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Thursday, 9 March 2023

Vegetable Frittata with Roast Potatoes

 Lately, I've been making roast baby potatoes quite regularly.  Toss with a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper and bake 30 minutes at 425 F.  Sometimes I use flavored olive oils. Sometimes I add other spices to accompany whatever we're having for dinner.  Since then, I've been finding innovative ways to use the leftover roasted potatoes - and find that in quiche or frittatas, they work great!   I've posted a versatile frittata recipe in the past, but this one is a bit different - allowing for use of frozen broccoli and the roasted potatoes.  
A rich frittata, ready to eat!

Vegetable Frittata with Roast Potatoes

I have a nice large 12" cast-iron pan that works perfectly to sauté the vegetables and then pour over the egg and bake.  The ideal pan is one that you can use on the stovetop and then also bake in the oven.  If you don't have this, no worries! You can cook your vegetables, then pour it into a large baking dish to cook in the oven (I usually go for a 9 x 13" when not using the cast-iron).   

Preheat oven to 425 F. 

In a large cast-iron or similar pan, cook over medium to medium-high heat: 
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 - 1 onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced or sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli
Salt & Pepper generously

I find the addition of frozen broccoli will slow down the overall cooking a bit, but generally it takes ~7-8 minutes until the onions are softened (not soggy). 

Once your onion has softened and vegetables cooked (still crisp, not soggy), add and cook an additional 3-4 minutes:
1 - 2 cups diced roasted baby potatoes
Just after adding the potatoes.
After a few minutes of pan frying.

Divide throughout your vegetables: 
swiss cheese (or similar sharp cheese) - the amount can really vary depending on how cheesy you want your frittata
I used several slices of cheese haphazardly placed.

Whisk together, then pour over the top: 
9 eggs
3/4 cup cream (you can use whole milk or 10% cream for a lighter frittata, but the cream gives a rich flavor)
salt & pepper generously
Ready to bake!

Bake your frittata at 425 F for ~30 minutes, until nicely browned on top.  Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes, and serve!  I prefer this frittata served warm, so make sure to reheat any leftovers before serving.  Enjoy! 
Fresh from the oven. Yum!

Vegetable Frittata with Roast Potatoes Recipe by Successfully Gluten Free!

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Chocolate Paris-Brest Birthday Cake!

 A Paris-Brest is like a giant cream puff or éclair, baked into a big ring, sliced open and filled.  We wanted something a bit different that incorporated a rich, dark chocolate pudding for my daughter's birthday, and this was a hit!  A few years ago, I made a Paris-Brest for my brother's birthday, and I've made that Paris-Brest filled with a vanilla pastry cream and homemade caramel sauce several times now.  This is a fun chocolate-filled alternative.  It's also a nice alternative to overly sweet birthday cakes, as there isn't much sugar in it. Enjoy! 

Assembled, ready for a bit of decorations and birthday candles. 
Such a fun birthday cake!

Chocolate Paris-Brest Birthday Cake!

Rich Chocolate Pudding:

In a separate small bowl, whisk together until smooth.  Set aside to add in later:
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cornstarch

Whisk together in a medium-size saucepan:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I like to use an extra dark cocoa powder)
1/2 tsp salt

Add and whisk the following into the sugar/cocoa mixture:
2 1/2 cup milk (higher percentage of fat is best - you can even 10% cream for a really rich pudding)

Stir milk/cocoa mixture regularly while heating over medium heat until mixture almost comes to a boil **you don't want it to be at a boil, just very hot because you'll add a bit to the eggs and if it is boiling, you'll curdle the eggs a bit** 

Using your mixture of "almost" boiling hot chocolate milk, whisk 1/4 cup milk into your egg yolk mixture.  Add an additional 1/4 cup milk, whisking in.  Add a final 1/4 cup milk, whisking in.  This allows your eggs to heat up a bit slower, so you don't end up with lumps in your pudding.

Add egg mixture back into the pot.  Stirring constantly, mix until mixture comes to a boil and begins to bubble and thicken.  Keep on heat no more than 1 minute after mixture has begin boiling.

