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Customer Review

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I'd been led to believe, 8 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: Allergy-Free Cookbook (Hardcover)
This is a beautifully presented cookbook. It has plenty of information about allergies and various ingredients at the start, and the recipes at first glance look wonderful. However, the way the recipes are written is the same as a lot of these books - with the use of (sometimes unhelpful) substitutions for various allergies. For example:

The chocolate layer cake. The bog standard recipe is written as dairy, egg and nut free. The cake looks delicious. However this version of the recipe requires the use of wheat flour to work. There is a seperate gluten-free version of the same cake, however this cake requires SIX eggs to work! So if you have wheat/gluten and egg allergies, the recipe is unsuitable.

Unfortunately the rest of the book is very similar. And having experimented with combining elements of the dairy free recipes with the gluten free recipes, I've found they just don't work. It's a shame, because the book is written with multiple food allergy sufferers in mind, but the reality is that this book really hasn't been of any help to me.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Oct 2010 09:15:35 BDT
Cathy says:
Thanks for the info on this book.

Posted on 16 Apr 2013 21:11:38 BDT
The main chocolate cake recipe is both egg and milk-free - and delicious! If you have a wheat/egg allergy use that recipe but substitute the same quantity of gluten-free flour...Happy Baking!

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Apr 2013 21:34:05 BDT
Betty says:
I did try doing exactly that Mrs Sherwood. It didn't work. Non wheat flour is too dry, the lack of gluten makes it heavier, and difficult to get a good rise from. This is precisely the point I was making in my review - you can't just replace basic baking ingredients with allergy friendly alternatives and expect the same results. It's not realistic and it's not achievable. In fact frequently the results are just inedible!

You probably could adjust the recipe to make it more successful, and armed with the allergy baking knowledge I've gained over the last 5 years I'm sure I could, but if I'm going to have to tweak and re-write recipes for them to work, what use is the book to me? I may as well start with a non allergy cookbook from my collection and save my pennies.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2014 07:40:19 GMT
terry says:
I think it all depends on which wheat-free flour you're using to get a successful rise to the chocolate cake. We use Juvela Harvest White Mix Flour which my daughter receives on prescription from her GP and have never had a problem with any of the recipes in this book. I personally give it a 10 out of 10, this book saved my sanity when I was trying to provide a healthy tasty and safe diet for my multiple allery child, who is now all grown up and owns her own copy.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2014 09:52:29 GMT
Betty says:
I'm glad you had good results, however that particular flour is no good to us as my son is allergic to some of the ingredients. (We have to stick with Doves gluten and wheat free flour) Which goes back to my original review. If you have multiple allergies, this isn't the best cook book out there. If you're just struggling with a wheat or dairy allergy then I'm sure this recipe book would meet your needs. As it is, like I originally said, I tried several recipes from this book and the substitution advice when you have more than one allergy, or if you have both egg, wheat and dairy allergies and need to combine recipes, simply don't work.

For those reading that do have multiple allergies, I can highly recommend Cybele Pascal's book The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook: How to Bake without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, or Sesame It's a little pricey, but every recipe I have made from the book (and we've worked our way through most of them, including the bread recipes) has been absolutely fantastic. Never an inedible bake, full of fabulous advice, and the results have been so good even those in the family without allergies have been more than happy to eat their way through the cookies and cakes. Incidentally, I have lost count of how many allergy free bread recipes I've attempted over the years. I tried Cybele's recipe without any hope of it turning out well. It is the best recipe I've come across. Almost as good as the real thing, and much easier to make.
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