Today is the day! I wrote an Instant Pot Dessert cookbook called Instantly Sweet with my friend Barbara from Pressure Cooking Today and it is finally ready to ship out to all you wonderful people! Read on for a sneak peek into the book.
Writing a cookbook is such a roller coaster of emotions. First, you're excited, then stressed out beyond belief. One day your giddy over a successful recipe, the next you're crying because you're “an utter failure and why did I think I could do this!” Dramatic?
You trudge through all of it because you know the moment you touch and flip through the final product, all the tears and exhaustion are completely worth it. Kind of like having a baby, now that I think about it, haha!
My most favorite part is when the feedback from all you wonderful people starts to come. Imagining my recipes being enjoyed at your tables is the most amazing feeling. There is an instant connection with a world full of strangers that makes blogging and cookbook writing so completely worth it. When we can meet together and talk about our love of food, friends, and family, this crazy, unpredictable world starts to feel like a friendly, hopeful place.
Now, back to the elephant in the room. The title of this post:
CONFESSIONS OF A SUGAR-FREE DESSERT QUEEN
Let's chat a moment about my journey of becoming a dessert cookbook author. It can all be summed up in the following six confessions.
CONFESSION ONE: I DON'T EAT SUGAR
Yep, I went refined sugar-free in the summer of 2014 and never looked back. To achieve this overwhelming task, I took an online course called Go Sugar Free and it quite literally changed my life. It opened windows, doors, and 3 car garages to so many opportunities, one of them being the chance to write a healthy cookbook with my sister Cami and to blog alongside her on TIDBITS. Being sugar-free gave me a great sense of freedom and set fire to my tired soul (mommy of newborn twin boys and all). I never felt stronger. For more details on the when, how, and why I did this course, see The Decisions that Change Everything.
CONFESSION TWO: I EAT CHOCOLATE
Okay, okay. I enjoy my homemade 90% chocolates daily. Minor detail. Don't judge.
CONFESSION THREE: I AM MY FAMILY'S DESSERT QUEEN
You would not believe the upset I caused when I declared to my siblings and husband that I would no longer be the reigning dessert queen. The reaction was similar to the typical grieving process that begins with Denial and Anger, then after lots of begging and teasing, there came Acceptance.
I still own my dessert binder full of incredible sweet treats and have happily passed it on to my daughter who finds it completely delightful. “You know how to cook desserts mom?” “Yes my dear, like a boss.”
CONFESSION FOUR: I WROTE A DESSERT COOKBOOK AND AM STILL SUGAR-FREE
When I got the email from Barbara about teaming up with her to write a cookbook, I literally screamed and jumped up and down. I learned everything I know about pressure cooking from Barbara by cooking through her blog and emailing back and forth with her my questions on how best to use this awesome appliance.
I wasn't allowed to know the topic of said cookbook until I 100% agreed to join the project. I daydreamed about all the potential topics: Instant Pot Indulgent Food Made Healthy, Feeding a Family – Pressure Cooker Style, Instant Potting with Barbara and Rachael Ray.
Nope. None of the above. I'm still holding on to the dream of that last one though.
The topic was: Instant Pot Desserts. Oh boy, what did I get myself into? I announced the topic to my husband and kids: they cheered. I announced it to my mom and sisters: they laughed . . . Hard.
I'll be honest. I panicked. My body's response to even small amounts of sugar is not fun. Plus I was scared to fall off this sugar-free train that I so loved.
But the dessert queen deep down inside of me cheered triumphantly as I said, “Absolutely I will help write this cookbook, and I'm gonna knock it out of the park, too.”
My first trip to the grocery store had my husband and I in tears, laughing. My cart was piled high with basically everything from the cookie, baking, and candy aisle. Dessert ideas came to my mind with a vengeance and I was ecstatic to let the dessert queen once again spread her wings.
The recipe testing was intense. One night I made lava cakes 5 times, before finally getting it right. I cried tears of exhaustion, my kids cried tears of joy.
I tasted small bites of the treats along the way, but ultimately relied on my kids, my husband, family, and neighbors to assure me I had nailed it. They were all very diligent in their responsibilities, sometimes insisting I make the same Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee or Tres Leches Cake 5 times “just to make sure.” I couldn't have done it without them. Because of their help, I was able to maintain my desired lifestyle, free of refined sugar.
CONFESSION FIVE: I FEED MY FAMILY DESSERT
And I do it with pride. Prior to recipe testing for this book, I rarely made treats. Not because I didn't want my family eating them necessarily, they just didn't appeal to me and I didn't want to waste my precious time on them.
I wish so badly that I had taken pictures of my children's faces every time I unveiled another recipe for the cookbook. They couldn't wait to come to dinner every night!
