Tag Archives: Gluten-free diet

Birthday Layer Cake for Milk Bar Mondays!

Happy Birthday Tuesday!

This is Tuesday:

Technically, today is Monday.

But today is all about a pup named Tuesday, a 10th birthday, and a Milk Bar Monday Birthday Layer Cake.

This gluten-free adaptation from Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Cookbook is incredibly rich and buttery, shocking sweet and incredibly festive. She strove to encapsulate the joy of funfetti box cake (the Confetti Cookies from the same family were possibly my favorite of the bunch that the Milk Bar Mondays ladies have baked up). This one doesn’t quite take the prize in my mind, but as I sit here noshing on a slice with a scoop of dairy-free honey ice cream (look for it in my feature in next month’s Easy Eats magazine), I still can’t help but shake my head in “oh my dog” mode.

A layer of incredibly dense, buttery cake flecked with sprinkles
(not hard to find gluten-free).

A wash of milk and vanilla (almond milk, in this case).

A layer of frosting that truly tastes like you got it out of a tub, only a million times better.

A sprinkle of Birthday Cake Crumb.
The whole “crumb” aspect of Tosi’s work is quite genius.

Then two more layers of that combo. Continue reading

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Cookies for Milk Bar Mondays!

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies by Avery Cooks (photo hers)

Um, you know when you’re so overworked, overjoyed, underslept and overscheduled that a facebook post, phone call, text or tweet makes you slap your head in “how the hell did I forget about that?!?!?!”

That just happened to me. I was tweeting something along and saw the #milkbarmondays handle.

Crap. That was this Monday. I had somehow deluded myself into thinking that my Chevre Frozen Yogurt post was only last week. Which is a laughable idea.

But, if you scroll down, you’ll see that the only posts I’ve done since then have been about my interviews for Serious Eats NY, of which I sometimes take 3 or 4 a week and which take about 7-10 hours each to complete.

If you look at Easy Eats magazine’s blog… yup, those are all my loading and much of my writing.

I went to the awesome TechMunch bloggers conference on Friday and elbowed my way through NYC’s first Great GoogaMooga food/drinks/music festival this weekend and got some great pieces that I’m now working to edit and build frantically before starting a new full-time private chef position on Friday.

I really need a cookie!

So, once again, I’m linky-linking up. My Milk Bar Monday gals have done an incredibly job with this recipe. Check them all out at their links below, and head to Avery Cooks for the full recipe, her awesome notes on the process and problems, and pictures that will make you scream like Cookie Monster.

Happy Milk Bar Mondays, folks. I’ll be more organized and coming back soon with three summer series – gluten-free luncheon salads, gluten and dairy-free meat marinades and my 10 new gluten-free baking videos for EHow:Food!

– Jacqueline

Audra from The Baker Chick

Cassie from Bake Your Day

Erin from Big Fat Baker

Krissy from Krissy’s Creations

Meagan from Scarletta Bakes

Nicole from Sweet Peony

Follow the Milk Bar Monday ladies on Twitter

Chèvre Frozen Yogurt with Pistachio Crunch and Beet-Lime Ganache – Milk Bar Mondays!

Chèvre Frozen Yogurt on Beet-Lime Ganache with Pistachio Crunch

gluten free, cow-dairy-free

My roommate pulled me into the show “Fashion Police”, where Joan Rivers and her panel praise or destroy the fashion choices of the Hollywood elite for the week. Very unlike me to watch. I adore it. In the last bit of the show the panel tries to convince Joan which is the worst look of the week, and they have 10 seconds to speak directly to the offending starlette, pointing out what went wrong.

Inevitably, and to my absolute frustration, at least one of the three melodramatically says “oh my god, what were you thinking?” Unless you’ve seen the show and share my pain, there’s no way to fully convey how infuriating that phrase is.

It was running through my head all day while I composed this recipe.

“Oh my god, Jacqueline, what were you thinking?”

It’s my turn to host Milk Bar Mondays, where a lovely group of lady-bloggers is baking our way through Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar cookbook every other week. The gluten-free and dairy-optional Compost Cookies, Carrot Cake Truffles and Apple Pie Layer Cake have been particular standouts, but all have been worth the time and effort.

Since I have unavoidable food allergies, I’m given a little leeway to adapt as I need, but in general we all stick directly to Tosi’s method on point. When glancing through to see which recipe I’d want to host, a chèvre frozen yogurt sounded perfect. I love making ice-cream, and while I can’t have cow’s milk, I’ve always been cool with other forms of dairy.

