Old favourites made easier than ever, classics adapted for modern tastes, indulgent desserts tweaked to be lighter and healthier, and loads of exciting brand-new ideas. That's what you'll find inside my gorgeous new book ESSENTIAL Volume Two: Sweet Treats for Every Occasion – plus an encyclopaedia of cooking and baking tips and tricks that I’ve gathered over the years.
In this book – the companion volume to my book of savoury recipes ESSENTIAL Volume One: Best-Ever Meals for Busy Lives – I've sought to bring you the very best of everything I know and love from the sweet kitchen.
I don’t have time for fancy techniques, hard-to-find ingredients or long-winded procedures, and I suspect you don't either, so I've streamlined unnecessarily complicated processes and simplified ingredients lists to use only items most of us are likely to have handy in the pantry – plus lots of fresh seasonal fruit, of course!
ESSENTIAL Volume Two: Sweet Treats for Every Occasion contains something for everyone, with recipes to suit all lifestyles, appetites and dietary needs. Its beautiful outsized format features more than 450 recipes in total – pretty much every sweet thing you could ever dream of eating, plus tried-and-true tips for perfect results every time.
We all eat differently from one another these days, so I've included sweet recipes to suit every eating plan – everything from healthy starts like Kale Smoothies and Overnight Chia Pudding breakfasts to Raw Lime and Coconut Slice, Gluten-Free Orange Syrup Cake, and Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Chocolate Cupcakes – with separate indexes to help you identify the many refined sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan recipes.
I was also careful to include lots of recipes that use seasonal fruit and vegetables as a starting point, whether they’re hidden away in Chocolate and Zucchini Muffins or Red Velvet Cupcakes, or the star of the show in dishes like my Filo and Berry Fiesta, Macerated Tamarilloes and Crispy Apple and Pear Slices.
Where possible I’ve tweaked recipes to use less sugar, and in many creations, including my Chocolate Nice Cream, Tahini Bliss Balls and Vegan Chocolate Mousse, I've done away with refined sugar altogether and used honey or maple syrup instead.
But of course there are some recipes where the sugar is essential to the magic formula that makes the recipe work, so I haven’t messed with classics like my Perfect Pavlova, Tiramisu and Love-Me-Tender Sponge cake. You might not want to eat dessert every night of the week, but when you do you want something really special, like a Berry Crème Brûlée, Plum Sorbet or Cassata with Mandarin and Pistachios.
It’s all here. If you want to know how to make Russian Fudge, Turkish Delight or Italian Nougat, it’s here. If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast like Sticky Coconut Black Rice with Mango or Gourmet Granola Muesli, it’s here. If you want morning tea or brunch treats, such as Overnight Buttery Brioche or Best-Ever Banana Bread, they're here. If you’re baking for a cake sale, you’ll find everything here from Animal Biscuits to Macarons to White Chocolate and Macadamia Brownie. If you want to wow someone with a cake, there’s a whole chapter of cakes, including my Hummingbird Cake and Chocolate Meringue Torte. If you’re cooking to impress and want a showstopping dessert, my Summer Pudding, Spiced Orange Crème Caramels and Frozen Caramel Cheesecake are the bomb!
The ESSENTIAL duo marks 20 years since I published my bestselling book The Best of Annabel Langbein: Great Food for Busy Lives, which has been reprinted countless times, sold hundreds of thousands of copies and is known as ‘the bible’ in many New Zealand kitchens. If The Best Of has been a mainstay on your kitchen bench for the past 20 years, these two new books will be your trusted companions for the next 20.
ESSENTIAL Volume Two: Sweet Treats for Every Occasion, by Annabel Langbein (Annabel Langbein Media, RRP $65) is available at Paper Plus, Whitcoulls, The Warehouse and all good bookstores nationwide and makes a timeless Mother’s Day, wedding, anniversary or birthday gift or treat for yourself or someone leaving home. It can also be ordered from annabel-langbein.com/shop/books/ for local or overseas delivery. Buy now and enter to win a trip for two to Provence with L’Occitane! (New Zealand residents only sorry)