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Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache: The ultimate feel-good book of natural cakes that taste naughty [Hardcover]

Harry Eastwood
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
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Book Description

16 July 2009

Harry Eastwood loves cake: from light, fluffy Victoria Sponge to dark and delicious Forbidden Chocolate Brownies. In Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache, she has fiddled, tweaked and thought outside the box to pioneer a way of bringing exquisite cakes that remain natural and healthy into our everyday lives - by introducing ingredients from the vegetable garden. Ginger Sticky Toffee Pudding made with parsnip, or Orange Squash Cupcakes made with butternut squash are bound to amuse and delight your tastebuds.

In this spirited cookery book, Harry shares her baking secrets and practical knowledge as a cook and as a food writer to prove that it is possible to have your cake and eat it.

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Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache: The ultimate feel-good book of natural cakes that taste naughty + Cook Yourself Thin: The Delicious Way to Drop a dress Size
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Edition edition (16 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593062361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593062364
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harry Eastwood believes that loving cake does not have to be a punishment, either for your health or for your waistline. As she has illustrated in both the British and US versions of Cook Yourself Thin, it's entirely possible to have your cake and eat it - if you know how . . .

Harry's passion for food is the driving force behind her writing. She sees food as a language, alive with ingredients. These characters behave in different ways, and have funny little habits of their own.

Harry is currently dividing her time between London and New York, working on various writing and television projects. She continues to love chocolate.

Product Description


"An impressive conjuring trick - come-hither cakes that are positively good for you... Eastwood delivers gorgeous results" (Mail on Sunday)

"Bound to amuse and delight your tastebuds. Harry proves you can have your cake and eat it!" (Easy Living)

Book Description

The ultimate feel-good book full of delicious and original cake recipes from the star of Cook Yourself Thin

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
125 of 126 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous cakes... once you get the hang of them 30 Mar 2010
This is a beautiful book with beautiful recipes. The cakes, on the whole, are absolutely gorgeous. I cannot stress enough how they do not taste of vegetable at all, as I've sometimes found with other "healthy" cakes. My boyfriend bought me this as a present (clever fellow that he is!) and until I read the introduction neither of us realised it was a "healthy cooking" kind of book. Certainly doesn't taste like it.

Only a couple of cautions (I can't call them faults, the book is too enchanting):

I've tried two chocolate recipes so far (the chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes and chocolate chocolate chip cupcakes) and while they've been perfectly adequate little cakes, I wouldn't say I swooned with the rich chocolatiness of them. You'd have to swathe them in icing to get quite the same hit as you do from, say, some of Nigella's indulgent chocolate recipes. Having said that I am an unreconstructed lover of good old British milk-and-sugar chocolate, so it's possible these recipes are a bit subtle for my palate!

Second point (and I wish someone had told me this when I started making the cakes) is one about timing and ingredients. Harry insists you shouldn't grate the vegetables "until you are about to add them to the mixture." This is all very well, but hard vegetables like potatoes, butternut squash etc can take ten minutes to reduce to a fine shred by hand (she won't let you food process them either), by which time the eggs and sugar you've just whisked have lost a bit of their fluff.

By trial and error I've found that what Harry calls the "woody" vegetables (potatoes, carrots, parsnip, beetroot etc) can be safely grated before you start the whisking. They can cope with sitting for 5 minutes without getting damp.
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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars no heartache, it's all good. 31 July 2009
Harry Eastwood, from the great `cook yourself thin' series and books, has really done something truly incredible with this book. Never have I seen such a barmy list of ingredients going into such glorious looking cakes. It makes me smile to see a simple Victoria sponge now containing grated potato and positively gawk at the thought of beetroot and chocolate fudge or parsnip vanilla fudge. Following Eastwood's method it makes one wonder if parents everywhere have just discovered an ingenious way of getting vegetables into even the most stubborn of children.
Get past the pretty looking cakes and even the unusual ingredients and you will see that what Harry Eastwood has actually done is really rather splendid. This is a book dedicated to the glory of decadent eating but with a clear goal that it shouldn't come at the expense of our waistlines. Harry has cut back on the quantities of sugar and fat used, these are both balanced out by the addition of ground almonds, high in natural fat, and vegetables that help maintain that perfect sponge texture. Plus, nearly all of her recipes are made with a mixture of rice flour and ground almonds, which means that people who are unlucky enough to have wheat intolerances are not missed out in the cake gluttony which follows.
Being a massive Agatha Christie fan, I was thrilled to find a homage to the much lamented seed cake for which Miss Marple requests in the `At Bertram's Hotel' novel. In my slightly nerdy fashion, i had for a time been looking for a good seed cake recipe and can say that this one is truly joyous.
I really am impressed with this book; it covers a lot of cakey issues one might have, dieting and food intolerances or what to do with all those courgettes you've accidently grown and comes up trumps time and again.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing gluten-free cakes, very silly writing 21 Jan 2011
I've now used four different recipes from this book and they've all been excellent. Although this isn't marketed as a gluten-free cook book, the majority of the recipes are gluten free because they use rice flour. They can also be made without dairy because there's usually no dairy in the cake, only in the icing - which you can easily change. (No good for vegans, though, because all the cakes require egg.) I don't think anybody would guess the cakes were gluten-free or butter-free, from tasting them. I have one or two quibbles, for instance the over-use of essences which are often unnecessary (almond essence in a cake made mainly of actual almonds??), but on the basis of the cakes alone, I'd have given this 5 stars.

In addition, the book's beautifully presented, with a cloth-textured cover and thick matt paper inside, and a generous dose of good colour photos. Gluten-free cookbooks rarely look this luxurious, so it's a real treat. 5 stars again.

However... There are pictures of crystal-encrusted mobile phones and of the author wearing fairy wings. The chapters have colours as well as numbers, which is a bit reminiscent of primary school classrooms. Worst of all, many of the cakes and ingredients are given characters. Apparently "Courgette has pre-booked the taxi at the end of the night to take Chocolate home", while some cupcakes "always keep their promises but also have a keen eye for a joke". Oh dear. 1 star.

I also take issue with the "healthy" and "natural" claims of the book. OK, there's no butter but there's still plenty of sugar in all of the cakes (and butter/cream in the icings). I don't know in what way these cakes are more natural than most home-made cakes. And I'm not sure they freeze all that well - I've found them to be very dry after freezing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Shame to eat them really but they are good. As stated in the book you...
Superbly illustrated and the descriptions of each masterpiece is magical as it seems they all have there own character. Shame to eat them really but they are good. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Peter Pix
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My favourite cake book ever
Published 8 days ago by Margaret
3.0 out of 5 stars Read about this one treated myself
to another proper book to add to my collection of gluten free cook books..and this one promised to be a little different....

Have tried two recipes... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Smokies Mum
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent cookbook!
As a very lucky man, my wife enjoys cake making and I rather enjoy eating them. Its a good relationship. Read more
Published 1 month ago by ian d
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy tasty recipes
I don't normally leave reviews but this book is worthy of one. The recipes are easy to follow and have worked my way through half the book now and the only 2 I've tried that I... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Clair Bendall
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly brilliant
Eastwood's writing is so charming and her ideas are excellent. I've tried four recipes so far and got two thumbs up from the family, one meh, and one bleuch...
Published 1 month ago by Stella
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning NUTS
For those of us who have a nut allergy nearly every cake recipe in this book contains nuts. Otherwise it's interesting just glad I found it in the library before buying.
Published 1 month ago by sally
Having bought this book on the recommendation of a work colleague, I was stunned to find that the 'Harry' in question is, in fact, one of the cooks who used to present the Channel... Read more
Published 1 month ago by SUE, SHROPSHIRE
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite cake book
Such interesting recipes....have made 6 of them so far... all were excellent and sparked such debate... Read more
Published 1 month ago by George Cadman
5.0 out of 5 stars Yumilicious!!!!
A delightfully decadent yet contemporary cake book,filled to the bursting with wonderful cake recipes all made very creatively from vegetables. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Reana
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