Chocolate Pavlova with Berries

In search of a new version of pavlova…came across chocolate pavlova and decided to give it a whirl; several recipes out there; this is a riff off of a recipe by Nigella Lawson; translated from grams for most part.  I also topped with strawberries; she used raspberries. I am sure both are great options. Use the fruit you have. It was impressive looking and delicious!

choc pavlova minus choco

 

 

meringue whippingchoco being added

Chocolate Pavlova with Strawberries; serves 8

Ingredients:

6 large egg whites

Pinch sea salt

½ tsp. cream of tartar

1 ¼ cup sugar

3 Tbsp. cocoa powder sieved

1.5 tsp. red wine vinegar

50 grams dark chocolate chopped; I used 1 1/3  of two 40 oz bars of Aldi’s dark chocolate

Topping

1 ½ cup heavy cream

2-3 Tbsp. sugar

1 quart box of ripe strawberries sliced and mixed with 1-2 Tbsp. sugar (optional but if they aren’t dead ripe it is a good idea)

Directions:

Prep: Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9 inch circle and flip paper. Chop chocolate with heavy knife, sieve cocoa, separate eggs. Slice strawberries and mix with sugar (if eating same day as making meringue)

Meringue: Heat oven to 360 degrees. Beat the egg whites with salt and tartar until stiff and then add in sugar in slow steady stream. Turn mixer to high and beat until glossy. Several minutes. Add in vinegar, chocolate and cocoa. Fold well. Spoon out onto the parchment paper; try to keep in the circle. Smooth top a bit. Bake in oven center shelf; turn heat down to 300 degrees. Warning: it will get bigger so don’t make it too wide. Bake 55-60 minutes until it looks baked; can be slightly squishy inside.  Cool in oven with door cracked open for about 30 minutes.  Can store a day. I put mine in the microwave to avoid humidity.

choco pavlova with choco

Serve: Beat cream (I like to chill my beaters and the bowl), add sugar; it should be fairly stiff. Pour out on the meringue and top with the strawberries. Can put slivers or curls of dark chocolate on top. Slice and serve. Enjoy!

I have to say it tasted great leftover the next evening.

 

 

chocolate pavlova slice

My slice…yeap; on a paper plate. We were in a senior living room with a tiny sink; paper plates are essential! It tasted even better than it looks here.

Daffodil Cake – Delish Easter Dessert

My resolution this year  (again!) was to eat less cake and I am doing pretty well at it so far but sometimes it is about using the ingredients you have and the holiday that is at hand.  I had egg whites in the freezer and wanted to use them up. Defrost and I have everything else in the fridge or pantry: go daffodil cake. Looks like an angel food cake on the surface but it is an old fashioned confection known as a daffodil cake.  The insides have some white and some yellow cake. I found the recipe in my 1970s Betty Crocker, a great standard cookbook I would never want to be without.  Was making it for many years before my diagnosis with celiac so once I got comfy baking gf I figured I could make it gf and it is perhaps even better than it was with gluten based flour.

I make them on occasion for my mom who is a big fan of said cake.

She is still not sure I am making it gf but it is totally gf and totally delicious.  daffodil cake, french apple tart 014

So all you gluten free disbelievers, this cake will change your mind. It is tender, moist and delicately flavored, not to mention very pretty and perfect in spring for Easter.  It is after all, a daffodil cake and spring is the only time in the year they bloom. Make some now folks! It makes a wonderful birthday or party cake; you could put a thin vanilla powdered sugar glaze on top to make it fancy for such an occasion.

Notes: I save egg whites; in a Tupperware container in the freezer, until I have a cup of them.  Then I am ready to put this beauty together. Or just use enough eggs to make a cup of whites. If you don’t have guar gum you can use xanthan gum.

A few words on separating eggs: this can be tricky and I have learned from bad experiences not to separate directly into the measuring cup full of whites; do it into a small bowl and dump. You can NOT get ANY egg yolk in the whites or they won’t beat properly.  Best to set any egg that breaks or becomes contaminated with even a speck of yolk aside and make an omelet for supper! I crack each egg on the edge of my counter, split its shell in half and dump it over one cupped hand. The white flows through into the bowl underneath and I drop the yolk into the mixing bowl. Be gentle so the yolk does not break  Don’t use old tired eggs or the yolks are more likely to break; fresh is best but they need to come to room temperature before cracking so the whites beat to a high volume.  FYI: When baking gf all ingredients should be room temperature unless the recipe tells you otherwise.

Put the yolks in the medium mixing bowl and add those six whites in with the other cup of whites: 1 ½ cup total egg whites.  I know, a crazy lot of eggs in this but remember, no fat what-so-ever! Angel food cake is a good choice for your diabetic friends, or so they say. I just think those folks love a good angel food cake. This cake is even better, a masterpiece of delicate melt in your mouth cakey delight.

Angie’s GF Daffodil Cake

1 cup egg whites (room temp)

6 whole large eggs (room temp)  separated

1 ¼ cup powdered sugar

1 cup brown rice flour blend (recipe below)

½ tsp guar gum

1 ½ tsp. cream of tarter

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

½ tsp. almond extract

1 cup granulated sugar

 

Directions:

 

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Put baking rack on second slot from the bottom.  You need a ten inch tube pan with removable bottom, do not spray.

Mix and sift the powdered sugar, flour, guar gum in a bowl at least once.

Pour the egg whites (should add up to 1 ½ cups) into a stand mixer bowl, add cream of tarter and salt.  Start at medium speed.  Beat until foamy, increase speed until high, wait for soft peaks and add cup of granulated sugar a tbsp or two at a time as it beats.  No bowl scraping or stopping.  Beat at highest speed until you have stiff peaks.  Beat briefly after adding the two flavoring extracts. Set aside.

