Bleeding Heart Bakery. Now, we've had a chance to peruse the publication and share our thoughts. Our one-word review would probably be "fabulous" or something similarly glowing, because this cookbook kicks holy ass, but you probably need a few more words to convince yourself. Here's a few:
First of all, don't be surprised by this book's compact size. There are a whopping 75 recipes in this baby, each more tantalizing than the next. You could make a recipe every weekend, and then one on every major holiday, and still not make it through the damned thing.
Second, if you've stopped in and sampled the wares at Bleeding Heart, you're probably a fan and might even have a special favorite among the 'cakes (ours, naturally, is the choc/PB/bacon number). If that's the case, you'll be thrilled to learn that all the BHB masterpieces--from the ones on the menu every day, to the specialty flavors the bakery rotates--are listed in here. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
Third: Praises be, the recipes are simple, straightforward, and easy to follow, so even a novice in the kitchen has a chance at creating masterpieces of his/her own. Further helping the newbies, the authors offer tips and tricks to help you avoid kitchen mishaps (i.e. avoid overmixing the vegan cupcake batter). Head BDJ Lab Tech Jenni S appreciates this because she completely sucks at making cakes and can use all the expert advice she can get her hands on.
Fourth: Vegan cupcakes! Just because your diet is cruelty-free doesn't mean it has to be flavor-free, too--and these recipes prove it. Also helpful to have if you have vegan buddies (and who doesn't these days), so they don't get left out of any cakey occasions (birthdays, weddings, bat mitzvahs, divorces, haircuts--cake's awesome for any occasion, really).
Fifth: Even if you're a total klutz in the kitchen, never bake a thing, and basically just use your home oven to store the pans that you also never use, you'd be wise to buy this book just for the photography. Bill Lambert's a seasoned food photog, and his shots definitely do the cupcakes justice--you'll want to lick the pages (don't--they just taste like paper). Incidentally, Mr. Lambert also shoots for ThisIsWhyYourFat.com, one of our favorite food sites, so the dude knows how to photograph the food porn.
I'm going to stop writing so you can stop reading and get yourself a copy right now. If it's before 7pm and not Monday, you can go to the bakery at the corner of Damen and Belmont and get a copy. Or, Amazon. Or, fine booksellers everywhere. You can't have this copy, though. Sorry.