Fran Costigan, VEGAN CHOCOLATE

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Fran Costigan, VEGAN CHOCOLATE
Chef Fran Costigan is an internationally recognized culinary instructor, author, and consultant whose innovative recipes marry healthy eating with sumptuous tastes. Fran uses organic and minimally processed ingredients to make rich moist cakes, flaky piecrusts, delightful cookies and bars, creamy puddings and much more. All are white sugar, trans fat and cholesterol free, and absolutely delicious.

Fran’s cookbook, More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally, is a complete course in exceptional desserts that satisfy vegans and omnivores alike. Her highly anticipated new book, Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy Free Desserts (Running Press) will launch Fall 2013.

A graduate of the New York Restaurant School and the Natural Gourmet Institute, Fran worked as a pastry chef in both traditional and vegan kitchens, before moving into the teaching kitchen over 20 years ago. Home cooks and professionals enjoy her lively classes in New York City, which include the Costigan Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive®, and she presents demonstrations and workshops at events throughout North America and Europe.

Fran has made her celebrated “Chocolate Cake to Live For” on Fit TV, and her Organic Vegan Twinkies on ABC Nightline and on DeliciousTV. An advisory board member of the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, Fran is also a member of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance (NYWCA), Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR), the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), and the Authors’ Guild.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Caryn Hartglass: Hello everybody, we’re back! I’m Caryn Hartglass and you’re listening to It’s All about Food and I’m lucky! I’m chewing and swallowing here because Fran Costigan just brought me some chocolate treats! And one day, when our technology is really developed, we’ll be able to lick the screen and taste whatever it is they’re showing on it, right? And smell the delicious fragrances coming out of the food, but for now, you’re just going to have to listen to me describe what I’ve tried and salivate, or, buy this fabulous new book that we’re going to be talking about next, Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Decadent and Luscious Dairy-Free Desserts by Chef Fran Costigan, and make what I just tried myself. So, Fran, I haven’t given you an appropriate introduction, so let’s just do that for a moment. I have to take a deep breath; Chef Fran Costigan is an internationally recognized culinary instructor, author and consultant whose innovative recipes marry healthy eating with sumptuous tastes. Fran uses organic and minimally processed ingredients to make rich, moist cakes; flaky pie crust; delightful cookies and bars, creamy puddings and much more! All are white sugar, trans fat and cholesterol-free, and absolutely – you guessed it – delicious! Now her first cookbook was More Great, Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally a complete course in exceptional desserts that satisfy vegans and omnivores alike, and now we’re going to talk about the new book, Vegan Chocolate, this is a masterpiece, Fran, thank you. Thank you for joining me, thank you for creating this book, which is going to go down in history.

Fran Costigan: Caryn, I am never speechless, you know that, but I am speechless. Thank you for the introduction; thank you for saying that about the book. Caryn could make everyone – everyone one this planet just live to eat kale the way that she talks; and I do eat kale, Caryn knows that.

Caryn Hartglass: I had kale for breakfast!

Fran Costigan: Yeah! The people in my life know that I eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet, and I love chocolate; and I eat them on separate plates.

Caryn Hartglass: I was just going to say there’s no chocolate-dipped kale chips in here.

Fran Costigan: No. No, actually I start most, if not all, my cooking demonstrations and classes and lectures like the sweets dilemma, can you be vegan, can you be healthy and eat a treat too? With a bunch of kale in a flowerpot or something to make the point that desserts are treats, they are, they can be better-for-us treats than the stuff we find in the bodegas, the butter, margarine, white sugar, eggy things that are all-white, that aren’t, well we’ve talked about this

Caryn Hartglass: We have talked about this before where people don’t even know what good is until they keep eating more, they want big cookies and big cakes because they’re all crap…

Fran: They aren’t satisfied, right!
Caryn Hartglass: …and then you eat that little morsel of good.

