I was delighted when Cameo Edwards asked me to review her deliciously looking brand new ebook – Crave Bakery Gluten Free Cookbook.
The book boasts 60 recipes created specifically for Crave Bakery, San Francisco’s first gluten-free bakery. The bakery has been open for 10 years, and Cameo candidly relates the very beginnings of her business, as well as her own journey of discovery of Celiac Disease. I’m extremely proud of having been selected to do this review! As well as excited for Cameo’s sweet (and gluten free) successes. (Cameo – my favorite part is when you talk about having cojones! Indeed!)
This is a great starter book if you are new to the gluten free world – Cameo does a great job developing the How to Get Started Section. Once you discover you are gluten intolerant, I think one of the steepest learning curves is the getting acquainted with gluten free ingredients. Almond flour? Tapioca flour? Potato Starch? The book discusses all ingredients in depth, and also provides suggestions on where to buy them. (I’m sure I have not been the only one here lost in Whole Foods for more than 30 minutes in search of Xanthan Gum.) And with the tarts and exquisite frostings, this is also a great book for when you feel a little bit more daring and use a candy thermometer!
All her recipes are very accessible to us, the common folk. For example, the book lists the weight of each ingredient, but also the cup or teaspoon equivalent. This is also the book that taught me that I needed wet hands to work with pizza dough if it was gluten free! Who knew. So for all the mini yet extremely important technical details… THANK YOU.
Ok, now back to business. The book’s recipes are organized against difficulty level- from vanilla cakes to pink velvet, and apricot frangipane tart. Some of the most tempting ones have been: Mama Z’s Chocolate Cake (book cover), Pink Velvet Cake and the Monster Cookie. I don’t think you can go wrong trying out any of her cupcakes, muffins and tarts. I am planning to bake one every Sunday and surprise my sweet-tooth boyfriend (who does not need to eat gluten free, but patiently waited by the mixer to lick the attachment).
I can’t wait to have dinner today so I can have another one for dessert! All and all, a great book. You will use it regularly and amaze yourself at the bakery quality goods coming out of your kitchen. And, the recipes can fool anyone who eats with gluten (case in point: boyfriend – not only did he lick both mixer attachments, but he gulped a full one in one bite. He was pleased!).