Damn me for not looking closing enough.

What was I thinking?

The end result was, of course, incredible. It was one of the prettiest desserts I’d ever plated, and once again I learned new techniques that I will apply to so many other recipes. But there was a lot of risk in adapting this recipe.

The full recipe for all steps is below, with my variations in italics and thoughts on the adaptation process there as well. This dessert is delicious: creamy, an intense contrasts of smooth / crunchy and light / rich. And, wow, what a plate.

Meet the Ladies!

Erin of Big Fat Baker

Meagan of Scarletta Bakes

Audra of The Baker Chick

Nicole of Sweet Peony

Follow the group on Twitter!

Chèvre Frozen Yogurt

Makes about a pint, enough for four desserts

I was psyched to try making an all-goat frozen yogurt. The first time I didn’t bloom the gelatin enough, and so had hard bits of it once it was spun a bit. I tossed it completely. The second time it also didn’t thicken in my ice-cream maker, but froze well in the freezer. I’m curious to see how the other ladies’ came out – mine was delicious but the consistency could have been whipped more.

Tosi stresses the importance of using citric acid specifically, and while I had been using corn syrup in previous recipes I gave in and bought glucose (since they’re nutritionally the same anyway, I discovered), and found the consistency definitely helps in this recipe. You can substitute the gelatin sheets with 1 tsp powdered gelatin and 2 Tbsp corn syrup instead of the glucose if necessary.

2 gelatin sheets

1/4 cup milk / goat milk

1/4 cup fresh chèvre
1/4 cup buttermilk / goat milk
2 Tbsp yogurt / goat yogurt
1/4 cup glucose
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp citric acid

Bloom the gelatin by placing it in a bowl of cold water for 2-8 minutes. It should be completely soft with no hard edges, but not falling apart.

Warm a little of the milk and whisk in the gelatin to dissolve.  Transfer to a blender and add the remaining milk, the chèvre, buttermilk/milk, yogurt, glucose, sugar, salt, and citric acid. Puree until smooth.

Pour the base through a fine-mesh strainer into your ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions. The frozen yogurt is best spun just before serving or using, but it will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two weeks.

Pistachio Crunch

The pistachio crunch requires feuilletine, which is essentially toasted crepes in tiny pieces. Some say these can be adequately be replaced with corn flakes or crispy rice cereal, but Tosi says it’s not the same. To make the crunch gluten-free, she suggests replacing the feiulletine with 1/2 cup additional pistachios. I made my own gluten-free crepes, over-toasted them and then processed them into bits. It was delicious, but went stale extremely quickly. Just so ya know.

It was really hard for us to find pistachio paste in our areas. We tackled this in different ways, I by using almond paste instead. Again, it was delish, but would have benefited more from pistachio paste. Still delicious.

1/2 cup raw, unsalted pistachios
1/2 cup pistachio paste
3/4 cup feuilletine
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp kosher salt

Heat the oven to 325°.

Put the pistachios on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Put the toasted pistachios in a clean kitchen towel and bash them into smaller pieces, at least 1/2 of their original size but not into nut crumbs.

Combine them with the remaining ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and paddle on medium-low speed for about one minute, until homogenous. The crunch can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Beet-Lime Ganache

I used dark chocolate instead of white, and coconut milk instead of heavy cream. While I could see how appropriate white chocolate would be, and how it would lighten up the flavors of the entire dish a bit, it was still delicious.

My blender couldn’t cut pureeing the beets, but my food processor made quick work of them.

2 medium beets, peeled and cut into chunks

1 lime
4 1/2 ounces (120g) white chocolate  / dark chocolate
2 Tbsp butter / Butter-flavored Earth Balance
1/4 cup glucose
1/4 cup heavy cream / coconut milk
3/4 tsp kosher salt

Heat the oven to 325°.

Wrap the beet chunks in foil and put on a sheet pan. Roast for 1-2 hours, or until the beets are on the mushy side of tender; give them additional 30-minutes intervals in the oven if they aren’t.

Meanwhile, grate the zest from the lime; reserve. Squeeze 2 tsp juice from the lime and reserve.

Transfer the beets to a blender and puree them (if your blender is giving you trouble, add up to 1 Tbsp milk to help get it going). Pass the puree through a fine-mesh strainer – it should have the texture of baby food. Measure out 1/3 cup puree. Let cool.

Combine the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and melt them in the microwave and 15-second bursts, stirring between blasts. The result should be barely warm to the touch and totally homogenous.