Remove from heat and add:
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla extract or bean paste (optional)

Add and mix in: 
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or diced dark chocolate

For a really smooth pudding, you can strain this in a sieve to remove any lumps, but I usually don't bother.  Put in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap (make sure plastic wrap is on the surface of the pudding to avoid any 'skin' being formed on top of your pudding).  Let cool.  I usually let it cool for a bit at room temperature before moving it to the refrigerator to fully cool. 

Choux Pastry (Pate a Choux):

Preheat oven to 360 F.  (I find somewhere between 350 - 375 works perfectly).  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  

In a medium sized saucepan (avoid non-stick coated pans), heat the following over medium heat just til starting to boil: 
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup salted butter
1 tsp sugar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt

Remove from heat and stir in quickly with a wooden spoon: 

Put the pot back on the heat and stir vigorously over the heat for 2 - 3 minutes.  It should smooth during this time.  

Remove from heat and place the dough into a mixer.  Turn on the mixer speed to low.  Let it mix for ~5-10 minutes, scraping occasionally.  Your dough should look nice and shiny and be quite thick.  

Add to the dough (one at a time or just all together): 
4 large eggs, room temperature

You want to let the dough mix on medium to medium-high speed until it's nice and smooth, scraping occasionally.  Scoop the dough into two freezer ziplocs (not absolutely necessary, but it's quite a thick dough and I find this helps avoid having a bag split while piping).  Snip ~1" - 1 1/2" from the corner of the bag.  

Using approximately 1/3 of the batter, pipe a large circle onto the parchment-lined paper.  Pipe a second circle just outside (or inside) of your first circle with the next 1/3 of the batter.  Using the last 1/3 of the batter, pipe a third circle on top of the first two circles.  
Two rings piped with approximately 2/3 of the batter. 
A final ring piped on top.  You can smooth it with just a little water on your fingers, if desired. 

Brush the top of your pastry with: 
1 egg, beaten

And sprinkle the top with: 
Sparkling sugar OR sliced almonds
We have nut allergies around here, so after brushing with egg I usually top it with coarse sugar crystals.  They end up looking beautiful.  However, you can top with slice almonds after adding the egg, if you prefer. 
Nothing more fun than learning to make Paris-Brest on your birthday!
Brushing on the egg wash before baking.

Immediately bake at 360 F for 50 - 55 minutes.  Remove from the oven and carefully slide your pastry onto a cooling rack.  Have a friend help hold the cooling rack up in the air and quickly poke 7-8 holes in the bottom of your pastry.  Poke a few holes around the edges of the pastry where you plan to slice it in half once cooled.  *Choux Pastry does best if you give the hot air somewhere it can release so the pastry doesn't collapse on itself while cooling.* 
Make sure to immediately slice holes in the sides and bottom to avoid any collapse during cooling. 

Whipped Cream:

In a mixer with a whisk attachment, beat until nice stiff peaks form: 
2 cups heavy whipping cream
~1/3 powdered sugar (more or less, to taste)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste


This cake is best made, assembled and served fresh, but if you need to prepare in advance, store in the refrigerator until serving.

1. Carefully slice your Choux Pastry Ring in half.  Carefully set aside the top.
2. Pipe or spoon your cooled chocolate pudding into the pastry ring. 
3. Pipe or spoon your whipped cream on top of the pudding.
4. Carefully top with the Choux Pastry Ring. 
5. Decorate with extra whipped cream, as desired. 
6. Slice carefully with a serrated knife and serve! 

Store leftovers in the refrigerator.  
Sliced and ready to fill.
Piped with rich dark chocolate pudding.

Piped with whipping cream. 
Sliced and served! One happy Birthday girl!

Chocolate Paris-Brest Birthday Cake Recipe by Successfully Gluten Free!

Friday, 3 February 2023

Freeze-dried Raspberry (Orange and/or Chocolate) Muffins

I find muffins are a favorite go-to winter breakfast and snack around here.  While frozen fruit is great, after losing all my freezer contents after the hurricane hit us last fall, I've been doing a bit more baking with freeze-dried fruits - and love it!  The flavor is great in muffins.  I've made these muffins as raspberry-orange muffins, raspberry-orange-chocolate muffins, raspberry-chocolate muffins and just plain raspberry muffins.  The variations are included below.  Enjoy!  
Gluten Free Freeze Dried Raspberry Chocolate Muffins
Raspberry-Chocolate Variety, fresh from the oven. Yum!

