A new gluten-free baking book, Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle (Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2013) has been winning a wider and wider audience for its irritatingly photogenic author, Kyra Bussanich, since her recent third Cupcake Wars win on television. I am late to knowing about Kyra and her Oregon bakery, being cable TV-less on our rural street, but after receiving a complimentary copy of her new cookbook from the publisher and trying my hand at one of her fabulous recipes, I am a fan.
The book is an attractive one on the shelf, with tantalizing photos throughout, and a wealth of intriguing recipes. She has a brief, but illuminating section on the gluten-free flours and binders she prefers to use and the recipes are are conveniently labeled as being Easy, Intermediate or Advanced.
There are many baking standards for cookies, muffins, scones, tarts and breads among the pages, but after the Cupcake Wars buildup I cut to the chase to pore through the wonderfully exotic chapter of Cupcake recipes: African Yam Cupcakes with Clove Mascarpone Whipped Cream, Orange-Vanilla Dreamsicle Cupcakes, Persian Love Cakes with Cardamom Buttercream, and Champagne Cupcakes (Dan has requested these to be baked up soon).
The proof is always in the pudding, so to speak, with reviewing a cookbook, so I flipped through to see what recipe called out to me (AKA, one for which I had all the ingredients and bakery equipment on hand). Lemon Madeleines (Intermediate) won out (I actually own the baking pan needed to make these delicate shell-shaped cookies found at a local dollar store and a plastic quart bag with the end snipped off served as my pastry bag) and they were easy enough to make. They were just the right amount of sweetness and burst of bright lemon flavor and a perfect tea time treat.
I have planned to make some of her scrumptious sounding Yam Biscuits for our Thanksgiving feast next week, and there are a bunch of other paper slips bookmarking other recipes to try in the near future, so I can unabashedly affirm that this new cookbook is a real keeper.
Note: I received a review copy of this cookbook from the publisher but as always, my comments are completely my own.