Jan. 7th, 2011

[personal profile] literally
 I tried the chocolate variety, wondering yet again, why do I bother? Really, what the hell is it with these kinds of companies that use little if any salt, much less much chocolate? Do they really think once you've found out you have a food sensitivity or allergy you automatically have no sense of taste whatsoever, willing to buy anything regardless of lack of quality? I guess they really do. I ignored the fact it has soy flour because I really miss Oreos. Trust me, it's not worth it, it's too sugary for its own good, and almost flavorless.

 If anyone has any recipes for a version of this thing that doesn't suck, then by all means, let me know.
[personal profile] literally
 First off, I'll admit I changed some of the recipe a bit, instead of using oil I used a mixture of melted unsalted butter and Spectrum's Palm Oil (also known as Vegetable Shortening). The texture is pretty damn good despite the fact it uses rice flour, so I couldn't help but wonder, why couldn't the texture be just as awesome in their All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix?

 Problems-like I complained about Glutino's, and thank God/s I played with the mix while mixing before popping it in the oven-use extra salt, trust me. At least half a teaspoon. I would also use a few extra tablespoons of unsweetened cocao powder or about an ounce and a half of melted unsweetened chocolate (for the love that all that is holy, ignore what the know-nothing food writers at Cook's Illustrated say and avoid brands like Baker's like the plague). A shot or two of dark espresso or dark coffee instead of water probably would of improved the flavor my cake too.

 But if you buy the mix anyway despite these problems, follow the mixing instructions as indicated on the label, the cake will be surprisingly good.


Pre-ETA: The mixing technique was inspirational, I might copy it next time I try to make a mix-free butter cake using mostly sorghum flour as the base substitute for wheat flour.
[personal profile] literally
Gluten Free Gourmet Desserts & Baked Goods by Valerie Cupillard.

 I'm leafing through it right now, and while some of the ideas don't look bad, I really don't care for the gratuitous use of rice flour in these recipes, and even worse, where are binders like xantham and guar gum? Not all of these recipes contain eggs, so how do the end products stay together? And what the hell is with the essential oils (and essential oils sure as hell are not the same as nut and seed oils!)? Last time I checked you use those things for cosmetics, not ingestion. And then there is this crap about some detox diet, which I am sure is discredited somewhere-which the author decides, for God knows what reason, to base most of this book on.

 I'm only half tempted to buy it used, if only to rip off ideas in order to make much better products, but I'm not sure if it's even worth it.

[personal profile] literally
 While I am sure their gluten-free mixes suck just like most brands of it out there (natural and indy companies included), I have to hand it to them, they really understand what the average gluten-free eater wants. No sanctimonious healthfood recipes. Teaspoons of salt, not a half a gram of it. Sausage cheese balls made out of gluten-free Bisquick mix. Cheesy Steak and Potato Skillet. Banana Bread made with actual sugar and butter. Peanut Butter Cookie Candy Bars. Mexican Chocolate Brownies. They're not even bothering to pretend, and I salute them for it. I want to see more recipe collections like this, not just ones catering to anorexic carrot eaters.
[personal profile] literally
Yeah,  I'm still at the bookstore. :P

 So this doesn't look like a bad book, but it's clear the author doesn't understand why yeast would be used in yeast breads, there are thousands of years of tradition in this affecting the texture and flavor of these baked goods, so bragging that almond flour recipes don't need it displays a lot of ignorance on her part, if not outright disrespect for culinary traditions.

[ETA: Claiming that any particular type of flour (unless it's made to be self rising) doesn't need leavening ingredients for baking is just bullshit in general. How do books like this become popular?]

 Secondly, agave nectar has been shown to be very bad on the liver, why promote it as a healthy sweetener? It's also usually not too good for the texture of many kinds of baked goods either.

  I am also skeptical about her claims about how almond flour doesn't need binders like gelatine or guar gum at all, it would of been nice if she discussed her history of baking in far more detail in order to help explain why she came to this conclusion. I am reminded more of raw vegan recipe collections that claim to be just like the real thing, and in my experience, it really does not.

 Still, almond flour does seem to have potential, but sorghum flour has been highly underrated in the gluten-free baking community in my opinion, and I have doubts about the texture of the goods should I choose to use almond flour alone.

 I might buy this used. It might be useful for inspiration, but I would certainly change the recipes, and use butter instead of oil (why must so many people who write these gluten free books assume they're all a bunch of semi-vegetarians?).

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