Everyone has their little things they can’t resist. I have quite a few of them – makeup, clothes, liquorice…. but my biggest and most out-of-control addiction is buying cookbooks. If you read this blog, you already know I love books, and it’s no different in the kitchen. I first started getting into veganism through the book Skinny Bitch, which has recieved some bad reviews but which I really can’t recommend enough if you need a wake-up call, and continued my journey through this new style of eating with, you guessed it, more books. While I don’t really read much on the topic itself (the only book apart from Skinny Bitch that I have read on vegan lifestyle is Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World, which I also can’t recommend enough) I do get very excited every time a new cookbook comes out. But it’s not just the plant-based cookery tomes. I just have a serious weakness for cookbooks, especially ones which focus on baking, and often spend hours and hours in Waterstones leafing through every single volume in their food section. I also love food writing, but I’ll get into that another day. However, while collecting cookbooks is fun and educational, it poses a problem. There is NO WAY I will ever get through ALL of those recipes, and often I get lazy and just make the same things over and over again, rather than trying new recipes. For this reason, I’ve decided to write a post on each of my books. Partially to make them more useful, and partially to provide people considering whether to buy a certain book with a ‘tried-and-tested’ review of the publication in question. I like reading other blog posts on these topics as well, mostly because I’m a bit sick of all those amazon reviews giving one star because a book “doesn’t have pictures” or, my personal favourite “uses sugar and fat and is therefore not truly vegans because REAL vegans would NEVER let that anywhere near their body.” WTF is a ‘real vegan’. People are vegan for a world of reasons. If you want to steer clear of anything remotely unhealthy, then I respect you for that, because you are far more health-conscious and will-powered than I will ever be. But don’t go pissing on others’ parade. It’s rude and unhelpful.
Now, having said that, the idea of this concept (haha) is this: For the next few Sundays, I will be posting reviews of my favourite cookbooks. After that, I’ll write one whenever I feel I’ve used a new book enough to be able to talk about it. And post pictures. We like pictures. Most will be vegan, some will not, the latter category will also be critiqued in terms of veganisability. Clear? Cool.
So without further ado…..
Terry Hope Romero and Isa Chandra Moskowitz are my favourite authors EVER. They are absolutely amazing and you should buy every single one of their books. VCTOTW was the first vegan cookbook (or baking book) I ever bought. Actually no, that’s a lie, the first one was Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, but that let down the Skinny Bitch series so badly that I’ve sworn myself to secrecy about it. But this cupcake book is a true little gem. While I’ve never gotten the Basic Vanilla Cupcake recipe to work, the Basic Chocolate recipe is absolutely perfect and all the other recipes I’ve tried (which means most of them) are way above average as well. Terry and Isa have incorporated a huge variety of cupcakes, from your average plain cupcake to fancy, dinner-party-dessert ready concoctions. They’ve also included every possible topping variety imaginable, from butter creams to fruity mousses to skinny glazes. While I love using the book as it is, it has also given me the cupcake-confidence to stray from the written instructions and try my own thing. I’ve found that modifying the flavours of the recipes works extraordinarily well. In terms of cupcakes, vegan or not, you really can’t do any better than this.
To conclude, this is one of the best vegan books out there, and it has a special place in my heart since it was my first real vegan cookbook.