No matter how much I think about it, I cannot remember when I made my first cake. I thought about this in the last several weeks and I cannot tell the exact moment when I start baking.
In my childhood, I was that kid with flour-dusted cheeks wearing a mini apron, and admiring my grandmother or my mother baking from a recipe book older than themselves.
Baking and food were always part of my family and culture. I come from a family where recipes were a long preserved secret and shared only with selected family members…and the selection process was a tough one.
As a child, I had the dedication and patience for cooking and baking, and spend hours in the kitchen. I was fascinated by all the magic that happens in there and after hours of hard work, the cake was finally ready. That is what I thought…but actually, then the pain was just starting. My mother was very strict about this rule…the cake must stay in the fridge for the next 2 days…to get softer she said. When you are 7 years old and you have a big cake in your fridge which you are not allowed to eat…life can be difficult. Still, I cherish this rewarding memory, when I was finally allowed to eat the cake. I remember how much joy the cake was brought to me.
Today, in my kitchen, flavor comes first. Each type of gluten free flour or baking ingredient that I am using in my recipes brings me a lot of great memories full of scents, colors, and textures. My journey to alternative grains and flours began less than 1 year ago. At the beginning I thought that trading the wheat flour for a gluten free one works just fine…actually it turned out to be a disaster. Alternative grains flours add tastes and textures of their own, therefore baking with these flours can be challenging. But with a careful balancing of the right ingredients and with tastes and textures that surpass their wheat counterparts, even the most sensitive celiac or the most ardent sweets lover can be satisfied.
Baking with gluten free flours opened to me a new feast of flavors, textures, and colors I never knew before they exist. These flours are not desirable for their nutritional value only, but also for the aesthetic pleasures – like touch, smell, and taste – they bring new in the kitchen. It’s wonderful to see people eating my cakes for the first time and ask with a surprise on their face…what is this new flavor I am tasting?
I invite you to a journey where we will reinvent delicious and healthy dessert and rediscover the joy of home baking!