Fran Costigan: I know that it’s true, because I watch when I serve people, I watch! And your body knows if you get something that’s brown and you’re told it’s chocolate but it’s really carob, and it’s made with Splenda or something, and your body just keeps looking for that real deal. I’m thrilled that you said this book will go down in history, I’ll tell you; who knows? But I never imagined – and I’ve been doing this for twenty-some-odd years – that a book with vegan in the title, my publisher did not shy away, Vegan Chocolate, it has been number one in chocolate books on Amazon for over a week. Thank you, people who have bought the book and supported the book and it’s ranking very high in traditional dessert category as well and that’s what I wanted. I am very careful about testing recipes, nothing goes in until it really is unapologetically luscious and decadent and happens to be dairy-free. So I get it to a certain point, and these recipes were all carefully tested by real people in real kitchens all over the country of the U.S. of A and all over the world as well and they’re reliable; you have to follow some of Fran’s Rules, I have a rulebook at the front of every chapter because the different – pie-making is different from cake-making, cookie-making and so on, you follow those rules, which are really basic! Put your oven rack in the right place, put a thermometer in the oven so when you set the dial to 350 it’s not necessarily 350 and measure the way that I’m suggesting that you measure and use quality ingredients; use these high-percentage chocolates.

Caryn Hartglass: I look at a lot of cookbooks, a LOT of cookbooks and there are lot of cookbooks coming out today because thanks to the internet and new ways of publishing there’s a lot of books that are coming out and some of them are…okay; I see a lot of cookbooks that aren’t great and for a lot of cooking to help people transition from off of meat and into vegetables that’s good because most people don’t want to get that crazy and they want it to be easy and simple and, okay, so all of that’s fine. But there are cookbooks that kind of go down in history as…well I don’t want to use the expression “game-changer” but when Julia Child’s cookbooks came out about French cuisine it just changed everything here in the United States and I think this is one of these books, I do.

Fran Costigan: Wow, that’s just lovely to hear. It was my intention to do a book that would…

Caryn Hartglass: This is a special book everybody! Holidays coming up, this is special

Fran Costigan Thank you, I think this would be a very nice holiday gift. It’s really pretty. Running Press does beautiful books

Caryn Hartglass: You want to lick every page! Or lick the cover!  Everything looks so good.

Fran Costigan: Well… I have had a number of people say “I could just lick that cover” The cake on the cover is an incarnation of what I call “the cake that cracked the code; the chocolate cake to live for” when I was, I didn’t really transition I changed my diet overnight, that’s just what I did and it worked for me, but I didn’t want to eat anything sweet anymore, I became, for a very short time, a member of the food police until my kids said – and this is a story a lot of people know about me – my son said “you’re not putting a candle in a sweet potato and saying that’s my birthday cake” and he had a point; and so now there I went and I just worked until I got something and it was vegan and it was made with quality ingredients! I didn’t use junk before, I wasn’t going to use it now but the point is it didn’t say to people who was ate it “Oh this is good for a vegan cake” it was just this great chocolate cake, so I’ve forced myself not to play with it over time because it really is a great cake, people this is the most googled cake but on the cover Kate Lewis did a gorgeous job of photographing these desserts

Caryn Hartglass: And it’s got the raised lettering, it’s just beautiful

Fran Costigan: Yes the raised lettering, the cover is glossy, full-color photographs, the art director did a great job. But this is a Sacher torte and so easy to make but better than – if you’ve been to Austria you know that those Sacher Tortes are kind of austere-tasting which is probably why they serve them with a lot of schlag, but in the photo in the book of the Sacher Torte with the S, I have schlag too, it’s just not made from dairy and it’s not made from junk, it’s a different kind of a thing. My 6-year-old granddaughter wanted this cake for her birthday! And I was thinking, “This cake for a 6-year-old party, I don’t know” the ganache on the cake is dark. But I had left a number of these cakes – I did my book trailer, look at the book trailer if you get a chance at FranCostigan.com, it’s kind of cute, fun, it was fun to do. My kids are film-makers, they said “come out here, we’ll do the movie” and so I had all these swap-out cakes and I left them and the kids said, “I want that cake!” So they made it in a larger size pan, three of them, my daughter-in-law’s mother who…we are very good friends but she tolerates the way I cook because she likes to separate eggs and that kind of thing, she made the cakes and she said they were delicious and really easy to do and she takes this cake now to everyone she knows; That’s what we want and I want people to be successful