Freeze-dried Raspberry (Orange and/or Chocolate) Muffins

Makes 12 - 16 muffins (you can easily double the recipe to make 24-32)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line muffin tin with paper liners. 

In a mixer combine: 
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar (I prefer 1/2, but if you're wanting more of a cupcake flavor, you can add a bit extra)
1/2 cup butter, softened (OR 1/4 cup oil + 1/4 cup butter, softened)
1/4 cup orange juice (Or an additional 1/4 cup milk)
6 drops wild orange essential oil OR zest of 1 orange OR 1 tsp vanilla extract

Add and mix in: 
1/4 cup coconut flour 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Beat medium high speed 2-3 minutes, until nice and fluffy. 

Fold in: 
1/2 - 3/4 cup freeze dried raspberries, slightly crushed
2-3 Tbsp mini chocolate chips (optional)

Divide in prepared pan - I find it makes 12-16 muffins, depending on how I scoop it. 

Raspberry Orange Muffins, ready to bake! This amount of batter in each muffin tin meant another pan with 4 was also baked to make 16 total.

Bake at 350 F for ~18-22 minutes, until golden.  Remove from oven and let rest a few minutes before removing to cooling rack to fully cool.  Enjoy!!!  Leftovers store well for a day or two in a tupperware, or you can freeze them in ziplocs, and that works well, too. 
Raspberry-Orange Muffins, fresh from the oven!

Raspberry-Chocolate Muffins, ready to bake.  The recipe was doubled, and filled a bit more generously per muffin tin to make 24. 
Raspberry-Chocolate muffins - a double batch fresh from the oven. Yum!

Freeze-dried Raspberry (Orange and/or Chocolate) Muffins Recipe by Successfully Gluten Free!

Saturday, 14 January 2023

Peppermint Chocolate Cake

Leftover candy canes?  No problem! This delicious Peppermint Chocolate Cake is just perfect for using them up!  A lovely 4 layer cake with peppermint-marshmallow filling and rich chocolate ganache in every layer.  Absolutely delicious! And perfect for one of our many winter birthdays. Enjoy!  Would you believe that I wrote out the instructions and my 8 year old and 11 year old made up the chocolate cake layers all by themselves while I went on a birthday walk?!  Extra special birthday treat! 
Beautiful and delicious slice of GF peppermint chocolate cake!
Yum! Freshly assembled with delicious flowing ganache filling and topping.

Peppermint Chocolate Cake!

Chocolate Sponge Cakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Butter the edges and line 2 quarter sheet baking pans with parchment paper (quarter sheet baking pans are approx 8x12 inner dimension or 9x13outer dimension metal cookie sheets - I LOVE this size.  Perfect for the toaster oven, and perfect when you have multiple things you want to roast separately in the regular oven, and of course, opera-style cakes!)

Melt together, then set aside:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

In a small measuring cup, combine to make a "buttermilk": 
2 Tbsp white vinegar
milk to equal 1 cup (lactose-free or milk substitutes work)

In a large bowl, whisk together: 
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup white rice flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Add and whisk in until smooth: 
1 cup buttermilk, from above
melted butter & dark chocolate, from above
1/4 cup oil
6 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Batter whisked and ready to put into the prepared pans.

Divide between the two parchment-lined pans.  Bake at 350 F for approximately 15-18 minutes.  These are nice and thin, so they cook quickly.  They should look nicely dried, but not burned or too dark on the edges. They should look no longer wet in the center.  Depending on your oven, they may need an extra minute or two.

Batter divided and ready for baking.
Out of the oven.  You can see how it's nicely dried out. Chocolate cake always smells so good. 

Remove from oven.  Let rest 5 minutes before flipping onto cooling racks to cool.  Once cool, carefully slice each cake in half so you'll have four even layers for your cake. 

Peppermint Marshmallow Frosting:

Once cakes have cooled, you can prepare your frosting, as it's time to assemble! 

Beat together in a mixer until light and fluffy - 2-3 minutes: 
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup marshmallow fluff
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp (or more if needed) cream or milk

When your frosting is nice and fluffy, gently mix in: 
~1/4 cup crushed candy cane (I find 2 large candy canes is about the right amount, but I like to crush 3 large candy canes so there is extra to sprinkle on top of the cake!)

