Sweet + Salty

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

Candy is based on sugars, primarily the kinds of sugars that can be boiled into soft or brittle threads. Then there are sugar syrups that do not normally harden. These two sugars are then flavored to make relatively simple "clear" candies. But after the clear candies come the more  complex candies mixed and flavored with many things, but most notably milk. In the middle east and India, milk is boiled down till the milk sugars become the candy. 

Chocolate candies do not need to contain any milk, but it does need to contain binders and fat. We are used to chocolate made with milk, that is, chocolates containing some milk solids and fats in various quantities. Milk and fat modify the texture and mouthfeel of chocolate and other sweets like some caramels. 

Vegans must bind chocolate with something else and make caramels and other confections without honey, milk or eggs. This isn't hard to do, but finding good recipes to guide you is.

Lagusta Yearwood makes and sells vegan candies from her store called "Lagusta's Luscious" in New Paltz, New York. She has a dedicated following because she works hard to produce the very best sweets that just happen to be vegan.

Ms Yearwood's writing style is a bit breezy and talkative but she gets her message across. The recipes and how-to instructions are clear. You can skim the chatty text if it bothers you.

The recipes here vary from traditional to the artsy fartsy modern stuff – candies flavored with herbs and chilies and the like. I don't much care for those but lots of other people do. I'll stick with the chocolates and caramels.

A note on flavorings. One recipe calls for Thai Red Curry Paste. I don't know what brand Ms Yearwood is using, but Red Curry Paste is based on shrimp paste which isn't even vegetarian. Be careful to read the label.
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This cookbook is fantastic. It is full of beautiful photography and incredible recipes. I'm excited to try them all!
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Sweet + Salty is a vegan friendly philosophical cookbook for making chocolates, truffles, smashing the patriarcy, and other treats by Lagusta Yearwood. Released 24th Sept 2019 by Da Capo on their Lifelong Books imprint, it's 272 pages and available in ebook and hardcover formats.

This -is- a chocolate lovers catalog of wonders, some of them eye-wateringly complex with rigorously detailed guided instructions (tutorials, really) for sourcing ingredients and recreating some incredible vegan confections. It is also a really engagingly written philosophy guide with musings on ethics, some politics, society, family, death, business, the concepts of wealth and success, and everything in between.

For readers who are -just- here for the treats, the recipes are well organized and gorgeously (decadently) photographed and illustrated. This is food porn at its finest. It's unclear from the publishing info available online, but the eARC I received has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references. I hope the ebook release version does also. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. Presumably that feature has carried through to the final release version.

The introduction (circa 20% of the content) is a philosophical, biographical, introspective how-did-we-get-here by the author which also introduces the supporting players. There was a lot of interesting side info of which I was previously unaware (for example why weird semi-bitter over-sugared American mass produced chocolate has -never- appealed to me), along with some good suggested further reading. I love books which turn me on to other books, and this one does.

The introduction is followed by a whimsically arranged tour of different archetypes of the confectioner's art: ganache, caramels (cooked candies, really, as it includes toffees and hard candies), fruits/veg/and baked (cookie). The categories are further subdivided into more sections and far more recipes than I was willing to count.

Each of the recipes has an introductory paragraph, yields, ingredients, and step by step instructions. The recipes are full of tips and tricks for presentation. Many have conversational and charming asides included (like making chocolate 'seatbelts' for ginger garnish wands on top of the Ginger Orange Blossom Truffles (p. 60)).

For readers who like their cooking language un-salty (pun intended, sorry-not-sorry), fair warning, the author has a take-no-prisoners wild west voice and attitude in her writing. There is no quarter given for pearl clutching. If the 'f-bomb' shocks and dismays, then be forewarned. On the other hand, I have never in my life seen such a comprehensive catalog of the chocolatier's art outside of strictly professional books meant for culinary professionals.

This is a big book with a big voice and insanely appealing photography. Five stars.
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This book was absolutely gorgeous and everything in it looked soooo good! The author goes so far in depth, and all the stories in the book are absolutely amazing. I seriously cannot wait to make everything in this book!
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As someone who used to work in a bakery I am pretty particular when it comes to my cookbooks. I liked almost all of the recipes in this collection. Not many people really understand candy making and this really helps bring it to the home in a simple way.
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This cookbook of vegan confections by chocolatier and author Lagusta Yearwood will be on the "must have" list for the cooks on your holiday list.  This book is packed with detailed recipes and advice on supplies, tools, and outlook for working with vegan ingredients.  Yearwood shares how she has grown her business while keeping her values at the center and she is expansive about sharing her memories and experiments.  This book is a pleasure to read and is an encouraging resource for anyone wishing to expand their repertoire in making chocolates.
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Funny that most Phoenician stories are supposed to be - car broke down on the way to California.

Black/Red Raspberry Lime truffles are something to look at.

Wow, deconstructing ganache to a fat and liquid and reconstructing with coconut oil and anything - eggplant, miso, balsamic syrup.

Loved the list of things to not use as garnish on truffles.


Fennel apple- skin truffles made with apple skin powder sounds so novel.

Pomegranate truffle made with pomegranate molasses.

ginger juice

Flax-seed egg replacer

sage caramels look so cute.

Caramelized onion and chipotle caramels.

Carrot and coriander caramels

toffee matzo with drizzled chocolate instead of dipped in chocolate

Like the idea of decorating toffee for pictures with tiny cats and shoes.
Ginger orange blossom truffle looks good with ginger slice and chocolate on top of it.

Caramel candy vs Caramel sauce preparation
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When it is hot as heck outside and there is nothing cool to do but reading as everything else makes you end up a sweaty mess, it is the perfect day for a speed reader.			
			
I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  			
			
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.			

100 imaginative vegan recipes showing home confectioners how to make artisan-quality sweets from the country's premier (and feminist/punk rock/bad-ass) vegan chocolatier 

At her East Coast confectionery shops, Lagusta Yearwood takes vegan sweets to the next level, going beyond cookies, cupcakes, and pies. Sweet + Salty features over 100 luscious recipes for caramels, chocolates, bonbons, truffles, and more for anyone looking to make their own vegan confections at home. With everything from the most basic caramel to bold, arresting flavours incorporating unexpected spices and flavours such as miso caramel sauce, thyme-preserved lemon sea-salt caramels, matzo toffee, and more, Sweet + Salty is a smart, sassy, completely innovative introduction to vegan confections.

FINALLY  cookbook by someone whose food I have actually eaten before --- when your car breaks down in New Paltz you do a lot of walking and once we were done drinking and eating at the Gilded Otter we wanted chocolate and stumbled upon Yearwood's shop. I would never have guessed that it was vegan, but that did explain the prices.  I am a huge fan of the sweet/salty aspect of food and I will be trying to make these recipes once it cools down in the autumn. 

I loved how she introduced with photos of her employees and that the women told their own stories and that she went through the ingredients you will be using. (The vanilla story alone is worth the price of the book!) She covers tempering which is the key to everything chocolate and gives lots of suggestions for flavour combinations. I will probably use less expensive ingredients as I am not vegan so there is no need for me to spend the money on organic ingredients.

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫
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Great book. Very detailed and the photographs were beautiful. All of the procedures required to make easy recipe was very easy to follow. Great book.
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