I come from a long line of, as my old neighbour Barbara would put it, “Do-ers.” Why have someone else do something for you when you can do it yourself. For me that something is cooking, my mom and sis it’s sewing, and for my dad it’s home renos. Seriously, he’s handier than a pocket on a shirt! So my dad walks into one of those big box stores that specializes in DIY, tools, and hardware to return a faulty light switch. When my dad asks to return the item at the customer service/returns the lady behind the counter asks why and my dad tells her that it didn’t work. She then says to him “You mean it didn’t work or it didn’t work for you?” This story always makes me smile because it seems like one of those classic stories that always gets laughs but you’re probably wondering what this has to do with cookbooks or cooking? Well, after trying to make the GF Waffle Cones from Virpi Mikkonen and Tuulia Talvio‘s N’Ice Cream three (very unsuccessful) times I was reminded of this story. At first I thought about what I had done wrong but after the second and third time I really believe there is something wrong with that recipe. The first time the “cones” were too greasy to hold their shape, so the second time I cut down on the coconut oil (no luck) and the third time I even tried using my panini press because I wondered if my waffle maker’s plates were too deep thus resulting in a thicker waffle. All I can say is third time was not a charm folks. What really bugs me is that I wasted all those ingredients and btw, almond flour and vanilla powder aren’t cheap. Maybe something happened in translation or editing? Idk. I used all of the correct ingredients, in their amounts, following their recipe. The resulting “waffle” tasted great but was too greasy/doughy to really eat or make into a cup or cone. I hate these “it’s not me, it’s you” situations but there you have it.
Starting off with this maybe seems a little mean but I know that for people who eat GF foods (or even Vegan) there’s nothing more disappointing than making food that you’re excited about that flops. I was trying to make the cones as they were one of the components of the Cherry Ice Cream Cake I was making for my family who was visiting. Any cake described as a “tribute to Linda Lomelino” just begged to be made. After I knew my plans to have a 100% homemade dessert wasn’t going to happen I went to the grocery store and bought some waffle cones and some chocolate (because after feeling crappy about the failed cones I didn’t want to waste any more ingredients — cacao butter is super pricy yo!). So much drama. In the end the cake was a huge hit and was enjoyed by everyone — it looked so amazing! Even my family (who aren’t vegetarians or vegans) loved it!
Normally my reviews are written after I’ve made several of the book’s recipes — I like to give an honest and balanced approach. In this case because the book is a single subject (vegan ice cream!!!) I thought I’d write my review based on my first impressions and tastes of the book. Since I’m trying to cut down on eating treats I knew I would be cooking from this book sparingly (and, p.s. I do have issues with dessert books labeling themselves as “healthy.” As far as I’m concerned sugar is sugar and anyone who thinks they’ll get away free and clear needs to think again. I agree that homemade is healthier because there is less processing, additives, and overall ingredients but any dessert really needs to be eaten and enjoyed in moderation).
After seeing their book all over Instagram and then on The First Mess, I ordered myself a copy because when I tried the sample recipe on TFM it was really good! The recipes are made using either a blender and/or ice cream maker and the authors have really taken the time at the beginning of the book to go through their ingredients and methods so by the time you’re ready to make ice cream you’re all set. I’ve only made two of their ice cream recipes, both of which turned out fabulously and tasted great! I love that they have a variety of recipes broken into sections: Creamy Ice Creams, Instant Ice Creams, Ice Pops/Sorbets, Milkshakes, and Ice Cream Cakes and Cookies. Lots of different options for any occasion or fancy.
The photographs are beautifully shot and really make their recipes look so appetizing! Aside from trying to enjoy desserts in moderation, another reason why you may not make desserts everyday from this book is that the ingredients can get a bit expensive. Nuts (cashews, almonds, etc), vanilla, raw cacao, even coconut oil is not purchased for mega consumption. I try to choose recipes that seem “worthwhile” so that nothing gets wasted and everything gets enjoyed. One of the things I really liked about the cake was that it was only 6″ — a perfect size to enjoy! This means that you may have to invest in a 6″ spring form pan (as it is not a standard size) but I think that if you’re going to be making cakes from this cookbook it’s a reasonable investment.
Overall I’m happy with this cookbook — it made a nice addition to my cookbook library. Although I got it for a bit cheaper online, I’m not sure I’d pay the full $34 cover price for a single subject book that’s mainly focusing on desserts. In case anyone is wondering, I did troll Instagram to see if anyone else made the waffle cones and there was one person who did. I think they used the original (non-English) version. As you can see the cones and cups turn out a bit thicker and have a really rich brown colour (probably from the coconut sugar). It makes me wonder though if the authors used their homemade cones in most of the photos or used commercially made ones?
As a bit of blog “house keeping” I’m excited to talk about a new venture! I’ve recently joined an site that gives me advanced access to new cookbooks, which means that I’ll be able to write reviews on some great, new cookbooks being released over the next few months. These reviews will have a bit of a different scope — I’ll be writing about my first impressions of the book and trying just a few of the recipes (no where near the number I’ve been trying for my previous reviews). Unlike my past reviews these books have been kindly offered for free — all of my other reviews are for books I’ve already paid for and own. That being said I’m really excited about what’s coming up! Hope you’ll stick around! Since it seems like I’ve been super relaxed about writing reviews this summer I think I’ll extend the “holiday” and see you in a few weeks 🙂 Oh, just one more thing in case you missed it: Ashley at Nourish Me Mum kindly included one of my recipes (for Creamy Frozen Chocolate Chia Pudding Berry Bark) in her allergen-free recipe round up on the Feed Feed! Click here to check it out! It was such a wonderful surprise and, although you know recipe developing isn’t my thing, I’m so glad that she shared it! It’s one of my favs!
Have a great week!