Chocolate Ganache:

Once cakes are set to cool, prepare your chocolate ganache.  It will need a little time (5-10 minutes) to cool a bit on the counter before assembling the cakes, so timing-wise, I found this worked well.  

In a saucepan over medium heat combine and heat until bubbling gently: 
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup whole cream/whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

Remove from heat and stir in until smooth (this takes a bit of patience, usually a few minutes): 
8 oz high quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

Once the ganache is nice and smooth, you can spoon it into a large freezer ziploc and set aside for assembling.  Just before assembling, snip a small corner of the bag for piping your ganache.  

Assembling your cake:

To assemble cakes: 
1. Layer of cake. 
2. Spread 1/4 of peppermint frosting on the layer. 
3. Drizzle a zigzag of chocolate ganache on top of the frosting.  
4. Repeat with 2nd cake layer, frosting, ganache drizzle.
5. Repeat with 3rd cake layer, frosting, ganache drizzle.
6. Top with 4th cake layer, and add frosting.  
7.  Gently spread the remaining ganache drizzle on top of the cake. 
8.  Top with fresh crushed candy cane. 
Chocolate cake with frosting and ganache drizzle
About to add the chocolate drizzle to this layer.
Complete! The smell is amazing.
Slice and serve!  If you want clean layers, let your cake chill for 2 or more hours in the refrigerator to firm up the frosting and ganache.  Using a large knife to cut will give you lovely, crisp slices.  Enjoy!!! 

Sliced fresh before it had a chance to cool - it'll look a little messy, but the taste is the best!  Chilled, you'll be able to get nice clean slices like the first picture.

Peppermint Chocolate Cake Recipe by Successfully Gluten Free! 

Tuesday, 3 January 2023

Family-sized Quiche with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

 I've made this family-sized buttermilk-biscuit crust quiche several times in the last month.  It's great to have when feeding lots of people, perfect when you want to have a comforting dinner with leftovers for breakfast, and was great to eat on Christmas morning.  All of the fillings can be prepped in advanced, if desired, so you only need to whip together the buttermilk biscuits and egg mixture before baking.  
Fresh from the oven - a large, tasty and filling quiche. 

Family-sized Quiche with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

Preheat oven to 425 F. 

*Roasting potatoes & bacon and sauteing vegetables can be done ahead of time.  They can be cooked, diced and put in the refrigerator for a day or two until you're ready to assemble and bake your quiche. Reheat them briefly in the microwave to help your quiche cook more quickly.* 

Roasted Baby/New Potatoes
Line a baking pan with parchment paper. 
Toss together in a bowl: 
~1 - 1.5 lbs baby/new potatoes 
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Spread potatoes on parchment paper. Bake at 425 F for ~25-30 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork.  Remove from oven.  Let cool a bit, then dice.  

Easy Crispy Bacon in the Oven
Line a baking pan with parchment paper.  
Separate onto the pan, laying flat with minimal overlapping
1 pkg. maple flavored bacon 

Bake at 425 F for ~15-20 minutes, until crisped as desired.  Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Once it's cool a bit, dice into bite-sized pieces.  

Sauteed Veggies
In a large frying pan, cook over medium heat until softened (5-6 min): 
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil 
1/2 - 1 onion, diced
1 - 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
salt & pepper

Add, stirring in just until spinach is wilting:
2 - 3 large handfuls fresh spinach, diced OR 1 cup frozen diced spinach  

Remove from heat. 

Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

First, make your buttermilk (or just use 1/2 cup buttermilk). 
In a measuring cup, place: 
3 Tbsp lemon juice, white vinegar or apple-cider vinegar
Fill, so you have a total of: 
1/2 cup milk

In a large bowl, mix together: 
1 1/2 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup cornstarch OR arrowroot starch
1/4 tsp xanthan gum 
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 - 1/4 tsp baking soda

Add and dice in with a pastry cutter: 
5 Tbsp butter

Add an mix with a metal spoon, just until combined: 
1/2 cup buttermilk (from above)

Press biscuit dough gently into a 9 x 13 glass pan.  You can use the back of the spoon to gently press the edges a bit higher to make more of an edge crust. 

