Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sour Cream Crumb Cake

Tired of that plaid tablecloth yet?

I. Love. Crumb cake. (coffee cake).  A lot.  It's been years since I've been able to eat this delicious, crumbly, and moist treat and I have missed it so.  This is another first attempt for me and I'll say it was a good one.  The crumbs are crispier than I am normally used to so this isn't quite New York style but it's still delicious.  If you like a crispy crumbly topping and a moist yet substantial cake, this is the crumb cake for you.

Now I was concerned at first when I pulled it out of the oven that I should have let it bake longer.  I did the toothpick test a few times and it came out clean.  Then, remembering that I used dark brown sugar rather than all white sugar so that was going to change some things, my roommate and I tasted it and I was no longer concerned.

Adapted from All Recipes
Cake Ingredients:
1 cup of butter (2 sticks), melted
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1 cup of white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of sour cream
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 cups of GF all purpose flour (Bob's Red Mill)
1 tsp of Xanthan gum (Guar gum if you need to avoid corn)
1 tsp of baking powder
1/8 tsp of salt
Crumb Ingredients:
2/3 cup of GF all purpose flour
1 cup of dark brown sugar, packed
4 tbsps of melted butter
2 tsps of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan
Cream together sugars and melted butter
Beat in eggs one at a time, then add sour cream and vanilla
Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt
Pour batter into pan and set aside
Combine crumb ingredients in a medium sized bowl and sprinkle all of it over the batter. Spread it evenly (you shouldn't be able to see the cake through the crumbs)
Bake for 40-50 minutes (do a toothpick check)
Let cool in pan on a wire rack, cut and serve!
I actually was drinking coffee while I made these

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake

 Rich, buttery, chocolatey, and decadent.  For some reason there are many complicated versions of flourless chocolate cake, but this version is a simple 5 ingredients.  But it packs quite a punch and is surprisingly non dense.  If you want a rich chocolate dessert to satisfy your gluten free and non-gluten free friends that is simple to whip up, this is the treat for you!
No mixer required!

I really need to get a cake plate...

8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
3 eggs, beaten

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F
Prepare an 8inch round cake pan by greasing and dusting with cocoa powder.  (I also suggest adding a parchment paper (wax paper) circle to the bottom of the pan prior to greasing and cocoa powdering)
Melt butter and chocolate together, either using a double boiler, a bowl over a pot of boiling water, or the microwave (like I did)
Remove from heat and add in sugar, vanilla, and eggs, stir until combined (easily done with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula)
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes
Let cake cool for approximately 10 minutes in the pan
Turn cake onto wire cooling rack to finish cooling
Serve warm
Eat with ice cream or whipped cream for added deliciousness

First flourless chocolate cake success.  It would also be delicious but denser and more brownie like if you substitute some of the melted chocolate for cocoa powder (1/4 cup of cocoa powder per 2 ounces of chocolate approximately).  Top a brownie version of this with ice cream? Yes please.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Maple Blueberry Scones

So as I thought about recipes that were not in the cookie, brownie, or cupcake department I stumbled upon a recipe for Maple Blueberry Scones by Joy the Baker. And by stumbled upon I mean Isabel sent me the recipe.  Realizing that I just had to make them I set aside time to go buy blueberries and pure maple syrup.  Of course Baltimore then decides to have the wimpiest winter storm of all time and we got a load of gross wind and rain.
This morning I managed to drag myself out of bed early enough to get to the grocery store and buy a lot of some blueberries.  As I got prepared to get started I realized that not only have I never ever made scones, but I do not think I have ever even had a scone.  How is this possible! I didn't discover my gluten intolerance until late in high school, surely I must have tried a scone at some point in my life. Nope.  Cannot think of one scone, so if I have had any they were certainly not memorable.
Now this poses a bit of an issue with baking them because I don't really know what the texture is supposed to be like in the end.  I decided that I would make them anyway and just see what happens and rely on my hungry roommates to let me know how they are.  Now they still need some tweaking in the future but I think they're tasty enough to share now

3 cups of Bob's Red Mill all purpose GF flour
1 tsp of xanthan gum
1/2 tsp of baking soda
2 1/2 tsps of baking powder
pinch of ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp of salt
3/4 cup (1 stick+4 tbsps) of butter
1 egg
1 tsp of vanilla
2 tbsps of pure maple syrup
3/4 cup of cold buttermilk
1 cup of fresh or frozen bluebrries (frozen blueberries need to be thawed and drained, also be wary as they will probably color the scone a bit!)
3 tbsps of buttermilk for brushing the tops before baking
Granulated sugar for sprinkling before baking (I really wish I had coarse sugar for this part because it looks nicer, but alas)

