Frederique Jules, Jennifer Lepoutre & Mitsuru Yanase (Murdoch Books) 2014, 158pp, RRP $29.99

My criteria for a good cookbook includes: ingredients lists that don’t take up the whole page; and ingredients that are mostly already in my pantry, but include a few new or unusual ingredients to broaden my horizons and teach me something new.

Good Without Gluten ticks both these boxes. The recipes are some of the most popular from the author’s Parisian store, NoGlu. Cooking methods are straightforward and fool-proof for any cook with basic kitchen skills, and the outcomes…well, divine. I lent Good Without Gluten to a very experienced gluten-free home cook I know and she declared the Chocolate Muffins the best she’d ever made. Her guests all agreed. The texture was lovely and the taste…oh, so chocolaty! Good Without Gluten - Murdoch Books - The Clothesline

The dessert and afternoon tea recipes (chocolate chip cookies, lemon cake, raspberry-pistachio friands, brownies, vegan chocolate cake, pecan pie, pineapple-mango crumble, just to name a few) will delight any sweet tooth.

The breakfasts will also delight the sweet-toothed among us. Do the French really eat banana cake, carrot cake and pear-almond muffins for breakfast? Well, if it’s good enough for the French…

I must admit to being a little perplexed by gluten-free cookbooks that spend many pages on main meals that are basically already gluten-free (or extremely easily adaptable to gluten-free) and Good Without Gluten does this too, but in this case the recipes are interesting enough to warrant their inclusion. Meals such as black risotto with squid, smoked duck and caramelised leek quiche and a divine vegetarian lasagne make these pages worthwhile.

The stylish design and sturdy hardcover add to the charm, and the French influence offers a welcome point of difference to other gluten-free cookbooks on the market.

This title is available through the Booktopia website: Click here to purchase your copy.

Lynette Washington

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