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#1 Wed 17 Nov 10 10:06pm

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Gluten free cookbook review thread

I'll start with the latest book I was given.

The Gluten free girl and the chef. I think this is the second or third book by the gluten free girl (http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/). This is a collaboration between her and her husband who is a chef. It's written in the format of stories about their relationship and recipes that were significant in that, as well as other recipes. There are also pages about using gluten free flours, baking gluten free and other things like how to make stock (useful for a gf first timer but not really detailed).

I found the stories to be a bit boring by about midway in the book. They aren't too dissimilar to her blog and one statement about how sensitive she is if someone makes a salad in a restaurant with tongs used on croutons is bad is repeated in three different sections almost word for word. To me that's uncreative and doesn't really work in a book where you assume people have read previous sections. Her writing is not that interesting. It's not bad but it's not like Nigella or even Jamie (he's more brief but well written). I wouldn't choose this as a reading cookbook.

The recipes look ok, but many are naturally gluten free anyway (main meal type recipes). The one thing that put me off was the recipe for the blue cheese cheesecake, where the biscuits/cookies for the crust "recipe from shauna's first book". That's not something I like to see in any recipe book, you should not have to buy another book to do a recipe even though they do give an alternative suggestion. Some of the recipes are quite "cheffy" and involve some not so easy to get ingredients (truffles), not as accessible as some cookbooks in that regard.

The recipes where wheat is replaced often involve the use of a range of flours which I've had trouble finding here. No doubt they work but I've prefered books where they give you an option like "this works with x amount of commerical gluten free flour". Some recipes also use oat flour or oats, the type that are certified to be gluten free (from cross contamination with wheat in production). I think some people who are gluten free still have issues with oats.

In short, this is one book that's probably going to live on the shelf. I might try the blue cheese cheesecake but that'll probably be it.

Almost forgot, some of the text in this book uses shall we say "harsh" language and some "blue" references. It's not something I'd give to a younger child to read. Mid teens may be ok though they'll probably be grossed out by the sappiness of a love story about two middle aged people.

Last edited by The White Rabbit (Wed 17 Nov 10 10:39pm)

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#2 Wed 17 Nov 10 10:37pm

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Gluten free cookbook review thread

"Sharing Sweet Secrets: Gluten & Wheat Free" Pamela Moirarty. http://www.glutenfreesecrets.com.au/

This is the most used gluten free cookbook I have. So far the recipes have gone well, though the sponge cake was a bit flat that's probably me. The savoiardi recipe can be a touch undercooked and made into a large sheet for jam rolls. The triple chocolate brownies are amazing. They're quite rich but even small kids like them. I've been asked for the recipe for that one...but people do get daunted by "potato flour". The crepe recipes (there's 2) are good though the one with more flour is more like pancakes than crepes. The second one is more eggy and good for making savoury wraps too.

My only critism is that there is not a photo for every recipe (that's something I really prefer in a cookbook) but there is for most.

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#3 Wed 17 Nov 10 10:50pm

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Gluten free cookbook review thread

"Healthy Gluten-free Eating" Darina Allen and Rosemary Kearney
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/chefs/darina_ … ry_kearney

This is a book I've not tried much out of yet but it has a good range of recipes. I always prefer gluten free cookbooks that are mainly recipes where wheat and gluten are normally used and this is one of them. After all it's not hard to make a gluten free bolognese.

The white soda bread recipe is interesting. More like a damper/cake consistency. My only problem when making this is that there should be a direction about adding the buttermilk until the dough becomes soft as that quantity was a little high (probably due to differences in flours and thickness of buttermilk). It wasn't a real sandwichy sort of loaf and the ingredients (here at least) are on the pricey side so I stick to a gf packet mix bread. However very very nice with butter and honey.

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#4 Wed 17 Nov 10 10:52pm

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Gluten free cookbook review thread

Tobie Puttock's Daily Italian and Italian local. Not strictly gluten free cookbooks but they have got gluten free substitutions for most recipes. Also a very good gluten free fresh pasta and gnocchi (which both cook from frozen very well). Some of the recipes need some harder to get ingredients and are a bit cheffy but overall nice browsing books as well.

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#5 Thu 18 Nov 10 12:14am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Gluten free cookbook review thread

Lovely work WR!

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#6 Thu 18 Nov 10 3:40am

Miss GlutenFree

Member
Occupation Admin Officer & Mum
From Queensland, Australia
Member since Sun 14 Mar 10

Re: Gluten free cookbook review thread

Wow, WR you have a serious knack for this stuff! Glad to see that there is someone else out there who likes to read through things thoroughly and is willing to recommend recipes, books, shops, websites etc!

Healing Foods: Cooking for Celiacs, Crohns, Colitis & IBS by Sandra Ramacher is a brilliant book. I personally like it because it doesn't just have your normal recipes - I adapted the onion rolls to be flat breads and they were just as amazing.

Gluten free baking: over 80 delicious cakes by Louise Blair is a nice book for anyone interested in treating themselves to a gazillion type of cakes! Would be good for helping kids getting into cooking. Great ideas for birthday parties etc.

I have a few other books at home but cannot remember the name or author - I'll post them up later!

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#7 Thu 18 Nov 10 4:33am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Gluten free cookbook review thread

Thanks. It comes from the research background I have. Once I'm interested in something I'll look into to the nth degree and then consolidate that knowledge. It's like a preprogrammed response for me now.

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#8 Thu 18 Nov 10 5:22pm

Gravy Queen

Member
Occupation Being Fabulous
From Liverpool
Member since Sun 10 Oct 04

Re: Gluten free cookbook review thread

We have a chef called Phil Vickery over here in the UK who has 2 GF cook books out, including a new one on Baking. I shall have a proper read through the one I have (and havent cooked from!) and let you know.

I have the Darina Allen one too TWR, lots of good recipes in there.

Although as you say, I dont like to see recipes that are gluten free anyway! I can work that one out for myself!

I'll report back ma'am!  smile

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#9 Thu 18 Nov 10 10:25pm

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Gluten free cookbook review thread

thumbsup

Yeah, Sue Shepard is the main gluten free cook book writer here and most of her recipes are gluten free anyway....and they aren't as good as many in other cookbooks that aren't gluten free books.

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#10 Mon 29 Nov 10 11:34pm

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Gluten free cookbook review thread

Cross referencing our gluten free thread
http://www.jamieoliver.com/forum/viewto … 81&p=1

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