SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Alice Medrich is a local James Beard Award-winning author, she’s also known to those with a sweet tooth as the founder of her own dessert shop, Cocolat, which opened in Berkeley in 1976.
She helped put the Herb Caen-dubbed “Gourmet Ghetto” on the map with her truffles the size of an egg. Her 10th cookbook— Flavor Flours, doesn’t have much to do with truffles, but it does have a different take on the gluten-free issue. After all, the sub-heading is ‘A New Way To Bake With; teff, buckwheat, sorghum, outer whole & ancient grains, nuts & non-wheat flours.
Most of the other gluten-free cookbooks are usually looking for chemical and technical ways to get dough to rise when it comes to baking bread or cakes.
Medrich takes a different approach. It begins with a lot of background information and it does address chocolate, which is obviously close to her soul. Chapter one deals with rice. The first recipe is a white-rice chiffon cake, followed by a brown-rice sponge cake with three milk (an obvious take on Mexico’s tres leches cake).
The real appeal here is how she really demonstrates how to draw out the different flavors of all these different nuts and grains. It’s not just a way of making substitutes for wheat flour. It’s also a way of introducing you to new flavors and clever ideas.