It became very apparent to me that amazing memories can be made around a really good dessert. Any and all arguing stops the very moment chocolate lava pours from their cakes,
or when brightly colored delicacies fill their bowls,
or when I torch ooey gooey marshmallows right before their eyes.
It doesn't matter how good roasted broccoli is, it just doesn't turn young children into angels like desserts do.
I began to see homemade desserts in a whole new light and I adored the feeling of harmony that was created by such a simple endeavor as pressure cooking a cake.
I shared the excess desserts with family and friends and experienced a connection with them I had never felt in the 30+ years that I'd lived in my hometown. All because of an absolutely, to die for, beautiful cheesecake.
CONFESSION SIX: I HAD AN ABSOLUTE BLAST WRITING A DESSERT COOKBOOK
I honestly didn't expect to enjoy this process as much as I did. The magic of cooking with butter, sugar, and chocolate is exhilarating. It opened up a wondrous array of flavor combinations that I hadn't thought of in years. Some of my ideas flopped (yogurt cheesecake, zebra poke cake, coconut creme brulee . . . to name a few), but some exceeded my expectations like: Red Velvet Cheesecake, Dulce de Leche Lava Cake, Carrot Cake Breakfast Cake, Angel Food Cake, Caramel Walnut Brownie Pudding Cake, Coconut Custard Pie, Smore Bread Pudding, White Chocolate Lime Rice Pudding . . . and so on.
Alongside Barbara, I poured my heart and soul into these recipes. There were lots of tears (taking pictures of 5 cheesecakes in one afternoon . . . clean up took me 2 hours alone), but lots of laughter and smiles (my daughter exclaiming that I was finally a great chef) and it was all so very worth it, because together, Barbara and I created the ultimate Instant Pot Dessert Cookbook. You will all absolutely love it!
Now for a sneak peak inside the contents of the book. There are gems all over in this beauty!
The intro of this book alone is a treasure trove! It includes:
- Sweet Talk: 101 on how to make the best desserts in an electric pressure cooker
- Sweet Tricks: The best insider scoop on how to get perfect results every time
- Sweet Stuff: The low down on all the equipment we use to make our desserts
- Bittersweet Moments: A thorough troubleshooting guide to help you determine why things could have gone wrong and how to prevent it from happening again
Now to the recipes! There is a huge variety of desserts in this book with unique flavor profiles that will have you excited to get in the kitchen. The sections include:
- Quick Breads and Breakfasts: Cinnamon Roll Steel Cut Oats, Pineapple Upside Down Breakfast Cakes, etc
- Cheesecakes: Tropical Cheesecake, Vanilla Confetti Cheesecake, etc
- Lava Cakes: Smore Lava Cake, White Chocolate Macadamia Lava Cake, etc
- Cakes: Chocolate Lover's Dream Cake, Lemon Poppy Seed Cake, etc
- Pies: Banana Split Pie, Creamy Orange Pie, etc
- Cobblers and Fruit Desserts: Cranberry Orange Poached Pears, Triple Berry Crisp, etc
- Custards and Puddings: Chocolate Tapioca Pudding, Caramel Pots de Creme, etc
- Sauces, Fillings, and Toppings: Cherry Pie Filling, Salted Chocolate Dulce de Leche, etc
You're going to be in dessert heaven for a very, very long time!
Thanks so much to all of you! Creating and writing recipes and sharing them with you all has been such an amazing, yet unexpected path in my life. I love it more than I ever thought I would and I feel so blessed to be able to do it.
Order your copy of Instantly Sweet ASAP and please oh please let me know which recipe you make first!
If you need recommendations, here ya go, from the mouth of babes (and yes, I'm including my husband in this list of “babes”)
- My daughter: “Make the Caramel Walnut Brownie Pudding Cake, but leave the walnuts out and you will love all the hot fudgy bites.”
- My son: “Make the lava cakes. All of them cause they all make your heart happy and make you want to be a nicer person.”
- My other son: “Make the S'more Bread Pudding. If my mom wasn't home I would eat the whole pan and I wouldn't even feel sick.”
- My husband: “Go for the Triple Layer Chocolate Mint Cheesecake. It's the best cheesecake I've ever had.”
There ya go! Recommendations from the best critics on the block.
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY NEWS!
Giveaway is now over.
Congratulations to the winner of our three pressure cooker cookbooks, Cindy! She said,
“Salted caramel anything! I also gave up refined sugar but have found friends in coconut sugar and xylitol. A sugar free instant pot dessert book would be so welcome!”
Leave a comment below telling me your favorite dessert of all time and you will be entered to win THREE Instant Pot cookbooks. Master the Electric Pressure Cooker, written by my sister and I, The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook, written by Barbara, and of course our new book, Instantly Sweet.
Thanks for being here! It means more to me than you'll ever know!