Egg mixture
In a large bowl (you can use the same bowl used for the crust to save on extra cleaning), whisk together: 
12-14 large eggs
2/3 - 1 cup whole milk or 10% cream
2 tsp dried chives
salt & pepper

Assembling the Family-sized Quiche:
To assemble your quiche, top your buttermilk biscuit crust with the following: 
1.) 1 - 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2.) diced roasted potatoes
3.) diced maple bacon
4.) sauteed onions/mushroom/spinach
5.) egg/milk mixture, poured evenly over the top
Assembled, with egg poured on top - ready to bake!  The egg mixture rises up nicely, so it's OK if the fillings look like they're sticking out.  

Bake your quiche at 425 F for 10 minutes.  Lower the heat to 350 F.  Cook an additional 30-40 minutes (depending on your oven), until your quiche is set in the center.  Remove from oven.  Let rest 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Delicious piece of filling quiche, ready to eat! 

Family-sized Quiche with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust Recipe by Successfully Gluten Free!

Friday, 16 December 2022

Back-to-Basics Blueberry Muffins

 I've made so many variations on blueberry muffins.  Rich, light, lemon-infused, crumb-topped.  These are a sort of happy medium of many of the recipes.  Not too sweet, but with a bit of sugar sprinkled on top, to give that nice, sweet topping without being a proper crumb topping.  Yum! 

Fresh from the oven! Yum!

Back-to-Basics Blueberry Muffins

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners. 

Mix together: 
1/2 cup oil (or 1/4 cup oil + 1/4 cup softened or melted butter)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream OR plain/vanilla yogurt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (extract or bean paste)
1/2 cup sugar

Add and mix in: 
1 cup GF oat flour (or extra GF flour mix or sorghum flour or brown rice flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Add in: 
2 cups frozen wild blueberries

Scoop with a very large cookie scoop evenly between muffin tins.  Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with: 
1 Tbsp sugar
Ready to bake!  Don't' forget to sprinkle on the sugar for the pretty, slightly caramelized crunch on top of your muffins. 

Bake at 375 F for ~25-30 minutes, until nicely browned.  Let rest a minute on cooling rack before removing from the tins.  Enjoy warm or cool!  Leftovers freeze nicely.   

Back-to-Basics Blueberry Muffins Recipe by Successfully Gluten Free!

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Speedy Nut-free Layer Bars

We've made layer bars off and on for years - they're fun for the kids to throw together. They're forgiving. And you just need a can of sweetened condensed milk to tie it all together before baking. Most layer bars include nuts, but these are a nice alternative that is nut-free! (I'm not counting coconut as a "nut").  If you prefer a nutty option, you can make my Almond & Chocolate 5 Layer Bars.  Perfect when you need to throw together something during the holidays to share.  Enjoy!  
Lots of layers go into this - it's nice and quick to throw together. 
Fresh from the oven with my cooking helper - letting them cool a bit before slicing.

Speedy Nut-Free Layer Bars!

Makes 9 x 13 pan

Mix together in a 9 x 13 glass pan, then press down in the pan with the back of your spoon to flatten: 
3/4 - 1 cup crushed GF vanilla biscuits/cookies (I like to use 2/3 bag crushed MADEGOOD vanilla flavour cookies OR homemade options: vanilla wafer cookies OR snickerdoodles OR sugar cookies )
1/2 cup GF breadcrumbs (panko-style, cornflake crumbs, GF matzo meal)
3 - 4 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Sprinkle evenly on top of your biscuit base i the following order: 
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup puffed crispy cereal (rice or quinoa-based)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 - 1/2 cup crushed GF vanilla biscuits/cookies
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Pour evenly overtop of the entire pan: 
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Bake at 350 F for ~20-25 minutes, until light to medium brown on top.  Cool and slice!  Enjoy! 

This not so little anymore girl has been helping me make layer bars for years now.   We have comparison pictures from making the Almond & Chocolate Five Layer Bars years ago. So cute! 
Still just as happy about helping make layer bars. Hehe

Speedy Nut-Free Layer Bars Recipe by Successfully Gluten Free!