This is by far the easiest gluten-free dessert I’ve ever made! Almost easier than opening a prepackaged mix. You only need two dishes to make this; a mixing bowl and a baking pan and you are ready to go. Start to finish, your cake will be ready in under 45 minutes!
I tried to cut down on the sugar since 1 cup seemed like a lot. I started adding it 1/4 cup at a time. I’m not sure if it was the cocoa powder or the gluten-free flour, but found that I definitely needed the whole cup. This cake is extremely rich and chocolatey. I ended up freezing about three-quarters of the loaf (I made mine in a loaf pan, not a cake pan). The slice I’ve defrosted since was just as good as the freshly baked. I think making this recipe into cupcakes, might make freezing a bit easier.
Super Simple Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used Better Batter.)
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon guar gum or 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (only not included in GF flour mix)
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 5 Tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup water
- Heat oven to 350°F
- Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Add all liquid ingredients and mix well.
- Bake in greased and floured nine-inch square pan (or lined with waxed paper) for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Serve as is or with some berries and cream for extra indulgence.
Posted in Baking, Cake, Cooking, Desserts, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged baking, chocolate, cooking, dessert, gluten free, recipes, vegetarian
I have to say successfully making this Pavlova was one of my finest moments in the kitchen. I remember thinking Pavlova was the fanciest dessert ever when I was growing up. But for as long as I can remember, the thought of making meringue has scared me. There are too many variables in meringue making and the fact that something can go wrong at any point in the process just stresses me out. I spent quite a bit of time reading old cookbooks and consulting the websites of chefs I trust for learning something new. The end result was a smashing success. I was so proud!
I made this a bit earlier in the summer for my wonderful mother’s birthday, so depending on where you are peaches and cherries might not be at the peak. As far as fruit selection goes, you can’t really go wrong. Personally, I would stick to berries and stone fruits, but there are endless combinations that would be delicious.
For the Pavlova
- 4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white wine or distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Fruit Topping
- 2-3 cups of mixed berries or fruits of choice.
For the Pavlova
- Preheat oven to 250°F (130°C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7 inch (18 cm) circle on the paper.
- Pour the vanilla and vinegar into a small cup. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites and salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks/trails start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
- Increase speed to medium-high, slowly and gradually sprinkling in the sugar-cornstarch mixture. A few minutes after these dry ingredients are added, slowly pour in the vanilla and vinegar (if you didn’t use cream of tartar.) Increase speed a bit and whip until meringue is glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Gently spread the meringue inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper, smoothing the edges, making sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the center. (You want a slight well in the center of the meringue to place the whipped cream and fruit.)
- Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the outside is dry and takes on a very pale cream color. Check on meringues at least once during the baking time. If they appear to be taking on color or cracking, reduce temperature 25 degrees, and turn pan around. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven. (The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see that the inside is soft and marshmallowy.)
For the Whipped Cream
- Whip the cream in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar gradually and then the vanilla, beating the cream until firm. Be careful not to over-do it, or might end up with a bowl of sweet homemade butter.
- Invert the meringue disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with sweetened whipped cream. Spoon the fruit carefully into the middle of the Pavlova, leaving a border of cream and meringue.
Posted in Baking, Cooking, Desserts, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged cherries, cooking, dessert, food, fruit, gluten free, meringue, peaches, recipes
Life gets really busy sometimes. Between school, finals, trips (SF and DC, so fun), sick dogs, computers dying, volunteering and more school, something had to give. Unfortunately that thing was blogging. I’ve still been cooking and photographing and going to farmers’ market every weekend, but there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day for getting around to writing and editing.
I really don’t want to talk about how it is July in a week, but considering one of my favorite holidays is on the 4th of July, I suppose we must. Just because life is super busy, doesn’t mean I don’t want to cook and bake as much as I normally would. Sometimes everyone could use a little help in the kitchen. I have used Betty Crocker gluten free mixes before and I have to say I love them. I’ve used tried the yellow cake mix, the devil’s food cake and now the brownie mix. They have turned out perfectly every single time.
