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Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Yorkshire Puddings!!!

These are a delicious puffy muffin-type savory "pudding" traditionally served alongside roast and gravy in England.  My friend Rebekah, who is literally from Yorkshire in England, can make the biggest, most beautiful Yorkshire puddings, so I was lucky enough to learn from the master while we lived in England.  I've tried to follow her lead ever since, while turning them into a gluten-free version!  They're easy to whip together and add a little something special to a meal.  Enjoy!
Fresh Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings! Perfect accompaniment to a roast dinner.

Yorkshire Puddings
Based off a recipe from the Comfort Food cookbook by Bridget Jones
Makes 12

Whisk together or puree with a stick blender (you want it nice and smooth):
I like to mix this in a 4 cup measuring cup to easily/quickly pour it into tins later.
1 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup milk
pinch salt

Refrigerate batter at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.
I like to prepare the batter in a 4 cup measuring cup, so I can blend it with a stick blender until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate until dividing between muffin tins.   Give the batter a quick stir before pouring into tins in case it's settled at all. 

Preheat oven to 450 F. 

In a metal muffin tin pan, place 1 tsp avocado oil  (or similar oil that's good at high heat) in each of the 12 muffin tins. (~1/4 cup oil total is needed)

Heat pan/oil in 450 F over for 5-10 minutes, until piping hot.
Oil, divided between muffin tins, then heated until piping hot.
Remove and quickly divide chilled batter between muffin tins. 
Battered quickly divided between tins filled with hot oil.  Pop it back in the oven quickly! 
Bake Yorkshire puddings ~25 minutes at 450 F without opening the oven until Yorkshire puddings have puffed and are firm and golden brown.   I usually aim for between 23-27 minutes, so you just need to adjust a little depending on your oven.
Fresh from the oven - some puff up and some end up with a cup-like dip in the top. Both are perfectly great! 
Remove from oven and serve nice and hot!  If you're not serving right away, place them on a cooling rack to cool.  You can reheat these, but they are best fresh!
Yay! Happy, hollow, moist, delicious Yorkshire pudding! 
Happy eating! 

Friday, 14 December 2018

Delicious French Bread-Style Sandwich Bread

This bread has been such a hit around here.  It's light and fluffy, with a crispy exterior.  It's absolutely delicious with butter as an accompaniment to all sorts of meals.   It mixes up quickly, then just needs some time to rise and bake.  Best of all, since you're making 5 loaves (although you can easily make a half batch - just make two loaves plus a mini loaf or two).   Friends who aren't even gluten-free have loved it, too!  Enjoy!
Light and fluffy French bread-style sandwich bread

Delicious French Bread-Style Sandwich Bread
Makes 5 loaves

Line 5 bread pans with parchment paper. Nothing fancy, just fold it a bit so it holds the shape in the pan.  You can reuse this parchment paper, too! (shake out any crumbs and stack the pans with the parchment paper in them). 

In a mixer, combine:
4 cups tapioca starch
3 cups brown rice flour
3/4 cup potato starch
1 1/2 Tbsp xanthan gum
2 Tbsp quick (rapid-rise) yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup steel cut oats (certified gluten-free if celiac or sensitive - if you leave out, just reduce water by 1/2 cup)

Add the following. Mix slowly, then beat for 4 minutes, stirring a couple times to get any flours left at the bottom:
3 cups lukewarm water
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups egg whites (they sell this in cartons in the grocery store - a pint size is perfect)
1/2 cup oil (I love using avocado oil in this bread recipe)

Scoop bread into bread pans lined with parchment paper.  (You can butter the pans, but I really love using parchment paper for this bread, in particular). 

Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm location for 40-60 minutes, or until dough has risen even with the top of the pan. *This won't rise much more during cooking, but will be nice and fluffy and full of lovely holes throughout.  I find most gluten-free breads to be this way.*
Making 6 loaves instead of 5 here, but you can see how the bread rises even with the tops of the pans. 
Five loaves of bread, ready to bake.  I prefer this, since I end up with slightly taller, larger slices of bread - better for sandwiches.   These loaves here are the ones shown below.  I have had luck with glass, metal and silicone pans for baking this bread.  

Bake loaves at 375 F for 1 hour.  Remove loaves from bread pans to a wire rack to cool.  I recommend letting them cool at least an hour before cutting.  Ideally, cool completely before slicing.

