time to bake.

(finally)

looking back, and realizing that we have moved six times in the past year helps me understand why lately I just feel like sitting on the bed zoning out to back episodes of shows like “keeping up with the kardashians” and “brooklyn nine nine”.

mindless brain numbing occupiers of my time.

 

but last night I decided I needed a treat, preferably a gluten free one….and even better if I could bake it myself.

so

I did just that.

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behold; the shortbread crust.

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reserve 3/4 cup of the crust, blend with brown sugar and 1/4 cup gluten free flour.

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I used frozen organic cherries….tossed with a tiny bit of sugar (about a teaspoon)

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sprinkle the crumb topping on top.

bake!

 

Gluten Free Cherry Shortbread Crumble

Ingredients
  • 2 cups (280g) + ¼ cup (35g) high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 tablespoons (224g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (109g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup frozen (organic) cherries, thawed and tossed with a teaspoon of sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch square pan. Set the pan aside.
  2. In a large bowl, place 2 cups flour, the xanthan gum, (if needed)  granulated sugar and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, and mix to combine. The mixture should come together as a soft dough. Remove about ¾ cup (150g) of the dough and transfer it to a medium-size bowl. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and the remaining ¼ cup (35g) flour to the reserved dough, and mix to combine. This is the crumble topping. Place the bowl of crumble topping in the freezer to chill.
  3. Scrape the remaining soft shortbread dough into the prepared square pan, and press into an even layer with a spoon, or well-floured hands. Set aside.
  4. Layer the cherries on top of the shortbread evenly.
  5. Remove the crumble topping from the freezer and sprinkle it in an even layer on top of the cherries. Press down on the topping gently but firmly.
  6. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is uniformly light brown in color and seems set. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely (place in the freezer to speed the process).
  7. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Freeze any leftovers, tightly enclosed in freezer-safe wrapping.

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let’s bake a cake.

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gluten free white velvet birthday cake.

for a special boy turning nine

  • 2 3/4 cups sifted all purpose gluten free flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening; I used solid Crisco (at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons good quality vanilla extract (if you want a pure white cake, use clear vanilla extract)
  • 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (at room temperature)
  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Grease and flour 2 eight inch round cake pans and line the bottom with 2 circles of parchment paper. (for this cake I used one larger pan)
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the vegetable oil, shortening, sugar and vanilla. Beat well at high speed with whisk attachment until light and fluffy
  4. Beat the eggs in one at a time.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk.
  6. I always add dry ingredients in three divisions and liquid ingredients in 2 divisions. End the additions with the dry ingredients. Do not over mix the batter. As soon as it has no lumps in the batter, pour into the two prepared 9 inch cake pans.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

frost with dairy free marshmallow frosting:

  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp cream of tarter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water

In a small saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer or when a teaspoonful of the mixture dropped into ice water forms a soft ball that holds its shape when cool.

Whip the egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla extract to soft peaks in a large bowl. Keeping the mixer on medium high speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the egg white bowl in a thin stream. Continue to whip the frosting until it forms stiff peaks.

Frost your cake immediately while it is still slightly warm, this is much easier as it gets sticky when it cools.

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serve to a happy birthday boy (or girl).

begin, again.

 

 

balcony

new balcony.
new apartment.
kitchen

new kitchen and new ideas in mind….stay tuned for updates.

baking

 

(and, as always: find us on etsy and on facebook for your immediate gluten free needs)

facing the cold with photography and chocolate cake.

 

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We’ve been lucky so far this year in Ohio with the weather, but this week we got hit with some f-f-f-freezing cold.

So, what’s a good Cleveland girl to do? Go to the beach, of course.

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I wasn’t going to pass up the sunny day, even though it was only 14 degrees out, to get some stunning ice waves and driftwood photos.

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I spent the weekend preparing a gluten free cake for an order, and updating my etsy shop with a few new listings. I’m really excited about my new Cakes in Tins listing, which enables me to effectively ship individual cakes anywhere in the US. Hop over to etsy and take a peek, and just think of the possibilities!

BiteCan

starting a new plan.

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We started a new diet around here this week, and a big part of it is giving up sugar. If you’ve ever done this, then you know it is not easy. Another aspect of the new plan is no grains, no dairy. This part; not so tough. Except I do like a little bread with my dinner, especially when it’s a dish like “Chili without Beans” which is what we had this evening.

I found a few recipes for coconut flour based breads and biscuits, and after reading several reviews, I modified, combined and fiddled until I ended up with the this one.

note: It would be much better with a tiny bit of honey, agave or other sweetener in it, if you are not limiting (denying yourself) sugar. this version is a moist, eggy bread that serves as a nice little side for a soup or chili. definitely savory.

recipe.

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup ghee (plus extra for greasing the pan)

6 eggs

(up to 2 tbsp honey)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8″ loaf pan with ghee, or spray with cooking spray.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl until foamy. Sift the coconut flour, baking powder and salt into the eggs, blend. Slowly mix in the ghee (and honey if using) until smooth. Do not over blend.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a little bit of crumbs attached. Cool on a wire rack, slice and enjoy.

pumpkin donuts and cleveland.

Today my son didn’t have school. In the middle of the week? Yep. So I got up ahead of him, fired up the mini donut maker and whipped up some pumpkin spice donuts. I snapped this picture, just as he popped out of his room looking for breakfast.

