Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cookbook Review: Babycakes Covers the Classics

        The boyfriend's birthday is next month and that means that birthday planning starts now. There are a couple of surprises up my sleeve this year and this year I am determined to keep this a surprise until his birthday. I'm sure if he guessed anymore than twice he'd know what I was getting for him, but I like to let myself think that I'm clever and awesome about gifting, however far from reality that may be. 
        Beyond gifts and surprises, birthdays also mean cake! There isn't much that gets me more excited for an event than the prospect of fresh-out-of-the oven cake. However, summertime in Texas makes me dread using the oven for an extended amount of time, especially since our AC duct into the kitchen is blocked somehow. The plan for an ice cream cake hatched at work while I was talking with a woman I sit near about cake in general. The conversation turned to ice cream cake and when I mentioned that I'd never had one she nearly fainted and insisted that I eat an entire one as soon as I am able. With a birthday coming up, I figured why not make one? The hunt was on for a recipe of some kind to guide my way through a vegan and gluten free ice cream cake.
        I hunted around and found Babycakes Covers the Classics by Erin McKenna, a gluten free and vegan cookbook devoted to desserts, and wouldn't ya know, there's a recipe for ice cream cake in it! It's as simple as I thought it would be, consisting of a basic chocolate cake, two flavors of ice cream layered, topped with another chocolate cake, and drizzled with chocolate sauce before being frozen. While I won't follow the directions exactly, the basic principle will be the same. I'll post about it, complete with pictures, when that goes down, because it will be spectacular!
        Besides the ice cream cake recipe, Babycakes is filled with amazing recipes to tempt you into giving your sweet tooth more pleasure than you'll know what to do with. There are so many amazing recipes in this book from one of my childhood favorites, pineapple upside down cake, to cake donuts, bread pudding, German chocolate cake, and even crispy rice squares! There are a couple of appetizers thrown in, as well, to balance things out. Everything is vegan and gluten free, and the recipes are simple to follow with well written directions, easy to find products, and a few pictures of the finished products spattered throughout. 
        Something I hardly ever mention about a book is the index, and who the heck really cares, anyway. This book, however has a very well laid out index and it's rather in-depth. In addition to the index is a store listing of where to buy the ingredients online. This is amazing and exciting for those of us who live in smaller than average towns and who sometimes have to drive and drive and drive to reach any kind of decent grocer. 
        Enjoy the book and let me know what you think about it!
- Patricia
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