I’ve recently had the opportunity to read and bake from the new cookbook Bake Deliciously! by Jean Duane, Alternative Cook.
Jean’s new book is a culmination of her efforts to make all the delicious foods that she loves, and her husband loves for her to bake. She didn’t want to live without, but to have a full array of delicious foods, all fitting within her gluten-free and casein-free (medically necessary) lifestyle.
I always make it a point to read the entire “informational” section of a cookbook because I have seen some that give out poor (and even damaging) information. Jean Duane, however, has given some excellent information on different aspects of gluten-free and dairy-free living, as well as some safe food practices.
To help you become a more efficient baker, Jean has also provided some good information on gluten-free ingredients (including alternative natural sweeteners and dyes), how to convert your own recipes, and tips for gfcf baking.
Jean Duane takes a more whole grain, less refined, not-much-artificial approach to baking. However, she also lets you know that it’s okay to substitute in the “more normal” ingredients if you aren’t looking for all of that yet.
I looked through the recipes, trying to decide on which to make first. Though there are many many that I just know I have to make, my heart got set on the red velvet cake, my favorite (and, purely out of coincidence, the first recipe in the book). As you can see from the picture above, the cake had an excellent texture (still does, even, on day 2). It is moist and scrumptious. The white icing was a new delight for us. Andy prefers it a whole lot more than a buttercream (though you can’t pipe and decorate with it, fyi). I should have let it cool a little bit more before I poured it on the cake. And yes, I realized a little too late that my powdered sugar needed a good sifting.
The red velvet cake was thoroughly enjoyed all around – my mom even had to force herself away from the cake. Andy, to Braden’s dismay, did not exert such self-control.
I will save the last few little pieces in the freezer, for those days when I really need cake (I’m sure you know those kind of days).
Oh, and the batter tasted good, too.
Jean even has a nifty YouTube ad. I think it’s a pretty good idea, and the first gluten-free ad of its kind that I have seen.