Almond Tort

I found this recipe on line somewhere for an almond cake but it was in British measurement and oven temp. I did some math and measuring; a lot of number changing and a bit of guessing. I gave it a whirl; made some minor changes to amounts, simplified a bit and added some almond extract for more flavor. And it turned out so delicious.   More of a torte in my mind so that’s what I am calling it. Next time I think I will use a slightly smaller spring-form pan; an 8 inch rather than the 9 inch I made it in.  That will make it thicker; might have to bake it longer. Otherwise; perfect dessert treat: tender with a delicate almond flavor. The coconut is a back note but I liked it in there. Just sweet enough for us. You can add another quarter cup of sugar if you are mad for sweet…

I wasn’t planning to blog this so I took no pictures. This is the last slice left 24 hours after it was baked. Went fast…definitely a keeper recipe! Next time I will snap a shot of the whole torte and some pictures of the process of making it.

almond torte slice3

Almond Torte – serves 6-8

Ingredients:

11 Tbsp. butter; melt it and let it cool to room temp. Plus a tsp. to butter the pan.

1 ½ cups almond meal plus a Tbsp. to coat the buttered pan

2/3 cup sweetened coconut, flaked

¼ tsp. sea salt

1 cup sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. almond extract

3 Tbsp. sliced almonds

DIRECTIONS:

Place shelf in center of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the 11 Tbsp. of butter and let it cool. I did that in my microwave. Butter (1 tsp butter) a 9 inch spring-form (8 will work too) on bottom and first inch and a half up the sides and then dust with almond meal; about a Tbsp of almond meal should do it.

Mix almond meal, coconut, sea salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl beat the eggs until frothy; add almond extract and vanilla extract. Add the cooled butter. Mix. Add to dry ingredients. Mix well with whisk. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top evenly. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Top should spring back lightly when touched, lightly browned. You can dust with powered sugar but I liked the look of it plain. Guessing it could be yummy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Cover to store leftovers; doubt they will last long. Enjoy!

Originally published in spring of 2019

Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins

My love for snacking muffins unfolds further…what new flavor shall I make?  Turning to my trusty basic muffin recipe I went for a sweet treat; chocolate chip muffins. They are a riff on my blueberry muffin recipe. If you are wondering why I am posting yet another muffin recipe: homemade muffins are lots cheaper than commercially made GF muffins plus they taste so fresh and oh so tasty. I walk right by all those pricey gf snack bars and cookies; knowing that in my freezer is a zip-lock bag full of luscious muffins that defrost to taste as though I made them that morning.

This batch of muffins was delightful: delicate texture yet with a great crunch and the lightly chocolate flavor from the mini chips.  I cut back on the chips a bit so they are not too heavy or too chocolaty. The walnuts also contribute to the crunch and add a subtle nutty taste.  I added a bit of cinnamon which pulls it all together.

The streusel topping gives a great look and adds texture and flavor.  I messed up my topping this batch; had to sprinkle melted butter over them after topping. Still yummy but they are slightly bald on top as a lot of the oats didn’t stick properly due to my error.  Next time they will be perfect. And there Must be a next time as these sweet treats are awesome!

I love how healthy these muffins are compared to commercial gf muffins, no preservatives, chemicals or weird ingredients I would never bake with.  Try them and see how eating gluten free can be so easy when you bake your own snacks. As always I freeze those I won’t eat in two days time; a zip lock freezer bag works great.

corn 009

corn 005corn 007corn 006corn 008

Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below) or King Arthur Basic GF Flour blend

2/3 cup granulated sugar  or granulated coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. xanthan gum

¼ tsp. salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

2 large eggs

½ cup milk, 1 or 2 percent plus 2 tbsp more if you use the palm sugar

½ cup canola oil

—————-

Topping: Mix the following in a bowl, add the butter last after you stir it up a bit: use a spoon to blend. Set aside while you make the muffin batter.

