Fran Costigan has done it again. Her latest cookbook, More Great Good Dairy-free Desserts Naturally, is much more than an update of Great Good Desserts Naturally, her first such book published in 1999. Seven years and five reprints later, Costigan's recipes from working as a consultant in professional kitchens, baking custom cakes for private clients, and teaching at the Natural Gourmet Cookery School and the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC, were compiled for a more
comprehensive dairy- and egg-free dessert cookbook.
The first 23 pages are devoted to listing and defining essential
ingredients and equipment, tips and techniques for making and baking desserts ("Think like a pastry chef: Organize your mise en place"), and a baker's dozen secrets to successful desserts ("Use pure vanilla extract, not vanillin, an artificial flavoring"). Costigan demystifies the "natural sugar" confusion by categorizing granulated sugar into "dark whole," and "light natural," with five pages devoted to natural sweeteners.
There are over two-hundred pages of mouth-watering recipes, including gels, creams, puddings, sauces, cookies, bars, little bites, cobblers, crisps, biscuits, muffins, cakes, fillings, frostings, glazes, pies, tarts, fruit, beverages, frozen desserts, and confections. Costigan's expertise as a pastry chef is captured in her fool-proof, flaky pie crusts and tarts. She painstakingly walks the reader through each step in such a way that you feel you are in her classroom. (I might add that my pie crust turned out perfect!)
New Yorkers will want to try the New York Eggless Cream made with Costigan's incredibly decadent Ultimate Chocolate Sauce, and kids of all ages will go nuts for the Caramel Popcorn Treats. Coconut aficionados will salivate over the Coconut Cloud Layer Cake, a version of which was served at Costigans' sons' wedding. Did someone mention chocolate? There are over 20 chocolate recipes listed in the index, including a unique version of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups filled with
peanut butter mousse!
More Great Good Dairy-free Desserts Naturally was well worth the wait. It is a must-have for anyone who enjoys baking, regardless of their experience.