Tag Archives: flax milk

End of Summer (Gluten-Free) Cake (Though Cake Season Never Ends)

4 Sep

I shuddered as I wrote that doomsday-esque title; I know I have no place to announce the ends of seasons, but with the imminent approach of Harvest Gathering I feel like fall is coming, regardless of temperature. It’s getting to that wonderful part of August where the nights are cool and the days still pass the 80 degree mark; football season avoid Ann Arbor at all costs season is beginning; tomatoes are all but falling off the vine en masse. It’s time once again to embrace fresh apple cider, savory baked goods, and socks. Really cozy wool socks. I feel like I’m starting to sound like a Pure Michigan commercial. Maybe it’s the ultra-calming effects of the Blue Lotus tea Brandon just made me. ULTRA CALM. SUPER CALM. MEGA CALM! Nothing gets the blood pumping like a few phrases in all caps. I’m feeling snappy already! Perhaps just snappy enough to tell you about the awesome cake that I’ve already made twice in the last week. In two variations!

I borrowed the recipe from Karina at Gluten Free Goddess for an impromptu going-away-party-cake for Brandon’s sister, Corinna, who just moved to Connecticut to get even more awesome at being awesome. Oh gosh, Karina, Corinna…together for the first time in one sentence! Corinna has a really great band and Karina has a really great blog. Oddly enough, the post that this recipe came from begins with a letter from a “fan” full of backhanded compliments and waaay too much sass. I don’t know if I’m missing something but I can’t tell if it’s parody or not! Anyways, the cake recipe is GREAT. It’s totally a transitional cake–there’s a hint of cinnamon, cornmeal for a little texture, but based around summery strawberries. The first time I baked this with the strawberries, it was great. I opted for a pound of berries instead of the suggested pint, since it didn’t seem like the pint would at all cover the bottom of my cast-iron pan. The second time I tried the cake, it was even more impromptu and I only had peaches on hand, so they became the new base and GUESS WHAT. IT WAS STILL GREAT. SO GREAT. I topped both versions with homemade whipped cream, which was a stellar pairing. Also tasty would be some vanilla bean or cinnamon ice cream…mmm. This is a simple cake. “Rustic” seems like an appropriate adjective as chosen by Karina. I’ll let her do the talking as for the recipe (though I’ll insert my suggestions, too). Keep in mind my suggestion for more fruit! And experiment! What sort of seasonal fruits might you try with this?

iPhone for the win! Coming in handy when my camera is not around.

GLUTEN-FREE RUSTIC STRAWBERRY COBBLER CAKE

(for some reason my technology devices have decided that this section MUST be in a larger font size. I supposed it is the important part…)

The key word in this cake is rustic- due to the grainy cornmeal. I used a combo of hefty flours because I personally like a whole grain kind of feel in a cobbler cake like this.

For the strawberries:

 

1 heaping pint of fresh strawberries, washed, patted dry (I went for a pound of strawberries)

A sprinkle of lemon or lime juice

2 tablespoons organic sugar

 

Dry ingredients:

2/3 cup certified gluten-free cornmeal

1/3 cup GF buckwheat flour, GF millet flour, or brown rice flour

2/3 cup sorghum flour

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup organic light brown sugar, packed

Pinch of nutmeg- just a hint

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Wet ingredients:

1/4 cup light olive oil

1 cup hemp or rice milk, warm (milk or milk substitute of your choice! and it doesn’t actually NEED to be warm, as it turns out–I learned that due to a lazy moment)

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or light tasting rice vinegar

3 tablespoons raw organic agave nectar or honey

2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract

Egg replacer for 2 eggs- I used Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with warm water (or eggs!)

Organic raw sugar for the top, if desired (it makes a lovely crunchy top)

 

 

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Warm up a seasoned 10-inch skillet (or use a hefty cake pan or casserole dish). I rubbed mine with a little light olive oil (or butter). Set aside.

Stem the strawberries; cut them in half; toss them into a bowl and sprinkle with a little bit of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons organic sugar. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to combine your dry ingredients: cornmeal, buckwheat and white rice flours, xanthan gum, sea salt, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a smaller bowl combine the wet ingredients: light olive oil, hemp milk, vinegar, agave, vanilla, egg replacer (or egg). Whisk till combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and lightly mix by hand until combined- don’t over-beat (it isn’t necessary).

