Sunday, January 4, 2009

Gluten-Free Cakes and Desserts in East Meadow!

So I was invited by Brian of Sweet Karma Bakery in East Meadow to come sample some of his Gluten Free desserts, and boy was I amazed at what GF items he has to offer! Brian is very knowledgeable in what it takes to make a gluten-free dessert including checking ALL ingredients used (including baking powder/soda and vanilla extract), and cross-contamination issues). On hand the day I went, I was able to sample 5 delicious individual treats! Among my favorite (although all were SO delicious) were the Tiramisu, Peanut Butter and Cappuccino Commotion ones! (see pics). In the display case, the gluten-free items have either a green label or a green sticker on their label. Only gluten-free desserts are put on the same tray as other gluten-free desserts, and they are at the very top of the case. They are in the same case with other non-gluten free items, but nothing is above them, and they are not “cookie” items that would have crumbs and could possibly fall off onto a gluten-free item. When someone orders an item, there are always plastic trays under the item that is on and each dessert is on its own individual foil cup, which is then grabbed and placed directly into the bakery box.

They have thoroughly thought through cross-contamination issues, and although they do not have a dedicated Gluten-Free facility, the baking of GF products is done on the day they are closed, and every piece of equipment is completely washed, cleaned, and sanitized prior to anything GF being made in/on it.

Sweet Karma also makes Gluten-Free occasion cakes! The GF cakes can be made with 48 hours notice, and they come in either GF Chocolate Cake, Yellow Genoise (Spongecake) or an Almond (or) Hazelnut cake. You also get a choice of fillings which include too many to list (but among my fav’s): Cannoli (w/chocolate chips), Chocolate Moose, Fresh Fruit (in season), Vanilla Custard, and Chocolate Pudding. (YUM). For Icing you can choose: Whipped Cream, Buttercream, or Rolled Fondant (Extra cost). Cakes come in a variety of sizes and include a simple artwork. Multi-level cakes and intricate artwork are also available- including tiered wedding cakes! Visit the store to see some of the amazing designs they have done! The order forms for Gluten-Free cakes are on bright neon green forms and say GLUTEN FREE on it, so that it immediately sticks out as a Gluten-Free order! They also usually have frozen Gluten-Free cupcakes on hand, just go in and ask for 1 or 4 to take with you to a party so that you can eat a cupcake along with everyone else (and bring the others home to the freezer)! ;) They keep extra desserts in the freezer as well, so you can go there, pick them up frozen and bring them home to put in Tupperware or freezer bags and place directly into your freezer until you want to use them, when you take them out to thaw!

They also plan to start making pizza crust in Plain, Sesame, and Parmesan.

I am definitely going to order a GF cake for the next birthday we have coming up (I’m getting Canoli filling!) and I will report back on how that is- I almost can’t wait! Too bad my birthday was in November- I’ll have to see if someone else wants a gluten-free cake for THEIR birthday to humor me! (although I’m told that their cakes are so good it’s almost hard to tell- from the taste of the desserts we sampled, they were so good, I would definitely say I could not tell that they were Gluten-Free!)

Sweet Karma Desserts
550 East Meadow Avenue
East Meadow, NY 11554

Gluten Free Play Doh!

The New York Times ran an article on December 24, 2008 "Gluten-Free Child's Play"
about Students at Purdue University who have developed a gluten free alternative to Play-Doh!

Play-Doh, which contains wheat, could be a problem to kids with Celiac, if they put it in their mouth and eat it, or have residual doh on their hands and then eat, creating a possibility of a cross-contamination of their food

New York Times Article: