Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Allergy Free Desserts by Elizabeth Gordon

I follow quite a few food bloggers who blog gluten free or allergen free. Elizabeth Gordon is one of them. She doesn't blog frequently, but when she does, she sometimes shares a sweet recipe. Allergy Free Delights is in my left side bar, and when Gordon posts, I see it because the most recently updated blogs move to the top of the blogroll.

The recipes that Gordon posts make my mouth water. I'm not kidding. Peek at a couple of them. Chipwiches. ohmy And fig newtons. They have the look of yum. English toffee. I dream of toffee.

My desire to do some serious GFCFSF+++ baking has been greater than my ability to pull it off this summer. I need to organize my kitchen (again). (I heart author Gordon for having some of the same challenges that I do, yet she seems to experment in the kitchen more than I.) I loathe turning on the oven in the summertime. We've had so many hot, humid days near or above 90 that I don't want to heat the oven while the a/c is pumping on overdrive.

I've spent a lot of time reading cookbooks and dreaming about what I would actually make.

I received Elizabeth Gordon's new cookbook, allergy free desserts a week or so ago. List price is $22.95, the cookbook is a beautiful hardback, complete with photos of the recipes (I like photos!). True to the title of the book, the recipes are all glorious sweets. Yes, mouth watering sweets. Yes, it's exactly the gluten-free baked goods that I want to make.

What I didn't expect was Gordon's heavy use of chick pea flour. Almost every recipe in the cookbook uses chick pea (garbanzo bean) flour. (IF YOU ARE BAKING FOR SOMEONE WHO IS SENSITIVE TO RICE, check out this cookbook.)

Chick peas are related to soy and peanuts, and while some individuals who are sensitive to soy and peanuts are NOT sensitive to chick peas, I have chosen to avoid chick pea flour in my GFCFSF+++ baking. My daughter had reactions to peanuts when she was small and we got rid of peanuts. Lab tests reveal a sensitivity to soy. (My BIL and nephews have peanut and legume allergies.)

So, when I use her cookbook and recipes, I will make some rather big changes to them when I use a rice flour blend with corn starch to avoid the particular sensitivities we have at my house (potato happens to be one of my sensitivities).

I've had success changing other GFCF recipes to suit our needs - once the proportions are determined, flour blends can be somewhat interchangable, and I hope this holds true for bean flour blends. I haven't used many recipes intended for bean flours. So, we'll see. I'm up for an experiment. I've got my eye on a chocolate cake that uses cola as one of the ingredients because a) I love chocolate and the picture has me almost drooling over it and b) it reminds me of a cake I used to make before I stopped buying wheat flour.

Wiley sent me a complimentary copy of allergy-free desserts to review. I am not paid to write this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

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