Banana Cake, GF But Delish!

There are desserts I really miss.  Leading a busy life it is hard to find time to bake. My sisters were here to visit for the weekend and I had planned an elaborate dessert; lemon meringue pie. But my taste buds were craving old school banana cake. Of course it has to be gluten free for me. yet it has to taste yummy for all of us. My grandson helped dump in ingredients and he smashed the bananas up with a fork. These were dead ripe bananas I had frozen a month ago and really wanted to put them to good use. Gotta say, this was a wonderful choice! I let them thaw partially before Aiden went to town with his fork. This recipe is simple and I subbed in my favorite all purpose gf flour from King Arthur and it worked great. My family loved the results!

I made the cream cheese icing in the recipe but doubled the vanilla as I like it with more of that delicious stuff!  It was a big hit and really finishes off the flavor of the cake. This is made in a nine inch square cake pan. I did put my cake strips around it as it was browning unevenly.  They helped to even the baking out.  The cake is all gone and I wish it wasn’t….one more slice with a cold glass of milk would have been awesome!

banana cake in pan

Ingredients:

2 cups GF flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup canola oil

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar packed

2 lg eggs

3 ripe bananas

1/2 tsp. vanilla


Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese at room temp

1/4 cup butter softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

banana cake

A big hunk of banana cake.

See recipe at theprettybee.com for directions. If you love banana cake and have to be gf; this recipe is simple and delish! Enjoy.

 

Blueberry Tart with Almond Crumb Crust

Dead of winter…not blueberry season. I know. But sometimes you gotta break the rules for the one you love.  For our Valentine’s dessert…the blueberry tart made him really happy. That makes me smile.  And I know he enjoyed this dessert so much. He left here with two slices; very pleased indeed!

blueberry tarts topped

It’s a very simple and easy recipe with a special almond sprinkle on top of the crumb crust. If you don’t want to get blueberries out of season; try it with cranberries; just up the sugar a bit; maybe ½ to 2/3 cup then. This tart will make 6 generous slices of dessert heaven.

blueberry tart, untopped

bueberry tart unbaked

Angie’s Blueberry Crumb 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

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Directions:

Mix dry crust ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and lemon juice.  Mix briefly until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you mix up the filling and heat the oven.  Then roll out and put in the tart pan.

Filling:

2 pints fresh blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. instant tapioca

Sprinkle cinnamon

Topping:  ¼-1/3 cup sliced almonds

Mix all dry ingredients; pour over fruit and stir up and pour carefully into crust that you rolled out and placed into a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom or an 8 inch pie pan.   Top with the following crumbs:

In stand mixer: ¾ cup brown rice flour mix, ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp. xanthan gum and 1/3 cup cold butter cut into six chunks. Mix until the butter is in fine crumbs well blended with the dry ingredients. I use about 1 ¼ cup of crumbs on top of this tart; you can use as much or as little as you like. Don’t press on them; just lightly sprinkle over top of fruit mixture. Sprinkle with the sliced (or slivered) almonds

Bake on lowest shelf of your oven at 375 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes; should be gently bubbling and lightly browned as to crust and lightly toasted almonds. Let cool and set for at least 1 hours before cutting.  Great with vanilla ice cream. I like it alone so I can savor the delicate flavors together; blueberry/cinnamon/almonds. Delish!blueberry tart baked

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur basic all purpose gf blend)

2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch – not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

The crust recipe is from Annalise Roberts great cookbook, GF Baking Classics, Second Edition. Filling is my easy and quick fruit mix for tarts. Enjoy! blueberry-tart-sliced.jpg

 

 

 

Aldi’s Brownie Mix vs Scratch GF Brownies

Box mixes are generally not my favorites for baking as they can be full of stuff I don’t want to ingest like excess salt, sugar and fats. So I rarely buy them. But recently I bought a gf brownie mix from Aldi’s for less than two bucks. It can be used for chocolate chocolate chip cookies but I made the classic brownies with my box. They came out very tasty. The flavor is that of very dark chocolate and the texture is extra fudgy. They were easy to make and even non celiacs enjoyed their fudgy goodness. brownie mix I tried something different and had my last brownie with flakes of pink Himalayan sea salt on top. The fat ones are the best for this. I do have a big jar of fine grind pink salt from Aldi’s which is great for most uses but not for this; go big and flaky.  I happen to like chocolate with sea salt so I reasoned this could work too and it did. Very nice contrast; try it sometime!

Still, I personally like the scratch brownies I usually make much more as they have the perfect balance between cakey and fudgy. I use top end baking chocolate which gives a superior result. So they rein supreme as the best gluten free brownies I have tasted. Frankly they are even better than my old wheat flour brownies.  Here is the link to my brownie recipe made with the gf flour blend I prefer; King Arthur’s All Purpose GF flour blend: https://myworldwithoutwheat.com/2018/02/14/brownies-to-love/  If you want a great Valentine’s Day treat I suggest this recipe; super easy, super fast and super yummy. They also stay fresh longer than any gf cake I have made.  Tomorrow will be snowy here in eastern PA. Perfect day for baking a sweet treat! Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies and Range Decisions….

 

We baked cookies last Tuesday which was a snow day for both of us. That was fun; my grandson helped form the balls to make chocolate chip peanut butter oatmeal cookies.  Gluten free of course. They were very simple to create and very tasty. Look on pinterest and you should find them! https://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-oatmeal-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies/

chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

They baked fine; yummy mildly peanut buttery…we ate a bunch and then I tried to bake a quiche a few hours later for our supper. Neither oven would turn on, there had been troubles of late; had to run the broiler the other day to get it hot and then oven came on.  No such luck today.  I ended up broiling it in the upper oven which has that capability. Scorched quiche; yummy in the less than black area of it…at least we were able to enjoy a supper before I set out to find a new range. I have gas heat and a gas stove. Love gas cooktop; loved my gas oven a bit less; my now defunct ovens always had a lot of difficulty maintaining a set heat. scorched quiche

I did a lot of research and settled on a Frigidaire one oven with 2 power burners, 5 total burners, grate top for sliding pots from burner to burner and it goes the full top so more room for a big pan. I also wanted self-cleaning and a convection oven. Got that and even a quick preheat cycle. The range got here in only 3 days and it was installed within 30 minutes of the truck arriving.

So far, I love it; nice even heat in oven; holds temp and is certainly not lower than correct temp I set it for. Range top burners heat well and the timer is easy to set. I haven’t tried the convection setting yet but I plan to!  I baked some tartlets; put the shelf down to the very lowest it goes; just above the metal bottom. My tartlet crusts baked perfectly; can be difficult to get a browned crust when baking gluten free pie dough in a regular oven. My old range had a smaller upper pizza oven which was awesome for pies and pizza because of the bottom heat which cooked/browned them perfectly. But double oven equals double the price. Just not doable or justifiable. I got as much range as I could afford and I am very satisfied so far.  My biggest hint for regular ovens: I strongly suggest you bake all pies at the lowest level of your oven for a nicely brown crust.

stove

I think it’s a beauty!!

Do your homework in researching ranges and be sure you are clear on what features you really want so you are satisfied with what you bought rather than wishing for something you might have selected…

Aiden and me

No more scorched quiches or under baked pies. My new range is wonderful and we are a pair of happy bakers!