Who wouldn’t love to merge nutrition with dessert? Fran Costigan’s extensive culinary experience combined with her desire to have her cake and eat it too, has resulted in too many ‘healthy’ dessert recipes to fit in just one cookbook. More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally is a follow up to her first work, Great Good Desserts Naturally! Though I haven’t viewed her first book, I can say that it would be hard to top this second edition.
As someone who absolutely loves to bake I was delighted by the extensive variety of desserts. This cookbook includes Crisps, Cobblers, Brown Betties, Tarts, Pies, Cakes, Frostings, Cookies, Brownies, Muffins, Quick Breads, and more! I counted approximately 100 recipes, and each one is dairy free, egg free, and vegan. There is even a honey-free baklava!
Though I am a regular bread and cookie baker, I was intrigued by a few of the not-so common offerings in More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally. Several are surprisingly soy-free and nut-free, including the Ultimate Chocolate Sauce and Icing and the New York Eggless Cream. Of course, the Peanut Butter Mousse in Chocolate Candy Cups is next on my list. And it is hard for me to pass up something as unique as Carob Cashew Frosting.
Beyond the recipes themselves, this cookbook is very well organized and structured. The fonts are large, the recipes are well defined, and variations are included throughout. Each chapter opens with a two-page discussion of tips, such as “how to make a foolproof flaky pie crust.”
Sweeteners Used in More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally
Fran devotes several pages to explaining sweeteners and how to use them. Her recipes include only the most natural sweeteners, such as maple syrup, evaporated cane juice, fruit, and molasses. And wherever it doesn’t sacrifice the quality of the end product, she uses whole grain flours. Fats, leaveners, thickeners, gels, and starches are all explained in detail, and the healthiest options are noted and used in all of her recipes.
Fran Costigan’s intent is to create delicious desserts that are decadent, but also provide real nutritional value. From my perspective, she has certainly succeeded.