, usually taught in culinary schools, are part of the introductory material along with a how-to on opening young coconuts, soaking nuts, and cutting techniques for slicing, dicing, and mincing.

The Basics section features creams, sauces, toppings, frostings, and crusts that can be enjoyed on their own or as part of other desserts like the stunning Pineapple Upside Down Cake photographed in a mouth-watering, full color page that displays a lattice design of Caramel Sauce. Recipes for Pastry Cream, Lemon Curd, Chocolate Ganache, and Coconut-Pecan Frosting are ideal for enhancing treats like Summer Fruit Trifle or Classic Fresh Fruit Tart.

Fruit Desserts offers a whopping selection of fruit soups, compotes, ambrosias and homey treats like Apple Pear Crumble, while the Sorbets, Ice Creams, and Sundaes section puts the electric ice cream maker to work with treats like Bitter Chocolate Sorbet, Brazil Nut-Vanilla Ice Cream, and Make a Mint Ice cream. Ice cream sundaes like the Knockout Brownie Sundae and Turtle Sundae will likely become favorites for chocolate lovers.

Cakes, Cookies, and Bars are ideal for those who favor more solid or dense desserts that require a fork like Chocolate Lava Cake, while the section on Pies and Tarts includes desserts with fruity, cream filled crusts. Anyone hunting for a raw recipe for Vanilla Bean Crème Brulée will find it in Creamy Desserts, while the dessert section concludes with Dark Chocolate Truffles and Carob Cashew Freezer Fudge found in the Candy Section. The concise Resources features raw food books, videos, and websites.

Raw for Dessert takes raw desserts on a delightful journey into the realm of sweet treats with delicious simplicity and wholesome freshness. In Raw for Dessert Jennifer Cornbleet has developed surprisingly easy techniques for dessert preparations to create a tantalizing and delightfully edible art form. This is a book everyone would appreciate, especially novice cooks who can learn how easy it to whip up an impressive dessert within minutes.

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