I remember the first time I met Kyra, it was at the 2012 Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Chicago. I was there promoting my first ebook and she was there with samples of her famous truffle brownies. It was friendship at first bite. Over the past couple of years I have had the opportunity to see her take on countless bakers on her 4 appearances on Cupcake Wars and knock out nearly all the competition (She has 2 wins and 2 runner-up finishes under her belt and was the first gluten-free winner on the show).
Her cupcakes aren’t just good for gluten-free, they are damn good. Needless to say, I was crazy excited when I found out she was writing a cookbook. And maybe even a little giddy when she showed off the cover art when I got to see her in February. The book, Sweet Cravings, did not disappoint. Kyra is a trained pastry chef, so she approaches recipes a little differently than us mere mortals. She worked out protein and starch content ratios to make sure that each recipe mimics (or bests) its gluten-filled counterpart.
As you page through the book you will feel urged to drop everything and get to your kitchen and bake. Lush photos (let’s call it what it is, food porn) make you feel like Kyra can help you do just about anything. The book has a very in depth introduction that talks you through the different ingredients she uses and what properties make each ingredient unique. Measurements are included in both volume and metric units, so no matter how you prefer to bake, you will be able to make everything in the book. Unleash your dreams of being a food tv rockstar and start baking some gluten-free cupcakes!
Author: Kyra Bussanich
Title: Sweet Cravings
Format: hard cover, full color center photo section
Buy it or Forget it: Buy it and live out your dreams of Cupcake Wars Domination
Must try recipes: Cannolizelli, Persian Love Cakes with Cardamom Buttercream, Pumpkin Spice Bread
*Read more about my cookbook review criteria.Kyra and I are good friends, and if her cookbook were not super awesome, I wouldn’t review it. I received a copy of the book in PDF form from Kyra and Ten Speed Press provided a physical review copy as well as a copy to give away.
There are multiple ways to enter, the only one you have to do is leave a comment here, the rest are optional but they will increase your odds of winning. The giveaway will end on September 25 at 11:59pm CST.
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup / 113 g sugar
- 1/3 cup / 71 g butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon / 5 g vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup / 122 g sweet white rice flour
- 1/4 cup / 31 g tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon / 5 g baking powder
- 1 (15-ounce) container / 425 g whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup / 71 g confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 1/4 cup / 59 g heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon / 2.6 g cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon / .9 g freshly grated orange zest
- 11/2 teaspoons / .8 g rum
- 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 g vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup / 43 g semisweet mini chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup / 31 g toasted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
- To make the shells, using a stand mixer with a whip attachment, whip the egg whites and sugar until very thick and pale and fluffy. Then whip in the butter and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine the flour, starch, and baking powder. Sprinkle into the egg white mixture and blend well.
- Drop by small spoonfuls onto a heated, greased Pizelle iron. Close the lid and cook 30 to 45 seconds, until no more steam is escaping and the shell is golden brown. Open the lid and immediately shape the shells around a cannoli tube form or a sanitized broom handle. Be careful because the cannoli will be super hot coming off the iron. I use a fork and then drape the shell around the cannoli form. Let the shells cool on the form before sliding them off. It’s helpful to have 4 or 5 cannoli forms so you can continue to bake while the previous batch is cooling.
- To make the filling, mix together the ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, cream, cinnamon, orange zest, rum, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and pistachio nuts.
- Right before serving, fill a pastry bag with the filling (or use a zip-top bag with a corner snipped off) and gently squeeze the filling into each end of the shells. If you fill them too early, the shells will soften and may break. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
- You can make most of this ahead of time and assemble at the last minute: freeze the baked shells in an airtight container and refrigerate the filling until just before you’re planning to serve. If you want to assemble them ahead of time, melt together 1/2 cup of semisweet or dark chocolate and 11/2 teaspoons of butter and use a small pastry brush to gently paint the inside of the shells with the mixture. This acts as a barrier to the moisture, and also adds more chocolate flavor!