Gluten Free Picnic Fun

The end of May was a busy time for the Fruit Tart household — a farewell party, a reception for visiting friends, an end-of-year picnic for preschool, the blog’s birthday, and Tartlet 3’s birthday. For two of these I made trifle. At the end of April I made a trifle with Alton Brown’s angel food cake, but in May I made one with a store bought angel food cake and the other I made a gluten free angel food cake, based on Alton Brown’s recipe and method.

It didn’t have quite the same texture as a regular angel food cake, and it browned faster, but since I was tearing it up to make trifle anyway, the texture wasn’t a big detractor. I thought it had good flavor and because I didn’t use any rice flour there was no grittiness in the texture. I would definitely make this again for gluten free friends, but I might tweak the ratios of flours and use more tapioca and less potato starch or use a little white sorghum. Still, it was very popular when layered with Cool Whip and fresh fruit (strawberries, blackberries, mango, kiwi, and blueberries), and most people didn’t realize it was gluten free.

Gluten Free Angel Food Cake (adapted from Alton Brown’s Angel Food Cake)

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 c. potato starch
1/3 c. tapioca starch
1/3 c. corn starch
1/2 t. xanthan gum

12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
1/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor or blender spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt, starches and xanthan gum, setting the remaining sugar aside.

In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, extract, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to stand mixer. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the starch mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the starch mixture is incorporated.

Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).

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Gluten Free Love

Today was the Valentine’s party for Tartlet 4’s preschool class. There is one sweet little girl in the class who is allergic to gluten and I’m so glad I’ve been able to make a few treats that she can have too, so she doesnt’ feel left out. Unfortunately, last time I wasn’t clear enough about the fact that one tray had regular cupcakes and the other had gluten-free and she had a little bit of a regular one (but only a little bit and didn’t get sick, thankfully).

Determined to make this week’s treat completely gluten-free and wanting to avoid the grit of rice flour, I decided to play with something a little different. I read ingredient lists on packaged gluten-free cake mixes and saw that several listed sorghum, sugar, potato flour, and tapioca flour as the first four ingredients and in that order.  Mine isn’t quite that proportion, and possibly it would have been less dense had I used more sorghum and less potato and tapioca flours.

I modified this Whipping Cream Cake recipe and used a vanilla bean and orange for flavoring. While my result has more of a pound cake texture than the light and fluffiness of the regular whipping cream cake or Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake, it was very good and all my Tartlets liked it. I tried piping some Cool Whip into the center, but the density of the cake didn’t leave much room for filling.

Gluten-Free Whipping Cream Cake (adapted from Betty Crocker, 1969)

1 1/2 c. chilled whipping cream

3 eggs (1/2 to 2/3 c.)
1 vanilla bean
grated zest of one orange or 1 tsp. orange extract

1 c. white sorghum flour
1/2 c. potato flour
1/2 c. tapioca flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 t. xanthan gum
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake tin with paper liners.

In chilled bowl, beat cream until stiff.

Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. Fold eggs, the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean, and orange zest or extract into whipped cream.

Stir together remaining ingredients; fold gently into cream-egg mixture until blended. Batter will be thick and stiff. Spoon into muffin cups.

Bake 20-25 min or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Frost as desired. (I used an orange buttercream.)

Makes 18 cupcakes.

Truffling With Your Affections

Today was the farewell for Mrs. V. The astute reader may remember there was a farewell last fall but only Mr. V. left us for TX at that time. Now their house has finally sold and they will be reunited (*yay!*) but we are sad to see them leave (*boo!*). Once again I wanted to make something that would suit her particular list of allergies. I made truffles.

You may be saying to yourself, “That doesn’t seem allergy friendly at all,” but I made several kinds. I saw some recipes online for goat cheese truffles, from several sources so I don’t have a specific link, and decided to play with that concept a little to make it edible for our friend. For the savory batch I simply copied a recipe I saw repeatedly — smooth some goat cheese around a grape and roll it in ground pistachios, all foods Mrs. V. can eat!

For the ‘sweet’ ones, I used agave syrup for the sweetener and used both unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder to flavor the cheese. I rolled some of these in pistachios and some in cocoa powder.

