Everyone in our family has an allergy or food sensitivity of some sort, and we’ve always looked at ways to limit our exposure to the things that irritate us. I was more than happy to take Agate Publishing up on their offer for a review copy of “The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book“.
In addition to targeting some of the more popular allergies, dairy, eggs and nuts, this cookbook would also fit well in a vegan kitchen. All of the recipes that I read used dairy free margarine and nothing else that would normally be made with animal products.
I gave my daughter the choice on what she wanted to make and she quickly found the Classic Chocolate Birthday Cake with a Chocolate Butter Cream frosting. After a quick trip to the store to pick up some cake flour and dairy free margarine we set out to follow the recipe.
Unlike many batters I’ve made in the past, this one creams the shortening, liquid (soy milk) and vanilla together, leaving the sugar for the dry side. Be sure to work with room temperature shortening. If it is too cold it’ll take forever to cream with the soy milk. Cake flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt make up the rest. It seems strange putting the batter together without eggs. We managed to get a couple math lessons in when my daughter couldn’t find the right measures so we improvised with some fraction math.
I was curious how the cake was going to hold up without eggs, but the instructions gave me a clue. My normal cake recipe (with eggs) is only mixed until it is barely combined. In contrast, Kelly Rudnicki has us mix this batter for up to four minutes on high. I think the extra mixing not only beats more air into the mixture, it toughens up the batter do it holds together better.
We forgot to buy cocoa at the store so we didn’t have enough for a chocolate frosting and opted instead for the vanilla butter cream. It was a pretty normal cream frosting recipe except it used a splash of soy milk and dairy free margarine. It whipped up quickly and tasted very good.
So after baking, cooling, and frosting we all took a taste and it received a unanimous thumbs up. The flavor is great, the texture is nice (but a tiny bit crumbly) but overall it’s a good cake, even more so since it is free of eggs and milk.
You can pick up the book for under $15 at Amazon, and even take a look inside. They include a couple recipes on the preview in case you want to try before you buy.
We’ll try a few more recipes over the next few weeks and I’ll be sure to post some results here.