It’s a rare event indeed when I find a cookbook that I love so completely that I feel the need to tell the internet about it, yet today features one such cookbook. A while ago a friend told me about Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache, a cookbook by Harry Eastwood featuring baking recipes utilising vegetables. I finally got around to buying myself a copy, and instantly fell in love with the recipes!
The basic premise is taking the concept of a carrot cake and extending it to other fruits and vegetables. Because fruits and veggies have their own sugars, the recipes need less added sugar than other baking; they’re also packed with vitamins and minerals. The recipes I’ve tried taste just as good as regular cake (sometimes better), and the knowledge that they’re so much healthier doesn’t go amiss!
The author also found that when she was experimenting with baking with vegetables, rice flour tended to result in lighter, fluffier cakes than regular flour. She also favours almond flour for its better nutritional value. This means that the majority of recipes are “automatically” gluten-free. Many are also dairy-free because she finds that butter doesn’t always cooperate with her. This means that I now essentially have a whole cookbook on baking amazing gluten- and dairy-free cakes!
Since I’m not a big fan of plagiarising I don’t plan to post a lot of her recipes online, but I will post a couple of my favourites in the hope that you will try them and be encouraged to buy the book yourself. Harry Eastwood’s official website (including info on her other books) is here.
Oh and one last thing – she has a habit of personifying her food, e.g. aubergine apparently has a “noble spirit and sensitive soul”, treacle steamed sponge is “the person you want to be sitting next to at dinner”, and sweet potato and caraway scones are “solid citizens who are jolly useful to have about the place, and willing to help with the washing-up”. (Er, sure…) I don’t know about you, but I find the metaphors kinda weird. But, each to their own; just thought I’d warn you!