Cookbook Review: The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook by Cybele Pascal

Allergen Free BH

I have to credit my future sister-in-law for this gift. She gave me this book when we met about a year ago and it has been one of the most useful gifts I have received.

I have made several of the recipes in this book and the discovery of Socca de Nice was a huge hit in our household. We especially love it with fresh rosemary.

The chocolate chip cookies came out great!

This is an excellent resource for totally allergen-free baking and I commend the author for doing all of the testing and writing so that the home cook can quickly have a good go-to recipe for school functions, fundraisers, work functions, and other events.

The recipes work best when they are followed using the exact ingredients called for (at least until you get the hang of allergen-free baking), such as the egg replacer and agave nectar and gelatin. Those little ingredients make a difference, so I highly recommend that you follow the instructions. I did use real eggs in the cornbread and it came out okay. As does the almond milk or water in lieu of rice milk for most recipes.

The author uses relatively inexpensive flours to create a general mix for quick breads, cookies, etc. and then another general mix for yeast breads. I really like the convenience of preparing a flour mix ahead of time. This is a good approach when you are doing your allergen-free baking as it saves time on future baking projects. I recommend doing a double or triple batch and storing in a large container in your pantry or refrigerator.

The taste and texture is pretty good for most of the recipes I tested; very close to what you’d expect from your grocery store bakery. The chocolate chip cookies truly are outstanding. The cakes were also very good. Double the recipe for two layer cakes. The socca de nice was surprisingly novel and good! I still have to try some of the savory yeast breads but all in all, I still grab this book every single time I want to bake something.

This book is one of the very few baking books on the market that avoid the eight most common food allergens. Please don’t be overwhelmed by all the flours and alternatives. Once you have the items in your home, you’ll be anxious to start working with them!

If you’re on a budget, some of the recipes can utilize canola oil instead of the palm-oil shortening. You’ll have to test it out, but we had good luck with using canola oil in the quick breads. However, continue to use the shortening in cookies and cakes as it needs to coat the crumb for good texture. You can also replace the rice milk with water if you haven’t been able to get to the store.

I admire the work of Cybele Pascal and she deserves all of the praise that she has received for this work. I bring this book with me to my seminars and educational events to let others know that this resource is out there. For more about Ms. Pascal’s amazing work, please visit http://cybelepascal.com/

Published by

Michelle

Michelle is a Public Speaker, Educator, Blog Author and Photojournalist for over 15 years. Upon discovering that her child has multiple food allergies, she has turned her passion for cooking into a passion of sharing and teaching on the topic of food allergies. Michelle is the Founder of Safe Eats.net, where readers can learn the art of cooking and baking to avoid all allergens and cope with living with food allergies.

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