In small bowl beat the 6 egg yolks about 4 minutes until thick and lemon yellow colored.

Fold the flour mixture into the egg whites, I do about a quarter cup at a time sprinkled all over the top and I fold it with a spatula or spoonula.  Be gentle and smooth; don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly smoothly mixed.  Put about half of the mixture into a separate large mixing bowl.  Add the beaten egg yolks; gently fold until it is pretty well blended.

Put big glops of the plain mixture into the baking tube pan; I like 3 big ones.  Put three big glops of the yellow blended mix between them. Top with more glops of the mixes, using it all up.  Gently stir through the pan with your spoonula to swirl it a bit and smooth the top with the spoonula.

Put into preheated oven, bake 35 minutes, until when you press gently on the top it springs back.

Remove from oven, turn it over and hang on an empty wine bottle neck or a big funnel. Let cool totally in this upside down state before cutting it out of the pan. I use a sharp serrated bread knife, cut around the outside edge and the center tube. Lift it out and then slice under the cake all around.  Place a cake plate over the top and gently flip it. daffodil cake, french apple tart 014

I store it in a plastic cake saver or just in the microwave away from breezes and hungry folks.  You could wrap it in plastic wrap too. It is best eaten within 3 days.  It generally doesn’t last that long around here.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix 

(This mix is the same as King Arthur’s basic gf blend)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

This recipe is my variation on the angel food cake you will find in Annalise Roberts’ Gluten-Free Baking Classics cookbook.   This post was first published in April 2016.

Almond Torte for Dessert

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:

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

Melt the butter and let it cool. I did that in my microwave. 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 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!

 

Kitchen Sink Muffins – 2.0 Version

This healthy muffin is my own most recent mixture of muffin recipes from Annalise Roberts’s wonderful cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics and some morning glory muffins I saw somewhere, maybe King Arthur Flours.  They are breakfast muffins so not that sweet, great texture and totally yummy.  I also love them for snacks. They are healthy; more fruit and no sugary topping.  If you want to add extra sweetening use my oatmeal topping from my chocolate chip banana muffin recipe.  This time I used chopped apple, pumpkin puree, craisins and big curls of dried coconut; great combo!

Because they lose moisture if they sit around I freeze any I won’t eat in 2 days; I love using a Ziplock freezer bag for this but cool them first.  Label carefully with date and contents…be sure to eat them within a month.kitchen sink muffins and spring flowers 001

kitchen sink muffin 001

Kitchen Sink Muffins 2.0

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

2/3 cup finely shredded carrots or 2/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 c finely chopped fresh apples

½ c flaked coconut (I used unsweetened big curls this time)

½ c craisins or raisins

½ c walnuts, chopped (optional)

2 large eggs beaten

½ c plus 2 Tbsp. milk, whole or 2 percent

½ c canola oil

Directions:

Heat oven to 375, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes 15-16 muffins.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl

Add fruits and nuts; stir to coat them with dry mix

Combine milk and oil, beat in eggs.  Add liquids to big bowl; stir until blended.  Note: If you used regular sugar you will need to leave out the extra 2 tbsp. of milk.

Fill muffin pans 3/4 full.  Bake 20-24 min until golden brown. Do not overbake or they will be dry.  Remove immediately from the pans and cool on a rack.   Freezes well for up to 3-4 weeks and keeps in fridge (well wrapped) a few days.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally published in March 2016; minor recipe changes.

 

Fruity Scones – GF and Delightful!

Scones are a guilty pleasure; full of butter and what ever yummies you folded in. My friend Josh was stopping by and I wanted to make a treat for us. Scones aren’t generally something I make just for me. So these were a special delight in the late afternoon. The recipe was new to me and came off the King Arthur Flour website. It is super easy and definitely a keeper.  https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gluten-free-scones-recipe

Use whatever drop ins you want; I used a mixture of dried berries and cherries, plus some dried cranberries and a good sprinkle of currants.  Plus some orange zest and a touch of lemon extract.  Go with flavors you like and dried fruit/nuts in your cupboard.  I made 10 smaller ones but the original recipe was 8 big fat ones. You will surely impress anyone eating these scones.

scones

The rear one is more of a wedge shape. The others were made in an old tin muffin pan; great browning in that pan….

Fruity Scones –

makes 8 big ones or 10 smaller scones

Ingredients

1 ¾ cup King Arthur Basic All Around gf blend (the mix I use all the time)

¼ cup sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. xanthan gum

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. nutmeg (skimpy)

Sprinkle cinnamon

1 stick cold butter

Grated zest of one small orange

¾ cup of dried fruit; cut into ½ inch dice. I used mixed berries/cherries, currants and dried cranberries; go with any mixture you have

1/3 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

½ tsp.  lemon extract or 1 tsp. Vanilla

Directions: Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, I used my stand mixer. By hand is do-able. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 10 muffin cups or a sectioned scone pan or a baking sheet.

Cut stick of butter into about 10 thin slices, blend into flour mixture. (You can use a pastry cutter to blend in the butter or even a butter knife but the stand mixer is super quick and easy.)  Grate the orange rind into the blend. Blend in the dried fruit briefly. In a small bowl mix milk, eggs and extract.  Pour into the dry mixture and blend briefly; get all dry stuff mixed in. Do not over mix. Using a big serving spoon just blop big chunks of the dough into the sectioned scone pan or muffin cups or onto baking sheet; if you do the sheet you could shape them into the traditional wedge shape. [The original recipe says to let them rest 15 minutes at this  point… before baking; forgot to do this; next time!] Sprinkle with coarse finishing sugar if you like and I do. About a tablespoon is plenty to spread around. Bake 15-20 minutes until light brown. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Butter can be applied (a certain friend seemed to enjoy that embellishment!) but I found them rich enough all alone.  Enjoy!

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