cover image The Diabetic Pastry Chef

The Diabetic Pastry Chef

Stacey Harris. Pelican Publishing Company, $24.95 (272pp) ISBN 978-1-58980-747-1

While training to become a pastry chef, Harris discovered she was diabetic. Rather than hang up her apron, she decided to adapt her favorite recipes for her dietary needs, and the resulting collection will prove a welcome, trustworthy resource for diabetics who had given up on chocolate chip cookies, apple pie and crème brulee. Harris provides sage advice on the properties of various flours, the care and feeding of a sourdough starter, and plentiful consideration of sugar and the unique characteristics of its substitutes (like Splenda). Harris does a terrific job keeping her recipes accessible by offering plentiful options: among 13 recipes for muffins, she includes Two-Ingredient Muffins, which call for nothing more than a can of pumpkin puree and a boxed chocolate cake mix. Not all recipes are so simple (or rely on pre-made ingredients): Harris's tangy Sourdough Pancakes require a starter, and her cheesecake asks cooks to mix and bake their own crusts, rather than simply crushing cookies. Harris' directions are to-the-point and employ easy-to-find ingredients, but she often fails to describe the finished dish, leaving readers to imagine what the final product should look and smell like.