A review of: flourless, the cookbook…. And just like that, gluten-free bakers are in heaven.
Beautifully presented, with mouthwatering recipes, this book is a God-send for all gluten free bakers out there who still think there is no life after the removal of Toll house chocolate chip cookies from their diet.
The one thing I wish this book had was a picture for every single recipe. But now, I feel like I am just being greedy.
I stumbled across this cookbook over the Thanksgiving holiday and while visiting family in New York :
flourless. Recipes for Naturally Gluten-Free Desserts by Nicole Spiridakis
Thanksgiving, as you may well know, is a magical time of year, when you want to cook or bake all day long, regardless of whether you can cook well, or not. This book lends well to that mentality.
I was immediately smitten with the book cover from the moment that I saw it. It could be that the setting I was in when I ran across this cookbook ( a famous, rustic old farm in upstate New York) lent to its appeal. But the cover itself, with its rustic and earthy look caught my eye first, then when I saw the title of the cookbook, I picked it up immediately to take a look at the recipes.
You see, this cookbook is all about, you guessed it, delectable desserts that are made with no wheat flour whatsoever.
For someone like me, who went gluten-free more than a few years ago, this was a cookbook that I could not ignore. I married into a family with a master baker for a mom. This wonderful mom (my mother-in law, actually) taught me all she knew about baking, which was an incredible amount.
Imagine my dismay, when I discovered that, for health reasons, my entire family would need to convert to the gluten-free life, which meant that I would have to lock up my beloved dessert recipes from mom, and throw away the key.
So, you can well imagine my anticipation and delight upon stumbling on this cookbook.
And that’s before I even opened its pages. Once I did, I was enthralled with the contents, starting with the Introduction to the book, by the author, who invites us into her world, so we can see baking from her unique point of view. Even better are the baking substitutes that she recommends for butter, cow’s milk, eggs and of course, wheat flour.
I love the thought of grinding nuts in a food processor and using that as flour in a cake recipe (along with other perfectly placed ingredients, of course). I love how fresh and simple and uncomplicated the ingredients featured in this cookbook are, and I believe the freshness and beautiful simplicity of the ingredients, beautifully melded together in perfect synchronicity, shine throughout its pages.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Once I actually flipped through the pages of the cookbook, and saw some of the incredible pictures and titles of the recipes, I knew I just had to have this book.
Think about some of these titles:
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake with Milk Chocolate-Buttermilk Frosting
Banana Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramelized Bananas
Chocolate Souffle Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Salt-Dusted Lavender-Lemon Cookies
Honeyed Blueberry Cakes
Butterscotch Pudding with Banana Whipped Cream
Chocolate Cream Pie (oh my)
Cheesecake with Meyer Lemon Curd
Seasonal Fruit Tart with Coconut Cream
Sounds good, right?
This is not even a tenth of what is in there. And the pictures. Amazing. Enough to make me drool in the middle of an old vintage farmhouse gift shop in upstate New York. My kids noticed and grabbed the cookbook out of my hands before I made an utter fool of myself in public. But I managed to drag my husband over and almost demand that this book be under the tree come Christmas.
And, no surprise, it was there on Christmas Day. I mean, would anyone in their right mind deny me this cookbook if they had seen my behavior that fateful Thanksgiving weekend? I don’t think so.
But here’s where this story turns tragic, at least for a while. Right after Christmas, I embarked on a month-long diet , so I hid this book away until last week. Oh the agony!
But last week, as my reward, I pulled it out, lovingly caressed its pages and started with the very first recipe: Flourless Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Cake.
My youngest child helped me make it, we made it in under a half hour, it was fun and simple to make. The results?
We were in awe, especially when we draped the caramel sauce over the cake. It launched the cake into the stratosphere. Wow.
I simply cannot wait to try every single recipe in this book. And now, my family and I have a plan. Every holiday, every birthday, we are picking out a recipe and we are baking together, because this is an experience that is meant to be shared. From the gathering of ingredients, to the baking, to sharing in the delectable and exquisite tastes of these recipes.
Valentine’s Day, here we come!