Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle

Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle

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by Kyra Bussanich

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The first gluten-free baker to win the Food Network's Cupcake Wars shares her indulgent recipes for cakes, muffins, scones, cookies, brownies, cobblers, buckles, tarts, and more.

When Kyra Bussanich realized she had to go gluten-free, she mourned the toasty morning muffins, moist birthday cakes, and fruity crumbles she thought she…  See more details below


The first gluten-free baker to win the Food Network's Cupcake Wars shares her indulgent recipes for cakes, muffins, scones, cookies, brownies, cobblers, buckles, tarts, and more.

When Kyra Bussanich realized she had to go gluten-free, she mourned the toasty morning muffins, moist birthday cakes, and fruity crumbles she thought she'd have to give up. Attending pastry school during the day, Kyra used trial and error to recreate her favorite treats--sans gluten--at night. Word-of-mouth spread about her scrumptious confections, and soon Kyra opened her very own Portland bakery, Crave Bake Shop. When she competed against "regular" bakers on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars--and won!--she proved that gluten-free can taste just as good as the original. With delicious flavor combinations and unique recipes like Cherry White Chocolate Scones, Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes, and Mexican Chocolate Baked Alaska, this collection of 50 foolproof recipes invites home cooks to whip up sweet treats that everyone at the birthday party, brunch, or potluck can enjoy.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“When Kyra won her episode of Cupcake Wars, she amazed me with her baking technique and flawless execution. I am now convinced that prepared the right way, gluten-free baking can produce a most delectable result, and Kyra’s book is a perfect introduction.”
—Florian Bellanger, founder, Mad Mac NYC, and judge, Food Network’s Cupcake Wars

“Kyra’s creations are the best I have tasted at any gluten-free bakery. Now we have the chance to make her favorites at home? Sweet.”
—Shauna James Ahern, author, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day
“Anyone who swears they can’t eat deliciously gluten-free has never met Kyra Bussanich. Her recipes could make a believer out of the most stubborn gluten-eater around.”
—K. C. Pomering, G-Free Foodie

“Accessible recipes like Triple Berry Cobbler will help inexperienced bakers make deliciously simple desserts with confidence, while more intricate recipes like Lilikoi Chiffon Pie will challenge the budding pastry chef in all of us to rise to any special occasion!”
—Jules Shepard, author, Free for All Cooking

“Decadent and delightful, Sweet Cravings is a treasure trove of both classic and innovative new recipes fit to contend with even the most voracious sweet tooth.”
—Olivia Dupin, author, The Complete Guide to Naturally Gluten-Free Foods

Library Journal
Bussanich, the first gluten-free winner of Food Network's Cupcake Wars, owns Kyra's Bake Shop in Portland, OR. In seven chapters (e.g., "Muffins and Scones," "Cobblers and Crisps," "Brownies," and "Bar Treats"), she shares gluten-free recipes she developed after being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. Once readers have stocked a pantry of gluten-free baking staples (e.g., millet and rice flour, potato and tapioca starch, xantham gum), they can re-create treats such as apple crisp, peanut butter truffle crispy bars, and African yam cupcakes with relative ease. VERDICT Bussanich's gluten-free desserts, which prize taste and presentation, are not at all conciliatory. They will tempt all dessert lovers, regardless of lifestyle.

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Read an Excerpt


Superior Gluten-Free Baking

Are you like me—a “nourisher”? Someone who enjoys creating things that make a real difference in others’ lives? Do you enjoy making people happy—through food—and coming up with something that at once elicits oohs and aahs and makes their day?
Well, this book is definitely for you. It’s an opportunity to do all this—and much more. 
When I appeared on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, one of the judges—to my surprise and delight—called me the “inspirational ‘It Girl’ for gluten-free baking.” And I’m bringing that inspiration to this book so that you, too, can wow your friends and family “judges.” With these recipes as your guide, you can create light, fluffy cakes, buttery scones, rich and impressive ice cream desserts, silky tiramisu, and more. 
But, more importantly, this book is to help you discover that gluten-free baking can be tastier, better textured, and more appealing than traditional wheat-flour baking, and to make it easy for you to share your baking passion with those who eat gluten-free and still create addicting desserts for those who don’t. 

