Q&A: Chef Chloe Coscarelli Dishes on New All-Vegan, All-Dessert Cookbook

Written by Jaya Bhumitra

Book Cover

We’ve got some sweet news: Chloe Coscarelli, the first vegan winner of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars and darling of The New York Times, has published a new all-dessert cookbook. And, a few of her recipes were recently featured on The Today Show! Watch the segment, and then read below for our interview with Chloe!

Available now, Chloe’s Vegan Desserts boasts more than 100 recipes for cookies and pies, tarts and cobblers, cupcakes and cakes, ice cream and puddings, and more. We’re talking Salted Caramel Cupcakes, Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato, Animal Cookies (the pink and white kind from elementary school) and an entire section called “Dessert for Breakfast.”

With gorgeous photos accompanying nearly every recipe, this book will please your eyes in addition to your palate.  And we’ve even shared a recipe below so you can immediately indulge while waiting for the book to arrive in your mailbox.

Here, the always-charming Chloe tells us about her process, and how we can become a recipe-taster for her next work (if only!).

Q: Why did you decide to follow-up your wildly successful debut, Chloe’s Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way, with an all-dessert book?

A: I heard my readers loud and clear, and they wanted more vegan dessert recipes! Many people don’t know where to start when it comes to baking a birthday cake for a friend or family member with an egg-allergy or lactose intolerance. It’s my goal to share my original recipes with them to show how easy and delicious vegan baking can be.

Q: Tell us a little bit about the recipe testing process. Where do you begin and how many trials do you usually do? How do you know when you’ve got the final recipe you want to publish?

It usually starts with an idea, or rather, a craving. Some desire for a certain flavor combo pops into my head. From there I hit the kitchen and do a round of trials—this part is literally just playing around. I don’t even take notes. Then I get serious, type up some sort of recipe skeleton and make it anywhere from 10 to 20 times. At this point it goes through the “Chef Chloe Test Kitchen”—A group of amazing culinary students and I gather in my apartment and test, test, test! Everyone tastes and gives their opinion—sometimes we even bring items to the firemen across the street for real, honest feedback.

Q: How do you decide which plant-based milk, butter, or egg substitute will work best in each recipe?

A: It all comes back to the testing. I try everything, and I mean everything. If I’m making brownies, for example, I’ll try it once with baking powder, once with melted chocolate, once with cocoa powder, once with applesauce, and then once with different combos of each. It’s a grueling, yet delicious, process.

Q: Do you have any signature flavors or baking techniques that appear in this book? Any particular personal or family trademarks represented?

A: Well, my lovely mom is a dessert-a-holic! She has the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I know. So she certainly inspired my “Desserts for Breakfast” chapter because, before her, I didn’t know it was possible to have dessert as the first meal of the day!

Q: What’s the recipe in this book that you think will most impress/surprise people who have doubts about the deliciousness of vegan baking?

A: Tiramisu Pancakes—my favorite recipe in the book. My trusted recipe-tester Ann Marie claims you won’t be single for long if you make these for your sweetheart. I’ll let you know if it works for me!

Q: What is your own favorite recipe in this book?

A: The hardest question! I’m obsessed with my Tiramisu Pancakes and often eat them for dinner. My Chewy Ginger-Molasses Cookies have such a refreshing blend of spices that I once ate all the dough before even baking one cookie. And my Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes are so decadent, rich, and chocolatey. I’ll bake a batch for myself if I’m in a “nothing can make me feel better except chocolate” kind of mood!

Q: What cook book theme would you like to explore next?

A: I’ve already picked it! But I’m not allowed to say just yet. Hint—it’s close to my culture.

 

Recipe_smallChloe’s Chewy Ginger-Molasses Cookies

Excerpted from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts; makes about 34 2½ inch cookies

These cookies have the perfect balance of sugar and spice. Molasses gives them soft and chewy centers, which I prefer over traditional crunchy ginger snaps. Plus, ginger aids in digestion, making these the perfect after-dinner cookies!

Make-Ahead Tip: Cookie dough can be made in advance and kept refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for up to one month.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup vegan margarine
  • ¾ cup sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon water

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 or 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat margarine, sugar, molasses, and water until well combined. Slowly beat in the flour mixture.
  4. Scoop 1 rounded tablespoon of dough at a time, and roll the domed part of each scoop in sugar. Place them onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the pan.


Enjoy!