When Toronto was still wrapped up in the cold grip of winter, I had the chance to indulge in many of Ricki’s sweet treats after winning a giveaway she hosted on her blog. I wrote here about the amazing taste adventure that resulted.
After my first bite into one of the Cinnamon Coffee Toffee Bars I knew that her book, Sweet Freedom, would provide vegan bakers everywhere with the ammunition they needed to convince the masses that conscious consuming can be delicious. The most impressive part about the recipes in Ricki’s collection is that they provide sweet satisfaction without the consequences associated with consuming wheat, eggs, dairy or refined sugars. Even though that may seem like a long list of exclusions…you won’t miss any of them! Just trust me. I have shared the sweets created from Ricki’s recipes with colleagues, grandparents, nieces, nephews, friends, brothers, fathers and mothers and not one complaint. Everyone loved both the deep, rich flavours and creamy, toothsome textures.
Sweet Freedom has chapters dedicated to: Baking tips; breakfast baking; cookies, bars and squares; cakes, cupcakes, toppings and frostings; cheesecakes, pies and baked puddings; raw and no bake treats. Ricki provides a lot of helpful information about using more wholesome ingredients to successfully produce decadent results. As a nutritionist, cooking instructor and professional baker, she certainly knows her stuff. Isn’t it nice to get to benefit from the toil of others! With Ricki’s helpful tips in mind, I tackled a number of her enticing recipes.
As you know, I have been testing a lot of recipes lately, so I thought a recent visit to my Mom’s place would be the perfect opportunity to share in the tasting role. So I asked each family member to pick a recipe or two for me to whip up. This did not require much convincing and resulted in some fun experimenting with flavours that I would not have picked out on my own.
The most involved recipe I made was the Dalmatian Cheesecake Brownies, but if you ask my family they were worth every second. The picture does not do this treat justice. The cashew butter and tofu layer is deceptively rich and creamy and the brownie bottom is what every fudgy square of chocolate goodness aspires to be. Amazing.
Finally, I bring you the Muffin Wars.
Now, you should know that I already have my favourite banana chocolate chip (BCC) muffin recipe that I have been making for years. I know the measurement and technique off-by-heart and can whip it up anywhere. But, recently my friend Colleen said that she had discovered her favourite BCC muffin recipe. I was intrigued. She had prepared a batch of muffins using Colleen Patrick Goudreau’s recipe in the Joy of Vegan Baking (JOVB). Given this endorsement, I decided to do a taste-test of my own. I prepared the Banana Chocolate Chip recipe in Sweet Freedom and the recipe from the JOVB and lined them up for a blind-test test, by my family members.