“Have you made anything gluten-free and egg-free before? I’m always prepared for a disaster,” said my friend. My response: “Just this weird chocolate cake once.” That pretty much sums of my experience with gluten-free baking. Weird. Somewhat off. Maybe a little chalky or overly mushy?
I rarely ever play around with this particular method of cooking. At least on purpose. I’ve had a lot of half-decent gluten-free fare, when I really want it to be 100%-decent. So, considering I’m not gluten intolerant, I generally steer clear from labels that tout what seems to be the latest self-proclaimed health fad. If you’re one of those who hopped on this bandwagon and don’t really have an intolerance to gluten (the protein in wheat), well, in my opinion, you’re a tad crazy. But don’t worry. I won’t go all Anthony Bourdain-style on you and will leave it at that. To each his own.
Sure, I’ve made a ton of naturally gluten-free food over the years that is 100% delicious. That’s in no way hard to accomplish. (Beans and Rice, please.) But little of this fare is ever coming from the oven, a feat that seems a tad more daunting.
However, when I recently found out that one of my friends had a gluten (and egg) allergy but was also into baking, I said, “Heck yeah I want to mess around with some gluten-free baking!” It was a good incentive to explore some uncharted kitchen territory and prove yet again, homemade often triumphs over store-bought.
It all started with this recipe my friend chose, which might I add was a kick-butt choice seeing as though sweet potatoes were in the equation. Our expectations, both low at the start, increasingly grew ever more skeptical when we realized we’d have to tackle the icing without an electric beater. Thank god for that versatile thing called a potato masher, which in my apartment, rarely ever gets used on actual potatoes.
After popping these out of the oven and adding a generous smear of icing on top, we held our breathes and went in for a taste. After the first bite, it was declared an immediate victory. In fact, these by far topped a lot of other pumpkin-spiced-esque traditional cupcakes and muffins I’ve eaten in the past. They were perfectly sweetened with a slight contrast from the icing, and were super moist. (I’m sorry. I hate that word too.) So heck yeah gluten-free baking. I might be seeing you more often.