Gluten-free is the new fat-free. Thirty million Americans are gluten-intolerant or have a gluten sensitivity, eliminating it from their diets because gluten-a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley-has been implicated in health issues ranging from respiratory problems and abdominal discomfort to anemia, anxiety, and infertility. The food industry has bullishly taken notice. Gluten-free baking products, including cake mixes from Betty Crocker, King Arthur, Whole Foods, and others, have increased sevenfold on grocery shelves in recent years, and the number of other gluten-free products has grown as well-832 were introduced in 2008 alone. And gluten-free options are on the menu of national restaurants like Boston Market, Chili's, Ruby Tuesday, Outback Steakhouse, and others.
Now comes even sweeter news for people looking to cut gluten from their diets: Anne Byrn shows how to transform gluten-free cake mixes into 76 rich, decadent, easy-to-make, impossible-to-resist desserts. Performing the magic that's made her a bestselling baking author with over 33 million copies of her books in print, she doctors mixes with additions like almond extract, fresh berries, cocoa powder, grated coconut, cinnamon, lime zest, and more-naturally, all gluten-free ingredients-and voila: Tres Leches Cake with Whipped Cream and Summer Berries, Almond Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Chocolate Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Ganache, Caramel Melted Ice Cream Cake, Warm Tarte Tatin Apple Cake, plus brownies, bars, muffins, and cookies. Dessert is back on the menu.