This is one of the two worst cookbooks that I own. I'm not even sure how it got published -- the editors must have been tickled by the creative recipe names and not have bothered to prepare any of them, perhaps subscribing to the myth that vegans will eat anything as long as it's vegan. Truth be told, of all the recipes I tried, not a single one was without problems, and two or three were downright inedible.
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The Cherry, Cherry Not Contrary Cake became infamous in my household. People would eat it in absolute bemusement, unable to discern whether they liked it or hated it. The crux of the problem was that the recipe called for garbanzo bean flour, which I warily used. The garbanzo bean flour combined with the cocoa powder to produce a cake that I have renamed Chocolate Falafel Cake. If you dare make this recipe, I suggest using whole wheat pastry flour instead.
I'm still chuckling over the failure that was Mint Madness. All other flavors were overpowered by the peppermint, producing a cake that I have renamed Toothpaste Cake. Additionally, the author's obsession with xanthan gum goes horribly awry in the Fluffy Mint Frosting. It produces a frosting with a strange and off-putting texture. I recommend thickening the frosting with flour instead.
The Mocha Madness cake had to be thrown away. The flavors of the chocolate and apples clashed, and probably weren't made better by the coffee-flavored frosting. It was terrible.
Flavor-wise, Just Peekin' Pie was quite pleasant, if at times too overpoweringly sweet. It suffered from structural problems, however. It called for whole pecans, which made it nigh-impossible to break off bite-sized pieces with a fork. Usually the pie would fall apart under pressure from the fork, which would force the eater to scour the plate for salvageable scraps of pie, putting them back together again into edible bites. If I try this again, I'll be chopping up the pecans and putting them on the top, not the bottom, of the pie.
Dieterly offers at least one terrible cooking tip: weighting the pie crust with an empty pie pan. When I tried to remove the top pie pan from the crust that was sandwiched in the middle, I found that it had stuck to the crust and I was unable to remove it without destroying the crust in the process.
The section on cheesecakes relied exclusively on store-bought imitation cream cheeses such as Tofutti. Anyone who doesn't have access to such products will not be able to prepare any of the recipes in this section. If you're looking for a cookbook with easy-to-find ingredients, this might not be your best bet.
The only recipe that I don't have a legitimate complaint about is the one for Peanut Butter Twist Brownies. The peanut-butter mixture was supposed to be marbled into the rest of the batter, but there was so much of it that the marbling effect was impossible to achieve. That's a superficial complaint, however, as the brownies themselves tasted quite nice. I'll probably make them again when next I have a hankering for a PB/chocolate combination.
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