Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gluten-free Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

Jason loves doughnuts. Not just any old doughnut though, high quality doughnuts. In fact he is a doughnut connoisseur. He has a particular weakness for Dynamo doughnuts, and luckily it is just a few blocks away from a favorite Mexican market and Humphrey Slocombe ice cream. Lots of reasons to hit that part of town. When we stop by Dynamo, Jason and Isaiah happily nosh on the creative flavor du jour, while Aaron and I have to dream of ice cream instead. I know there are worse things in life than having to eat ice cream instead of doughnuts, but my little Celiac boy has never had a proper doughnut. Nor can he enjoy the unique flavors that Dynamo has to offer. So, we are on a doughnut quest. Consider this post installment one. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chicken and iffles

There is a wondrous, lesser known cuisine for the gluten-free diner - South Indian. So many wonderful flavorful options, like dosas and idlis. These are made with a batter of slightly fermented ground rice and urad dal (lentils). Dosas are made into thin crispy crepes typically filled with a dry potato curry, but they also make them filled with all sorts of things - even jack cheese at one local South Indian restaurant! Idlis are steamed in small metal bowls. When done right and fresh, these are pillowy, moist and tangy. Both are typically served with a thin soup called sambar and a variety of chutneys.

Around here, our Indian groceries all sell dosa and idli batter already made. One of these days I will attempt to make the batter but we can't keep from buying the premade batter for quick weeknight meals. One night I was spooning the batter onto my nonstick pan, and carefully using the back of the ladle to concentrically spread the batter as thin as possible. It takes a bit of time, as dosas are best when they brown, but my kids were eating through them faster than I could make them. So, I gave up and just threw some batter in the waffle iron.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Daring Cooks September 2010: Pickled Beets

I have a love/hate relationship with canning. At least I did before this month's challenge. We canned a lot as I was growing up, and it would often fall right around my birthday. I hated spending hours trimming worm holes out of pears, even though I did love the resulting goodies. I didn't like any canned fruit except the goods put up by my family.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday Dinner, September 12, 2010

I always make two birthday desserts. I have a sweet tooth, what can I say? One is a cake, more homey and festive. The other is a plated dessert. One is almost always chocolate, and the other fruit. Chocolate and cake were covered with the Sweet and Salty Pretzel Cake. So, I began dreaming up my plated fruit dessert.

There is something about figs that are very intriguing. Honestly, they are often lacking in flavor, but when they are at their peak they are amazing. Roasting the figs concentrates the flavor and helps to bring out the sweet, fruity, figgy lusciousness. The figs are paired with another lovely cake, and olive oil torte. And its dairy free too. But I couldn't keep the plate dairy free of course, augmenting the plate with a lovely lemon ice cream, scented with a touch of goat milk yogurt and almond. Yes, it was as good as it sounds...

  Chilled tomato, habenero soup
Heirloom melon salsa
Filet of beef with Point Reyes bleu cheese, porcini mushrooms
Zucchini, potato, fennel and chevre

Almond scented olive oil torte
Roasted figs and strawberries
Lemon almond goat ice cream, verjus caramel, toasted almonds 

Almond scented olive oil torte
Adapted from Gourmet 
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 5 large eggs, separated, reserving 1 white for another use
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease springform pan with some oil, then line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Oil parchment.
  2. Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1 1/2 teaspoons and whisk together with almond meal and flours. Halve lemon, then squeeze and reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
  3. Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with the whisk attachment at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil (3/4 cup) and reserved lemon juice, beating until just combined (mixture may appear separated). Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture (do not beat) until just combined.
  4. Beat egg whites (from 4 eggs) with 1/2 teaspoon salt in another large bowl with cleaned whisk at medium-high speed until foamy, then add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.
  5. Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
  6. Transfer batter to springform pan and gently rap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of pan and remove side of pan. Cool cake to room temperature, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment, then transfer cake to a serving plate.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me....Gluten-Free Sweet and Salty Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Cake

I can't decide if I am a cake or a pie person. Honestly, I think pies call to me more often than cake, but there is something about the look of cakes, cupcakes, and the process of making them that I just love. I love to bake cakes, but I don't get to do so often. When birthdays come around I always think "cake"

I have wanted to try this Sweet and Salty Cake from Baked in NYC for quite sometime. I love salted caramel and chocolate, and have playing with the idea of pretzels in dessert lately. Gluten-free pretzels actually taste pretty much like regular pretzels, and as such are a great option for dressing up gluten-free goodies.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Gluten-free Baked Mac and Cheese

In case any company wonders if all those vendor fairs are worth it...

A few years ago, Aaron ate plenty of homemade mac and cheese. I grew up on the stove top variety and of course, in the spirit of passing on the tradition, I made it for my kids. I bought some boxed gluten-free mac and cheese once for him and he put a spoonful into his mouth, chewed and looked up confused, "Mom, it looks like cheese, smells like cheese but it doesn't taste like cheese." He just was not a box mac and cheese kind of kid.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Buttermilk Peach Pie with Spiced Oat Crust

Sometimes baking can be a compulsion. Last Sunday I played with adapting Christine Tosi's oat crust to a gluten-free from suitable for other fillings. I had made it once using a slightly different version of the recipe to make gluten-free crack pie. This time I wanted to put a buttermilk pie inside, but it didn't go as planned. It tasted good, but the buttermilk filling soaked into the crust. This time around I took a different approach to make a chilled filling, and…success…

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sunday Dinner, August 29, 2010

It is amazing how whimsical children's tastes can be... Then again it is amazing how easily I can change those tastes. A couple of weeks ago I was dealing with the multi-child dinnertime meltdown. Kids were hungry, screaming, and I went outside to flip the chicken on the grill... we're out of gas, midstream. Uggg - so I grab the chicken and put in desperation throw it under the broiler. It was not pretty, and the kids declared that they hated chicken.

For Sunday dinner this week Jason smoked up some lovely chicken in an Asian inspired marinade. Isaiah declared he didn't like chicken and didn't want any. Of course, when I gave him a bite of mine he suddenly declared that he loves chicken. It is a good thing that Jason is around to properly cook meat for them!