The other day I recieved a small box from a place I’d not heard of before. GlutenFree Houston in a bakery in Houston, TX that offers many gluten-free baked goods including breads, muffins, cakes and much more. I assumed the package arrived through Delight Gluten-Free magazine since sometimes advertisers send products out for review to writers at the magazine. It turned out that the package was actually courtesy of Gluten Free Dee, aka Dee Valdez. If Dee is involved I can rest easy knowing whatever arrived is worth reviewing.
Inside the box were two small cakes – a Cinnamon Coffee Cake and a Carrot Cake. The Cinnamon Cake had a great texture and was ok, but would have been better for me with a powdered sugar glaze. I wanted to know what the gluten eater in the house thought of it so I let him at the night it arrived. He liked the cake unheated but loved it the next morning after heating it in the toaster oven. He did not think it needed a glaze at all.
The Carrot Cake from GlutenFree Houston was in a word – incredible! I’m talking about the kind of cake you really “don’t want to share even a bite of it with anyone” incredible! The cake was perfectly moist and chock full of pineapple and carrots and coconut. The key for me might be the fact that there is NO rice flour in this particular cake. It contains tapioca and sorghum flours and cornstarch. The cake was simply divine in every way and it would make my Top 5 list of all carrot cakes I’ve ever had – including all gluten versions!
GlutenFree Houston is a totally gluten-free bakery but they also offer many gluten and dairy free options, including hamburger buns, dinner rolls and sandwich bread. The bakery also offers cakes, muffins, cupcakes, gingerbread Cake, brownies and various cookies. All the bakery products are not available to ship, but those living in the Houston area can actually pick up their orders including “take & bake” breads!
The owner of the bakery explains why and how she decided to start gluten-free baking here. She uses higher end ingredients which obviously affects the prices of her goods. One of the main problems we all face is having to pay more for our food than most mainstream consumers. However, I would rather go without than eat cookies that taste like dirt. It’s still odd to me that so many really terrible things are still on the market, but then when you check the prices, it’s understandable. Just like for mainstream customers, there is a market for every price point on gluten-free goods. The truth is that more people can afford bad tasting cheap products than great tasting expensive ones.
GlutenFree Houston looks like the kind of place I’d be ordering from on a regular basis if I was in the area or anywhere in Texas. The bakery offers FREE shipping on all order over $24 for in state orders. There is a photo of what looks like a pound cake that makes me want to crawl through the computer screen to taste it. Based on the fresh taste of the carrot cake – and the perfect moistness of it – I’m betting any and all cakes from the bakery are stellar.
Special thanks to Dee Valdez and GlutenFree Houston for my tasting samples!