Thursday, January 3, 2013

gluten-free chocolate cake??

I love Gluten-Free Girl because she's honest. But sometimes reality is a little bit scary. So when she says "so many gluten-free cakes, while well-meaning, taste as though the baker used sawdust instead of butter" (Gluten-Free Girl & The Chef, intro to carrot cake with ginger frosting, p. 258), and explains in other parts of the book that "gluten-free baking is not like your mother's baking. Traditional baking is elastic and easy... gluten-free baking, at first, seems far more difficult... don't expect gluten-free baked goods to match the taste and texture of the original" (gluten-free baking essay, p. 201), I really do appreciate it, but it's a little bit scary. I have another happy shiny collection-style GF book of 200 recipes whose pictures look very pretty (you know the kind; at the back they advertise books of 200 vegan, Italian, thai, and every other imaginable cuisine in their neat, tidy series), and they make no such frank warnings. They also use additives liberally that I'm trying to avoid (which really, is okay, I know what to substitute). It's all very warm and fuzzy and reassuring. But I know it would be disappointing, at least some of it, which is why I'm glad I have GFG to give me the down-low.

We're having a party Sunday for Epiphany, mostly parish friends are coming, and I'm planning a chocolate cake with cream cheese, date & raisin frosting. But that sort of breaks my never-try-a-new-recipe-on-company rule. Especially since it's all so unpredictable with GF. Ahh! Maybe I'll make a mini version today with GFG's basic flour advice (my grocery delivery just arrived with various GF flours) and see how it goes. I also wanted to make chocolate-mint GF biscotti; I bought fresh mint and I was going to make mint butter, yum yum, but I am scared. Advice? Should I just go for it? Or would it be foolish to risk feeding my guests sawdust-like goods?

Here's an interesting, funny, and very relatable article about gluten-free diets making a difference in kids' behaviour if you're into this whole gluten issue thing. And if you didn't read it the last time I posted it, I still really recommend you read this article about why the official definition of celiac is totally inadequate to most people who have essentially the same intolerance but are on a different part of the gluten-damage spectrum (I don't know that the author would describe his thesis quite that way but that's what I took away from it).

Update: The resulting wonderful delicious best chocolate cake ever recipe entry is here!

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