Caryn Hartglass: So this whole concept chocolate, again, I said this in the earlier part of the show, people don’t know what’s in their food, so they think of chocolate and for some reason they connect the dots with milk and they think the two cannot be separated and that’s so far from the truth

Fran Costigan: Oh, chocolate – that is so far from the truth, absolutely, I would underline that and put it in bold if I were writing on my computer right now

Caryn Hartglass: I mean good chocolate doesn’t want to be near milk!

Fran Costigan: No, and you know what, I have two traditional pastry chefs did advance praise it’s on the back of the book, and that would not have happened many many years ago I don’t think, but Chef Ron Ben-Israel who’s the host of Sweet Genius on Food Television Network and who does the most gorgeous wedding cakes, I mean they are breathtaking, he told me that actually these are amazing desserts without any animal sources, and stand on their own as ambrosial desserts, but he told me that he realized a couple of years ago, that by taking dairy away from chocolate, you get more chocolate taste; you get more chocolate taste! So you need, I’m not scrimping, these are desserts, I’m not making bran bread I’m making brownies but we don’t need all the sugar, certainly the higher the percentage of chocolate, the lower the percentage of sugar, without the milk you get the benefits of dark chocolate, which, they really are listed. Now I’m not telling anyone I’ve seen studies lately that say “Eat dark chocolate, avoid a stroke” … and Alzheimer’s…

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah I remember my mom hearing that chocolate was better than broccoli and it’s like “Okay, come on”

Fran Costigan: Yeah, come on! And somebody, actually posted on my Facebook page, <a href=” https://www.facebook.com/francostiganveganpastrychef : target=”_blank”>Vegan Pastry Chef Fran Costigan</a>, the other day, a study saying that people who eat chocolate are slimmer, and she said  “Well, I guess so! Look at Fran.” There’s balance, but the fact is that these chocolates give you that real, deep, rich chocolate taste that we want, so we need less, in terms of being satisfied; a smaller piece – it’s not that giant cookie that doesn’t taste good – a smaller piece of a beautifully-made chocolate cake that is chocolate through and through, with different textures, I like to play with textures, in a beautiful crumb and a nice ganache and a creamy filling. All without any animal products, there is no palm oil in my recipes; I am not saying that people who use it are wrong, I’m saying it’s not for me; I never used it, so when the controversy about palm oil and the environment and the orangutans and people and so on happened I didn’t have to remove the palm oil. I use a mild-tasting, American-made extra virgin olive oil that’s my favorite, it almost tastes buttery and rich.

Caryn Hartglass: Olive oil can have a fruity flavor!

Fran Costigan: It can! So in recipes where I want the taste of the olive oil to be noticed in my Lemon Olive Oil Truffles, for example, that are finished with a little lemon salt, or in the Chocolate Orange Almond Cake that was really – it’s a very simple cake, but it took me – it was one of the hardest cakes to get right. I remembered eating a cake like that in Italy about 30 years ago, it was creamy; I couldn’t get it creamy, I got it gummy, or dry, and then I got it creamy; there I will use a fruity olive oil. In the other recipes I use a neutral one, if you cannot find a neutral extra virgin olive oil, use any neutral oil that you like, but watch out for GMO oils.

Caryn Hartglass: That means Genetically Modified Organisms and there are soybean oils and canola oils, cottonseed oil, that are genetically modified and we don’t like them here at It’s All About Food, no, no, no, no, no.

Fran Costigan: No one should like them. Read about them, listen to Caryn about them.

