I received a copy of Roben Ryberg’s Gluten-Free in 5 Minutes to review. As I looked back, they did say it was a microwave cookbook, and yet my brain skipped over that part. When I realized it was a microwave cookbook, I was positive I would dislike it. I rarely use the microwave. I pretty much only use it to melt chocolate, since a double boiler takes so long. I also am very careful not to microwave in plastics due to possible health concerns. And I love the way my house smells when I’m in the middle of a baking project. You just can’t get that the same way in a microwave!
And yet…many people use the microwave every day. Many people are cooking for 1 or two, or are in a dorm, or they’re in a rush…so I decided to take my ‘food snob’ hat off and give it a whirl. I also really found the concept intriguing, because, well, I’d never really thought much about it before.
Since I’m allergic to egg and almost all recipes were egg-based, DH was the tester. I made the chocolate cake with sorghum, and, as he put it, it looked like meat alternative. Not in a good way. I didn’t frost because I wanted an honest opinion of the cake. The verdict–too chewy, but yummy. DH ate all of it.
I didn’t want to give a unenthused review without a thorough trial, so I opted for the Extreme chocolate cake (picture above). Extreme chocolate–where can you go wrong? He loved it. As I passed by, I remarked that the book said the cake served two…he promptly asked who was going to take it from him.
I planned to make a third, but DH has been away and another close friend is dead set against microwaving. I do want to try out one of the rolls. I’ll have to add it in afterwards to the review.
Overall, I would say it’s really quite a unique concept and absolutely fits a niche of people who want good, quick, easy GF baked goods. Clean up was a breeze–I just popped the dish in the dishwasher, and poof! Nutritionally the recipes were pretty decent, too. Despite my innate love of my oven, I will use this again for DH because it’s easy, he loves chocolate, and I love him.
On the ‘cons’ side, a lot of the ingredients are things we don’t have handy–baby food, orange juice concentrate, apple sauce, etc.
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Just a note about the sorghum-based chocolate cake. Should any recipe turn out “chewy” it is most likely that your microwave is just a bit stronger than the one I used for testing recipes. But this is not a big deal! As noted in the troubleshooting section of the book, the cooking time should be reduced by 10-15 seconds. Thanks for trying the book and sharing your results! While you indicate you can’t have eggs, may I suggest the poached pear recipe for you? It is one of my favorites….even if it is not chocolate! Roben
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I think Roben’s book is great! I just had another almond flour version of her pizza. YUM! The 6-inch size is perfect. 🙂 As you know I’m giving away a copy of this cookbook (and a few others) and many of my readers have it at the top of their wish list. 😉
Thanks for your review, Cheryl! The extreme chocolate cake sounds like a great one. I’ve made flourless chocolate 3-minute cakes before in the microwave. I assume it’s similar. Glad you made your husband happy with it!
Thanks so much for sharing your experience! I’ll have to try it again. And the poached pear will happen as soon as pears come around in season!
Yep, part of the super duper amazing giveaway!
Hi Cheryl, what is the name of that one that is under the Extreme Chocolate cake? It reminds me of my mom’s pancake back when I was still young! Can you tell me how you made it? Appreciate your wonderful posts – Andrea
I just tried doing Extreme Chocolate today using the internet as a source of instructions on how to do it and boy I overdid it! Now no one in the house wants to eat it because its so stiff and burnt, it’s so bitter! I am really not good with these things =( Will try again tomorrow! Try and try until I succeed!
Thank you for the review! I got this book today after a recommendation on ravelry.com. The microwave aspect had me avoiding it previously but after reading through reviews and the cookbook itself, I’m super excited to try it out. Quick food is something I’ve really missed since my celiac diagnosis. I don’t have a lot of the ingredients but for quick yummy food, I’m happy to adjust my pantry a touch.
I checked out this book from the library and we tested the Sandwich Bread, Flatbread, Pizza Crust and Flour Tortilla using the brown rice flour. The only one we didn’t really care for was the flour tortilla, however it was the best of all the gf flour tortillas we’ve tried. I think flour tortillas are one of those things that is really hard to replicate gf, but this one came close. I loathe baking, so being able to make my kids foods they enjoy without having to buy a bunch of specialty flours is amazing. Being a busy mom with two gluten free kids who have to take packed lunch everyday, I am excited to use more recipes in this book!!!