Who doesn’t love baking? Well, for those of us with multiple allergies such as gluten, egg, and dairy, baking has lost its spark. Often our attempts at re-creating our favourites fail and we are left with an inedible mess. Today, I had my faith in baking restored thanks to Libby at Decadent Alternatives.
Back in 2000, Libby had a friend whose child was diagnosed with multiple severe allergies. Libby wanted that child to be able to attend birthday parties and eat all the party food and not feel left out. A scientific background assisted Libby in being able to create alternative foods which were similar in texture and taste to those that did contain gluten, nuts, dairy, and other common allergens.
Libby started Decadent Alternatives as a handmade gluten free gourmet biscuit company, exporting all over the world. During this time, she developed the recipe for a gluten free bread mix, which a local manufacturer agreed to distribute for her. As the biscuit business finished up, Libby focused on developing and selling the bread mix, now known as Bakers Magic Gluten Free flour, which formed the basis or our class today. Sadly, Libby also went through an incredibly tough period of cancer, and is now in remission. It was after this that she decided to start teaching her baking skills.
A group of ten of us were treated to some amazing baked creations beginning with a gluten free sourdough. Libby taught us how to look after a sourdough culture and how to bake the perfect bread, baguettes and crackers. We were each given enough sourdough starter to take home to bake our own.
We then moved onto making Danish pastry. These worked beautifully and were enjoyed by all in the class. Pizza, quiche, blackberry pie, choux pastry and choc-chip hot cross buns followed, and we were left full and inspired. Libby was very aware of everyone’s individual needs, whether it be adjusting recipes to be dairy free, egg free, or low FODMAP, her knowledge was incredible and informative. I highly recommend her classes for anyone who has issues with gluten, or needs to cook for someone who has gluten issues. Keep your eye out in 2018 for some more classes.
Emily Coupar is passionate nurse, foodie and author and beginner yogi. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Decadent Alternatives