Drain the strawberries and pour them into the warm skillet (reserve several for the top, as I did, if you like).

Spoon the batter onto the strawberries. Place the reserved berries on top, cut side down, pressing in slightly.

Sprinkle the whole top with organic raw sugar crystals.

Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, depending upon your altitude and oven (here at 6,700 feet it took 47 minutes). *Mine took between 25 and 35 minutes each, here in flat ol’ Michigan*

Test for doneness by not only touching the top- it should be golden and firm- but by using a cake tester inserted into the center; it should emerge clean.

Place the skillet on a wire cooling rack to cool.

Serve slices warm or at room temperature. Wrap leftover slices in foil; bag and freeze. Thaw to room temperature or warm gently before consuming.

We enjoyed our cake with a little local hard cider!

Here’s the peach version (with blueberries on top) in case you were wondering.

 

 

Enjoy!

MANCAKES

15 Aug

Listen: http://thegorounds.bandcamp.com/

Brandon and I have been playing with this killing band all summer (see above link) in addition to our snazzy Appleseed adventures. Each show includes anywhere from 12 to 17 performers and feels slightly more epic than the last. I think I actually injured my neck from dancing so hard last weekend. Blah blah blah it’s super cool blah blah, anyways there are a couple other gluten-free kiddos in the band which gives us yet another thing to get excited about (BAKED GOOOODZ). I brought some gluten-free banana zucchini (my roommate dubbed it “bacchini” [bikini]) bread a few weekends ago to Sleepy Bear Music Festival, took some homemade gluten-free oreos to our gig in Traverse City last weekend, and I would love to take some goodies to Hoxeyville this weekend, but our sink is in disrepair which does not really inspire me to figure out alternative cleaning methods.

Anyways, I digress. I’ll get on with the treats. I wanted to figure out something tasty to make with quinoa flour and pancakes were definitely a good choice. I will share these with my fellow gluten-abandoners when I next get the chance.

Any gluten-free baker knows the trials and tribulations of finding the right flour blend for each endeavor. I’ve experimented with a lot, and I think I’m most often pleased with my own flour blends instead of pre-mixed anything. They’re great in a pinch, but there’s something lovely about the creativity involved in gluten-free baking and the richness of the flavors you can combine. Shauna over at Gluten Free Girl and The Chef has a great post about ratios and making your own flour blends (I ended up blending whatever I had in the kitchen, which at the time was a mix of these flours: brown rice, oat, quinoa, sorghum, tapioca, and brown rice). Check it out here (scroll down a while) and then make her pancakes. I did.

And for your convenience I’ve copied her recipe below:

PANCAKES YUM!

7 ounces whole-grain flour mix
1 ounce ground flaxseed
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
8 ounces buttermilk (I used flax milk “curdled” with lemon juice)
¼ teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
2 ounces melted butter

(I also added bananas and blueberries!)

bacon grease or butter for the skillet

Combining the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour and flaxseed meal to incorporate them together and aerate. Add the baking powder, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon. Whisk them all together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

Combining the wet ingredients. Whisk together the buttermilk, almond extract, and eggs. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients. Stir with a rubber spatula until the batter is combined. Add the melted butter and stir until the pancake batter is entirely combined.

Making the pancakes. Preheat the oven to 250°. Put an oven-safe plate in there.

Set a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Grease the pan liberally (and by liberally, I mean a lot) of bacon grease or butter. Pour the pancake batter into the buttered pan, about ¼ cup at a time. When bubbles have started to form and pop on the top of pancake, flip it. Cook for about 1 minute more, then put the crisp pancake in the oven to keep it warm.

Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Lemon Curd-Filled Cupcakes, AKA Summer In Your Mouth

14 Jun

I’m going to stop beginning my posts by remarking how long it’s been since I posted. I think maybe I should cut myself a little slack…after all one can only be obsessed with so many things at once. I write to you now from the road, currently heading to Toronto with Orpheum Bell. We’re headed to play at a festival called North By North East (Think SXSW but with Canadian accents eh?). It’s my first show with them since my vocal cord surgery in March! That’s a whole story in itself. I could even tell you what I ate while all drugged up, totally silent, and nursing a very tender throat (non-dairy chocolate-spinach milkshakes and raw avocado/spinach/green everything soup while watching lots of movies…fun times for Brandon…). But that’s long past. What is important today is this:


Yep. Cupcakes. Cupcakes are starting to haunt my dreams. Brandon’s birthday was on Monday. I asked him if he had any preference for cupcake flavor, and he very ambivalently suggested “maybe something with chocolate…not a chocolate cupcake but like…chocolate in it…I don’t know.” I interpreted this as “I trust you darling! Make me something delicious” and went running far from chocolate chip cupcakes to the land of lemon. Inspired by some delicious lemon curd I tasted at the Portland Farmers Market, I decided to experiment with filled cupcakes, or “surprise cupcakes” as I like to call them. Perhaps you all can help me name these cupcakes. I can only think of cheesy things like “lemon clouds” or “lemon dream cupcakes” because they are so fluffy on the first bite and wonderfully smooth and tart upon reaching the surprise lemon curd in the center. Are you hungry yet? I am. I’m sitting at the border waiting to cross into Canada and all I want to do is eat a cupcake now that I’ve sat here and stared at pictures of them.

Well, dear reader, the odds of you being near your kitchen are probably pretty high, so you could be the lucky consumer of a delicious cupcake if you just follow your rumbling tummy down the rest of this page! I will warn you that these are not quick and dirty. You have to take your time and love them tenderly. So maybe have a snack and then get working on these.




LEMON ON LEMON CUPCAKE DELIGHTS (seriously, I need help with a name. Come on, people.)
*Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe, altered by yours truly

So I woke up around 6 AM (naturally) on the day of Brandon’s birthday, like a kid on Christmas morning, except this time I was freakishly excited to make cupcakes. I waited til about 8 AM to appease my roommates then got to making lemon curd. It’s surprisingly easy! I will even tell you how to make it without straining it.

LEMON CURD

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temp (Please don’t microwave this. Let it sit out and soften on its own.)
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 large eggs
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon zest

In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until somewhat smooth. Add in the eggs and egg yolks and beat for about a minute (this is what keeps you from straining later!). Mix in the lemon juice last. It may look a little funky, but no worries. The chunks will disappear as you cook and the butter melts.

Using a heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture on low heat until it smooths out. Increase the heat to an easy medium and stir constantly until the mixture thickens. It should reach about 170 degrees (F) but should not boil. This should take around 15 minutes. Once thickened, remove from heat and add in the lemon zest. Transfer to a covered container and let chill in the fridge for a few hours. And ta dah! You have delicious lemon curd. I made 24 cupcakes, filled them with lemon curd, and still had some curd left over.

"the fried egg"

LEMON LADY CUPCAKES (still trying with that name thing)

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 3/4 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used C4C, I was lazy today and didn’t feel like mixing my own)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs at room temperature, separated
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
zest of one lemon
4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup yogurt (I used The Greek Gods honey flavored Greek yogurt…yum)

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk all dry ingredients together in a bowl to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form. Add in 1/2 cup sugar and continue whisking until stiffer peaks form. Set aside.

In another large bowl, with your mixer on medium speed, cream the butter until smooth.
Add in 3/4 cup sugar and lemon zest and beat until fluffy.
Add the yolks, one at a time until combined. Then add the vanilla and lemon juice.
Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add 1/3 of the dry ingredients until combined. Follow with half of the yogurt, then another third of the flour mix, the second half of the yogurt, and the remaining third of the flour mix until all combined.

Mix in one third of the egg whites, and then fold the rest gently into the batter.

Fill two lined muffin tins with the batter and bake for 15-20 minutes (they should get slightly browned on top–mine were big and needed a little more time since they’re dense). Let cool slightly before removing from muffin tins, and then let cool completely on a rack.

I’m sorry I didn’t take any process pictures! I was so consumed with getting these made that I just powered through.


When the cupcakes have cooled, remove a portion of their centers, as if coring an apple. This is where your lemon curd will go (and now you can sample the cupcake goodness).
Fill a pastry bag with lemon curd, and inject the curd into the center of the cupcakes til the curd reaches the top of the cupcake (think Ho-Ho but healthier and tastier).