In addition, I made some non-allergy friendly cold s’mores. I rolled a large marshmallow (small ones would have been nice, if I had some) in chocolate ganache (heat whipping to simmering and add chopped chocolate, stir until melted and smooth), allowing the ‘excess chocolate’ (is there such a thing?!) to drip off before rolling the marshmallow in graham cracker crumbs. I made some ‘regular’ truffles as well.

And now I leave you for a week while we go play at the beach, my most favorite week of the year! I have a little something in store for you next week while I’m gone, so hopefully you won’t miss me too much. 😉

Chocolate Goat Cheese Truffles

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
5 Tbsp. agave syrup
2 Tbsp. canola oil
5 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
12 oz. plain goat cheese

In a small bowl, stir together chocolate, agave syrup, oil, and cocoa until smooth. In a medium bowl, beat the goat cheese for 30 seconds. Add the chocolate mixture and beat well. Roll into balls and toppings of your choice.

Making Mud

Mud Pies, that is. Today is Mrs. V’s birthday and, even if birthday celebrations lose a bit of their thrill after a while (does it peak around age 7?), I think everyone should still get to have cake. When you have a long list of allergies that gets a bit more complicated, but, after the baking success stories from the Ladies’ Retreat, I was feeling confident to tackle a cake-ish recipe.

I made three separate mud pies. One for the people without allergies, one for Crystal without wheat or egg, and one for Mrs. V without gluten, sugar, or chocolate. They look very similar, except the carob one is darkest.

The recipe I used is modified from the General Mills cookbook for kids: Alpha-Bakery (M is for Mud Pie). In each case, I used a 10-inch pie pan.

Regular Mud Pie

3/4 – 1 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. applesauce
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
3 eggs
1 c. chopped nuts (optional — I left them out this time)
1/4 c. Hershey’s chocolate syrup
Cool Whip or sweetened whipping cream

Heat oven to 325 F. Spray a 10-inch pie plate with non-stick spray.

Mix sugar, applesauce, flour, cocoa, salt, vanilla, and eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in nuts, if using. Pour into pan.

Bake 30-35 minutes, wooden pick in center should come out clean but center will be very moist.

Immediately prick holes in pie with a fork or knife, then spread with chocolate syrup. Cool completely.

Spread Cool Whip over top. Drizzle with chocolate syrup, if desired. Store pie in refrigerator.

I reduced the sugar from the original recipe and I think it’s actually even better at the lower range I’ve given b/c the chocolate syrup and Cool Whip add enough buzz. This is definitely a recipe that is easy to reach the ‘sickeningly sweet’ level.

Eggless Mud Pie

3 t. Ener-G egg replacer
4 T. warm water
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. applesauce
1/2 c. spelt flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. xanthan gum
1/4 c. Hershey’s chocolate syrup
Cool Whip or sweetened whipping cream

Heat oven to 325 F. Spray a 10-inch pie plate with non-stick spray.

Mix egg replacer with warm water and stir until smooth and well mixed. Mix sugar, applesauce, spelt flour, cocoa, salt, vanilla, xanthan gum, and egg replacer in a medium bowl. Pour into pan.

Bake 30-35 minutes, wooden pick in center should come out clean but center will be very moist.

Immediately prick holes in pie with a fork or knife, then spread with chocolate syrup. Cool completely.

Spread Cool Whip over top. Drizzle with chocolate syrup, if desired. Store pie in refrigerator.

This came out darker than the one with egg but tastes very similar.

Gluten Free, Non-Dairy, Carob Mud Pie

1 c. agave nectar
3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. sorghum flour
2 T. white rice flour
2 T. arrowroot powder
1/2 c. carob powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. xanthan gum
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
Coffee-carob sauce (see below)

Heat oven to 325 F. Spray a 10-inch pie plate with non-stick spray.

Mix agave nectar, applesauce, flours, carob, salt, xanthan gum, vanilla, and eggs in a medium bowl. Pour into pan.

Bake 30-35 minutes, wooden pick in center should come out clean but center will be very moist.

Immediately prick holes in pie with a fork or knife, then spread with coffee-carob sauce. Cool completely.

