Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gluten Free Coffee Cake Temptation

This began as an experiment and came out a masterpiece.  Shawn was adamant that He didn't like coffee cake of any kind and was reluctant to try this.  He had 3 helpings at first sitting. =]

It has that moist crumb that when some of it crumbles out onto the plate you can simply mash it with your fork and it sticks together enough to be picked up with the bottom of your fork.  I love coffee cake.

This is a variation on cinnamon streusel coffee cake.  This recipe isn't as healthy or low-fat as a lot of my recipes, but it sure is delicious!  I am positive that even the most finicky eaters will love this coffee cake.


The Batter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
2 eggs
1 cup 2% milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 and  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup Crisco butter flavored shortening (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon guar gum

The Crumble
3/4 cup gluten free rolled oats (finely blended in a food processor)
1 cup of walnuts (blended in a food processor, measured after blending)
1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup butter (melted)

Begin by mixing the crumble together.  I started with blending the gluten free rolled oats in my food processor until finely chopped.

Then I blended the walnuts in the food processor to a fine crumb.

Next I put all the ingredients for the crumb into a small mixing bowl like this.

Mix it all together thoroughly until everything is moistened and the spices are well blended in.  Then set this aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease your baking pan.  I used an Anchor Hocking glass 2 quart casserole dish.  Whisk the eggs and the vanilla together and set this aside.  Whisk the milk and the apple cider vinegar together and set this aside for a few minutes.

Now to mix the batter.  Begin by  adding all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

Whisk these together thoroughly.

Add the room temperature Crisco butter flavor shortening and cut it into the flour.  It's best for it to remain in tiny flour covered chunks like this.

Whisk the eggs/vanilla mixture into the milk and the apple cider vinegar mixture and add this combined mixture into a well in the flour mixture.  Stir this together slowly just enough to moisten all flour but not enough to dissolve all the lumps.  Pour about half of this mixture into your prepared baking dish.  Then sprinkle about half of the crumble mixture on top of the batter, using your hands to evenly disperse as you drop it in.

Repeat that last step and pour the remaining batter on top of the first layer of crumble, then hand sprinkle the rest of the crumble on the top evenly.

Bake uncovered for 70 minutes.  Test with toothpick at 60 minutes and then again at 70 if it isn't done at 60.  The toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.  Once it is done, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for a bit before serving.  Notice the batter has enveloped the crumble.

Slice off a piece and serve!  Delicious with the obvious, coffee, but delicious with a glass of milk also.
You will love this!



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hummus : My favorite new addiction.

So lately I've been secretly addicted to hummus.  So much so that it is noticeably effecting my grocery budget.  I usually buy the roasted garlic hummus, or the lemon hummus.  It's been costing me roughly $2.00 a day over the past few weeks.

I decided I'd give making my own hummus a try, not only for cost effectiveness (because I'm frugal), but because I like to control every ingredient in the foods that I eat.  I felt that buying the pre-made brands of hummus in the store was causing me to consume much more preservatives and the like than I was comfortable with.

It turns out that making your own hummus is not only incredibly cheaper than buying it, it's incredibly easy and a great deal healthier (leaving out all the preservatives).

I started with a mix of several basic hummus recipe's then added a bit of this and a pinch more of that until it passed my taste testing.

Here is my hummus recipe.


1 16 ounce can of chickpeas
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Begin by draining the can of chickpeas and putting the drained chickpeas into your food processor.  Add all the other ingredients into the food processor.

Secure the lid on top and pulse the processor until everything is thoroughly blended into a thick hummus.

Carefully remove and scrape the blade, then scrape out the hummus into a bowl.  I chose an Anchor Hocking with a lid for my repeated opening and closing as I eat this like an addict.

There you go.  Simple, delicious, healthy.


Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Breakfast Muffins

These Muffins are great for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or anytime you are craving some chocolate muffin goodness.

I didn't use any Xanthan gum or guar gum and these held together great with a little moist crumb.  not too dense and not too light or airy.  I did use milk, which could be substituted with your favorite milk substitute.  I also used one egg, which you can simply substitute 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons of hot water without changing the texture or height of the rise very much at all.

