Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway:
Vegan à la Mode
by Hannah Kaminsky



Yes, I work for a vegan ice cream company, and my freezer is filled with some of the most delectable dairy-free frozen desserts on Earth. But variety is the spice of life, after all, and a lingering desire for more exotic ice cream flavors compelled me to dust off my ice cream machine and dive into the recipes in Hannah's latest book, Vegan à la Mode.

If the drop-dead gorgeous cover photos (what I wouldn't give to spend a day in a photo studio with Hannah!) aren't enough to make you want to run out and buy a copy, then maybe the temptation of indulging in some of these exquisite flavors will: Turkish Coffee, White Russian, Blueberry Muffin, Toasted Marshmallow, Tiramisu, Chai Latte, and Birthday Cake. More venturesome frozen-dessert seekers can choose from Curried Peanut Butter, French Toast, Fresh Corn, and Rose Petal (my next adventure!) With more than 100 ice cream and sorbet recipes, there are enough sweet frozen dessert flavors to get you through the summer and beyond. There's even a frosty recipe for Pup-sicles (how cute is that?) for your canine companion!

Readers will appreciate the extensive ingredients glossary, "Kitchen Tools and Toys" (if you don't already own an ice cream maker, you'll find this very insightful!), and guide to essential techniques.  Most thoughtful of all, Hannah included the chapter, "Toppings, Accompaniments, and Components" that will take your frozen dessert creations to the moon and back! It goes way beyond whipped topping and hot fudge sauce (though these are included), with recipes for Brownie Cookies, Mini Mochi Bites (yum!), Tuile Ice Cream Cones (tuile is a thin, crisp sugary wafer), and even Rainbow Sprinkles!

The one ice cream flavor I've missed more than any other since becoming vegan is pistachio. It was my favorite flavor as a kid (even exceeding my exuberance for vanilla).

I was heartbroken the day I learned that the Almond-Pistachio flavor of the fabulous fruit-sweetened vegan frozen dessert, It's Soy Delicious was retired. So pistachio ice cream had once again become a distant fond memory, that is, until NOW! But before you continue, I just want to mention that the technicolor quality of the images that follow were not enhanced by any photo-editing tool. The truly vibrant colors are the result of using whole plant-food ingredients.

Thank you, Hannah, for nailing the pistachio flavor in your Pistachio Praline Ice Cream! As she points out in the introduction to this recipe, most pistachio ice cream suffers from an identity crisis (as she puts it.) While most are visually pistachio-hued, their predominant flavor actually comes from almond extract, not pistachio. (I never knew that!) But Hannah's interpretation of my favorite flavor doesn't make any such compromises. This delicious rendition starts with toasted and caramelized pistachios that are made into a praline paste, blended into a non-dairy milk and sugar base along with a couple of surprising ingredients which lend their luscious color.

Oh, and can you say, "pistachio milkshake"?  Easy-breezy recipe: 2 scoops Pistachio Praline ice cream, 1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk, and 2 very ripe small bananas. Blend for 30 seconds, pour, and indulge!

Next up: Short-cut Spumoni, which takes no short-cuts
on flavor. It is far richer, more complex, and electrifyingly colorful than the three-layered ice cream with fruit and nuts between the layers that I remember eating at Italian restaurants as a child. This frosty delight is bursting with the vibrancy of fresh cherries that coalesce delectably with dark chocolate chips and roasted pistachios.

Blueberry-Balsamic Ice Cream was the third recipe I tried, and my favorite so far. The sweet fruitiness of the berries mingled sensuously with the balsamic and mint. I was fortunate to have an abundance of blueberries and spearmint growing in my garden at the time I prepared this recipe, their freshness further enhancing the complexity of flavors. And having high-quality balsamic on hand didn't hurt, either.

One thing I can say for sure about all of Hannah's recipes is that they are out-of-the-ballpark winners. Not only have I not tasted a mediocre recipe from any of her books, but every new recipe far exceeds my expectations. And while the recipes in this book are made with simple ingredients, each and every time you'll get knockout results.