Transfer the chocolate mixture to a container that can accommodate an immersion blender – something tall and narrow. Warm the glucose in the microwave for 15 seconds, then immediately add to the chocolate mixture and buzz with the hand blender. After a minute, stream in the heavy cream / coconut milk with the hand blender running. The result will come together into something silky, shiny and smooth.

Blend in the beet puree, lime zest and salt. Put the ganache in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.

Use a spatula to fold the lime juice into the ganache (do not do this until the ganache is set, or you will break the ganache). Put the ganache back in the fridge for at least 3 hours or, ideally, overnight. Stored in an airtight container it will keep in the fridge for 1 week. Serve cold.

Milk Bar Mondays – Cinnamon Bun Pie (Gluten and dairy free)

I was nervous, then I was excited, then I was nervous again.

“Mother dough” may sound pretty awesome in the gluten-full world, but in mine any recipe that swears it can be used as a bagel, brioche, focaccia or croissant dough – as well as one ready for a sweet filling such as this – sends up too many red flags.

Gluten-free and bread dough are not casually made connections.

Yet, in the spirit of the Milk Bar Mondays swaps, I’d learned to question little and go forward with strength and spirit.  My Carrot Cake Truffles? Um, delicious.  The Apple Pie Layer Cake? Worthy of a sister’s birthday and one of the most fun things to disrobe.  Confetti Cookies? In my attempts to control my sugar levels I gave away most of the batch, both with a swing in my step since I was gifting such an outstanding cookie and with the regret at having gifted away such an outstanding cookie!

This pie?

Well…

The filling is outta this world… cinnamony, sweet and creamy.  Oh, and of course gluten and dairy free.  Well, almost, because I used butter and not Earth Balance or coconut milk… but close…

The dough rose and got puffy when it proofed, which is always fun to watch…

…but then it hardened while baking, and got the trademark look and mouth-feel of an adolescent, gluten-less bread dough.

My suggestion?

Rock on with the filling, but put it into one of my gluten free pie crusts (maybe this one, or the one linked below).  Or wait until I get off my tush and start making gluten-free bread for real.

Oh, and rock on hard with the filling, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my budding relationship with Tosi, it’s that you can’t go wrong with liquid cheesecake and brown butter.

Happy Milk Bar Mondays, folks.

Meet the Ladies!

Host Erin of Big Fat Baker (go to her site for the original recipe)

Meagan of Scarletta Bakes

Cassie of Bake Your Day

Audra of The Baker Chick

Nicole of Sweet Peony

Krissy of Krissy’s Creations

and welcome to Averie of Averie Cooks!

Follow the group on Twitter!

Gluten Free Cinnamon Bun Pie

Components:

  • 1 recipe my pie crust (I adapted the Mother Dough recipe from the original, but it’s not worth writing home about… on the list now)
  • 1 recipe Dairy-Free Liquid Cheesecake
  • 1/4 cup brown butter (microwave in a heat-proof container with a lid for about 5 minutes, until the butter pops and gets all caramely and brown)
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 recipe Cinnamon Streusel (recipe follows)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Roll out dough to fit a 10″ pie plate, and flatten within.

Spread half of the brown butter into the bottom of the pie plate.

Gently layer on 1/2 of the liquid cheesecake, then a second layer of brown butter.

Scatter the brown sugar on top, then tamper it down with a spoon or the back of your hand.

Sprinkle on the salt and cinnamon.

Gently layer the 2nd half of the cheesecake, then the entire batch of streusel topping, patting it into place.

Bake for 40 minutes.  Serve warm.

Cinnamon Streusel:

  • 1/4 cup white rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats (not quick cooking or whatever)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter, coconut oil or Earth Balance, melted
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all dry ingredients thoroughly.  Pour in melted butter etc. and vanilla.  Stir thoroughly into large clusters.

Gluten-Free Pastry Puff Party!

photo Brent Herrig

I’ve been obsessed with a gluten-free cream puff recipe.

Having gone without gluten for almost twenty years (minus the occasional succumbing to a bowl of homemade pasta passed to me or the gloriousness of a chewy piece of bread on my family’s island in Portugal just last week), delicate, precious things like filled pastry puffs had long been far from my food thoughts.

But when I sourced a bakery for gluten-free Easy Eats magazine’s Sweet Surprise column in our most recent issue, those thoughts shifted.  As I assisted the food stylist on the shoot I fell enamored of the smooth, thick dough that puffed into crackly rounds.  I was amazed by how such seemingly simple ingredients and a rather quick process could make something so delightful.

