Prior to Christmas I was sent the nicest cookbook to review. It is called Pure Vanilla by Shauna Sever, of the popular dessert blog, Piece of Cake. I just love Vanilla. If you were to ask me what is my favourite flavour of ice cream, I would say Vanilla Bean . . . I just love the one which is filled with lots of flecks of vanilla. I love Vanilla anything and so I was really happy to get this cookbook.
This really is a beautiful book, just filled with everything you could ever possibly want to know about this most favourite of flavours . . . from it's history and origins, the many kinds of vanilla which are available, how to make your own extracts and liquers, to how to substitute the different varieties for each other in recipes.
And what a fabulous lot of recipes there are!! Sorted into 6 chapters:
1. Breakfasts (Honey Vanilla Granola Clusters, Vanilla Stewed Fruit, Light, Crisp Vanilla Waffles, to name just a few of the 15 Breakfast recipes on offer)
2. Cake and Pies (11 delicious recipes including Vanilla Cloud Cake, Twinkie Bundt Cake, Tres Leches Cake. etc.)
3. Cookies and Bars (Big soft Frosted Vanilla Sugar Cookies, Mini Vanilla Eclairs, Salted Vanilla Chip Oatmeal Cookies along with 12 tasty other recipes.)
4. Candies and Confections ( 12 scrummy recipes including Vanilla Lollipops, Golden Pear-Vanilla Jam, Vanilla Butter Mints, Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels) There is also a Throw a Vanilla Tasting Party section in this chapter.
5. Custards and Creams (Creamy Vanilla Rice Pudding, Folating Islands, Favourite Vanilla Ice Cream, Coconut and Vanilla Bean Ice Pops . . . just four of the 19 recipes on offer in this tasty chapter.)
6. Drinks (Vanilla Italian Soda, Vanilla Almond Milk, Malted White Hot Chocolate, etc. 9 recipes in total.)
As well, there is a very well written resource section and a handy dandy Vanilla Lover's Cheat Sheet just inside the cover.
It is well written and beautifully photographed. (photographs by Leigh Beisch) and very adaptable to use in the UK, with the exception of very few ingredients which would be difficult to obtain. A lot of times these American Cookbooks ask for a lot of ingredients we just can't get over here, or are unable to find suitable substitutes for. Happy to say that is not the case with this book.
Today I decided to treat Todd and myself to a nice hot drink from the book . . . Malted White Hot Chocolate. This is the picture from the book, along with homemade Vanilla Marshmallows on top . . .
It looked really tasty, and it's been really cold and windy and wet today . . . perfect hot drink weather.
Mine turned out just lovely. I was able to make it low fat as well, by changing some of the higher fat ingredients for low fat ingredients and it was absolutely gorgeous! We loved it! I also made a few other recipes before Christmas from it (Vanilla Creme Cookie Sandwiches, Cherry Vanilla Shortbread Cake Squares, and Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes), but I can't find my photos for them! They were all fabulous recipes though!
All in all I would highly recommend this book, giving it a resounding 10 out of 10! If Vanilla is one of your favourite flavours as it is mine, you will just LOVE LOVE this book!
*Malted White Hot Chocolate*
Oh my goodness. This is decadently delicious. You can make it lower in fat though by using 2%milk and low fat evaporated milk instead of the half and half cream as well as using light malted milk powder. I did and it was still fabulous!
1 cup whole milk (I used 2% milk, 250ml)
1 cup half and half (I used low fat evaporated milk, 250ml)
3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup malted milk powder (I used 2 dessertspoons of Horlicks light)
1 tsp pure Vanilla extract or Vanilla bean paste (I used the paste)
Mini marshmallows optional
Combine the milk, half and half, white chocolate bits and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir and heat over medium heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is become just hot to the touch. Transfer the mixture to a blender and add the malted milk powder. Cover tightly and blend for 60 seconds. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and reheat just until hot. Do NOT let it boil. Stir in the vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste and serve immediately, with or without some marshmallows on top
irresistible recipes and essential techniques
by Shauna Sever
- Book Dimensions:7½ x 8½
- Page Count:180
- Release Date:November 6, 2012
- Book Price:$22.95/£15.99 UKPublished by Quirk Books.Many thanks to Mat from PGUK and Quirk Books for having sent me my review copy.