I think there’s something magical about creating desserts that
•           bring people together, so everyone can share the same special sweets
•           are safe for your family and guests to eat, regardless of whether they
            have a diagnosed gluten allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance 
•           taste even better than “regular,” gluten desserts, meaning that you can 
            indulge and still feel healthy afterward
And I’m going to share this magic with you.

Makes 12 servings (unless I’m one of the twelve: in that case, this recipe will serve 2)

There are many types of strawberry shortcake—biscuity, pound-cakey, angel food–cakey—but they all have two things in common: the lightly sweetened berries and clouds of whipped cream. I have always preferred the biscuity type, and often made these for dinner when I was in college. I couldn’t afford to buy groceries for both dinner and dessert, so, like a good little future pastry chef, I often just skipped dinner (bet you aren’t surprised). 

The biscuit bottoms of this shortcake provide crunch and melt-in-your-mouth butteriness and make you feel as if you’re eating something vaguely healthy. I like my fruit to taste like fruit, so the berry mix has minimal refined sugar; I use orange juice for natural flavor and sweetness. The whipped cream is the kicker—if you’re like me and really like whipped cream, then double the amount called for. You can make the shortcakes up to a week ahead of time—just freeze them in an airtight container. Simply refresh them in a 300°F oven for 3 to 5 minutes. This is a fantastic dessert for summer dinner parties when strawberries are in their sweetest and juiciest prime. 
3/4 cup / 110 g millet flour
1/2 cup / 89 g rice flour
1/2 cup / 67 g tapioca starch
1/4 cup / 47 g potato starch
2/3 cup / 151 g sugar
1 tablespoon / 14 g baking powder
2 teaspoons / 7 g orange zest
1 teaspoon / 4.7 g salt 
1/2 teaspoon / .5 g xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon / 1.2 g baking soda
6 tablespoons / 76 g butter, cold and cubed
3/4 cup / 178 ml heavy cream
2 tablespoons / 30 g sanding sugar, for topping
            Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

To make the shortcakes, mix together the flours, starches, sugar, baking powder, orange zest, salt, xanthan gum, and baking soda. Using your fingertips (or a food processor), mix the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse pea-sized crumbs. Add the cream and combine just until moistened. Spoon 12 golf ball–sized lumps 3 inches apart on the baking sheet and press gently to flatten. Shortcakes will spread during baking. Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of the topping sugar over each shortcake and bake until lightly golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 12 to 18 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and let cool completely. 

Rinse and drain the berries. Slice off the stems and cut into 1/4-inch slices, or cut in half before slicing if the berries are very large. Place the sliced berries in a bowl, sprinkle with the sugar and the orange zest, and gently stir to coat. Pour the orange juice over the strawberries and chill until ready to serve, up to 4 hours. 

To make the whipped cream, chill a mixing bowl and add the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and orange juice. Whip on medium-high speed until thick and fluffy and medium peaks hold.

To serve, place one shortcake at the bottom of a small bowl. Stir the berries to mix them up with the juice, and divide the berries and the juice among the bowls. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of the berry stack and devour!

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Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just received this book and devoured it. Very readable. Much more than just a bake book, the author relates inspirational story of her diagnosis with an auto-immune disease, going to a first-rate baking school (after college) and having to figure out how to be able to bake what she herself could eat, gluten-free. Kyra Bussanich has twice won the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, the only Gluten-Free baker to do so (and given no handicap, competing on flavor and texture and creativity against “regular” flour bakers.) She’s the only Gluten-Free winner to date. I was super impressed both with her “can-do” approach and her creative use of flavors that I wouldn’t have thought to put together. I enjoyed her stories and introductions to each recipe, a very personal approach. And found the sections on her experiences competing on Cupcake Wars fascinating. Because I live near her physical bake shop, I can attest to how incredibly delicious is her baking. I’ve tried lots of items, including many in this book. And, though my wife is Gluten-Free, I’m not; still the best baking I’ve personally eaten, GF or not (many experts,from the quotes on the back of the book, seem to agree. Among the best parts of the book are the numerous “secrets”/keys to delicious GF baking. While I don’t purport to be an expert baker (or even close), this book seems to a lot for a lot of people (recipes are coded for 3 levels of ease/challenge.) I highly recommend Sweet Cravings as a groundbreaking, highly readable book.