Thursday, August 26, 2010

Least Favorite

Sometimes convenience items are not convenient. I don't know if you have tried this item:
But if you have, I'm so, so sorry for you. This IS NOT FROSTING. It is corn syrup goo. It is not spreadable or edible. Blech.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Favorite Things

I thought I'd write a post in honor of my newly GF (maybe temporarily) friend, Jenni. She recently made a ton of desserts for her celiac mom's birthday party and asked for my favorite recipes. Here are my top 4 with my recipe fixes:

#4 Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
My chocolate cake recipe originally comes from this site , The Art of Gluten Free Co
oking, but I tweaked it to make it taste more chocolatey and less GF tasting.

Chocolate Genoise
16 tablespoons (2 sticks or 8 oz.) unsalted butter
4 ounces semi-sweet (62%) quality chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons sweet sorghum flour
2 tablespoons almond flour
5 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons guar gum
8 eggs
1 cup + 2 tablespoon granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray muffin tins with nonstick spray or line with papers.

Combine dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Melt butter and finely chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl using 30 second intervals and stirring very well in between until chocolate is completely melted. Be careful not to overheat. Now pour the butter/chocolate mixture over your dry ingredients, whisk until smooth
and set aside.

In a stand up mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs and the granulated sugar until it is thick and mousse-like in texture, about 5 minutes.

Pour your butter mixture into the eggs and with the mixer on high, whip for 30 seconds. Immediately pour the batter into your prepared cupcake tins and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. The cake should feel like a delicate sponge when touched with your finger. Allow to cool completely in the pan. Resist the urge to eat one straight out of the oven. You'll burn your mouth and it won't really even taste good.

Peppermint Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp peppermint extract
mess of crushed peppermint candies (1/4 cup? to taste)
milk for consistency

In a stand up mixer with paddle on medium setting, beat butter and salt until creamy. Reduce speed and add powdered sugar slowly, scraping down sides of bowl, un
til combined. Add vanilla and mint extracts. Don't skip the vanilla. Add peppermint candies and beat until combined. Add milk until desired consistency is reached.

I like to poke a hole in the top of each cake with my pinky and pipe frosting into the hole as well as on top, but you need a wide tip to do that or the candies get stuck.

For CF, maybe try to alter this? I don't know. I haven't had any luck with CF frosting.

#3 Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips
From this recipe on

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
2 cups sugar (I like 1c brown and 1c white)
2 cups natural peanut butter (nonnatural won't cut it)
4 eggs beaten1 tsp gluten free vanilla (optional)
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Prepare pans by greasing or use parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.
Combine sugar, peanut butter, eggs and vanilla. Mix in chocolate chips. Dough will be very sticky.
Spoon onto prepared cookie sheets. Small cookies work best.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.Leave on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

#2 Brownies
Altered from this recipe at Gluten Free Goddess.

5 ounces finely chopped Belgian dark chocolate
1/2 cup butter or vegan margarine such as Smart Balance (or Spectrum Organic Shortening)
2 organic eggs
1 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 sorghum
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla plus 2 teaspoons peppermint extract for mint brownies)
1/2 cup extra semi-sweet chocolate chips for the top, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line brownie pan with foil and lightly oil the bottom or use nonstick spray.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate at 30 second intervals, stirring in between until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs on medium high till frothy. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth.

Add melted butter/chocolate mixture into the egg/sugar mixture a little at a time - incorporate it slowly- and beat well for a good minute. The chocolate will look smooth and glossy.

In a bowl, whisk the dry ingredients: almond flour, sorghum, fine sea salt and baking soda. Add the dry flour mix into the chocolate mixture and beat well for a minute. Add the vanilla, beat another half a minute or so.

Pour batter into prepared pan and strike pan on counter to even batter out.

Layer the semi-sweet chips all over the top of the batter and press them in slightly, if adding.

Bake in the center of a preheated 350 degree F oven for 33 to 35 minutes, or until the brownies are set. Don't overcook.

Cool on a wire rack; and remove the brownies from the pan by gripping the foil edges. Chill before cutting. Don't eat them hot! They're best chilled.

#1 Pistachio Cake with Honey Buttercream Frosting

I came up with this beaut after searching for a pistachio cake recipe for my dad and finding only recipes that called for 3 (!) cups of flour. I doubt I have to tell any of you that the less flour involved in GF baking, the better. So I altered an old flourless standby instead. This cake is my crowning glory because I DON'T EVEN LIKE PISTACHIOS! But this cake is addictive! If you do like pistachios, you will probably be kissing my feet for this one.

1 cup processed pistachios (Trader Joe's has shelled, unsalted nutmeats)
3/4 cup almond flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.
Process pistachios in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Beat 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer (or use a paddle attachment on a stand mixer) on medium speed until well combined. Add the ground almonds and pistachios and beat on low until combined.
Beat 4 egg whites in another large bowl with the electric mixer (use clean beaters on a hand-held mixer or the whisk attachment on a stand mixer) on medium speed until very foamy, white and doubled in volume, but not stiff enough to hold peaks, 1 to 2 minutes (depending on the type of mixer). Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and gently remove the side ring. Let cool completely.

Honey Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey
milk for consistency

In a stand up mixer with paddle on medium setting, beat butter and salt until creamy. Reduce speed and add powdered sugar slowly, scraping down sides of bowl, until combined. Add vanilla. Add honey and beat until combined. Add milk until desired consistency is reached.

I like to carefully slice the cake after it's cooled to turn it into a layer cake and put a nice, thick layer of buttercream in the middle. Then do a light crumb coat of frosting, refrigerate for at least an hour, and them slop the rest of the frosting on that bad boy and go to town.