Posts Tagged ‘baking’

The (mostly) organic, completely #glutenfree banana nut bread

May 15, 2013

For Christmas, a friend gave me a 5 pound bag of Jules Gluten Free Flour. She swore by it. I’ve had enough total failures in trying to find the “correct” gluten free flour for baking simple things like banana bread that I’ve all but given up. I’ve had that once in a blue moon craving for banana bread and thought, why not. I mean, worse case? I toss it after making it. This is a modified recipe from Simply Recipes.

4 medium slightly overripe bananas

1/3 (5T) melted Cabot unsalted organic butter

3/4 c of raw sugar (it’s a bit ‘less’ refined than the normal white sugar). Making it again, I’d debate about dropping it to between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup

1 medium egg beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c walnuts

The original recipe says your don’t have to use a mixer. For me? Meh. I’ll use a mixer the next time just for the simplicity of not have 3 kitchen tools, a bowl and a measuring cup to clean up.

Mash the bananas, stir in the butter. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla. Blend. Sprinkle in baking soda. Mix in flour.

Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour. Mine turned out moist and a bit browner than normal because of the use of the raw sugar.

This recipe is a keeper for the foodie files.



It’s all about the Piecaken

November 25, 2012

Looking for a strange new challenge to go after for a Thanksgiving potluck and a few hours of conference calls to do reasearch, I found an interesting concept: the piecaken.  Apparently, this trend has come out of the missionary community: I’m not sure what to say on that one either theologically or politically so I’ll let each of my 12 readers decide independently.  What I found was a decided lack of directions except for a list of “nots” and the idea to use pre-made cakes.  Look, if I’m going to bake a pie in a cake, the pie is going to be from scratch.

The concept is pretty self-explanatory: bake a pie into a cake; a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving.  After scouring the blogs, I decided that the one aspect made-from-scratch piecaken creators all lamented was a berry pie.  After playing with flavor profiles, I decided to do a coconut pie and chocolate cake.

The coconut pie was a breeze to make: the recipe didn’t say but I poured into an unbaked pie crust.   I made the pie the day before (tip from another blog) and cooled completely.

The next day, I made the cake.  I’ve made exactly one cake from scratch so I went with the tried and true Betty Crocker cake.  The only modification I made was to swap the 1/2c oil for 1/2c of water.  I figured the oil wouldn’t be needed based on the cake recipe and would help to figure out the baking time.  I poured roughly 1/3 of the cake batter into a well greased spring form pan (10”).  And then the tricky part: transferring the pie from the pie plate to the cake.    I removed the outer edges of the crust, flipped the pie onto a cookie sheet and flipped back.

Mine broke a bit but I was able to piece back together.  Pour the remaining cake batter over the pie and cooked until knife clean (70 minutes at 350 degrees).

I let the piecaken rest overnight (I didn’t want the cake to ball up when I frosted it).  I frosted with a simple butter cream frosting.

I hauled a cake weighing more than a newborn to a foodie potluck and viola, a piecaken for the ages.

Now, on to the next culinary adventure!

Well, there was cake involved . . . . Gluten-Free cake.

April 25, 2011
GF Ricotta Pound Cake

Cake only improves life!

I’ve been on the gluten-free bandwagon for about 2 years pretty hardcore. It’s made a ton of difference in my life (mostly a marked decrease of migraines, and not feeling sluggish and all) but *finding* GF desserts is a pain.  Making GF desserts is even harder (I’m convinced it’s in the flour!!) but Easter Sunday, I hit a home run. I’m thrilled.

Gluten Free Chocolate-Orange Pound Cake

1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c gluten free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2 c sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract
2 Tbsp Godiva chocolate liquor (or any other flavoring!) (I also use the ‘airline bottles’ for cooking – so alternatively, one ‘airline bottle’.)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with butter or shortening (I use the wrappers of the butter sticks!)

2. In a bowl, add butter, ricotta and sugar. Cream until fluffy and butter is completely blended.  Add in vanilla, orange extract and flavoring of choice. Cream in baking powder.

3. Alternately add ½ c of flour and one egg until all have been added and batter is smooth and creamy (about 4 minutes)

4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, 50-65 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, transfer to a rack to cool completely.

I found that for GF cakes, often the edges might be darker than non-GF.   Because of the variations ON GF flours, I do the knife test starting at minute 50 as not to over bake – and yes, GF flours have that much variation! This cake is exceptionally moist and holds the flavor of the chocolate liquor and orange well.  I’m in love with my cake. I can’t wait for the next excuse to make it! (and yes, I skip xanthum gum). :)

PB and Oatmeal Cookies: GF style

February 13, 2011

Sous ChefSo, my trusted sous chef informed me today it was time to make cookies. Who am I do disagree with the adorable monster sous chef in my life? Apparently, gluten-free peanut butter/oatmeal cookies were in style in his little diva world. I was wildly happy to agree with his 4 pawed whim.

Now, one of the problems I’ve found with finding GF recipes is that either they require 3-4 extra ingredients or the directions are so convoluted that it would take a degree in cooking to figure out how to make them. 

I was pretty happy with this first attempt – they were a bit dry, my fault after the chocolate chip being too moist. But here is the outline for the recipe.  Feel free to tweak and play.  I made them as bar cookies – simply because I’m far to lazy to keep making them on a sheet. At least I’m honest!

2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened.

2/3c. packed brown sugar

3 heaping tablespoons of organic peanut butter (this could have probably been increased).

2 cage free, organic eggs.

3T of vanilla

1 1/3 c organic oats

1/3 c local, organic honey (could have been increased a bit)


Pre heat oven to 350.  Blend all ingredients except oats and flour.  Slowly blend in oats.  Add GF flour of choice until you are able to roll into a ball or spread into a baking dish.  You want the mixture to be firm but not crumbly.  My first batch I put in too much flour – I should have kept it at about 1 1/3c or so.  It’s more of a via texture type cooking.  Bake for roughly an hour.

One of the things I’ve learned in the GF cooking adventure is that it is much more sensitive to things like oven variations and you do have to experiment. 

Give it a try . . . I was happy – but in round 2? I’m going to add a bit more moisture!  I’d give it 3 paws.