Coffee-carob sauce
2 T. canoleo
2 T. carob powder
2 T. agave nectar
1 t. vanilla
strong coffee

In a small pan, heat canoleo, carob powder, and agave nectar, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and add vanilla and coffee to desired consistency.

I’d love to be able to tell you how this tastes but coffee really, truly does make me nauseous and even vomit. 😛 TMI, I know. Sorry.

Sweet Success

Following on the heels of two gluten-free baking successes, I modified yet another Bob’s Red Mill recipe, this one they credit as coming from Cooking Light Magazine.

pineapple carrot gf bars

Pineapple Carrot Bars

1/3 c. honey
1/4 c. canola oil
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. xanthan gum
2/3 c. rice flour
1/3 c. arrowroot powder
2 t. cream of tartar
1 1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. sea salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 c. finely shredded carrot
1/2 c. raisins (sulfite free)
3 Tbsp. rice milk
8 oz crushed pineapple in natural juice, drained

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray a 9″ x 13″ pan; set aside.

Combine honey, oil, and vanilla; stir well. Combine gum, flours, cream of tartar, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir into honey mixture; mix well. Add carrots, raisins, rice milk, and pineapple; stir well.

Spread into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Let cool.

Makes 24 bars.

gluten free bar cookie

They have a soft, cake like texture and are decent enough. The Husband thought it was edible, too! I’m beginning to get a feel for this gluten free baking and may branch out into creating my own recipes soon, but now I need to bake a few regular things for an upcoming student lunch.

Maybe Not-So-Clueless in the Kitchen

Another gluten-free baking success story! Yay! 🙂 I may not be quite ready to create my own recipes from scratch, but I can at least follow, or almost follow, a published recipe with minor modifications. It’s progress, anyway.

gf scone

This is another recipe from Bob’s Red Mill. I made a few changes to this scone recipe.

Raisin Scones (adapted from a recipe by Carol Fenster, Ph.D.)

1 1/4 c. gluten free sweet white sorghum flour
1/2 c. arrowroot powder
1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
3/4 t. baking soda
1 t. xanthan gum
1/4 t. sea salt
1/4 t. nutmeg
4 Tbsp. 100% canoleo margarine
1/4 c. honey + rice milk to bring liquid volume a little more than 1/2 c. (but less than 2/3 c.)
1 large egg
1/3 – 1/2 c. raisins, sulfite free
1 Tbsp. rice milk

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease or spray baking sheet; set aside.

Combine flours, cream of tartar, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and nutmeg. Cut in cold margarine to resemble coarse meal.

Combine honey, rice milk, and egg. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until moistened. Fold in raisins.

Pat dough into an 8″ circle on prepared baking sheet. Cut into 6-8 wedges but do not separate. Brush top with rice milk.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

buttered scone

I tasted one and I thought it was reasonably good.  Not as good as one made with wheat, sugar, butter, and cream . . . but not like cardboard, either.  And no allergic reaction! 😉

Stirred, Not Shaken

Success at last! Or at least, I hope it is, since I didn’t do a taste test. 😉 Here is a recipe I borrowed from Bob’s Red Mill and further adapted to suit Mrs. V’s specific allergen list. It looks and smells like a blueberry muffin. Let’s hope it tastes like one too!

gf blueberry muffin

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins (adapted from Sue’s Rice Muffins)

1 egg
2-3 Tbsp. honey + rice milk to make 1/2 c. liquid
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 c. white rice flour
1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. sea salt
1 t. grated lemon peel (I thought of this addition after they were already in the oven but I think it would make them even tastier)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped walnuts
1/3 c. frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 425 F. Lightly grease a 6-cup muffin tin; set aside.

Stir together all ingredients until moistened. Divide among the muffin cups.

Bake for 17-20 minutes. Allow muffins to cool for 5-8 minutes before removing from tin.

muffins cooling

The original recipe calls for placing the ingredients in a quart jar to mix. James Bond may like his martini’s shaken, not stirred, but I find it easier to stir my muffins in a bowl. Besides, this actually came out fairly thick, not runny, so I think mixing in a jar would be a pain.

rice muffin