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/3  cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. almond meal

¼ tsp. cinnamon

3 tbsp. butter, melted

——-

Muffin directions: Heat your oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 14-16 muffins.  I got 16 when I made them.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl Add chips and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix.  Combine milk and oil.  Beat in eggs, add vanilla.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir just until blended.  It is a very thick batter.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  I use a big serving spoon and fill it about half way to dump in each muffin space. Sprinkle the top with the topping. Press it in a bit so it won’t all flake off after baking. Bake 21-23 min until golden brown. Do not over bake or they will taste dry.  Remove within 2 minutes from the pans and cool on a rack.  They freeze well for a few weeks: if they last that long.  Keeps in an airtight cookie jar for 2-3 days.  

Originally published in March 2019, no recipe changes made.

Brown Butter Apple Galette

I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit magazine and thought I could make it, just a little simpler and (of course) gluten free. Feel free to check it out on line or in the magazine rack at the library.  http://www.bonappetit.com/

I liked how it looked: the shape of it and all those skinny slices.  What the heck is a galette?  I goggled it and the term can refer to a French free form cake or a free form tart that is sort of between a pie and a tart.  It should be less work than a pie or a fancy tart.  This one is a rectangular shape which I loved.  Not that tough to shape.  You can do it. The hardest part for me was spelling the word correctly for this post!

apple galette 017

For more galette info; check this New York Times article with a great video: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/dining/the-galette-forgives-you.html?_r=0

Anyway, my apple galette was easy to make and gorgeous to look at and even tastier to eat! Impress your family when you toss this together – they will think it took hours to make.  Leaving the skin on the apples makes them easier to slice thin, they hold their shape better and you save time.  Plus you get the bonus of all the fiber and nutrition of the apple skin and right below it.

First, make the crust and chill it a bit while you slice the apples.

GF Tart Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 Tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg, room temperature

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a flat fat rectangle with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), put another piece of wax paper on top and chill it all in your fridge 15 minutes

Baking pan: Spray 10 x 14 inch metal baking pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour or line with parchment paper.

Filling:

3 cooking apples – a pound or a bit more

2-3 tbsp. salted butter

3 tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

Take 2 tbsp. salted butter and heat it in a sauce pan until it is browned, watch closely or it will burn.  Pour it into a small bowl to cool a bit.  It will brown a touch more even out of the pan so take it out at a medium brown.

Wash and dry three firm cooking apples.  I used golden delicious that I bought at an orchard store; Bechdolts Orchard to be exact. Apples are extra fresh when you get them from where they grew. I cut them in half and cut out the core with my knife. Not peeled; the peel helps the slice keep its shape.   I put the cut side down and cut the apple half into skinny1/8 inch slices.  Leave them all close together still shaped like an apple half. Cut them all like that. I ate the end pieces that were rounded or otherwise less than perfect!  apple galette 008

apple galette 007

Roll out the somewhat chilled crust between the two sheets of wax paper into a rectangle; about 10 by 14 inches, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! I use my pie bag as it works great even for weird shapes. Peel off one side of paper and place on pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.

Place your skinny sliced apples skin side up, separating them slightly.  I made two long rows and put a few slices down the sides.  Leave a 1 ½ inch border of crust untouched all around the fruit.  apple galette 009

Pour the brown butter all over the fruit.  Sprinkle with the dark brown sugar.  Fold up the border of dough to form rustic sides; connect at the corners, no need to make it perfect; it is a galette!  Beat the egg well with a small whisk and add the water.  Brush the entire tart shell and fruit with it.  Sprinkle with that spoonful of regular sugar.

apple galette 010

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40-50 minutes until bubbly and the crust is light brown.  Cool at least 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

apple galette 011

I served mine with the time honored tradition of vanilla ice cream, my favorite: Turkey Hill’s homemade variety of vanilla.   It was also delightful all by itself so you can savor the delicate flavors of the apples with the brown butter and brown sugar.  apple galette 017 The original recipe had some fancy whipped cream flavored with a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup; next time! And there sure will be another apple galette this fall. It was tasty and I loved the extra crunch the crust had from the painting of egg wash and sugar.  My pie crust has never been put to better usage nor had better flavor.

Brown Rice Flour Mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

We had this for lunch today; made with empire or Cortland apples; absolutely delightful.  I put 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in the crust before adding the egg. And I used big crystal sugar for the topping tbsp. of sugar.  Even better than last time I made it.