The recipe for Blueberry Balsamic Ice Cream from Vegan à la Mode. is reprinted with the kind permission of the author and Skyhorse Publishing, New York. ©Hannah Kaminsky 2012. (Notes in italics are my own.) Enjoy!

Makes 1 quart.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen and thawed 
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used Blueberry Balsamic from Olive Grand)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups plain non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious® Dairy Free Original Coconut Milk)
1 1/2 Tbsp arrowroot
1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely minced

Directions:

This ice cream base begins much the same as the procedure for making freezer jam. Place the blueberries, vinegar, sugar, and maple syrup in a medium saucepan, and set over medium-low heat. Cook until the berries burst and stew happily in their own juices for ten to fifteen minutes.

Separately, vigorously beat the arrowroot and non-dairy milk into a loose slurry, double-checking that there are no remaining lumps of starch before pouring the mixture into the pot of stewed berries. Stir well to incorporate, and turn up the heat to medium. Stir periodically until the mixture comes up to a boil; then turn off the heat.

Stir in the fresh mint, cover the pot with the lid, and let sit undisturbed until it cools to room temperature, allowing the mint to infuse. Transfer the whole mixture to your blender and thoroughly purée. Pass through a strainer to ensure the smoothest texture and discard the solids.

Chill in the fridge for at least three hours before churning in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Scoop the soft ice cream into an airtight container, and let it further solidify in your freezer for at least three hours before serving.

If somehow, you've managed to get all the way through this post without clicking over to amazon.com to buy order your very own copy of Vegan à la Mode, then here's an opportunity to win one! Simply leave a comment below telling me your dream ice cream flavor, and one lucky winner (someone has to win, so why not you?) will be selected at random.* 

Update: Congratulations to Kelly of Kohlrabi and Quince! You're the very lucky winner of a copy of Vegan à la Mode! Please let me know where to send your book, and it will soon be on its way! Thanks to everyone for another terrific giveaway! There's lots more delicious fun to come!

To earn additional entries, you can do any or all of the following, and please leave a comment for each item you complete:

1. Join the group, My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, and Vegan à la Mode on Facebook.
2. Follow @BitterSweet__ (Hannah) on Twitter.
3. Follow this blog by clicking the "follow" link in the upper left-hand corner of this page, subscribing via email, or through Networked Blogs.
4. Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter.
5. Tweet the following message: Win a copy of @BitterSweet__'s new book Vegan à la Mode & make your vegan ice cream dreams come true! http://bit.ly/QSOHlh #recipe #giveaway

Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you're the lucky winner, (leave me your Twitter handle or email address or make sure it's linked to your blogger account.) Good luck!!!

*Sorry international friends. The giveaway is open to US residents only.

142 comments:

Veggiegirl said...

I love just about anything with chocolate and peanut butter - I'm pretty easy to please!

Veggiegirl said...

I joined the Facebook group My Sweet Vegan

Veggiegirl said...

I already follow Hannah on Twitter

Veggiegirl said...

I already follow Gail on twitter

Veggiegirl said...

I follow the Hungry Vegan through networked blogs

Veggiegirl said...

I tweeted the message! :)

VeggieDoc said...

My favorite ice cream flavor is mocha fudge almond.

VeggieDoc said...

I joined the Facebook group.

VeggieDoc said...

I followed Hannah on Twitter.

VeggieDoc said...

I already follow Gail on Twitter.

VeggieDoc said...

I tweeted the message!

VeggieDoc said...

I subscribed to the blog through my email .

Esther said...

Dream ice cream flavor? Hmm ... something mapley, with chocolatey, doughy, chunks. :)

Esther said...

I already follow Hannah on Twitter.

Esther said...

And now I follow you. :) @ABCVegan

Lizzie Bordello said...