So my proposal for FoodBuzz’s 24×24 dinner party – where 24 bloggers from around the world host and post on the same day – quickly centered around the thought: how much can I play with this in one meal?  The owner of the bakery and creator of the recipe, Geri Peacock, had mentioned that, growing up as a child, her mother and grandmother filled the shells with things both savory and sweet.  It was a bit of her heritage that she had adapted for the gluten-free community years later.

So I rounded up some friends, checked in about their dietary issues and cultural backgrounds, and set them in the living room with some cocktails and a really random mix of music, and got to stuffing.

The pastry recipe is below, with my thoughts about how to make each batch spot on.  Click on the images for links to the other recipes.

And please check out Easy Eats magazine for the original recipe and other beautiful gluten-free recipes, lifestyle tips and stunning photos – and my most recent feature of five gluten free pasta recipes! Oh, and coming out in May, my feature of six top-notch chefs give us their own food thoughts and easy-to-execute classic recipes made gluten free (two of the chefs even put gluten-free options on their menus after!).

Oh, and mucho thanks to my photographer, Brent Herrig, for plating and snapping away.  All images are his.

Brent Herrig © 2012

Gluten-Free Pastry Puffs

Makes about 36 puffs, depending on size

The original pastry recipe took a teeny tiny bit of playing with – things like the position of the oven rack and sheets used made a huge difference in how one sheet would either rise and become too thin or remain deliciously eggy but too dense.  Luckily they are rather quick to whip up, and once you get the hang of it you can start swapping flours and fats with relative ease.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, Earth Balance or lard
  • 2 cups Cherbourg Bakery flour blend
  • 8 large eggs, at room temperature
  • dash of salt

Method:

Heat oven to 400° with rack in the center / one notch down from center.  Line 3 baking sheets with Silpat (the original recipe says ungreased cookie sheets but mine continually stuck that way – could be my ancient oven).

In a small pot on high heat, bring the water and butter (once it’s melted) to a full boil.  Lower the heat, add the flour all at once, and mix thoroughly, using a combination of smearing together and folding to completely incorporate the flour into the liquid.  Cook until a smooth ball forms.  Immediately transfer to a standing mixer with the paddle attachment.  Beat in eggs one at a time, starting on a low setting then raising to incorporate.  About halfway through, beat until smooth, and then continue with the rest of the eggs.  Once all are in, beat for about one minute on medium-high speed.

Drop on sheets in smooth lumps, about one tablespoon for smaller puffs (what I used for dessert) and twice the size for larger ones.  Bake one at a time for 30 minutes (I was lucky to use a neighbor’s oven as well).  Once you put the puffs in, don’t open the oven for a good 25 minutes to check – they need the heat to rise properly.  Cool for a few minutes before removing to cooling rack.

Depending on the sturdiness of the puffs, I cut out small tops and filled them or sliced them in half and used them in a slider-type of way.  As they’re light, eggy and rather flavor-neutral, they worked well with strong savory and sweet flavors equally.

Puff Pastry Party Menu

Piri Shrimp

This is the one dish for which I’m not posting a recipe, because I totally cheated and just threw 1 pound of ethically caught shrimp (as in not from Thailand and labeled with certain standards) with 1 bottle of Very Peri Mild (I was sent some to test out and it’s quite delightful).  I marinated it overnight and then threw them in a hot pan with the juice of one fresh lemon.  YUM!

Lamb Stew

Garden Chicken Salad

Jerusalem Artichoke and Kohlrabi

Mini Banana Split with Dairy-Free Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Mini Strawberry Shortcakes with Dairy-Free Liquid Cheesecake


Mini Gluten-Free Pastry Puff Strawberry Shortcakes

Brent Herrig, 2012

Fruit and cream are two of my favorite things to smash together, but since I’ve been dairy-free for almost 20 years (save for butter, which as such little protein in it I can indulge), it’s not a combo I get too often.

In dreaming about what sweets I could fill into gluten-free puff pastries other than the traditional cream for my FoodBuzz 24×24 party, the combo naturally came to mind.  Why not do a mini take on a strawberry shortcake to compliment my cool and minty Mini Banana Splits?

This combo is quite adorable – full of flavor and texture, nostalgic and simple.  And look how cute and romantic.

I’m all smiles.  Love.

Mini Gluten-Free Puff Pastry Strawberry Shortcakes

Serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 recipe gluten-free puff pastry, baked with about 1 Tbsp each for a small size
  • 1 quart of strawberries, chopped small
  • 1 recipe Liquid Cheesecake, baked an additional five minutes to set almost firm
  • 2 Tbsp organic sugar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint, plus 12 small leaves for garnishing
  • Powdered sugar

Method:

Combine the strawberries, chopped mint and sugar in a small bowl, and stir to combine.  Refrigerate a few hours or overnight to let the flavors meld.

