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 Post subject: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:25 pm 
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Has anyone here tried this cookbook yet?

I just looked through the index on Amazon and here are some of the recipe names that caught my eye:

Buche de Noel (Yule Log Cake)
Chocolate Hazelnut Six-Layer Cake
Sachertorte
Chocolate and Almond Olive Oil Cake
Nesselrode Pie
White and Dark Chocolate Cheescake
Chocolate Mousse
Mocha Creme Brulee

The kindle book is on the pricey side for a kindle book ($15), so I would love to hear from someone who has given the recipes themselves a look and can say if it's worth purchasing.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:47 am 
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My copy arrived the other day, I haven't had a chance to cook from it yet. This - Buche de Noel (Yule Log Cake), I've always wanted to make one of these I might actually get round to it this year.
Everything looks so good, I think I'd like to try everything at least once. I think this is the poshest cookbook I own, some of those desserts are absolutely incredible looking. I feel I need to really lift my baking skills.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:53 am 
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Location: Yorkshire, UK
LFL wrote:
Has anyone here tried this cookbook yet?

I just looked through the index on Amazon and here are some of the recipe names that caught my eye:

Buche de Noel (Yule Log Cake)
Chocolate Hazelnut Six-Layer Cake
Sachertorte
Chocolate and Almond Olive Oil Cake
Nesselrode Pie
White and Dark Chocolate Cheescake
Chocolate Mousse
Mocha Creme Brulee

The kindle book is on the pricey side for a kindle book ($15), so I would love to hear from someone who has given the recipes themselves a look and can say if it's worth purchasing.


I was going to start an exact same thread! Wondering if this is a must have for Xmas! It looks lovely...


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:30 am 
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this interests me. I wonder if I can get the Kindle version on my phone's Kindle app (or if there are other e-book options)

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:08 am 
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I bought what I think was her first cookbook and I was not impressed with it at all. She used too many unnecessary ingredients and the end result was mediocre at best. I hope she's improved since then.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:24 am 
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I got the book but haven't made anything yet - maybe this weekend. There's some almond one that I want to do with hazelnuts instead. A lot of the fancier ones have my #1 recipe peeve: when one of the ingredients is a whole recipe from another page. So make sure you read carefully before diving in!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:38 am 
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I got THIS book, Isa Does it, and Artisan Vegan Cheese for my birthday yesterday! Can't wait to see everyone's recommendations!

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:52 am 
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Bek wrote:
I got THIS book, Isa Does it, and Artisan Vegan Cheese for my birthday yesterday! Can't wait to see everyone's recommendations!


Wow, that is a great birthday! Your family and/or friends must be good gift givers.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:04 pm 
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LFL wrote:
Bek wrote:
I got THIS book, Isa Does it, and Artisan Vegan Cheese for my birthday yesterday! Can't wait to see everyone's recommendations!


Wow, that is a great birthday! Your family and/or friends must be good gift givers.

Well.... they are, yes.

Except for the fact that I sent my partner an email with all the covers of the books I could possibly want. Little did I know she would get them ALL

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:17 am 
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I have this book, but I haven't made anything from it yet (the last thing I need right now is to go on a dessert baking binge). It is quite a beautiful book and has the look of a high end bakery book like my pre-vegan books from Baked and Flour. There's quite an extensive section on ingredients. I was a bit disappointed that she didn't recommend particular brands of chocolate, though she she does provide a good list of sources. She does provide extensive instructions on how to prep, store and temper chocolate. I like that there's a nice range of recipes, from cupcakes and simple, mix in the pan cakes, to fancy truffles, eclairs, cookies and brownies, moon pies, ice creams, bread puddings, tarts, candies, chocolate hazelnut butter, hot cocoas, puddings, even smoothies. There's a chapter of "Showstoppers" - super fancy cakes. She includes some gluten free recipes, but she doesn't have a special gluten free flour mixture; she uses Bob's Red Mill.

I'm a real chocoholic (I swear to you I tried my first non-chocolate dessert, a lemon bar, at age 45), so this was a must-buy for me and I'm pretty happy with it. I hope the recipes will live up to my expectations.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:00 pm 
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I made a bunch of stuff this weekend, with mixed results.
1) Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes (not sure if that's the exact name): terrible. They weren't flavorful enough and just tasted kinda floury. I already have several go-to chocolate cake/cupcake recipes, so not too disappointed.
2) Coconut cake - just the cake part, not the chocolate whipped cream filling or the other part. Also kinda floury. Would not make this again; I already have a coconut cake recipe that I like.
3) Thick Glossy Fudge Frosting (again, not sure of name) - really good! Would definitely make this again. I used it on the coconut cake.
4) Chocolate jello shots! I've never had a jello shot before, so didn't have a point of comparison. She has something against agar powder so all her recipes call for the flakes. I used the flakes and was successful because I let them soak for a long time before proceeding. Anyway, I'd make these again for novelty's sake for a party.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:32 pm 
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The low-fat cocoa is really good - I've never really managed to make good cocoa before now!

I thought the chocolate fudge cupcakes were okay, but nothing special. The icing was a bit too runny to be practical.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:06 pm 
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I've been absolutely loving it. I made the Brooklyn Blackout Cake for my man's birthday party this weekend, and he (not vegan) pronounced it amazing, as did other omnis at the party. Always fun to prove vegan deliciousness to omnis. :) And other than assembly - but hey, it's a layer cake, it takes assembly - it was so freakin' easy it was unbelievable.

The truffles were absurdly good.