Last posted in 2018; minor text changes made.

Focaccia – Light, Crisp and Delish!

I have made a few attempts at focaccia; some are too bready, some are heavy and it has been rather disappointing. Until now! I just made a great focaccia last week; so fluffy yet crisp on outside and with delicate crumb, really light and a delightful flavor. It is topped with fresh rosemary, grated parmesan cheese, kosher salt and fresh black pepper. I am crazy for it! Best the first day; maybe freeze the leftovers? It does reheat nicely. It makes 2 so you can do 2 12 inch breads or make pizza out of the second half. I have my half in the fridge; making pizza shortly.

Here is the recipe link: https://www.letthemeatgfcake.com/gluten-free-focaccia-bread/#wprm-recipe-container-21

Here are the ingredients if you want to make sure you have them on hand. I had this flour in my freezer but since last week I made a new batch; easy enough if you have a good scale. I love mine; can do grams or ounces and it will zero off the container you put the flour in which is super helpful. This is definitely a white bread flour. I think you could sub in a bit of brown rice flour; it wouldn’t be quite so fluffy but that would add more flavor to the breads you make with it.

Focaccia

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tsp Rapid rise (instant) yeast
  • 1 1/3 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups Kim’s gluten free bread flour blend
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 4 tbsp. Butter
  • 2 1/2 cups Milk
  • 2 tbsp. Parmigiana cheese
  • 2 tbsp. Rosemary, fresh and chopped up
  • 1/4 tsp. Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt

Real Chocolate Mousse — The Easy Way!

This is Valentine’s Day weekend. At my house we had a cozy dinner tonight for two. For dessert I made my chocolate mousse recipe; been making it since college days. I haven’t served it in a while and when we enjoyed our cups of light chocolately deliciousness I wondered why on earth I hadn’t made in the last year or two.  Joe happily took home two of the cups. I used to have a married couple who loved it so much that if either came by without the other and I served mousse and sent one home for their spouse; it never made it there; eaten on the way or shortly after arrival. Sneaky business!

I love that I can whip it up in a few minutes – just a few easy steps; no double boiler necessary or stirring for endless minutes. All you need is a bit of strong hot coffee, some eggs and some chocolate chips. I add a bit of brandy and that makes it special! Be sure to chill it at least 2 hours but preferably 4 before  you enjoy it. I love it with a bit of whipped cream but my favorite is some plain heavy cream, light cream or even half and half poured on top. Delish!

You can sub in some dark chocolate chips for part of the cup of semi-sweet chips. Works perfectly, even mini chocolate chips will do fine.  You could leave out the alcohol but it really deepens the flavor; could use a teaspoon of real vanilla extract for it.

I made this super fast and didn’t stop for any picture taking; the cute blue flowered cup just got washed up after we enjoyed dessert!

Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

3 large eggs, separated

3 Tbsp. sugar

1/3 cup strong hot coffee (I use enough instant coffee for one cup and add it to the 1/3 cup hot water)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1-2 Tbsp. cognac or French brandy

Directions: Heat a kettle of water to boiling. While it does that separate the eggs and put the whites in your mixer bowl. Beat until still; as it gets closer gradually add in the tablespoons of sugar. Set aside. Pour the really hot water into your blender and let stand 1-3 minutes, it warms up your blender container to help melt those chips! Dump out the water and immediately pour in the chocolate chips and the hot coffee. Cover. Turn on blender; run on medium for 30 seconds, leave running and add the egg yolks (through top feed hole) and then the brandy or cognac (best quality you can afford). Blend up to 30 more seconds and then spoon over the merengue and gently fold in until no white streaks remain. My new Blendtec blender made it super thick and creamy in that minute of blending. All depends on your blender’s strength. Scoop into 6 4–6 ounce size dessert dishes. Chill 2-6 hours; preferably 4-6. Serve with whipped cream or just plain cream or half and half. Store any leftovers in the fridge; cover with plastic wrap; keeps 3-4 days tops but never lasts that long in my house. Enjoy!