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After we ate our stack, it was off to the West Side Market to pick up some necessities for the week, and for a special dinner this week. Someone is turning seventeen in a few days, and always asks for beef stew. When I was down at the market, I realized for the thousandth time just how lucky we are to have such a treasure in our city. It was bustling with school kids on a field trip, women with shopping trolleys gathering produce, old men discussing the price of lamb. We picked up some beef, potatoes, carrots, fruit, and some jerky from the stand now famous because the President shopped there just last week.

And while I’m on the topic of Cleveland, you should check out a fellow blogger who’s running a fantastic contest this week: http://www.clevelandsaplum.com/

I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’m going to be the winner!

here comes fall, pumpkin scones.

I’ve been away for a while, sorry about that…but I’ve been under the weather. I have another genetic condition, hemochromatosis, and due to some oversights by people who should have been more careful I ended up very exhausted for the past six weeks.

But, I’m slowly feeling better…and better means baking!

Fall always brings pumpkin flavored goodies. My favorite is these delicious scones. They smell delicious coming out of the oven and are the perfect treat with a cup of coffee (or a pot of tea) while you curl up on the sofa with a good movie, a good read, or a good friend.

this day needs some chocolate. (brownies)

 

Summer is ending. This means changes. Back to a ‘routine’ (not my favorite). Days are getting shorter, soon the leaves will fall. The plants on our very happy balcony garden are starting to fade.

 

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I had a very revealing dream last night where it was very clear that, although things do change, and have drastically changed in my recent past…there is still unfinished business that I haven’t dealt with. The recurring theme is that I’m still not in the driver’s seat of my own life. Or, in the case of last night’s dream…I’m trying to drive a bus from a passenger seat. So, as I try to figure out how to climb into that driver’s seat, I’ll soothe my sudden chocolate craving with these delicious cocoa brownies.

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gluten free cocoa brownies

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, sifted
  • 8 ounces melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add both sugars. Switch to paddle attachment. and drizzle in the melted butter to incorporate. Slow the mixer down, scoop in the dry ingredients until just wet. Don’t over mix.

Pour the batter into a buttered square pan and bake for 45 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean. When it’s done, remove to a rack to cool. Resist the temptation to dig in before they’re mostly cooled!

Makes 9 large brownies.

 

adapted from alton brown’s cocoa brownie recipe.

 

 

comforting cornbread.

 

It used to be when I was turning the corner of recovering from something, be it a migraine, or a bout of the flu, or a bad personal experience,  I knew I was getting better when I would have a craving for one thing. Spaghetti and meat sauce from a certain local Italian eatery. I realize now I craved that particular combination from that particular place, because that meat sauce was the closest thing to what my Grandma would make for us when she visited; simmering in the yellow cast iron dutch oven on our stove for hours. It was truly my original comfort food, and it’s local take-out replacement stepped in when my grandma was no longer with us.

Although spaghetti is no longer an option for me, the comfort food craving apparently did not get the memo. I would suffer through the longing for the warm slippery noodles smothered in the steaming, meat laden, spicy sauce, often substituting with lesser grade replacements as we, in the gluten-free world, do. (quinoa pasta, anyone?)

But then one recent post-migraine morning, I had the strangest feeling. My body was sending me a whole new message. It wanted cornbread. Not just any cornbread. It wanted my gluten free cornbread. Somewhere, I thought I heard angels singing.

 

This time I adapted my recipe to the ingredients I had on hand.

Gluten Free Blueberry Yogurt Cornbread

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup blueberry yogurt (I used noosa)

1/2 cup milk

1 cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend

2/3 cup yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 425°F. Combine oil and sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, until creamy. Add eggs; mix well. Blend in yogurt and milk. Reduce speed to low; add all remaining ingredients. Beat just until mixed.

Pour into greased 9″ round or square cake pan.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Perfectly comforting cornbread.

short (bread) weekend.

It was one of those perfect weather weekends. One not to be missed. We had the good fortune of being invited to a lovely party down by the lake, where we enjoyed the sunset with refreshing cocktails and great food.

The weekend was way too short, as I fear the summer will be, isn’t it always?

I had some coconut and a lime staring at me on Sunday, seeming to ask; “may we please marry some butter , sugar and flour?” and so they did.

Recipe:

2 1/4 cups of all-purpose gluten free flour blend
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of lime zest
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) of cold, unsalted butter, cut into tiny bits.
1 cup of toasted, sweetened coconut

Toast the coconut: Preheat the oven to 350F.

Place the coconut onto a cookie sheet and spread it out to form an even layer. Put the coconut in the oven and bake it for about 5-7 minutes or until it just starts to turn brown, stirring as needed. Be careful. Once it changes color, it will burn fast. Remove the toasted coconut from the oven and set it aside to cool. Leave the oven at 350F.

Line an 8×8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Have the edges of the foil fold over the edges slightly for easy removal.

In bowl of stand mixer, combine the sugar and lime zest. Using your fingers, work the lime zest into the sugar until it becomes moist and fragrant. Add the flour, and salt. Stir to combine. Sprinkle the cut-up butter over the dry ingredients. stir the butter into the flour mixture with the paddle attachment until barely incorporated. Don’t over beat. You want the mixture to resemble coarse, wet sand.

Pour the dough into the prepared pan and press it firmly down into an even layer. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are gold and the top is slightly brown.
Remove from the oven and allow the bars to cool completely in the pan.

I think it’s a match made in Heaven. Enjoy.