Give these a try, they were so delicious I gobbled down 3 of them (for quality control purposes) as soon as they were cool enough to taste test.  Don't judge!  =]

This recipe is simple to do and makes 24 muffins.


6 ounce (170g) semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks (your choice)
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup gluten free oat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 and 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 and 1/2 cup 2% milk
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large egg
1 and 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (check for gluten free)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pans with baking cups.

Begin by mixing the flaxseed meal with the hot water and set this aside to get "goopy".

Next mix all of the flours together in a large bowl.  Whisk together thoroughly.

Once thoroughly whisked together add the cocoa powder and the brown sugar to the bowl.  Whisk these into the flours with a pouncing motion to break up the brown sugar and disperse it evenly.

Once the sugar and cocoa is mixed into the flour, add the semisweet chocolate chips/chunks.  Blend these together well.

Now getting back to the liquid.  The flaxseed meal slurry should be about the right consistency by now so add the egg to the bowl and whisk thoroughly.

In a separate, larger bowl, whisk the milk and the olive oil and the vanilla together thoroughly.

Mix the egg/flaxseed meal mixture into the milk/olive oil mixture and whisk thoroughly.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.

Stir together slowly but completely, just until all the dry ingredients are moistened but not enough to remove all the lumps.  The mixture will begin to bubble slightly.  This is supposed to happen.  Notice the bubbles in the picture below.

Using a 1/4 cup measuring scoop and a spatula to clean off the drips, fill each muffin cup with 1/4 cup of batter.  Be conscious of the number or amount of chocolate chips going into each scoop to try to keep them evenly dispersed throughout all the muffins.

Bake for 20 minutes @ 350 degrees.  Remove and test with a toothpick.  If the toothpick comes out clean, they are done.

Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Serve and try not to eat them all at once as I almost did.  I stored them on the kitchen counter in an Anchor Hocking Jar.  It works perfectly to keep them fresh for a few days.  They won't last any longer than that.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gluten Free, Egg Free, Yeast Free Bread

Today I set out to make a bread without yeast.  Searching the fridge, I discovered it would be made without eggs also, which is ok with me due to my heart condition and hereditary high cholesterol.

Now, gluten free bread baking used to seem like such an overwhelming task to me but I was sure that I could come up with one that I liked.  I have had success with yeast breads in the past although they always had that strong yeast flavor.  This morning I decided I wanted to try a, for lack of a better word, a soda bread.

With fearlessness I began jotting down notes, scratching out ingredients, rearranging quantities, adding new ingredients, checking the cupboards to see what I had to work with.  This went on for about an hour.  Once the recipe was set in "pencil", I got out my bowls and began my mad scientist creation for the day.

When I put it into the oven, I must admit, I was scared.  I mean, I could have just wasted the morning and the better part of the afternoon, not to mention a mess of ingredients.  Nothing I could do now but wait.

The timer ticked by, then BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP.  I was excited and ran into the kitchen, threw open the oven and there it sat.

The loaf had risen.  It had browned.  It smelled delicious.  Ouch!  It needed to cool.  =]

After cooling on the rack I thumped it and it sounded done.  My excitement grew.

When I sliced it open I was pleased with the texture and durability.  The crust was crusty and the inside was moist, but not too moist.  I made a sandwich, and after one bite I was ready to dance and sing!  I felt like I had discovered the holy grail. LOL

This is by far, hands down, the BEST bread that I have made or eaten since going gluten free!  Please give it a try and post your thoughts here.  It is easy to make and completely delicious.


Group 1 : Dry Ingredients
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup gluten free oat flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Group 2 : Wet
1 cup 2% milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Group 3 : Egg Replacement
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
6 tablespoons hot water

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon melted butter

Begin by whisking the dry ingredients (group 1) together in your stand mixer bowl thoroughly.  Set this aside for now.

Next mix the milk and apple cider together and allow to warm slightly on the counter.

Next step is to mix the flaxseed meal and the hot water together from group 3.  Set this aside to get goopy.