Caryn Hartglass: But let’s talk about the good stuff! But one more thing, one more sad note with happy endings here, you go into a lot of detail about a lot of things in this book, which makes it a good read in addition to enjoying the recipes, but we need to know more about chocolate, and there’s different kinds of chocolate out there and some of it doesn’t have a nice story attached to it and a lot of the chocolate that we’re familiar with, like Hershey’s, for example, has a very scarred past, I’ve heard that they’re changing.

Fran Costigan: In 2020 is their goal.
Caryn Hartglass: Yes, 2020 so in the meantime a lot of child slaves are going to be exploited and tortured harvesting cocoa beans that go into your Hershey’s Kisses, yeah, that’s right, child slaves in the Ivory Coast are used in the cocoa business and this is really sad. But there’s lots of alternatives and some of them might cost more, but think about what it is that you’re eating! Do you want to really participate in child slavery? I mean come on. I talk about – I started this last week last week – first world problems, mentioning first-world problems. I want to change it to first world concerns, I think, instead of problems, but what I’m talking about, we all have, a lot of us have abundance, we have opportunity, we may not be as rich as we’d like and some of us may be out of a job and struggling, but a lot of us still have the opportunity to have chocolate! That’s a luxury! We should be grateful for everything that we have, but do we want to enjoy something at the expense of…children? It just kills me.

Fran Costigan: It was impossible for me to do anything else.

Caryn Hartglass: How do we know which chocolates are safe?

Fran Costigan: I have a list of chocolates that I feel are safe, in the back of the book. Of course, in the nature of things that’s going to change. Look for chocolates that say on the label, they will be labeled “Fair Trade”, “ethical”,  some chocolate companies that go beyond even the Fair Trade rules are very fair, there is an indication of that. You can also, Patty Breitman informed me about a wonderful resource called “The Food Empowerment Project” so go to foodempowermentproject.com [foodispower.org] and they have a list – an enormous list, carefully done – of ethical chocolates, chocolates they’re not sure about, chocolates where there’s transparency, the companies that didn’t get back to them. For me, it’s as simple, yes, these chocolates cost a little bit more, and I am not a rich person, but I’m paying the extra money. I can’t participate in that. The way I look at it is, at best, harvesting the cocoa bean, which is like, you can think of a football, is hard and dangerous work. It’s the jungle, it’s hot, it’s steamy, there are machetes involved, so there’s a lot of room for problems. And Caryn is not making this up, this is a fact! That we are still talking about slavery in the production of food today or in anything, boggles my mind, but I go out of my way to use organic, Fair Trade chocolate and sweeteners.

Caryn Hartglass: Okay, you mentioned the jungle for a moment, and I remember being in Costa Rica and some friends giving me a cacao fruit,  and it was hard for me to imagine how a part of that could become chocolate. Can you…?

Fran Costigan: Yeah, did you whack it open?

Caryn Hartlglass: Yeah!

Fran Costigan: And you saw white…the white stuff

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, the white fleshy stuff

Fran Costigan: …and the beans?

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, but the beans didn’t taste chocolate-y to me

Fran Costigan: No, what happens is there’s a natural fermentation process that happens, and for some of the growers, or the people who make chocolate, this is all proprietary information, I mean chocolates don’t all taste the same; I thought all 70-percents would taste the same, they don’t. It has to do with, the bean is cut open, the white kind of evaporates out – although I understand it tastes good, it’s one of my great wishes to go to where you were, and get a cocoa bean and taste that.

Caryn Hartglass: Let’s go!

Fran Costigan: Let’s go! Okay – and then the beans are dried, and unless it’s raw chocolate, they are roasted, and of course there are different levels of roasting. That’s not going to taste very chocolate-y, it’s very bitter, when those beans are chopped up, you know cacao nib, that’s what it is; think about like a coffee bean. Then the beans are crushed, the fat is pulled out, and it’s called cocoa butter, but it’s not dairy butter, and there is – the cocoa mass is also called cocoa liquor, but it’s not booze, and that’s the cocoa mass, and when the cocoa butter comes out – the fat – what you have is really almost de-fatted chocolate and that becomes cocoa powder as we know it and there are different types, natural and Dutch, I go into that in the book, but it’s quite a process!

