I’ve mentioned before that I adore cookbooks and its one genre that I will always buy ‘real’ books rather than digital copies because I like being able to browse them at my leisure, and I like the bright clear format of a book as opposed to a little screen.
Clean Cakes in a book by Henrietta Inman is unlike any other book I have in my collection. It’s a book of sweet recipes that are free from gluten, refined sugar and dairy – a tall order quite frankly when it comes to things like cakes which almost always feature dairy, gluten and yes, refined sugar.
Firstly this book is very very elegant and pretty to look at – important I think when you are putting a cook book together. It isn’t limited to cakes, there are muffins, truffles, chocolate treats etc.
There is a good decent sized section at the front with buying alternative ingredients which is appreciated – ingredients such as special milks (and how to make these at home), alternative sugars and syrups etc.
Now I have to be blunt here – making the case in here are not the straight forward cakes you might already make using plain flour, eggs and sugar.
Expect to –
a. spend money on the ingredients at least the first time around when you invest in the basics. This is going to cost more than buying average ingredients, obviously and you may have to go to a specialist food shop to buy some of the bits and pieces you need.
b. spend more time making the actual cakes. I found that most of the recipes are a little complex (some more so than others) and may have different stages too (ie. the cake, the filling, the topping) so just expect to put more work in to these cakes than average ones.
Having said that, the cakes are spectacular looking – some of them are just very beautiful and no doubt taste food too. Also, aside from these cakes being better for you (with no added refined sugar), there are some people who need to cut out gluten, dairy etc for dietary reasons. Having a cook book that gives you these options is obviously brilliant because try going to the supermarket and finding a cake that has no dairy, refined sugar or gluten – it’s extremely hard.
Look at this beautiful creation!