To serve, cut a small hole in each of the pastries.  Fill with strawberries.  Use a mini cookie scoop to scoop out a round of liquid cheesecake.  Tuck mint leave in between layer.  Top with pastry top.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Gluten-Free Confetti Cookies – Milk Bar Mondays

It's a friendly little cookie, no?

I have a feeling if Christina Tosi ever knew what I do with her recipes, she might wanna punch me in the neck.

My gluten-free Carrot Cake Truffles and Apple Pie Layer Cake from the last two swaps were, yes, divinity.  But in my allergy-friendly adaptations for this lovely group of swappers, I went one step further with this swap, and tried to swap certain ingredients with their slightly healthier cousins.

Because while I think Tosi is a dessert genius, there are just some things I can’t use: milk powder and liquid glucose being two of them.  I gave in a little and swaped agave for the glucose.  And I just omitted the milk powder and did a little dance of prayer in my kitchen, hoping they’d come out (it was a cross between how silly I look chanting kirtan and a rain dance I made up when I was little and wanted to be Pocahontas – no joke).  I love her book, and really admire her recipe writing style.  So I hope neck-punching isn’t in my future.

These cookies are exactly what Tosi intended them to be – the best confetti birthday cake in cookie form.  It truly tastes like the vanilla Betty Crocker cake mix I remember from days of yore, rolled up in a snicker-doodle-esqe base with a touch more salt.

They’re incredible.  The Birthday Cake Crumb adds that extra touch of awesomeness, and the design is just fun!

Now head over to Cassie’s Bake Your Day for the original recipe and go say hi to the Milk Bar Ladies!

Meet the Milk Bar Ladies!

Gluten-Free Confetti Cookies!

Ingredients:

  • 225g / 2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 300g / 1 1/2 cups of white sugar
  • 50g / 2 Tbsp light agave nectar

——

  • 2 eggs
  • 8g / 2 tsp vanilla extract

——

  • 100g quinoa flour
  • 150g arrowroot starch
  • 50g sorghum flour
  • 100g brown rice flour
  • 9g cream of tartar
  • 6g baking soda
  • 5g kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 40g rainbow sprinkles (my grocery store brand had no gluten ingredients)

——

  • 1/2 recipe Birthday Cake Crumb (recipe below)

Method:

  • Combine butter, sugar and agave in bowl of stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  Paddle for 2-3 minutes on medium/high.  Scrape the side of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla, and paddle on medium/high for 7 – 8 minutes, when the mixture is incredibly pale, light and fluffy and has doubled in size.
  • Reduce the mixer to low and add in the flour / sprinkle mixture.  Mix until it just comes together, less than one minute.  Do not over mix.
  • On low speed, stir in the Birthday Cake Crumb, just until it’s incorporated.
  • Scoop onto parchment or Silpat lined sheets – I made 12 large cookies by doubling my cookie scoop, then another 12 small cookies by single-scooping.  Either way, make sure there’s a good 3-4 inches between each on the sheet, and press down with your fingers to flatten (this version will not spread that much).  Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 1 week before baking – do not bake directly, these must be chilled!
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°.  Bake large cookies for 18 minutes and small ones for 14 minutes, or until the edges are brown and the centers are just starting to show color.
  • Cool completely on sheets before removing to plate or container.  Can be kept at room temp for 5 days or frozen for 1 month.
TheDustyBaker

Birthday Cake Crumb

Birthday Cake Crumb:

Once again this whole crumb thing blew me away.  It adds a bit more texture and salt to the recipe, and a lot more flavor.  These crumbs are a tad more healthful than the original, but are addictive nonetheless.  Use your fingers to press the crumb into little clusters if paddling doesn’t do it.

Oh, and I grabbed my bin of “dog-knows” gluten-free flour, where I’ve basically thrown whatever cookie flour I have leftover from a recipe into the bin.  I used that for the 90g below, but a fair estimate is that it’s 1/3 starch, 1/3 brown rice and 1/3 white rice flour with 1/4 tsp xanthan gum.