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, do you realize when you’re eating a piece of chocolate what’s gone on before it got to your store? It’s just incredible.

Fran Costigan: Right.

Caryn Hartglass: Then you want to buy it and you want to get this book and really get started making things!

Fran Costigan: Yeah you really have to do your homework! And I tell people, any chocolate that tastes good to you, out of hand, before you’ve cooked with it, or baked with it or melted it, that’s the right chocolate to use, we all have different palates, different ideas about what’s dark, and what’s sweet, but! one of Fran’s Rules, any chocolate you like is the right one to use, as long as you stay within the percentages listed in the recipe. If a recipe says to use 70-72% chocolate and you go to use an 85, or a 60, the recipe will fail, it won’t turn out; we don’t want that to happen!

Caryn Hartglass: Well, it couldn’t be that terrible, it doesn’t have to be perfection.

Fran Costigan: Well no, you wouldn’t have to throw it in the garbage! But, your truffle center might never set up, or your frosting might run off your cake, so you’ll have a nice sauce.

Caryn Hartglass: So these are your disclaimers, use the proper chocolate as noted in the recipe book!

Fran Costigan: Right, and so, yes, those are the kinds of rules I set.

Caryn Hartglass: You mentioned carob before, can we take just like 30 seconds to talk about carob? Okay, carob is a very nice plant, it’s a tree, and it has these pods, and you can chew on the whole pod, and grind them up and make flour, you can do all kinds of things with carob, carob is not chocolate, carob is not chocolate, carob is not chocolate, and it should never ever be compared to chocolate, it should not be confused with chocolate, it should not be used as a substitute. Did you get that? Now, I don’t know whose idea it was why and when carob was a substitute for chocolate, did they think that maybe chocolate wasn’t good for us?

Fran Costigan: That is exactly what it was, and that is probably, second to the candle in the sweet potato, what got me into the kitchen because 22 years ago… I mean, there is nothing inherently wrong with a carob cake, if you make it right, and carob is not necessarily inherently better for you than chocolate, because a lot of the confections are filled with really bad stuff.

Caryn Hartglass: If you’re not thinking you’re getting chocolate, and you’re open to carob it can be lovely!

Fran Costigan: See, this is why vegan desserts got a really bad name in the beginning, because people were saying “here have this chocolate cake” and it was brown…

Caryn Hartglass: And that was about it!

Fran Costigan: That was about it, it didn’t taste good. So, I don’t know where that started. There are people who say that chocolate isn’t good for you, and I say if you have an allergy or sensitivity, or something, I mean not every food is good for everybody I know someone who can’t eat kale, really can’t eat kale.

Caryn Hartglass: Whoa, I thought there was nothing kale couldn’t do!

Fran Costigan: Except make the bed! But chocolate, actually the fat is healthful, the stearic acid, in balance it can be a very healthful food. So yeah, Caryn’s right, don’t confuse the two. This is not a book about carob, this is a book about chocolate, and I have chapters on really every kind of dessert I could think of! I have a whole chapter on truffles, I have a chapter on cakes; little bites, then these showstoppers which look like they would take from now until next summer, but I break down the steps; I have a suggested game plan, and essentially everything can be made ahead, lots of things can be stuck in your freezer – not stuck, thrown – but wrapped and put in your freezer and taken out. You want a Buche de Noel coming up, I gotcha covered. You want an opera cake, you’ve got it. You have stuff left over, some cream, some cake crumbs, make a trifle. Everything, of course, is vegan, that’s the name of the book! But some are raw, some are gluten-free, and I have really, finally got the gluten-free chocolate cake that passed my test, which means I can’t tell the difference, so that’s good for you and a lot of people. So many of the component desserts, or if you want to make, I grew up with this [23:57] black-out cake, my dad went every weekend to the bakery in Brooklyn. So, every time I teach, or am in front of a class I say “Anyone from Brooklyn?” there has never been no one from Brooklyn yet, including in Atlanta last week at a cooking school, so I made this cake; it’s so easy! It’s two chocolate cake layers that you cut in half, you don’t have to be careful because you’re just going to smear, slather chocolate pudding in between and on the sides, and then you throw crumbs from the last bit of cake all over, so you need your vacuum cleaner but it’s…

Caryn Hartglass: Stunning!