The "Chocolate Hazelnut Butter" (Nutella) was amazing. I may or may not have sat there eating it with a spoon. NOT like Nutella... kindof a dark chocolate version instead... but SO GOOD.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:23 pm 
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This book is gorgeous to look at. Probably the prettiest cookbook I own. So far I've tried the truffles (amazing), and the double chocolate cookies (very good).


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:24 pm 
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I have this and I'm excited to break it in because Fran is so wonderful!

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:57 pm 
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Dave the Cat wrote:
I got the book but haven't made anything yet - maybe this weekend. There's some almond one that I want to do with hazelnuts instead. A lot of the fancier ones have my #1 recipe peeve: when one of the ingredients is a whole recipe from another page. So make sure you read carefully before diving in!


That tends to annoy me as well for some reason, probably because I sometimes get halfway through a recipe before realising I should have made something else first

I'm getting the book for Christmas (or at least I think I am as its gone off my Amazon Christmas Wish List) and I cant wait to cook from it so thanks for the heads up, I will make sure I read the recipes thoroughly before I start.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:09 am 
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This weekend I made the Opera Cake but the cake part is the hazelnut one from a different recipe instead of the almond it calls for. It's in the fridge now - eating it tonight. I baked it in a different size pan than it calls for (some weird sheet size that I didn't have), and didn't follow the precise directions for cutting the different rectangles. When I went to assemble it, all the layers kept sliding off each other and I had to think quickly to find a way to get it into something that could contain it in the fridge. So it's on parchment in a shoebox, with all this cardboard shoved in to try to get it to keep its shape. If it falls apart when I take it out, I'm going to chop it up, put it in a bowl, and pretend it's trifle that was supposed to look like that. All the components taste awesome so I think it'll still be a success.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:05 am 
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I made the basic chocolate truffles to give as a present to someone. Wow, they were so delicious and easy to make. They made my friend really happy!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:38 pm 
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This was one of my holiday gifts this year. I haven't made anything out of it yet, but what a beautiful-looking book.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:04 pm 
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I've made the Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Magic Cookie Bars, Opera Cake, and I've got the Chocolate Cherry Miroir Cake setting up in the fridge.

The cookies took me 2 tries to get the texture right; ended up adding another tablespoon of flour or so. The bars were delicious the second and third day after making them, as I kind of get sick of chocolate the day I make these :).

I made the Opera cake for a baptism, and it was pretty amazing! You really have to make sure you refrigerate the cake between layer building, so that it doesn't slide around on you. I'll admit I'm seriously impatient, but I forced myself to split the prep time into 2 days to get it right.

The Miroir cake is a bit of a favorite of mine right now. Cherries and raspberry liqueur NOMZ! I did alter the sizing a bit and made two 6 inch mini cakes after doubling the cake batter (GF version). The remainder I made into cake balls with more of the cherry preserves/raspberry liqueur mixture and mousse. So tired of chocolate...but...can't stop :P I also subbed the agar powder for the required flakes and just reduced the amount. Seems to have turned out okay. I'll post pictures later


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:03 pm 
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I was hoping to get recommendations from people who have tried some recipes from this book. A couple people mentioned the Opera Cake--it looks really nice, so I'd like to try it. I've only made a couple things (The Torte to Live For is really decadent; the bittersweet ganache is gorgeous and glossy; the orange-almond cake is really flavorful and has an intoxicating scent and the texture held up really nicely). Has anyone tried the lemon tartlets?

Bananadreams, the miroir looks stunning. Is it stupid to say I'm a bit scared to do it because it looks like such an investment of time that if I hate the cake, it will kill me to let it just sit there and not get eaten? Anyway, it sounds like you've had success with it, so I should suck it up and make it.

Also, call me crazy, but I swear my book smells like chocolate and lemons. Anyone else?


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:04 pm 
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Dave the Cat wrote:
This weekend I made the Opera Cake but the cake part is the hazelnut one from a different recipe instead of the almond it calls for. It's in the fridge now - eating it tonight. I baked it in a different size pan than it calls for (some weird sheet size that I didn't have), and didn't follow the precise directions for cutting the different rectangles. When I went to assemble it, all the layers kept sliding off each other and I had to think quickly to find a way to get it into something that could contain it in the fridge. So it's on parchment in a shoebox, with all this cardboard shoved in to try to get it to keep its shape. If it falls apart when I take it out, I'm going to chop it up, put it in a bowl, and pretend it's trifle that was supposed to look like that. All the components taste awesome so I think it'll still be a success.


Also, this made me laugh because I've done this sort of thing before!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 12:08 am 
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Made the chocolate ginger ice, was easy and yummy!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 1:10 am 
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I made 2 of the Chocolate Tortes to Live For (to make a 2 layer cake). I filled them with butter cream frosting from VCTOTW & black cherry pie filling, then frosted the top an sides with chocolate frosting from VCTOTW.
The tortes were good, didn't rise much (although that could have been the idea with them being tortes) but they were incredibly light ( in a good way). They are the only cakes I have ever made that did not get marked up by being put on a cooling rack. My only complaint would be the cost - the tortes used a whole jar of maple syrup

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 12:46 am 
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Made the "to live for chocolate torte" and the bittersweet chocolate ganache with good success.

I substituted all white cake and pastry flour for the whole wheat cake and pastry flour/ normal flour combination. Was also out of maple syrup, so I used agave (which she says not to do as makes cakes sticky).

Cakes turned out great and the chocolate ganache icing was delicious too. I think this would an impressive your non-vegan guest type of dessert!


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