Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's that time of year again!

Sigh - every year in Mid-December I go on a hunt for the perfect white or yellow cake recipe for Andy's birthday cake. 

Every year I search and find recipes with great reviews being very careful to make them exactly as written and not do any substitutions since I want them to turn out - and they don't. 

Every year I try my old recipe from when I used wheat flour and substitute gluten free flours and try and create my own perfect cake recipe - and every year I fail.

Andy doesn't really like chocolate - he'll eat it if I force it on him but not always - and for your birthday you should have the cake you want - so even though I have chocolate cake recipes that are great, I hunt for that yellow or white cake that the birthday boy wants. 

I've tried all of the gluten free cake mixes out there and none of them live up to Andy's expectations (and since it is his birthday - his expectations are all that count).  He pronounces each one too gritty or tastes like corn or some other excuse as to why he won't eat it. 

So every year I give up and either make my tried and true chocolate zucchini cake that he will eat or buy a cake from the gluten free bakery. 

This year is no different.  Andy's birthday is just 3 days away and I have tried 4 different recipes. 

I thought this year would be the year - I did some reading on different types of gluten free flour and learned that the rice flour that I use is probably too gritty and that thai sweet rice flour (also known as glutenous rice flour) has a much finer texture and is best for making cakes.  I though aha - that is it - I've been using the wrong flour - so I sought out an Asian market and found the flour.  But alas, the cake turned out gummy and inedible.  I thought maybe I hadn't baked it long enough - even though I followed the directions to a t and the tester toothpick came out clean.  So I made the same cake a second time and baked it until it looked like it was going to burn - and it still was gummy an inedible. 

Big sigh.

It's getting too late in the game to keep experimenting and it is getting costly to keep throwing out these cakes. 

So this year is not going to be the year that I learn how to make a birthday cake that my young man (how did he get to be 14?) will love. 

I guess I'm off to the gluten free bakery.

Friday, October 04, 2013

GFCF Apple Streusel Bread

Gluten and Casein Free Apple Streusel Bread
Chop up 2 apples, set aside

Combine in a small bowl:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon. 
Mix with chopped apples and set aside.
Beat in a medium bowl:
2/3 cup sugar (use more if you want a sweeter bread)
½ cup coconut oil (or use butter or margarine)

Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time.

Stir in 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
Stir in:
1 ½ cups gluten free flour mix
½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using a flour mix that contains it)
2 teaspoons baking powder

Dough will be stiff

Beat in ½ cup vanilla almond milk (or any milk or milk substitute) until smooth.

Pour half of the batter in a well-greased 9 x 5 loaf pan.

Add half of the apple mixture.

Top with the rest of the batter and then the rest of the apple mixture on top.  Pat top apples down into batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Monday, September 30, 2013

GFCF Apple Pie Bars

These are so good.  They are a little labor intensive but they are so worth it.  They are kind of like an apple pie in a pan - so much easier to take to a pot luck than a pie and you can cut yourself a smaller piece if you like. 

Gluten and Casein Free Apple Pie Bars
In a small bowl:
Beat 1 egg yolk (save the white – it will be used later)
Add ½ cup vanilla almond milk and mix well.

In a medium bowl:
2 ¾ cup gluten free flour mix
½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using a flour mix that already contains it)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Cut in 1 cup of your preferred butter substitute – I used earth balance spread.

When mixture looks like coarse crumbs, stir in egg/milk mixture and mix until it forms a ball.  
Divide dough in half.  

For filling:
Chop up 6 cups of apples. 
In a small bowl:
Combine 1 cup sugar (you know I prefer raw organic but any sugar will work) with  6 teaspoons minute tapioca, 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon and ½ teaspoon nutmeg. 
Pour over apples and mix.
easpoon nutmeg. 
Pour over apples and mix.up so the filling sticks up sugar (you know I prefer raw organic but any sugar will

Roll one half out between two layers of plastic wrap (wet the counter before putting down the first piece of plastic wrap so it sticks to the counter and doesn’t move while you are rolling.  Roll out to fit in the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. 

Pull top layer of plastic wrap off dough and invert into pan.  Cut and trim so dough perfectly covers the bottom and doesn’t go up the sides.

Pour apple filling over bottom layer of dough.

Roll out the rest of the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to fit on the top of the apples – it will be slightly larger than the first sheet was.  Pull top layer of plastic wrap off and invert over the top.  Trim to fit perfectly on top.

In another small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar with ½ teaspoon cinnamon. 

Beat reserved egg white with a fork until foamy.  Brush over the top crust (you probably won’t use all of the egg white – just make sure you have covered the entire top crust).th a fork until foamy.  Brush over the top crust (you probably wo'im to fit perf  Sprinkle sugar/cinnamon mixture over top crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour (check after 45 minutes) or until nicely browned and you see juices bubbling. 

Note – this dough can be hard to handle – rolling it between plastic wrap makes the dough easier to handle and easier to move to the baking dish.   Using dairy substitutes may give you differenn egg/milk mixture and mix until it forms a ball.  If

Friday, September 27, 2013

GFCF Apple Fritters

It's apple time!  My tree is full and if you don't have a backyard tree like I do, the orchards are all open.  I made these last night and they were a big hit.  My now teenage son (how did that happen - he was a preschooler when I started this blog) trying to be all funny like a politician takes a bite of one and says "I approve this recipe"! 

Here is my recipe - I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did.

Gluten and Casein Free Apple Fritters

2 large (or 3 medium or 4 small) tart apples, peeled and diced

Combine in a medium bowl:
2 cups gluten free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using a flour blend that includes it)
¾ cup raw organic sugar (use white sugar if you must but it won’t be as healthy)
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt (again use regular salt but it won’t be as healthy)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Combine in a small bowl:
2 large eggs,  beaten
¾ cup vanilla almond milk (or use the milk or milk substitute of your choice)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons coconut oil melted if solid (or use the melted butter substitute of your choice)

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined – do not over mix!

Gently fold in the apples – you want tons of apples to poke out – if they don’t poke out – add more apples. 

Drop a teaspoon full into hot oil (I use a fryer but you could also heat a couple of inches of oil in a cast iron or heavy duty frying pan).  Turn it over when it browns on one side.   Drain on paper towels – cut the first one open and make sure it cooked all the way through – if you still have batter in the middle, make the rest smaller – if it is cooked through, then you are good to finish the batch with that size. 

I think these are perfect as is – but you can dust with powdered sugar when warm or pour a light glaze over them. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Squash and Pumpkin Mini Bundt Cakes

Mini Squash and Pineapple Bundt Cakes

1 1/2 cups flour (I used Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour - but you can use any flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup squash puree
1/2 cup coconut oil (or any shortening or butter or margarine)
2 eggs, beaten
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves

Heat oven to 350.  Sift together the flour, salt, sugar and baking soda.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.  Pour into bowl with dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Pour into greased mini bundt pans (or muffin cups).  Bake 20 minutes or until they test done with a toothpick.  Remove from pan.  Cool. 

Icing is optional.  I used a cream cheese icing (made with Tofutti brand fake cream cheese).