Saturday, February 12, 2011

Playing with food

I like to refer to my cooking as playing with food. Sometimes I'm not sure I would call what I cooking. I have a habit of not really following recipes but using them  more as a guide (sometimes very loosely). But I do like to look for new cook books and new recipes that inspire me. Today I discovered a new cookbook, The Cake Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free by Anne Byrn. I had never heard of the book till the other day when I found out there was a book signing and the author was going to talk about cooking gluten free. I had some time so I went to check it out. I was pretty impressed with the author, Anne Byrn and was inspired by what she had to say. All her other books are recipes containing gluten. Her readers had been asking her for a gluten free version for awhile. When she saw that Betty Crocker had a GF cake mix that was more or less pretty much accessible to all, she decided it was time to do a GF book. She said she had tried to make GF cakes from scratch and found just as I have that there are too many flours that cost way too much money involved in making a GF cake. She thought that starting with a GF mix was easier and more or less more cost effective (I paid 4.99 for the box today ugg) although the GF box mixes also only produced one layer cakes which she remedied in her book.
I thought the book and the whole concept behind the book was great. Maybe I watch too many cooking shows and have become too big a cooking snob, but I always thought using a box mix was cheating. Now that I have to cook gluten free, until I get rich and can afford to buy all those expensive flours and learn how to use them I'm pretty much stuck with using a box mix. But not knowing enough about GF baking and what to use when because every flour has different consistency and does a different thing, it's easier to use a box mix. I really like this book because it has a large variety of cakes, cookies, brownies and bars all using a box mix making it easier for someone who is just starting to bake GF.
Right now I am attempting to make GF snicker doodles from the book. Of course I didn't follow the directions and didn't use real butter or eggs (that Weight watcher in me never dies always trying to cut the fat) so the first batch came out like a giant pancake. So I added rice flour to the second batch and it was a little better and then I added a little more rice flour to the third batch and that might be too much. Oh well cooking to me is like trial and error and sometimes I just feel like I'm playing with my food and trying to see what works.

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