February 9, 2019

Interview: Vegetable Cakes with Ysanne Spevack + Giveaway

Vegetable Cakes by Ysanne Spevack

Today I’m sharing a great interview with the amazing Ysanne Spevack the author of Vegetable Cakes: The Most Fun Way to Five a Day! Scrumptious Sweets Where Veggie is the Star. If there was ever a more inventive way to bake with vegetables I have never, ever seen it. Between the stunning photography and playful, unique recipes I was blown out of the water. Ysanne is incredibly talented and has had a fascinating career in the food world so far. I am so glad to share this interview with you, I highly recommend picking it up if you are looking for a new, fun way to enjoy vegetables!

TNC) Beyond the shadow of a doubt, this is the most unique baking book I’ve ever seen. What first inspired you to dive deep into the world of inventive vegetable baking?

YS) Thank you! My friend Joanna Lorenz suggested we explore this extraordinary idea, and I was inspired to run with it! I am so grateful to her for her suggestion, as the concept of baking sweet cakes with vegetables as the star has sparked so many ideas and enjoyable conversations. I’m very proud of our book, and feel so lucky that I was given the inspiration for this wonderful cookbook, and turned the concept around in my own creativity. Many an evening was spent developing ideas in my head, and then taking these ideas and playing with them in the kitchen. One recipe I tested every night for a month until it was perfect – that recipe is Radish Pavlova. Also, I am grateful to the photographer, Nicki Dowey, for her beautiful photography.

Vegetable Cakes by Ysanne Spevack

TNC) Did you specify how much of each vegetable you would use in the recipes? Because your recipes don’t just include a sprinkle, they are very vegetable inclusive.

YS)Absolutely – the 46 recipes are all tried and tested, and include specific quantities for every ingredient. The veggies are the star in each and every recipe – take a look at my website for three free recipes from the book!


TNC) What would you consider one of your most unique recipes and how did you arrive at it?

YS) Probably the first one on my website, Radish Pavlova. It’s a pavlova made without eggs, which is pretty innovative when you consider the main ingredient in pavlova is usually egg whites! The radishes are marinated in rose water, so their peppery bite is presented with a beautiful floral note. The texture is the most important feature of the radishes, bringing a wonderful crispness to the crunchy meringuge base, alongside a creamy coconut topping.

Vegetable Cakes by Ysanne Spevack

TNC) These recipes don’t squarely fall into any one category of health/vegan/dessert? How do you recommend approaching them when incorporating them into a balanced diet.

YS) This is a baking and dessert cookbook, pure and simple. It’s a modern book, so there’s a lot less refined sugar than more traditional cookbooks, but at its heart, this is a baking book with recipe for cakes, cookies, cheesecakes and pies. People who enjoy Carrot Cake, Pumpkin Pie and Zuchinni Bread will probably enjoy these recipes, it really is a cookbook with mainstream appeal. That said, a lot of vegetarians have picked up on my book, probably because plant-based cuisine is on trend right now.

TNC) What’s next for you? This work is so inspired – we’d love to see more!

YS) Thank you so much! I am in the early stages of writing a non-fiction book based on my recent breast cancer journey. It’s not a cookbook, and isn’t a memoir, but will be a guide for others who are navigating this disease. For this reason, Vegetable Cakes will probably be my last cookbook for a while, although probably not the last one ever, as I’ve been writing cookbooks for so long now. My first cookbook was published by the same publisher, as Vegetable Cakes – Lorenz Books – in 2001, so I’ve been writing cookbooks for nearly 18 years now. It’s nice to be taking a little break from writing recipes for a moment, and reflecting on another aspect of health in a more detailed way for now. But if you’re curious about my cookbooks, there are a lot to discover, so please enjoy the treasure trove while I’m writing my next book, as I’ll no doubt return to writing recipes sometime in the next year or two!

The Enter to Win a Copy of Vegetable Cakes:

  1. Leave a comment of a vegetable you’d like to try in dessert!
  2. Contest runs from 2/9/19 at 8:30pm to 2/20/19 at 7:00am. Continental US entries only please. Contest winner will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

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