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on November 22, 2002
A positive aspect of this book is that the recipes are clearly written and fairly simple, in that not too many ingredients are used. One feature that I find particularly helpful is the explanation of how to store vegan baked goods, and for how long. It is surprising that the author has managed to fit such a wide selection of recipes in such a concise book.
I see the following disadvantages in this book:
There is no explanation of the general principles of vegan baking--that is, how and why key ingredients are used and how different consistencies are achieved. Surely I'm not the only person wondering how egg-free batter is to hold together. From the recipes that I've read so far in a variety of sources, I get the impression that eggs are simply not necessary--you just balance the other ingredients appropriately, or sometimes a particularly sticky kind of flour helps. This is just a vague idea, though, so I would have been very thankful if the author had explained these general principles in some detail.
There is no glossary, either. (What is demerara sugar? Date syrup?)
Also, it would be important to clarify the measuring system used. Amounts for dry ingredients are given in ounces and grams. The book seems to be directed to British readers, but I'm still not sure which kind of ounce is meant.
I was disappointed to find that most of the recipes call for margarine. Maybe while I wasn't looking a new type of margarine free of hydrogenated fat was introduced on the market, but I'd still rather not put that dubious processed product back into my life.
I expect this book will be a helpful resource--not by itself, but used in conjunction with other reference materials.
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on February 17, 2004
This cookbook uses measurements in weight (so grams instead of cups), which probably makes for more consistent baking but was hard for me to adjust to. I had to buy a scale to follow the recipes. Also, since this cookbook is from outside the US, I didn't understand what some of the basic ingredients were or how to get them. I had to google to figure out where I could get them. Some very nice recipes but I've only made one or two from this book because I am not confident about following the recipes.
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