Talented, great photographer, passionate baker, all these refer to Hannah Kaminsky and every single one is an understatement when referring to the very young Hanna Kaminsky.
With over 100 recipes and corresponding photos, spread over 239 pages, her new book - Vegan Desserts - is filled with succulent, easy to make confections. Hanna describes her common sense baking philosophy, in the Introduction, this way:
There’s no question about it – food made with ingredients at their prime and in season tastes best. Deceptively simple in concept, but remarkably more complicated than most would like to admit, there’s so much more to take into consideration than just the range of produce available at the nearest grocery store….
[..]Irresistible recipes are about more than fresh fruit – food always tastes better when made with joy, care, and just a pinch of good humor.
A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Kaminsky, at a photo shoot where she served as the food stylist. At the time it was obvious she had a photographer’s eye for color, shape, positioning. When I picked up her book it became obvious that, though very young, she has also mastered the subtle nuances of flavors and their interaction.
The book is beautifully laid out, with the recipe pages matching or contrasting the colors of the accompanying photos. With sections like Ingredients Summary, Kitchen Tools and Toys, Troubleshooting, Components and Accompaniments, Food Allergy Index, most of the recipes are divided by season, here’s one from the Summer section that’s sure to become a favorite.
Roasted Apricot Ice Cream with Almond Praline Ripple
Roasting fruits and toasting nuts intensifies their flavors, allowing their unique characteristics to shine through, even mixed into a chilly application that can otherwise dull flavors. If you are in a hurry or can’t wait to tame your ice cream appetite, you could leave the apricots as they are and substitute 1 cup of almond butter for the praline ripple, but in my opinion the incredible caramel essence you’ll get with this recipe as written is more than worth the extra effort.
Almond Praline Ripple
- 1/2 Cup Whole Almonds
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1 Teaspoon Light corn Syrup
- 1/2 Teaspoon SaltRoasted Apricot Ice Cream
- 1 Pound Fresh Apricots
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Milk
- 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar Firmly Packed
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon AmarettoFirst, you’ll want to make the almond praline ripple. Start by combining the sugar, water and salt into a small saucepan and placing it on the stove over medium heat. Cook the mixture for 10-12 minutes until it caramelizes and turns a deep amber color. Quickly stir in the almonds to coat and pour everything into a Silpat. Let it cook completely before breaking it into pieces and processing it into a smooth paste. Drizzle in the oil, and it should become the consistency of somewhat runny peanut butter. Cover and let rest in the fridge while you make the ice cream.
Preheat the oven to 400 F and lightly grease a sheet pan.
Wash and thoroughly dry the apricots before cutting them in half and removing the pits. Place the halves with the cut sides up on your prepared pan, and drizzle them all with the oil. Roast them for about 20 minutes, until they are so tender they can barely hold themselves together anymore.
Let the apricots cool a bit before scooping them all into your food processor and pureeing them. Once smooth, add in the coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, and amaretto processing to combine. Chill the mixture thoroughly in your fridge before freezing it in your ice cream maker per the manufacturer’s directions.
After freezing in the machine, pour the ice cream out into a plastic tub and drizzle the almond praline paste on top. Use a spatula to marble it in, cover, and quickly move it into your freezer so it can solidify.
Even the most cursory flipping through the pages soon makes it all too apparent that Ms. Kaminsky indeed authored this book with joy, care and more than just a dash of love. Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!