I was so impatient to tell you all about it! My second cookbook is out today! Just like the first book, I write it together with my friend Louise. For our first book, Poêlées végétariennes, the editor had decided on the topic. Here, we came up with the idea and found the perfect editor to make it come to life: Terre vivante. In French, this means “living Earth” and we couldn’t be happier with the result.
There are quite a lot of hidden vegetables dessert recipes on this blog. In 2013, Louise and I began writing a cookbook that (modestly) meant to be the Bible of healthy cooking and which featured a parsnip cheesecake. We were naive and endured dozens of refusals from publishing houses. A nice editor, at last, got interested in one of our other projects. “Desserts with hidden vegetables” was born. Because vegetables in desserts is no longer a new thing, we came up with recipes that are truly original or with more traditional recipes with an innovative twist. There were some mishaps, like the chocolate and potato cake that I had to bake five times in a row on a Sunday before finding THE right recipe. We had to return our manuscript the next day… The following days, my nightmares were populated with sadistic potatoes. Fortunately, there were mainly good surprises. For example, Louise’s aubergine brownie or my broccoli and hazelnut muffins.
All our desserts are healthy: low in sugar and low in saturated fat, full of fiber and sometimes raw. Of course, you can increase the amount of sweetener: it is a matter of taste. Our desserts are mostly vegan (those sweetened with honey can be easily adapted using maple or rice syrup, or agave although I don’t recommend the latter for it is quite refined and high in fructose). Our desserts are very often gluten free. Most importantly, they are invariably good. And, between us, what other recipe book will give you a recipe for garlic, lemon and turmeric ice cream? For cauliflower “rice pudding” that tastes better than Grandma’s? A herbalicious, bright green ice cream full of aromatics? Pea cookies? Nowhere else than in this book!
Our 40 recipes are divided into 4 chapters:
- The “traditional” desserts, the classics that you all know: carrot cake, pumpkin pie, chicken pie … We have revisited these desserts with vegetables from all over the world, in a healthier and sometimes vegetable version.
- The “cunning” desserts, in which the vegetables go undercover. Ideal for children or for those scared of veggies. A pear-butternut crumble, a chocolate-beet pie, or kale muffins, for example.
- The “daring” desserts, or the “veggie pride” chapter. Blanc-manger with lamb’s lettuce, a fruit and vegetables salad, an irreverent fennel Tarte Tatin.
- The “frozen” desserts are ice creams or sherbets – without eggs and dairy! Pepper-cocoa, mint-celery, avocado-matcha tea, garlic-turmeric-lemon, to name but a few.
To give you an idea, here is the recipe for rice pudding with cauliflower, one of my favorites.
Cauliflower rice pudding
- 400 g raw cauliflower
- 700 ml almond milk
- 4 tbsp unrefined cane sugar
- 1 tbsp gingerbread spice mix
- 50 g chickpea flour (‘besan’)
- 1 orange, juice and zest
- 50 g almond butter
- 30 g ground flax or chia seeds
Cut the cauliflower into florets. Place in the bowl of a food processor equipped with an S-blade. Process until you get a fine semolina.
Place the cauliflower semolina, almond milk, sugar and spices in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then leave to simmer without covering for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. The preparation thickens.
Heat a frying pan over high heat. Pour in the chickpea flour and toast it lightly. It must have a hazelnut-ty smell but should not brown.
Add toasted chickpea flour + orange zest and juice to the “rice” pudding. Simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring vigorously.
Stir in the almond butter and ground flax seeds, combine and let sit for about 20 minutes (heat turned down).
Serve warm with fresh fruit, honey, cinnamon, and the like. Or eat it cold for breakfast!