Vegetable Cakes: The most fun way to five a day! Scrumptious sweets where the veggie is the star
Why aren't we using vegetables in dessert? That seems obvious at first - they're not as sweet as fruit. Until you remember that a lot of fruits are quite tart to taste, and many veggies are quite sweet. We all know there's a spectrum - every child knows that many vegetables are really fruits, including avocados, tomatoes, peas, sweetcorn, courgettes, and bell peppers. In this truly innovative new baking book, Ysanne Spevack has made sure to include not only veggies that are secretly fruits, but also veggies that are 100% bona-fide vegetables, such as carrots, lettuce, spinach, cauliflower and onions. Why conform to the norm, let's embrace the strange and say yes to vegetables in unusual places! Vegetables are delicious, and of course they can all be sweetened, either by being marinated and mixed with something sweet (and healthy), or by having their natural sugars caramelised - or both. Many vegetables offer other plus points, like outrageous colours, or surprising textures. Take beetroots - how could you turn down such a wonderful colour? And lotus roots - the crunch and the shape is too extraordinary to refuse! The gorgeous spiralling shapes of the fiddlehead ferns make a tart of true artistry. And, of course, there are the health benefits of eating more veg. Many people struggle with ways to eat their recommended five (or more) a day, and parents often worry about getting vegetables into their children without a fight. Children are savvy to every trick to smuggle vegetables into their dinner, and can find the evidence a speck of green in a veggie burger within seconds. But give them a cake with a big cauliflower inside, and the silliness of it gets a foot in the door. The pure anarchy of putting soft leaves inside a layer cake or loaf engages most people's sense of humour. Once you're there, Godzilla Cake is a cinch! Other ideas are things of pure beauty, whether cascading radish slices offering unexpected juicy crispness to a pavlova, or swirls of purple radicchio adorning a rich and creamy cheesecake. Widen your perspective and enter into a brave new parallel world of possibilities. These recipes may feature some of the most familiar ingredients in your fridge, but in an enlightening and often entertaining way. Lastly, but most importantly of all, the cakes, bakes, cookies and treats are all absolutely wonderful to eat - which is Ysanne's aim, to indulge in the pleasures of baking and eating, with a side helping of health along the way.