Notes on slicing this bread: Hot/warm bread fresh from the oven will be a bit sticky when slicing and I always end up making a mess of the end of the loaf (because we inevitably eat one loaf hot every single time I make this bread).  If you want to eat it hot, it can be nice to just pull off chunks of bread.  Once cooled, the bread slices nicely into slightly thicker than normal slices.  If you want nice, thin slices, place cooled loaves in ziploc bags overnight.  This will soften the outer crust of the bread.  You will then be able to slice thin, even pieces.  Sliced bread (thick or thin) freezes perfectly!  We use this for lunches all the time.  I just make the sandwiches on frozen bread. By the time the kids eat lunch, they're ready to eat! 

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Coconut-Filled Chocolate Truffles!

These are some of my favorite winter chocolates to make. They're like a homemade mounds or bounty bar.  I love to temper my chocolate and make molded chocolates, but you can also roll and chill the filling to hand-dip it in chocolate, too!  These are a great given as gifts alone or combined with dark or milk chocolate truffles, chocolate covered homemade caramels, chocolate dipped orange or lemon peel (on of my all-time favorites!!!), gingerbread ganache truffles, raspberry dark chocolate ganache truffles, mint dark chocolate ganache truffles, or white chocolate ganache truffles.

Molds filled with coconut filling, with the bottoms being piped on.  Here there are milk chocolate (top and left) and semi-sweet chocolate (bottom right) being filled with coconut truffle filling! (I usually pipe chocolate around the edges and use a spoon to spread the chocolate evenly on the bottom of the truffles)
Delicious and beautiful molded truffles - coconut-filled are shown in hearts.

Coconut-Filled Chocolate Truffles

In a small blender or food processor, process until very fine:
1 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut

In a small frying pan, bring to a rolling boil over medium heat:
2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Remove from heat and add, stirring until chocolate is completely melted:
2 oz. white chocolate (chips or chopped finely)

Once chocolate has melted, stir in:
finely processed sweetened flaked coconut, from above

Let filling cool.
Fill molded chocolates, as you would with chocolate ganache or caramel filling.
Make small balls or bars of filling and place on a parchment-paper lined pan.  Chill in the refrigerator or freezer until hard.  Hand-dip in chocolate, as desired.  

Tasty milk-chocolate molded truffles.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Chocolate-Gingerbread Sheet Cake

A delicate, spongy chocolate gingerbread cake, with a tasty chocolate glaze on top.   This is a unique cake, that's perfect for dessert when you want something with a lighter feel, but with rich flavor.  I've tried chocolate gingerbread recipes before, but they always tasted too heavy and rich.  This was exactly what I've been hoping for - something with the right flavor, but a lightness to it.  It was a huge hit with everyone!

Gluten Free Chocolate Gingerbread
Fresh chocolate-gingerbread cake, spongy, delicious, and ready to eat!  When you let it chill, it cuts perfectly neatly, but our favorite way is to eat it warmed a bit. 

Chocolate-Gingerbread Sheet Cake

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and butter the edges not covered by the parchment paper.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt:
1 cup butter

Add and mix in, then return to microwave for 1 minute (yes, you can do this on the stove-top, you just want the entire mixture to boil together for 30 seconds):
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water

Set chocolate/butter mixture aside while you mix together the dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (it's important to do this in gluten-free baking to avoid clumping):
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot starch/flour)
2 Tbsp potato starch
2 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 - 1 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 1/4 cup sugar

Add chocolate mixture into dry ingredients, mix thoroughly.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together (this will start expanding because of the baking soda):
1/2 cup buttermilk (2 Tbsp vinegar + milk to make 1/2 cup works great, too)
2 eggs
1/3 cup dark molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 tsp baking soda

Add the egg/molasses/buttermilk mixture into the flour/chocolate mixture.  Mix thoroughly until smooth.

Pour into prepared pan and spread as best as you can to make an even cake.  Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and set it on a cooling rack.  Immediately prepare the frosting to spread over-top the warm cake.
Cake on left is spread out and ready to be baked. Cake on right is immediately out of the oven, ready to be glazed! 

Chocolate Glaze Frosting (to be spread on the cake while it's still warm/hot):

In the microwave, melt:
3/4 cup butter

Mix in, then heat 45-60 seconds in the microwave:
1/3 cup cocoa powder

Add and mix in:
5 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Mix in, and stir until smooth:
2 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Spread glaze over warm/hot cake.  Slice cake and serve warm or cooled.
Freshly glazed cake.  You can serve immediately while warm, or let it cool/chill for a neater look when cutting. 

Once this cake has chilled in a refrigerator, it slices cleanly.  You can warm it up to serve, if desired.  I'll happily eat it warm or cool, but I prefer warmed up a bit.