Fran Costigan: …stunning and it’s, so this person was just like “Oh! I remember that cake from my childhood!” and that’s ultimately why I wrote this book, because even in my classes that were non-chocolate-themed eventually, toward the end someone would say “That was really good; can you think of a way to put chocolate in it?” and then people got this dreamy look in their eyes, and then that followed with “But can I eat healthfully and eat chocolate? How do I know it’s vegan?” and so on, and that is what – I want to just warn your listeners, a factoid that I learned in writing this book that was really surprising to me, I thought that any chocolate that wasn’t milk chocolate was vegan.

Caryn Hartglass: Oh, yeah; you have to read the ingredients.

Fran Costigan: Got to read the label. Turns out that it is legal – up to 12% milk or milk solids – is allowed in chocolate labeled dark chocolate.

Caryn Hartglass: But it’ll say milk on the ingredients.

Fran Costigan: It’s disclosed, but I didn’t know to look for that; I was like “Oh! dark chocolate bar, ethical…”

Caryn Hartglass: Oh, no. You can taste it.

Fran Costigan: You can taste it, it doesn’t taste as good, it’s a filler, it’s cheap.

Caryn Hartglass: I remember – I’m trashing Green and Black now…

Fran Costigan: Oh, what a shame.

Caryn Hartglass: Well I remember when Green and Black first came out and they were organic, and it was a phenomenal chocolate, I liked the cocoa powder, I used to open up the container and just breathe, it was heavenly, and I had this one chocolate cake recipe, no fail when I used this cocoa, and then somehow it changed and I couldn’t figure it out and then I heard, because it was, first Cadbury bought Green and Black, and Cadbury makes a lot of milk chocolate, the Cadbury was acquired by Kraft, I think?

Fran Costigan: It was a hostile takeover by someone like Kraft, so it’s not poor Green and Black’s fault, but it’s not the same…

Caryn Hartglass: It’s not the same.

Fran Costigan: …and their bars say, they took the vegan certified off the label, and they say organic milk powder.

Caryn Hartglass: So you have to continually, unfortunately, be vigilant; nothing is forever.

Fran Costigan: Even if you just bought your favorite brand the day before, I say look at the label tomorrow because maybe one of these big guys, you know this is becoming a trendy thing, maybe one of these big guys has bought your favorite chocolate bar. I don’t think it will happen to, I mean I like Theo chocolate, in particular their, in Seattle they were the first bean-to-bar, they’re really fair, they’re one of many that I like, they’re very ethical, I don’t think anyone’s going to be buying them anytime soon, but you know what? I still read their labels every time.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, you have to. Okay, well I love this Brooklyn Blackout cake, and one of the things that you need to do, the next time you’re in a bookstore, is you have to look at this book, and you have to look at the pictures, if there’s any doubt in your mind, look at the pictures; you’re going to see desserts like you – that you don’t normally see! I mean it’s really stunning, just to convince yourself that you can have your cake and eat it too, how many times have we said that? But really stunning.

Fran Costigan: That’s really true. That was one of the intentions – this book had several intentions, and one was to write a book that would be for everyone; for absolute beginners, and for professionals, for people who want to read a lot of information in the front of the book, and for people who just want to go right to it and bake. But in looking around there are so many beautiful chocolate books on the shelf, looked at them, did the research, and it was time for vegans to have a gorgeous chocolate book too. It’s very interesting that the non-vegan community has come in and embraced this book because it’s gorgeous, Kate Lewis did a gorgeous job.

Caryn Hartglass: Now you’ve been cooking for a long time and not always vegan, were there some chefs that really got you going or a cookbook that was your favorite when you got started or was there something that inspired you?