MyBlogSpark sent me an awesome baking tool set with a rolling pin, pastry brush, spatula, and timer, and an 8″ Square Cake Pan. The rolling pin, brush and spatula are all my favorite color, so I was pretty excited about that as well. I got even more excited when I noticed the pastry brush and spatula have a built in rest! No more goopy batter on the counters! Genius! The best part of this My Blog Spark campaign for General Mills, is that I get to give away the same gift set to one of my readers! This gift set includes products from Joseph Joseph. One lucky winner will receive an adjustable wooden rolling pin, spatula, pastry brush, timer, and baking pan. And since I love a good giveaway, I’m also including an apron and a box of Betty Crocker gluten free mix to break in your new pan. See entry details below!
Enter the giveaway here:a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway info:
- To enter, use a Rafflecopter giveaway (it’s super easy!)
- Winner will be selected via Rafflecopter.
- The giveaway will close Monday, July 1 at midnight (Pacific Standard Time).
- Giveaway open to US residents only. (Sorry international readers!)
Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Good luck! :)
Gluten Free Brownies for 4th of July & a GIVEAWAY!
- 1 box Betty Crocker® Gluten Free brownie mix
- Butter and eggs called for on brownie mix box
- 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3-4 cups mixed fresh red and blue berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
- Heat oven to 350°F (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 8X8 baking pan with cooking spray.
- In large bowl, stir brownie mix, butter and eggs until well blended. Spread in pan.
- Bake 28-31 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle of pan comes out clean or almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
- In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base. Arrange berries over cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until chilled. Cut into squares. Store covered in refrigerator.
I’m really not one for cakes (cheesecake is the one exception, but that’s totally different). But I have to admit, every once in a blue moon there is nothing better than a huge cup of coffee and a slice of coffee cake. I absolutely loved this recipe. I actually only made it because I had all the ingredients on hand, but it was so simple and quick to get together. Perfect for a quick breakfast sweet or an easy last-minute tea/coffee date.
I have to say that this coffee cake is definitely at its best straight from the oven. Despite wrapping the cake up nice and tight, the next day it was close to rock solid the next day. That’s just the way gluten-free flours tend to be. A quick 10, 15 seconds in the microwave and the problem was solved.
Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease a round 9 in. cake pan and set it aside.
- Mix the cream cheese filling in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the butter, milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar. Gradually add the flour and mix until well combined.
- Spread about a little more than half of the batter in the bottom of the pan. Next put the cream cheese filling on top and try to spread around. (It may be difficult, but using the back of a tablespoon works well.)
- Lastly, put the remainder of the dough batter on top.
- In a small bowl, using a pastry blender tool or 2 forks, combine the topping ingredients until it resembles crumbs. Sprinkle over the batter in the pan.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes (I would start checking it around 20). Insert a tooth pick into the cake and it should come out clean and dry when done.
- Cool well before dusting the top with sifted confectioner’s sugar, if you like. After cooling, be sure to keep covered for freshness.
Posted in Baking, Cake, Desserts, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged baking, cake, dessert, food, gluten free, recipes, vegetarian
So I guess now that Thanksgiving has come and gone here in the States, I guess that means the holiday season is officially upon. I must admit I am a bit of Grinch. Mainly because I think christmas has just gotten far too out of hand. There is only one thing that I absolutely adore about the holiday season and that’s the obscene amount of baking that I can do. It’s the one time of the year that mass quantities of baking are socially acceptable.
I’ve already started thinking of fun and new recipes I can start testing out on my friends and family. It’s great having a willing and able built-in test audience, especially since I’m not too keen on sweets. I light of my mini dessert obsession this recipe seemed like the perfect combination of experiment and great taste. I really wanted to try out my new mini bundt pan (how fun is the word ‘bundt’?). I’m not sure if it was me, the recipe, the oven or the pan, but it was rough going when things came out of the oven. Luckily, after a bit of coaxing, everyone got their act together and cooperated in the end. The salted caramel flavor made this chocolate cake even richer. Add in the frosting and it was one of the sweetest and richest desserts I have ever come across. I decided to sprinkle on a bit of flakey sea salt to enhance the caramel flavor and cut the sweetness just a bit.
Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cakes
For the Cake
- 2 cups Better Batter all-purpose gluten-free flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature, beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cups International Delight Salted Caramel Mocha Flavor
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 Tablespoons International Delight Salted Caramel Mocha Flavor
For the Frosting
- Mix powdered sugar with International Delight. Beat with electric mixer on low. If the mixture is too thick for frosting, add in more International Delight. If it is too thin, add in more powdered sugar.
For the Cake
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Grease mini bundt pan or baking pan of choice.
- In a large bowl, place the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, sour cream, eggs, vanilla and International Delight, and mix to combine well. The batter will be thickly pourable.
- Fill the wells of the pan. about halfway full with batter. Shake from side to side to distribute the batter in an even layer. Place in the center of the preheated oven, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. The cake should be a little spongy, not dense.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes in the pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place one mini cake on a piece of parchment paper, bottom side down. Drizzle a generous amount of frosting on top of the cake.
The International Delight Facebook page shares coupon savings and a chance to share your delight this holiday season.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.
Posted in Baking, Cooking, Desserts, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged caramel, chocolate, dessert, food, gluten free, recipes
Earlier today I was discussing baked goods with my friend Zack (we don’t like them). This whole conversation came out of a discussion of birthday cakes (it’s my birthday today, we were just randomly discussing cakes). I like savory things much better. Personally I would be much happier if someone gave me a wheel of brie or blue cheese, stuck a candle in it and called it a day. There is one exception to my dessert rule and that would be cheesecake. I do like cheesecake.
This isn’t your typical cheesecake. There is blue cheese involved, which is initially why I wanted to make this. Combining my favorite cheese and my favorite dessert just seemed like a brilliant idea. I was slightly hesitant about the fact that there is no sugar added into the cheesecake. One of them fell apart when I was removing them from the muffin tin and I stole a bite and it was not a good idea. Luckily when I served them with the pears, it was a very enjoyable (and unusual) combination. I had enough crust for 14 cheesecakes, but only enough filling for 13. I would recommend only doing 12 as some of my came out a little thin on the cheesecake end of things. Luckily I like my cheesecake on the crustier side of things, so I wasn’t too bothered by that.
Baby Cheese Cakes with Toffee Pears
- 3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1-8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg
- 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup dairy sour cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 4 pears, cored and sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup lightly toasted broken walnuts
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line eight 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with foil or paper bake cups; set aside.
- For crust, in bowl stir together oats, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons butter until combined. Spoon 2 rounded tablespoons oat mixture into each prepared muffin cup. With bottom of a narrow glass press down lightly. Bake 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on wire racks. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- For cheesecake filling, in medium bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. Add egg and beat just until combined. Stir in blue cheese and sour cream.
- Spoon well-rounded tablespoons of the cheese mixture into each crust-lined muffin cup. Bake 20 minutes or until slightly puffed and set. Cool 30 minutes. Remove from cups. Place on tray, cover and refrigerate at least 2 or up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
- For Toffee Pears, in large skillet melt the 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the 1/2 cup brown sugar and cream. Cook and stir until bubbly. Add pears. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until pears are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool slightly.
- To serve, remove foil or paper liners from cheesecakes. Spoon about 1 tablespoon brown sugar-cream mixture into each of the dessert dishes. Top with a cheesecake. Spoon pears around cheesecake. Sprinkle each with toasted walnuts.
Posted in Baking, Cake, Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes
Tagged blue cheese, cheesecake, dessert, food, gluten free, pear, recipes
So this is what started my whole strawberry craze. My friend Amy (hi Amy!) posted on my Facebook about how delicious strawberries and balsamic are. True story. It’s a delicious combination. I remember making a strawberry balsamic dessert in high school and I felt super grown-up and sophisticated. That phase didn’t last long. Amy’s comment made me really crave some kind of strawberry balsamic combination, but I wanted to try something a little different.