I used to love this flavor from a local company called Moose Lake fudge - fudge swirls and tiny peanut butter cups. I miss it!

Lizzie Bordello said...

I already belong to the Facebook group. :)

Lizzie Bordello said...

I follow Hannah on Twitter. (@wickedliz)

Lizzie Bordello said...

I follow Hungry Vegan in my Google Reader.

Lizzie Bordello said...

Also already following you on Twitter!

Lizzie Bordello said...

Just tweeted the giveaway.


https://twitter.com/wickedliz/status/237591449942773761

Gabriella said...

My dream ice cream flavor is gluten-free strawberry cheesecake.

Kelly said...

My dream flavor is probably a dark chocolate with dark chocolate chunks, thick fudge ripples, and lots of thick peanut butter swirls. Mmm.

Gabriella said...

Tweeted!

Gabriella said...

I follow Hungry Vegan!

Lauren said...

I really miss pistachio ice cream!

Lauren said...

Just joined My Sweet Vegan!

Lauren said...

Have been following hannah for a week or so now & cannot wait for more tweets!

Lauren said...

Follower of the blog now:)

Lauren said...

I'm a subscriber!

Lauren said...

I follow @vegiegail

Lauren said...

I'm sharing this in a tweet & dreaming of pistachio. Email is laoutlaw979@gmail.com

Lauren said...

I really miss pistachio ice cream!

Susan Palmer said...

I miss Moose Tracks, Mocha Almond Fudge and good ol fashion chocolate chip ice cream flavors!

Susan Palmer said...

I joined the group, My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, and Vegan à la Mode on Facebook. (please accept me!)

Susan Palmer said...

I Follow @BitterSweet__ (Hannah) on Twitter!

Susan Palmer said...

I Follow this blog and think it is ABSOLUTELY adorable. i can't believe I didn't know about it before, Gail!

Susan Palmer said...

I Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter.

Susan Palmer said...

I sent a tweet with the following message: Win a copy of @BitterSweet__'s new book Vegan à la Mode & make your vegan ice cream dreams come true! http://bit.ly/QSOHlh #recipe #giveaway

Susan Palmer said...

I also followed you on Pinterest :)

kohlrabiandquince said...

I'm a sucker for ice cream.

I made a killer cucumber ice cream last month, and it's moved toward the top of my favourites list.

I also love a good cherry chocolate chunk.

kohlrabiandquince said...

I joined the facebook group!


I can be contacted at @kellycrochets

kohlrabiandquince said...

I follow Hannah on Twitter (@kellycrochets)

kohlrabiandquince said...

I'm subscribed to your blog via email. (@kellycrochets)

kohlrabiandquince said...

I follow Gail on Twitter (@kellycrochets)

kohlrabiandquince said...

I "tweeted" about the giveaway:
https://twitter.com/kellycrochets/status/237769388244234240

Suburban Snow White said...

Thanks for doing a giveaway! (I facebook friended your page a while back.) Let's see ... it's a tossup between ginger (my old omnivorous favorite) or salted caramel (which I tried the other day in our relatively new vegan ice cream shop near Boston.)

Kathie said...

I already follow Hannah on Twitter

Kathie said...

I already follow Gail on Twitter

Kathie said...

I am a member of the FB Group My Sweet Vegan

Kathie said...

I follow the Hungry Vegan through networked blogs

Kathie said...

I tweeted Win a copy of @BitterSweet__'s new book Vegan à la Mode & make your vegan ice cream dreams come true! http://bit.ly/QSOHlh #recipe #giveaway

Kathie said...

I would love to make blackraspberry ice cream. Loved it as a kid.

Can't wait to try the pistachio recipe.

Katherine said...

I love chocolate banana!

katherinedibello (at) gmail (Dot) com

Katherine said...

i subscribe to your blog via email

katherinedibello (at) gmail (Dot) com

Katherine said...

i follow you on twitter


katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com

Jen said...

