I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time. Even before Kate was commissioned to write it, many of us fans of her blog were clamouring for her to write one, keen to see her unusual and innovative recipes in print. Pavilion Books have really brought Kate’s vision to life – the book is as beautiful and delicious as I’d hoped.
Although others have since jumped on the bandwagon, Kate’s been creating her unique vegetable-based desserts and cakes for several years, taking us far beyond the familiar examples of carrot cake and zucchini bread to give us such delights as chocolate butternut squash cake, cauliflower and banana bundt, lemon and stinging nettle cupcakes with lavender icing, and parsnip madeira cake.
As a mum of two young children, Kate is keen to give her family fresh and healthy food but instead of disguising vegetables, she makes them the star of the show, using them in sweet treats in ways that are utterly unexpected but enormously delicious!
Although some of the ideas in Veggie Desserts + Cakes seem fantastically strange, all of her whimsical combinations have been thoroughly taste tested. For her first book she has created 60 original recipes, divided into chapters for Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies, Squares and Traybakes, Pies and Pastries, Frozen Desserts and More Sweet Treats.
Each recipe has a personal introduction, and most are accompanied by vibrant sunny photographs, all the better to show off the gorgeous effect of their star vegetables (plus a few isolated fruits here and there – mostly ones we tend to think of as savoury, such as avocado and cucumber). Styling by Emily Kydd and photography by Clare Winfield certainly do justice to Kate’s colourful recipes, though I confess I miss Kate’s own recipe photography, which often uses darker surfaces and backdrops to striking effect.
As befits a domestic cook, Kate’s recipes are all developed and tested in a regular home kitchen, using the kind of basic equipment most keen cooks have to hand or can readily buy without too much investment. Good knives, a hand blender and mini processor will see you through most recipes. Add an ice cream machine and waffle iron to make some of the non-baking ones.
The recipe we made on the weekend worked flawlessly and was even more delicious than we hoped – no surprise given the popularity and reliability of the recipes she’s been sharing for years. It was also a great reminder of how exciting and joyful it can be to discover new and unexpectedly successful flavour combinations; a fitting reminder to dare to be different!
Recipes from Veggie Desserts + Cakes
Pavilion have given us permission to share two of Kate’s recipes:
- Pea and mint cupcakes with rose water buttercream
- Pear & parsnip cake with salted honey buttercream & chocolate ganache
Here’s a preview of the pea and mint cupcakes, as made by us last weekend!
Other Recipes From The Book
I’m not the only blogger who’s eagerly been anticipating Kate’s book launch, and indeed many of us have come together to create a virtual book tour to celebrate and share the book with our audiences – something I’m fully behind having read the book and been so captivated by it.
- Avocado Lime Tarts on The Veg Space
- Beetroot and Vanilla Sorbet on Natural Kitchen Adventures
- Black Bean Chocolate Brownies on Heidi Roberts’ Kitchen Talk
- Carrot Gingerbread on Farmersgirl Kitchen & Ren Behan
- Cavolo Nero and Orange Cupcakes on The Hedgecombers
- Courgette and Poppy Seed Loaf Cake on Baking Queen 74 & Family Friends Food
- Kale and Apple Cake with Apple Icing on Food to Glow & Tin & Thyme
- Pea and Vanilla Cake with Lemon Icing on Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
- Pumpkin Cupcakes with Avocado Icing on United Cakedom
- Spinach and Strawberry Swiss Roll on Foodie Quine
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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Veggie Desserts + Cakes by Kate Hackworthy (RRP £14.99) from publisher Pavilion Books.