The Chocolate Cult: Recipes for National Gluten-Free Day

Monday, January 13, 2020

Recipes for National Gluten-Free Day

I am neither vegan nor do I follow a gluten-free diet; no one in my household falls into these categories. However, I know that some of you chocolate cultists out there follow one or both of these food lifestyles by choice or necessity. So when I was offered Sara McGlothlin's "Gluten-Free Vegan Baking for Every Occasion" cookbook I wanted to check it out for all of you. Since today is National Gluten-Free Day, I think it is the perfect day to share it with you all. I was sent this cookbook in the hopes that I'd leave a review of it on Amazon so this feature is a surprise to both author and publisher.

I love that the introductory chapter clarifies that if you bake gluten-free there will be texture differences. Texture, the feel of a food or drink in our mouth, has an impact on our enjoyment of it. Using fat and oil substitutes or egg whites versus yolks also affect texture so I'm used to textural differences in my household. Something that needs mentioning is that gluten-free substitutes for baking can be pricey. In my house, the use of tree nut flours is a no-no so that impacted my ability to use a lot of recipes. On the plus side, under each recipe title there is a listing for a recipe if it is nut free, soy free, oil free, or if there are options listed to make a recipe safer for such allergies. I also like that you are told if parts of the recipe require prep ahead of baking (almost all do).

I wish the book had more photos, what there are is minimal in the introduction and at the beginning of chapters. I know that would increase the cost of the book but honestly cookbooks need images, don't you think?

The index lists only seventeen (17) recipes under "Chocolate" so let's find out where those recipes are in five chapters with recipes. I'll be blunt, 17 out of 75 recipes is disappointing to me. There are a lot of misconceptions that chocolate has gluten (it never should) and that it isn't vegan (dark chocolate had better be).

The "Breakfast Bakes" chapter has no recipes using chocolate or cocoa powder even though it has twelve (12) recipes.

The "Breads" chapter has two (2) recipes using chocolate or cocoa powder.

Chapter four, "Cookies, Brownies, and Bars," should have a fair amount of chocolate and cocoa powder using recipes but it only has four (4) of them out of fourteen (14) recipes!

So the bulk of cocoa powder and chocolate using recipes must be in chapter five,"Cakes and Cupcakes." There are eight (8) such recipes in this chapter.

I didn't expect the final chapter, "Pies and Tarts," to have much cocoa powder or chocolate but by my counting there are three (3).

Who out there have checked out this cookbook? Did you find it useful? Leave a comment and let me know please.

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