Love chocolate chip mint

Crazy Vegan Mom said...

a simple flavor that was my favorite when I was a child, Black Raspberry, that would be my dream flavor to make a vegan version.

Crazy Vegan Mom said...


I am a member of the group, My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, and Vegan à la Mode on Facebook.

Jen said...

I'm already a member of the Facebook group

Crazy Vegan Mom said...

I Follow @BitterSweet__ (Hannah) on Twitter.

Jen said...

I already follow @BitterSweet_ (I'm @justaboutvegan)

Crazy Vegan Mom said...

I Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter.

Jen said...

I already follow @vegiegail (from @justaboutvegan) Thanks for the recipe and giveaway!

Crazy Vegan Mom said...

I tweeted the following message: Win a copy of @BitterSweet__'s new book Vegan à la Mode & make your vegan ice cream dreams come true! http://bit.ly/QSOHlh #recipe #giveaway

Cat said...

OK. I think I'm following you on facebook... not sure I did that right.

Cat said...

OK. I am signed up for Twitter now (hope I can figure it out) and following you!

Cat said...

OK. Following EVERYONE on Twitter now - Hannah AND Gail.

Cat said...

Already following your blog... but I'm not going to post on Twitter because (1) I'm not sure how yet, and (2) that would decrease my chances in winning because too many people would find out about the giveaway. :-) Thanks, btw - it would sure be fun to win!

Pip444 said...

Joined Facebook Group
Lilac Cats

spec@live.ca

Pip444 said...

Follow you on Twitter @pip444

spec@live.ca

Pip444 said...

Already subscribed
spec@live.ca

Pip444 said...

Already Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter
@Pip444

spec@live.ca

Pip444 said...

https://twitter.com/pip444/status/237945366564179968

spec@live.ca

Pip444 said...

OOPs I forgot to add my dream ice cream flavor:

It would be marshmallow. Yum!!!


spec@live.ca

E Soleil said...

A grasshopper sundae. Mint chocolate chip ice cream with lots of hot fudge and whipped cream.

E Soleil said...

Joined the group

E Soleil said...

Following @bittersweet!

E Soleil said...

I already follow this blog, and love it!

E Soleil said...

Already follow @Vegiegail

E Soleil said...

Tweeted! Come on super amazing ice cream book! My ice cream maker needs a workout!

The Vegan said...

My favorite flavor would be Mocha Fudge. That's right no almond and I want a lot of fudge in there.

The cover to the book is deliciously gorgeous! Love your review!!!

MarkTwain said...

My fav ice cream- super chocolately chocolate. :) with nuts :)

MarkTwain said...

I tweeted!
https://twitter.com/martielou/status/237962831482454016

MarkTwain said...

I Follow @BitterSweet__ (Hannah) on Twitter.

MarkTwain said...

I Joined the group, My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, and Vegan à la Mode on Facebook.

MarkTwain said...

I Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter.

MarkTwain said...

I Follow this blog! :)

Dominique Bailey said...

Hey, i've done everything :) my twitter name is @dffb180792

VeganMarr said...

That list of flavors from the book--WOW--every one sounded yummy! And pics are delectable! :-) Lizzie, Moose Wood Fudge got me drooling! Snow White...yum re Ginger & Salted Caramel! :-)

VeganMarr said...

My ideal flavor would be Caramel Mocha...with LOTS of thick swirls of caramel!!!! :-O :-O

VeganMarr said...

I already follow Hungry Vegan blog.

VeganMarr said...

I already follow VegieGail on Twitter.

Leah said...

green tea chocolate chunk

Leah said...

I joined the facebook group.

Leah said...

I followed @BitterSweet on twitter.

Leah said...

I followed @Vegiegail on twitter.

Leah said...

I followed the blog.

Joelle said...

My favorite ice cream is anything with chocolate whether the cream is chocolate or there are chocolate pieces in it OR both! Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Coconut, etc!

Joelle said...