These popsicles are super refreshing and so easy to make. I definitely plan on making these a lot over the summer. Next time though, I would change a few things. I would probably either cut back on the sugar or up the balsamic a bit.The strawberries were definitely sweet enough on their own and didn’t need a whole 1/4. The vinegar flavor was there, but I would have preferred it to stand out a little more. And the freshly ground pepper… I love pepper, but every now and again I would find myself biting into what I thought was a little strawberry chunk only to be (rudely) surprised by pepper. Definitely make sure your pepper is finely ground.
Balsamic Strawberry Popsicles (from Epicurious)
- 2 cups sliced, hulled strawberries (from about 1 pound berries)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place the strawberries and sugar in a food processor and pulse just until the mixture is finely chopped and juicy but still chunky; you don’t want a smooth purée. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the balsamic vinegar and a few grinds of pepper.
- Spoon the mixture into ice pop molds and insert sticks. Freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 1 week.
- To unmold the pops, run hot water over the outsides of the molds for a few seconds, then gently pull the sticks.
And I’m back! I disappeared over the last week or so and it was kind of accidental. Basically, there was a snafu with a power cord before a big trip. Oops. I had all sorts of grand plans to share delicious recipes while I was gone, but onwards and upwards.
Where did I disappear to exactly?
Tokyo to be exact and it was amazing. One of my good friends is working in Tokyo at the moment, so it was the perfect excuse to visit. Apart from exploring the city, meeting some amazing people and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, the highlight of the trip was definitely the food! Every meal I had was better than the last one. I ate a lot of things that I have had the Americanized version of before and wow, I have been missing out. I also ate a lot of things outside of my normal food comfort zone. You have to be a little adventurous when you travel.
The only downside of all the amazing food, is the fact that I will never be able to eat sushi again, which makes me sad. One morning we woke up at 3.30 to get down to the Tsukiji Fish Market and see the tuna auction. Afterwards we went and had sushi for breakfast. I cannot even put into words how amazing this sushi was. All other sushi has been completely ruined for me. According to my friend I had a look of total disgust on my face the entire time we were eating. Yes, I was totally disgusted, because all other sushi will just pale in comparison for the rest of my life. But it’s kind of okay, since I guess that’s just an excuse to go back!
Now, let’s get back to business.
Cheesecake is one of the few desserts I really, really like. Well, love actually. Naturally, I was intrigued by Japanese cheesecake.
This cheesecake is very different than your standard American cheesecake. The consistency reminds me more of a sponge cake or angel food cake combined with custard than an American cheesecake. It’s very light and airy. It also does not have a crust of any kind. The crust is kind of , sort of, my absolute favorite part of an American-style cheesecake, so off the bat this cheesecake had a disadvantage to winning me over.
I topped my Japanese cheesecake with matcha (green tea) powder (not mold, I swear) and a raspberry sauce. Both helped give a bit of color and flavor to the dessert. I did enjoy this cheesecake, but it probably won’t be on the top of my must make again list.
Japanese Cheesecake (adapted from allrecipes.com)
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup white sugar, divided
- 4 egg whites
- 2/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line the bottom of a 9 inch round cake pan cake pan with parchment paper.
- Warm the cream cheese and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cream cheese is melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and half of the sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the yolks. Sift in the flour and cornstarch, and stir until blended.
- In a separate bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites with cream of tartar until they can hold a soft peak. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining sugar and continue whipping to stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into the cream cheese mixture. Pour into the prepared cake pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet with sides.
- Place the baking sheet with the cheesecake into the oven, and pour water into the baking sheet until it is half way full. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Continue to bake for 15 more minutes. Let the cake cool before removing from the pan.
- Run a knife around the outer edge of the cake pan, and invert onto a plate to remove the cake. Peel off the parchment paper and invert onto a serving plate so the top of the cake is on top again.