Once the flaxseed meal slurry is the right consistency, mix into it the 1/2 cup olive oil and stir together thoroughly.  Then mix in the milk, then the water, stirring together after each addition.  Now make a well in the flour mixture that is already in your stand mixer bowl.  Pour the liquid into the well and using your dough hooks mix until all the liquid is incorporated into the flour.  It should be thick and hold together in a ball.

By now, you should have preheated your oven to 375 degrees and greased a cookie sheet with olive oil.  Turn the dough out onto the middle of the cookie sheet and with olive oiled hands smooth and shape the dough into a ball.  With a sharp knife score the top in an X but not too deep.

At this point I brushed the top with melted butter and placed it into the 375 degree oven for 1 hour.
When done, remove the bread loaf and put it on a wire rack to cool.

I allowed it to cool completely before slicing into it.  I made a chicken salad sandwich and it held together remarkably well while being eaten.  I loved it!

I know you will love this bread too.



Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gluten Free and Egg Free Hoagie Rolls

I set out to make hotdog buns, but this very delicious hoagie roll was the result, so I figured I'd post it.  In the above picture we made leftover pot roast into a sort of philly cheesesteak style hoagie with fresh picked tomato from the patio. Delicious!  =]

I started early in the day and was still on my  morning coffee when my kitchen counter looked like this.

These rolls were delicious and held together while eating, although this type of sandwich filling often leaps to safety out the back of any roll to escape that first bite.


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Group 1
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup potato starch
1/2 cup sweet white sorghum
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon guar gum
1 and 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt

Group 2

1 cup 2% milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Mix well and let come to room temperature.

Group 3

2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
6 tablespoons  hot water

Mix well and set aside to get "goopy".

Group 4

1 packet active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water

Mix well and set out to "proof".

Mix the dry ingredients together in your stand mixer bowl.  Make a well in the center and add all the other groups liquid including the olive oil.

Using your dough hooks, let the mixer run until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly and look a little like thick mashed potatoes while the texture is thick and sticky.

Next is the secret to uniform and smooth hoagie rolls, hotdog buns, etc.  I sprayed the inside of a zippered freezer bag with olive oil spray and spooned the dough into the bag.

Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag, about 1/2 inch, give or take.  Squeeze the dough evenly in a log out onto a greased cookie sheet (use olive oil) through the corner hole.  Be careful to keep it uniform and even for attractive hoagie rolls.

I then cut the logs in half and cleaned up the ends slightly with a silicon spatula coated in?... you guessed it, olive oil.

I put the rolls into the oven which was preheated to 175 degrees and allowed them to rise for 45 minutes.  Then turned the oven up to 350 degrees and continued baking for 15 more minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Makes 8 hoagie/sandwich rolls.  Tastes best when used the same day but if you need to keep them place them in a zippered sandwich bag and let sit on the counter.  Our dinner usage is pictured above at the start of the recipe.



Reading Labels: Being a Label Detective and Finding Hidden Gluten

I decided to write this post after being asked by many friends and readers the same question.

"How do you know what to look for when reading labels?"

There are certain products on the market that claim to be Gluten-Free in great big letters on the front of the box, yet people are still getting glutened from these products.  You need to be a "Label Detective", which simply means read the label, all of it, even the small print.

Your best protection against getting accidentally glutened by one of these bandwagon jumping, fad following, unregulated labeling, products is arming yourself with knowledge and information and reading the labels completely.

Watch out for misinformation when Googling ingredients also.  Some sites claim that for instance, maltodextrin (one of my "red flag" ingredients) is gluten free.  Further reading will say probably gluten free, or should be gluten free, or gluten free if made in the USA.

This all means one thing to me.  When in doubt, leave it out.  Better safe than sorry.

Shawn and I shop simply and purchase products using two major golden rules.

1:  "If my great grandmother would not recognize it as a natural food source, we don't buy it."
2:  "If it has any of my red flag ingredients, we don't buy it."

You may be asking yourself "What are these red flag ingredients?".  Well, read on....

