At Jake’s Cakes, each product must be deliciously gluten free, not “good for gluten free.” If a pastry doesn’t meet that standard, it won’t be on our menu.

So, we invited 20 guests to taste the products we’ve been working on. Only three of the guests were gluten-free. We didn’t ask tasters to evaluate the pastries as gluten-free. We asked them to judge them on taste, texture, appearance, and whether they would buy them or recommend them to friends.

We learned a lot from the feedback. For one, we’ll need to provide a lot of variety. Everyone had different favorites and different opinions. The same cookie was judged “too chocolatey” by some and “not chocolate enough” by others. Some liked lemon, others didn’t. Cupcake frosting was “too sweet” for some and “not sweet enough” for others.

The highest overall ratings went to three chocolate desserts: a chocolate cupcake, chocolate angel food cake, and a chocolate cookie.

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JoAnn Lambkin