Fran Costigan: I’m inspired by a number of cookbooks, I mean Julia Child was one of my early inspirations.

Caryn Hartglass: Oh, I wish she were around today, Fran, she would love your book!

Fran Costigan: Do you know, I think that she would because I met Julia – Ms. Child. I had the opportunity to say hello to her at a traditional conference and she asked me what I do! And I didn’t know what to say! I’m going to tell Julia Child that I bake without eggs and “buttah”? And I did, and she was so interested; she was a woman who was really interested in the process. Maida Heatter’s books in the beginning, another ground breaking, a woman who wrote careful, careful recipes. Anything by Rose Levy Beranbaum, now these are not vegan bakers. We haven’t had a pastry chef’s books to go to. I have a book called How Baking Works and I recommend to all of my students or people who want to learn a little bit more that they read it, but Rose’s books are fabulous, fabulous. Alice Medrich, the queen of Omni Chocolate, her books are really good, so this is where I get my inspiration, mostly from traditional magazines, cake shops. I was in London and Paris recently for – someone’s got to do it right? – I was invited to do chocolate demos at the London and Paris Vegfests and so I cruised the food – what do you call those? Food halls, the food halls in London.
Caryn Hartglass: Food courts?

Fran Costigan: Food courts! We – when I went many, many years ago for the first time we didn’t have that here, we have that here now. Things are really – the food scene’s caught up, but it’s very interesting; one of my interns who is now interning at Chez Panisse – Alice Waters, another goddess whose books I admire very much. Oh and Deborah Madison’s books inspire me and Deborah is revising, rewriting Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone which was – won all the cookbooks awards when it launched.

Caryn Hartglass: Groundbreaking.

Fran Costigan: Groundbreaking, and she’s redoing it, she wrote a lovely blurb for me, she’s redoing the book to include more vegan recipes, and shouting them out, vegan, vegan. Molly Katzen has a new book, Heart of the Plate and the vegan recipes are shouted out, vegan.

Caryn Hartglass: It’s about time!

Fran Costigan: It’s about time! So, everyone can eat the way Caryn and I do, and be just as happy; have a good piece of chocolate something.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah. Well, this is really a lovely, lovely work of art, Fran, and I know you worked your butt off for a long time you were here on this show almost a year ago when we were talking about – and you were already knee-deep in chocolate, I think, by that point

Fran Costigan: Yes. How much chocolate was used in the making of this book? Close to 150 pounds.

Caryn Hartglass: Whoa!

Fran Costigan: Yeah and I lost track at about 95 pounds of cocoa powder, and I didn’t gain any weight.

Caryn Hartglass: No, I think you got slimmer from working so hard.

Fran Costigan: So, it was a labor of love but I’m, I mean I had this in my mind, I had a picture of what I wanted and I got it and the publishers really surpassed what I wanted, I again want to shout out to Kate Lewis, she did a beautiful job photographing the recipes which were made by two of my baking students, Claire Gray and Christina, and the art director and it’s really just gorgeous.

Caryn Hartglass: Well, you’re creating new traditions, I really like to talk about traditions and holidays, they’re really important, we should all have traditions and holidays, but traditions change, and that’s okay! We can always modify our traditions, keeping the good part and leaving the bad parts behind. There are some nasty traditions out there that nobody wants to keep going; but the good ones, and making new ones, it’s all good, and so Vegan Chocolate is the way to go you can have all your chocolate cakes and veganize and make the world a better place. And I want to mention just before we go we’ve got some big holidays coming up, Hanukkah’s coming early, I’ve got a real tradition now, Baked Potato Latkes, Baked Potato Pancakes on my responsibleeatingandliving.com website, you can watch the video, and also see our Thanksgiving real traditions too. Thanks for listening! Thank you Fran!

Fran Costigan: Thank you Caryn!

Caryn Hartglass: Have a delicious week, with chocolate!

 

Transcribed by Katie Mabry-Rairigh, November 29, 2013

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