Not sure how you count the ones I have done already. I was already joined on FB and followed the 2 names on Twitter.

Joelle said...

I tweeted the - Win a copy of @BitterSweet__'s new book Vegan à la Mode & make your vegan ice cream dreams come true! http://bit.ly/QSOHlh #recipe #giveaway

Joelle said...

I am now following the NewsBlog. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Crystal said...

My dream ice cream would have to be some sort of caramel mixed with vegan marshmallow swirls! Yum!

Crystal said...

I joined My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, and Vegan à la Mode on FB!

Dragonfly said...

My dream ice cream flavor is chick-o-stick or s'mores. But I love ice cream so much all flavors are great. The rose petal sounds heavenly though!

Dragonfly said...

I @stacylynne5 follow @bitterSweet _Hannah

Dragonfly said...

I'm following your blog!

Dragonfly said...

I @stacylynne5 started following @vegiegail

VegiYogiAnn said...

My ideal flavor would be something with avocados, cardamom, and rosewater, I think.

VegiYogiAnn said...

Just joined My Sweet Vegan on facebook.

VegiYogiAnn said...

Just set up to follow Hungry Vegan on email.

Dragonfly said...

I @stacylynne5 tweeted
 Win a copy of @BitterSweet__'s new book Vegan à la Mode & make your vegan ice cream dreams come true! http://bit.ly/QSOHlh #recipe #giveaway

Dragonfly said...

I @stacylynne5 tweeted
 Win a copy of @BitterSweet__'s new book Vegan à la Mode & make your vegan ice cream dreams come true! http://bit.ly/QSOHlh #recipe #giveaway

Amy said...

I LOVE a good PB and chocolate combination!

Amy said...

I joined the My Sweet Vegan group on FB

Amy said...

I follow Hannah on Twitter (Via RSS feed)

Amy said...

I follow the Hungry Vegan blog

Amy said...

I follow you on Twitter (via my RSS feed)

Ashley said...

Ahhhh I want this book so badly! :) My dream flavor would have cookie dough and peanut butter in it.. YUM :)

Ashley said...

I'm in the group on FB!

Ashley said...

I follow Hannah on twitter

Ashley said...

I subscribe via email

Ashley said...

I follow you on twitter

Ashley said...

I tweeted!

Vickiwink said...

If I could make any flavor, I'd go with something fruity - coconut milk base with black cherries or any other berries from the PNW with a chocolate ganache ribbon. mmmmm, go ahead, throw in some nuts!

Vickiwink said...

I am part of the My Sweet Vegan group on FB.

Vickiwink said...

I follow this blog :)

scarriemom said...

I would love a s'mores ice cream flavor! Anything with marshmallow, really.

scarriemom said...

I joined the group "My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, and Vegan à la Mode" on Facebook.

scarriemom said...

I follow Hannah on Twitter.

scarriemom said...

I subscribe to your blog via email.

scarriemom said...

I follow @Vegiegail on Twitter.

scarriemom said...

I tweeted the message.

Millie said...

SPECTACULARIOUS!!!!!!

Tracy x said...

oh goodness me!
to be honest i miss ice cream full stop but i am with you on the pistachio ice cream - i miss it so much and have never been able to recreate it at home
what a fab book x

moonsword said...

I think butterscotch ice cream would be fabulous, maybe with chopped pistachios or macadamia nuts. :)

Jessica Lemmon said...

I follow via Twitter! This book looks DELISH. :-)

bitt said...

joined the FB group

bittofraw@gmail.com

bitt said...

follow bittersweet on twitter
@cherrycobbler


bittofraw@gmail.com

bitt said...

follow you on twitter @cherrycobbler


bittofraw@gmail.com

bitt said...

follow your blog feed


bittofraw@gmail.com

Simona said...

My dream ice cream flavour is ACE, orange, lemon and carrot... Miss it so much since becoming vegan!!

Following on twitter and shared the twit

simuz90@yahoo.it