Red Flag Ingredients

Maltodextrin - It could or it couldn't.  When in doubt leave it out.
Modified food starch (unless stated in parentheses following that it is not wheat) - Unnamed source could
     be wheat.
Spices - What a scary nonspecific ingredient.
Natural Flavorings - Again scary and nonspecific (roasted barley is a common natural flavoring)
Artificial Color - It might, It might not.
Caramel Color - Depending on it's origin, it could be made from barley.
Enzymes - Could be wheat if not specified.
Soy Sauce - Depends on the manufacturer so unless stated it is to be avoided.
Teriyaki - *see soy sauce
Smoke Flavoring - Run away fast.
Hydrolyzed or Hydrogenated - These two words I avoid altogether.
Pure Vanilla Extract - I avoid this unless stated as gluten free source. See a previous 2 part post I wrote
        about this.
Anything with the word Malt.
Artificial Vanilla - Eeeeek!!
Of course avoid the obvious, Wheat, Rye, Barley, and Oats unless the oats are stated to be certified gluten free oats.

Be particularly wary of foods that state in giant letters on the front of the package GLUTEN-FREE, then in small print say either "Manufactured on shared equipment with wheat." or "Processed in a facility that also processes wheat."  This is a red flag for cross contamination.  You may or may not get sick eating these products so why risk it?  Trader Joe's labels most of their gluten-free foods with "No gluten ingredients were used to make this product." , However, reading on it says "Manufactured on shared equipment or in a facility that also processes wheat."  RED FLAG!!!

Also, the allergen warnings do not always warn about the sources of ingredients used, sometimes it is just warning if the allergen such as wheat is an ingredient by itself.

This isn't intended to be an end all beat all comprehensive list.  This is simply the red flag ingredients and keywords that I look for when scanning labels in the grocery store.  Shawn very very rarely gets glutened anymore and when he does, it's usually traced to cross contamination when we eat out.

I hope this helps, even a little bit.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mimi Cakes : Gluten Free Chocolate and Cheesecake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

So, My dear friend Mimi had a Birthday while we are visiting and I offered to bake her a cake.  She suggested cupcakes.  Not just any cupcakes but She was quite specific.  Mimi wanted chocolate cupcakes with cheesecake filling and cream cheese frosting.

I took this as a gluten free challenge and set out to wow her.

Mimi and her husband Tim don't need to eat gluten free but while Shawn and I are visiting they are willing guinea pigs for my gluten free baking and cooking.

These turned out super delicious and little denser than a cupcake, which I did not mind at all.  I am sure these will be devoured quickly by anyone you bake them for since 12 of these vanished into thin air as soon as they were revealed.

Cupcake Ingredients

3/4 cup sweet rice flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
1 teaspoon Guar gum
1 teaspoon Xanthan gum
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup cocoa
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 stick salted sweet cream butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons water
1 and 1/2 cups sugar

Filling Ingredients

4 ounces of Neufchatel cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg

Frosting Ingredients

8 ounces Neufchatel cheese
1/2 stick of salted sweet cream butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound bag of powdered sugar

Begin by mixing the flaxseed meal and the water and setting this aside to get "goopy".

Next whisk the flours, starches and gums together thoroughly.

Next add the cocoa and whisk in until thoroughly incorporated.  Set this aside for now.

Next in your stand mixer bowl, cream together the sugar, butter, egg, pure vanilla extract, and flaxseed meal slurry.

Add the cocoa flour mixture 1/3 at a time alternating with the buttermilk, 1/3 at a time.  The batter will be more of a thick dough when finished.  Spoon the batter evenly into 2 muffin tins lined with paper cupcake liners, keeping back a small amount for topping the filling.  Then using a wet spoon that I repeatedly kept dipping in water, make an indentation in each cupcake as pictured below. (the half on the left side of the picture are indented with the spoon to show the difference)

Then mix up the filling.

Spoon the filling evenly into all 24 cupcakes.

Once the cupcake liners have the first layer of cake and the layer of filling, start topping off with a small dab of the cake batter you had held back.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Mix the frosting in your stand mixer.

Frost, serve, and watch them disappear.

Absolutely Delicious!