Ingredients:

  • 100g palm sugar
  • 25g light brown sugar
  • 90g gluten-free flour (see note above)
  • 2 g baking powder
  • 2 g kosher salt
  • 20g rainbow sprinkles

——

  • 40g coconut oil
  • 12g vanilla extract

Method:

  • Heat oven to 350°.  Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment.
  • Combine the top ingredients in mixer with paddle attachment and paddle until completely combined.
  • Add wet ingredients and paddle again until clusters appear.  When all the moisture is absorbed, use your fingers if necessary.
  • Spread the clusters on the sheet and bake for 20 minutes, tossing half-way through.
  • Cool completely before using.

Light and Fluffy Gluten-Free Pancakes

If you look under my little “Categories” toolbar to the right over there, you’ll see that there’s one titled “Pancake Addiction”.

Though they’re not my go-to every morning breakfast (that would be slow-cooked eggs over arugula with avocado, goat cheese, sunflower seeds and a dash of really good olive oil and fleur de sel), they’re one of my favorite things: so light and fluffy and indulgent.  I’ve been doing the gluten free thing for almost 20 years – sometimes incredibly strictly, sometimes a bit more lax – and I remember a huge chunk of my childhood either going without or having really sub-par replacements. Not any more. Continue reading

Red Velvet Pancakes – gluten and dairy free

Flour, cocoa, and a whole lotta love

I didn’t realized until I uploaded these photos quite how sexy these pancakes are.

They’re not as sophisticated as my Tapioca and Buckwheat Crepes.

Not as ready for little fingers and family moments as my Ebelskivers.

They don’t quite have my undying devotion as do my Blueberry Lemon Pancakes.

Nor do they fulfill a St. Patrick’s day yearning like my Nutty Irishmen.

But, hot dang…

…do they make a little dusty baker like me swoon.

Look at them, all saucy and red...

So here’s what I suggest you do, friends:

If you’re single, slip on something barely there and make these while dancing barefoot in your kitchen to Ella or Janis or maybe some Little Walter.

If you’re all cozy coupled, slip outta bed early morning and whip these up, then serve all snuggly and warm.

If you have little ones scampering about, put on the Beatles and teach them that all you need is love.

Happy Pancakeing.

– Jacqueline

Love is all you need

Gluten-free pancake mix

Whisk together 3 cups millet flour, 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup  starch, 4 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp kosher salt, 2 tsp xanthan gum, 4 Tbsp sugar

Red Velvet Pancakes

Now what technically constitutes a “red velvet” cake is the combination of flavors of cocoa and the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar.  I’ve made these both with and without vinegar, and in my opinion there’s not much of a difference in taste between the two.

What I have noticed that makes a huge difference is the kind of milk you use.  I awoke to FoodBuzz’s “Congratulations, you made the Top 9!” and a craving to make them.  But after two batches that were gummy and tight I was REALLY frustrated!  The original batch was made at my family’s house in CT, with most of the same ingredients I have in my apartment.  I had made them twice there with success.  What in dog’s name was going wrong?! After the two botched batches I looked at the Silk Almond Milk I had grabbed from my corner deli: it contains locust bean gum (made from carob pods).  I had found the culprit.  So, warning, if you use an alternative form of milk, check out both the sugar and the thickening agents in them.  I’ve made them successfully using my basic pancake mix (above), but I’ve also put options for using premixed gluten-free flour and mixing your own below.  If you’re using a mix that has a gum in it, omit the xanthan gum completely.  Also, consider reducing the sugar if your milk is already sweet.

Final note: If you have large eggs on hand, be careful with the amount of milk you use.  Start at 3/4 cup an add the additional at the end if needed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free pancake mix OR mix below*
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 – 1 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp red food coloring
  • 1/4 tsp white vinegar

Single Batch Mix: if you don’t have pancake mix at the ready use this combination: 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup  starch, 1/4 cup millet flour (or 1 1/4 cup of whatever gluten-free flour mix you have at hand) 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/8 tsp salt optional 1/4 tsp xanthan gum depending on your milk / dry ingredients mix.

Directions:

  • Whisk pancake mix, cocoa and sugar in a small bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk / beat egg, milk, vanilla and food coloring until creamy and light.  Add in flour mixture and stir to combine.    Let sit for 15 minutes if time permits (I pour mine into a large measuring cup for easy pancake pouring later).
  • Heat a griddle or large skillet on medium/low heat until it comes up to temperature.  Lightly grease with cooking spray or butter.  Slowly pour pancake mix to desired size.  Cook about 5 minutes, until the pancake bubbled then sets.  Flip, and cook another 3 minutes or until just slightly browned.

Note: Because of the color, cooking slowly at medium/low heat is the best.  Make sure that the cooking spray or butter doesn’t brown between batches to lock in the beautiful red color.

