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Gluten-Free Baking apears in San Francisco Chronicle

Gluten-free desserts fill these cookbooks

Gluten Free Baking (USA edition)For every gooey slice of chocolate cake, crisp butter cookie and sugary doughnut on the market these days, there seems to be a gluten-free counterpart. Sure, it's not quite the same thing - but sample these products side by side, and some are pretty darn close.

With gluten sensitivities so common (see today's cover story for statistics and more on gluten-free baking), it only makes sense that dessert lovers would be on a mission to re-create baked goods that pass muster.

During the past few years, options in the pastry departments of grocery stores have multiplied significantly. And now, the gluten-free baking trend is taking the book world by storm. We've received no less than five on the subject in recent months. From cupcakes to cookies, the sphere of sweet endings is covered.

Here's a little bit about what's out there:

Babycakes Covers the Classics, by Erin McKenna (Clarkson Potter, 144 pages, $25). Babycakes, the wildly popular New York bakery (look for a San Francisco outpost this summer), caters to the gluten-intolerant (and vegan). Baker-owner McKenna's first cookbook featuring recipes from the bakery was just as popular. This is her follow-up, packed with classic recipes like chocolate cake doughnuts, snickerdoodles and even pancakes and waffles.

Gluten-Free Baking, by Phil Vickery (Firefly Books, 176 pages, $24.95). As the food ambassador for the celiac disease advocacy and research charity in the United Kingdom, Vickery shares more than just dessert. He begins with an introduction to celiac disease, covering the symptoms and treatments, then moves on to discuss gluten-free alternatives and useful ingredients. He presents tempting sweet dishes like apple pudding cake with cider crunch topping and chocolate cherry trifle cake.

Gluten-Free Cookies, by Luane Kohnke (Sellers Publishing, 144 pages, $19.95). Author Kohnke uses the winner of a blind panel tasting of gluten-free flour blends for the cookie recipes in this book. From lemon squares (see recipe) to fudge-filled drops, there's enough variety for every taste. If the photos are any indication, neither the gluten-intolerant nor tolerant will be missing out.

Gluten-Free Cupcakes, by Elana Amsterdam (Celestial Arts, 104 pages, $16.99). A combination of two popular trends, this book provides dozens of recipes. All of the basics are there - think vanilla, red velvet and marble - plus more innovative creations like pina colada cupcakes and vanilla fig. Unlike the other books, Amsterdam relies heavily on coconut flour to form the base of her recipes.

Simply ... Gluten-Free Desserts, by Carol Kicinski (Thomas Dunne Books, 290 pages, $26.99). There are plenty of desserts that don't contain gluten products, and those form the backbone of this book. Dishes like Mochaccino Mousse, Mexican Chocolate Cake With Cinnamon Whipped Cream, and Rhubarb Fool are among them; it also means that many of the desserts are grain free. Others contain a sweet rice flour blend or almond flour in place of regular flour - the blueberry muffins (see recipe) are a prime example.

This article appeared on page H - 7of the San Francisco Chronicle

 

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