BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

For the Love of Chocolate

19 Comments

There are few universal truths in life, which makes each one of them that much more significant: Spring will always follow winter, love cannot be faked, and everyone enjoys chocolate. If any of those statements can be proven otherwise, I don’t want to know about it, especially when it comes to the latter. Quite frankly, person who claims to dislike chocolate is simply lying, revealing questionable character on their part. Thus, with no shortage of fanfare, Fran Costigan unleashed Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts upon the world, an ode to this “food of the gods” that fully lives up to its title. Every bit deserving of the effusive praise that gushes forth from each breathless review, I can only add my own cheers to the chorus.

Giving credit that’s long overdue, the Aztec Truffles (page 53) were the shining stars in my holiday candy boxes way back in festive days of December. Pressed for time and exhausted of fresh ideas, that surprisingly simple recipe yielded stunning results, above and beyond my traditional approaches. The fiery combination of ancho chili powder and cinnamon gave those tiny chocolate bombs an invigorating kick that all the tired old classics seemed to lack. Though notably soft in consistency, storing the little morsels in the freezer solved all structural concerns while adding a delightfully cool contrast to the punch of bold, smoky spices which paired beautifully with the dark, bitter chocolate.

The standard chocolate recipe by which I judge the merit of any cookbook, bakery, or individual baker is the humble brownie. Let me cut straight to the chase and say that Fran’s Very Fudgy Chocolate Chip Brownies (page 128) passed the test with flying colors. Complete with the elusive crackled top and rich, chewy interior, these simple squares live up to expectations, to say the least. A touch greasy but not prohibitively so, it’s a small price to be paid for ideal brownie indulgence.

Covering a wide range of applications and pairings for chocolate, there are plenty of more delicate, nuanced treats included as well. Case in point: The Chocolate, Orange, and Almond Olive Oil Cake (page 72). Though the name is a mouthful, it’s worth every bite! Impossibly moist, even after days of sitting on the counter, it’s one of those rare cakes that seems to get even better with age… If you can leave it alone long enough for it to mature, that is. Bright citrus notes enliven the almond-infused crumb, and while that would really be enough to satisfy any sweet craving, a thick glaze of chocolate ganache truly puts it over the top.

Coming from the vegan dessert queen herself, I would expect no less than a masterpiece and with Vegan Chocolate, I was not disappointed.

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Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

19 thoughts on “For the Love of Chocolate

  1. The brownies do look amazingly fudgy. I don’t have this book yet so I just stared at them longingly until I noticed there’s a link to the recipe – thank you for posting this, Hannah! :)

  2. holy gorgeous… guess who’s craving chocolate now?!

  3. These recipes that you mention look outragesly delicious,…Yum Yum Yummm ,…very appetizing recipes. 😊

  4. How is one suppose to choose amidst all the deliciousness? You’re killin’ me! =)

  5. I think I may have died and gone to heaven!.. Hummmmm.. :-)

  6. Oh wow! Serious food porn here Hannah! Everything looks heavenly. Thank you for linking to those recipes too. I’m trying to decide what to make for my birthday in a couple of weeks and that cake might be the answer…

  7. Thank you so much Hannah for your generous and thoughtful review of my new book, Vegan Chocolate, and for the Hannah-amazing photos.
    With appreciation!
    Fran

  8. Oh yea…. for the love of chocolate :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  9. Everything looks so awesome! Heaven is totally made of chocolate. :-)

  10. Wow chocolate desserts! my favourite! love the sound of the chocolate, orange and almond olive oil cake.. Sounds really amazing!

    love the look of the Aztec truffles and chocolate brownies too! too perfect!

  11. Hannah, I love all sort of chocolate, that’s is my comfort snack! Thanks!

  12. Fantastic review, Hannah! I love Fran Costigan and her delicious recipes. :)

  13. Oh my goodness.. chocolatey goodness.. wonderfully chocolatey goodness!! I need to try these recipes… I have a friend at work who is vegan, and I’d love to surprise her with the brownies! Of course, I’d make her share them with me! Thank you for a wonderful review… wonderful post!! :-)

  14. I cannot wait to make those brownies. For me too, the brownie is the ultimate test for a baker of any sort. Ughhh brownies.

  15. Oh BABY they look good! Excellent review ma’am…you have me wanting chocolate STAT :)

  16. Everything looks so delicious, I’ll be adding this book to my shelf for sure!

  17. Oh my goodness, those all look amazing! I adore brownies!

  18. A whole cookbook dedicated to vegan chocolate? Yeah, I’m in! I love the idea of a cake that can be left out for days – gives you an excuse to eat a little every day!

  19. Ooh, those chocolate fudge brownies are looking good!

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