Chocolate and beets. Rutabaga and cinnamon. Zucchini and bread pudding. These are just a few of the unusual pairings that Chef Rose Deneen introduced us to as we gathered at Elmhurst Public Library where she whipped up sweet treats from her new cookbook Baking with Vegetables.
Chef Deneen had a wonderful way of interacting with the audience by asking them questions so that we were all interacting together to find new ways to insert vegetables into the foods we cook and bake.
“How do you normally cook your beets?” Chef Deneen asked, and the audience began piping in how they baked, steamed, roasted and even microwaved their beets! I have not thought of microwaving beets before, but apparently they can be treated much like a baked potato.
As Chef Deneen asked questions, and her audience came to life, she happily whisked together powdered sugar, pureed beets, and orange juice to produce the most beautiful hot pink frosting drizzle. Guests were treated to her incredibly moist Beet Walnut Ginger Bread while we playfully chatted about different vegetables we would each wish to blitz into a smooth drizzle for various new creations.
These recipes would be incredibly easy to adapt to vegan, by using “flax eggs” (3 T hot water:1T ground flaxseed) , Earth Balance vegan “butter”, or olive oil/vegetable oil. If you bake a recipe from Chef Deneen’s Baking with Vegetables cook book you like, email me at email@example.com and I will be happy to post your pics here!
Chef Deneen is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu. She teaches baking/pastry courses at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, IL, and this is her first cook book.
The way Chef Deneen got the audience to open up and share their love of what they know about different vegetables is the sign of a great teacher. The way Chef Deneen pairs her flavors using the book “Flavor Bible” is the sig of a great student. And the way her beets tasted blended with orange and sugar is the sign of a great chef!
If you want to support your local author and whip up a beautiful chocolate beet tart, the book is available by clicking here!
This is Chef Deneen’s first cook book. I am excited to microwave my first beet and pair it with chocolate!