Now, time to decide what to top the cupcakes with! I think a meringue would be really nice, but I didn’t have time for that and instead opted for a simple buttercream frosting.

"the brain"

EASY BUTTERCREAM
3-4 cups powdered sugar
2 sticks or 1/2 lb butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
up to 4 Tbsp milk (I used flax milk)

Beat the butter using an electric mixer for a few minutes. Add the powdered sugar in a few batches until incorporated. Then add in the salt, vanilla, and 2 Tbsp milk. Beat until smooth. If the frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar. If it’s too stiff, add more milk!

You can pipe the frosting on or spread it, you decide! I played with a little of both. It was a little too hot outside, though, and my frosting quickly decided it no longer wanted to play. I just acquired frosting bag tips, so bear with me as I experiment.

"underwater basket weaving"

"the poodle"

These were the perfect dessert to come home to after a spicy Indian dinner with the Brandon’s family. I spelled out “happy birthday b!” in (homemade) marzipan letters and lit about 7 candles in the cupcakes, my reasoning being that that’s probably closer to Brandon’s age “on the inside.”

I hope you like these cupcakes as much as we did.

Enjoy!

 

What’s In The Fridge? (Cashew Curry Tofu Edition)

31 May

So I’ve been a little behind in the last few days. This is what running around can do to you. I’m floating between Beverly Hills and Ann Arbor, crossing my fingers and hoping to all that is good in this world that my little pug brother will be okay. We just found out that he has bacterial meningitis, which means the meninges surrounding his brain and spinal cord are swollen. We’ve started treatment but nothing is certain. It breaks my heart to think that he might be in pain, so I’ve been coping by cooking (and eating), as many do. I do know that the only constant in life is change, and that change brings about growth. So here’s to changing and learning throughout your entire life. And here’s an easy and tasty dinner you could make any night of the week!

Pan-Fried Tofu with Cashew Curry Sauce (and Sautéed Vegetables with Quinoa)

The Sauce:

NOTE: I was a bad blog lady and didn’t measure while I was cooking, so the following are approximations to the best of my guessing ability. Plus you can just alter it to taste!

1/3 (heaping) cup cashews

half an onion (chopped)

2 Tbsp olive oil

4 Tbsp flax milk (or any milk-like beverage)

1 Tbsp red curry paste

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 tsp chili powder

pinch of salt

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan and add the cashews so they brown. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the onions are translucent and the sauce smells awesome. Remove from heat. Once cooled a bit, transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth.

The Rest: 

NOTE–since this is a “what’s in the fridge?” dinner, use whatever vegetables you want!

1 package firm tofu

2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped finely

4 Tbsp tamari

2 Tbsp maple syrup

handful of green beans

half an onion (chopped)

1 portobello cap, chopped

pinch of salt and pepper

1 cup quinoa

Begin by pressing the water out of your tofu (here’s a pretty good explanation on how to do that from Veggie Belly). While you wait, prepare the marinade for the tofu.

Combine tamari, maple syrup, and garlic in a bowl. When the tofu has dried, slice it into 1/4 to 1/2″ pieces and cover with the marinade. Allow to sit while you prepare the quinoa and veggies.

just hangin out

To make the quinoa, bring 2 cups of water to a light boil. Add the quinoa, and reduce heat. Cover and allow to simmer for about 12 minutes. There should be no water left in the pot and you will have beautiful, fluffy quinoa!

quin-wow

Sauté vegetables of your choice in a little vegetable oil, beginning with the aromatics (in this case, onion). I used chopped portobello mushrooms, fresh green beans, and onion this time. I always put a little salt and pepper on my vegetables, but you could add whatever spices that tickle your fancy.

vegging out

Once your tofu has taken on some color, it’s time to throw it in a hot pan! I used my cast-iron skillet with medium-high heat.

Let the tofu brown on each side and remove it from the pan. You can drizzle the remaining marinade on the tofu before flipping it for extra taste and caramelization.

Fill bowls with quinoa, vegetables, and top with a few slices of tofu. Spoon your smooth, cashew curry sauce on top and there you have it!

This is one tasty mess of vegetarian, gluten-free delight.

Enjoy!

P.S. Brandon and I leave for Portland tomorrow, so get ready for some travel posts!

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