Milk Bar Mondays – Apple Pie Layer Cake (gluten-free, dairy-optional)

The cake layered and frozen, ready for birthday love

It’s a Milk Bar Monday, folks, and I couldn’t be more tickled pink than to have it coincide with my Lil Sis’s birthday.  A whopping 26 years old (cough), Lil Sis is one of my favorite people on the planet, and a very dear friend.  She massages my weary, arthritis-laden body when I’m sore (awesome having a massage therapist in the family), gave me my first lessons in pasta making in preparation for my upcoming Easy Eats magazine feature, Mitra runs up to her full of love, and she’s instrumental in helping me cope through those big, life-changing moments we all love to fear so much.  Lil Sis claims to be moving to Virginia or North Carolina or something like that in May.  I choose to remain in a state of denial.

Me and Lil Sis, circa 2011

On top of being a truly loving, creative person, Lil Sis has somewhat recently started a gluten-free diet.  I had this CRAZY layer cake to make for this round of Milk Bar Mondays, where a small group of incredible lady bloggers bake out of Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar cookbook.  I’m the alternative baker of the bunch, and was immediately sold on the awesomeness of the swap when my Carrot Cake Truffles were quickly hailed as one of the best things I have ever made.

Because the cake had to freeze and defrost before being plopped in the car to Connecticut and stripped of its acetate mold before being presented, I don’t have great pics of the final product, or us enjoying it.  Head to the other ladies in the swap for some stunning photos of their creations, all which look too amazing for words:

Host Nicole at Sweet Peony has the whole recipe too!

Cassie at Bake Your Day
Erin at Big Fat Baker
Krissy at Krissy’s Creations
Audra at The Baker Chick

Follow the Milk Bar Monday ladies on Twitter! 

Follow the Milk Bar Monday board on Pinterest!

Happy Birthday Lil Sis!

Now, this cake is a little insane.  A brown butter cake layered with Liquid Cheesecake, Apple Pie filling, Pie Crumb and Apple Cider Soak, then topped with Pie Crumb frosting.  Tosi might be a bit insane, but she’s a genius. There were layers of “wow” going through my family as we all tasted, it being proclaimed an incredible combination of coffee cake and apple pie.  It is extremely sweet.  If I ever make it again I’ll cut some of the sugar from the apple pie filling and cheesecake, because it’ll still be plenty sweet with a little omission. But it is ridiculously, amazingly, scarily delicious.  Don’t be afraid of the many steps – it comes together brilliantly.  Just plan ahead a bit (I made most of the components in one day then made the cake and built and freezed it a second), and it makes a stunning presentation.

Happy Birthday Lil Sis.  I love you up to heaven, down to earth.

– Jacqueline

Apple Pie Layer Cake – Gluten Free, Dairy Optional

My version is gluten free, and while I used butter in the cake itself it can be made dairy free as well by substituting the brown butter with melted Earth Balance.  Adapting Tosi’s recipe to be gluten free didn’t work, as there was far too much fat and gluten-free flours can be heavier than all-purpose wheat.  So I made my basic vanilla cake with brown butter instead, and got the same taste results with a better texture.  The key to this cake is making sure that the oven is hot, the ingredients are all at room-temperature or warm, and that you whip the eggs to at least twice their size before folding in the rest of the ingredients.  This way you get an incredibly spongey cake that’s full of flavor and doesn’t risk sinking when you take it out of the oven.

Special Equipment:

  • Quarter sheet pan
  • Parchment paper
  • 6-inch cake ring
  • Acetate strips (2 strips 3″ tall and 20″ long)

Components:

  • 1 recipe Brown Butter Cake (recipe below)
  • 1 recipe Liquid Cheesecake (click on title for link to recipe under Carrot Cake Truffles)
  • 1 recipe Pie Crumb (recipe below), divided equally in two
  • 1 recipe Apple Cider Soak (recipe below)
  • 1 recipe Apple Pie Filling (recipe below)
  • 1 recipe Pie Crumb Frosting (recipe below)

Building the Cake:

  • Use the cake round to gently cut 2 circles of cake from the pan.
  • Place cake ring on a piece of parchment on a sheet pan.  Insert one of the strips of acetate securely into the ring.
  • Pile the scraps of cake cut around the circles into the bottom of the cake ring and use your hands or the bottom of a glass to press into a flat layer.
  • Wash the cake layer with a healthy dose of the Apple Cider Soak, about 1/2 of the recipe.  Use a spoon to evenly spread 1/2 of the Liquid Cheesecake on the layer.  Spread 1/3 of the pie crumbs, pressing them into place.  Spread 1/2 of the apple pie filling as equally as possible over the crumbs (for a firm cake, don’t use the more liquidy part of the filling).
  • Gently insert the 2nd ring of acetate, overlapping about 1/4 of an inch to make an almost 6-inch ring.
  • Gently place one of the rounds of cake in the ring, and repeat with equal amounts of filling.
  • Top with second round of cake, and frost completely with Pie Crumb frosting.  Sprinkle with remaining pie crumbs.

Brown Butter Cake

Ingredients:

  • 8oz (1 stick) unsalted butter  or Earth Balance
  • 8 oz white sugar
  • 4 whole large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3oz white rice flour
  • 3 oz tapioca flour
  • 2 oz millet flour
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a quarter-sheet pan with parchment paper and do not grease the edges.
  • If using butter, makes it all deliciously brown and nutty by microwaving it in a heat-proof bowl (Pyrex is great) closed with a heat-safe plate for 6 minutes.  You’ll hear the butter bubble and pop, and it should be dark and golden when you (carefully) remove the plate.  If it’s melted but still yellow, nuke it for another minute or so. If using Earth Balance, simply melt it over the microwave or on the stove until thoroughly melted.  Either way, allow the melted fat to cool while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
  • Weight our your dry ingredients into a medium bowl.  Prep a standing mixer with the whisk attachment.
  • In a double boiler over simmering water, whisk the eggs and sugar until the sugar is completely melted and the mixture is slightly above body temperature (do not let the egg cook, you’re just warming them so that they whip up more easily).  Immediately pour into standing mixer and begin whipping on medium/high-speed until the mixture more than doubles in size and becomes light and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  • Remove from mixer, and fold in flour mixture.
  • Fold in melted butter.
  • Immediately pour into pan and bake for 30-38 minutes or until a toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool completely before building the cake.

Apple Cider Soak:

Whisk together 1/4 cup apple cider, 1 tsp tightly packed light brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon until the sugar is dissolved.

Apple Pie Filling:

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter or Earth Balance
  • 2/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar (this could be cut to 1/3 in my opinion)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

  • Fill a bowl with cold water and add lemon juice to it.  Peel the apples, then half and quarter them.  Remove the core, then cut each piece lengthwise into thirds and crosswise into fourths, so that you have 12 small pieces from each apple quarter. Move them to the lemon water to keep them fresh while you cut.
  • When all the apples are ready to go, strain them and toss them into a small pot with the rest of the ingredients.  Put on medium heat and bring up to a boil.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the apple are soft but not getting mushy.
  • Pour into a container and refrigerate until completely cold. (Can be kept in fridge for a week, but do not freeze)

Pie Crumb:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter or Earth Balance, melted
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp water

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a half-sheet pan with parchment or a Silpat.
  • Combine flours, gum, sugar and salt in bowl of a standing mixer with paddle attachment and paddle on low-speed until well mixed.  Add the butter and water and paddle on low-speed until mixture starts to come into crumbles.
  • Pour onto baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, checking them occasionally to break them up.  The crumbles should be golden brown but not hard – they’ll seem to crumble when you press on them, but as they cool they’ll harden a bit.
  • Let the crumbs cool completely before using for the cake (you’ll use half the recipe for the frosting and the other half for the layered cake).

Pie Crumb Frosting:

This makes enough for 2 cakes but Tosi says it’s really hard to make a single serving, so make double and use the rest for snacking or cake-truffle-ing!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 recipe Pie Crumb
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used hazelnut milk to bring out the nuttiness in the brown butter cake.  Unsweetened almond milk or your milk of choice will work well too)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (I found the frosting to be a bit salty, so I’d suggest cutting down to 1/4 tsp)
  • 3 Tbsp Earth Balance or unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free confectioners sugar

Directions:

  • Combine crumbs, milk and salt in a blender and blend for about 3 minutes on medium/high-speed until it’s smooth and homogenous.  Scrape under the blade halfway through to make sure the entire recipe mixes completely.
  • In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, begin paddling the Earth Balance / butter and confectioners sugar until fluffy and pale, about 2-3 minutes on medium/high-speed.  Scrape down the sides with a spatula.
  • On low-speed, paddle in the milk mixture.  After a minute, bring up to high-speed and whip for another 2 minutes. If mixture is not fully uniform, very pale and fluffy, scrape the bowl again and paddle for another minute.
  • Use immediately, or store in fridge for up to one week in an airtight container.
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