Move a rack to the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  No need to grease anything for these
Combine flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg in a bowl (preferably sifted)
Cut the butter into the dry ingredients (basically cubing the butter into the dry mix) and combine with either your hands or a pastry blender.  Very much like making pie crust. The mixture will look like a coarse meal. Set aside
In a separate bowl combine the egg, maple syrup, vanilla, and buttermilk and beat lightly with a fork.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine (with a fork or hands if you dont mind getting a bit messy) until it forms a soft dough
When the dough is still soft fold in the blueberries. 
Coat a counter space or large cutting board with extra flour and turn dough onto the surface.
Knead about 15 times (until it really comes together)
Luckily no rolling pin is needed for this dough! You can use one but it's easy to just press the dough out into about 1 inch thickness.  I did not have a cookie cutter on hand so I used a knife to cut circles and then just reformed them a bit by hand.  You can also just cut triangles or squares, whatever floats your boat.
Place on prepared baking sheet (I did 6 at a time, so it was 2 batches) and brush tops with a light coating of buttermilk then sprinkle the sugar overtop
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the tops get nice and golden brown

They were not quite as maple flavored as I was hoping, it acted as more of just a sweetening agent so I want to experiment with the amount.  Changing the amount of liquid will have a lot of impact on the ratio of dry ingredients as scones tend to have a 3:1 (dry:wet) ratio
They also did not rise as much as I would have liked, so it seems additional xanthan gum is required, this also caused them to be a but soft on the inside which I'm pretty sure isn't entirely the correct scone texture
Spreading some nice jam (and butter maybe) on them adds for a lovely treat.  Especially if you toast one first.  Sounds like my breakfast tomorrow is nice and planned.  Also would love to get my hands on some lemon curd...
For my first scone endeavor I am pretty satisfied and look forward to playing around with it more!

Ice Cream Brownies

Yes you read that right.  Brownies with ice cream (and hot fudge) mixed right in.  This recipe was frankensteined together after discovering the "ice cream sundae" brownies over at picky palate.  How could I resist the combination of two such delicious things?  Of course I had to have a gluten free version.  My best friend and baking buddy Isabel (who should really be in charge of writing these posts because she is much the superior linguist) set to work.  Using Pamela's brownie recipe basis for the dry ingredients (with flour rather than a mix) we created a moist, rich, delectable gluten free brownie
brownies are very hard to draw apparently.  Good thing you guys only have to look at the photographs

1 cup of Pamela's Gluten Free Flour and Pancake mix*
1/2 cup of melted butter
4 ounces of unsweetened bakers chocolate (melted)
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla
1 cup of sugar
a liberal 1/2 cup of your favorite ice cream (I always go for ben & jerry's phish food)
1/4 cup of chilled hot fudge
1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line a 9x13" baking pan with tin foil and spray with Pam (use a lot.  Also the tin foil is not required if you happen to be out, it just makes cooling time shorter and clean up easier!)
Combine melted chocolate and melted butter with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
Add in eggs vanilla and sugar, mix until combined
Add the flour
Now for the fun part: Add in the ice cream and hot fudge, batter will be quite thick!
Lastly add the chocolate chips (I prefer to fold them in with a rubber spatula but using the mixer is fine as well)
Pour/spread into your prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes**

*I always use pamela's for this recipe but I'm fairly certain another blend of gf all purpose flour would work just as well as these brownies require little to no xanthan gum (the pamela's has a bit in it already)
** okay so that baking time is accurate BUT I once used an oven (college dorm) that only required them to bake for 25 minutes.  Imagine my dismay when I took my normally moist brownies out of the oven to find them dry and sad.  Needless to say I made a second batch.  But just so you know, keep an eye on them if your oven is a little finicky.  My current oven also has them baking for around 35 minutes before they start to lose some of their fudge factor

If you happen to like more cakey brownies you can still use this recipe, if they bake a bit longer (not too long mind you) they'll cake up, but I am definitely on team fudge brownie

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Basic Buttermilk Donut Holes

After one failure this morning, the donut holes wound up a success! About half of them are already gone and I suspect they won't last much longer They're already gone.  Although I was originally going to fill these with jelly, there was some technical difficulty with the seeds and my piping tip so I opted to leave them alone after managing to fill only two of them.  They are light and perfectly delicious for dessert or breakfast if you want something sweet.  It will be very hard not to eat more than one!

1 egg
1 cup of buttermilk
2 tbsp of melted butter
2 1/2 cups of all purpose gluten free flour (Bob's Red Mill for me)
1 tsp of xanthan gum
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
Extra sugar (about 1/4 - 1/2 cup) for coating
Canola or vegetable oil for frying

Prepare a cooling rack with layers of paper towel to absorb the oil after cooking
Beat egg and combine with buttermilk, vanilla, and melted butter, set aside
Combine flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl with a spoon or rubber spatula
Fold in wet ingredients until fully incorporated
Let rest for 15 minutes
While the dough is resting, heat approximately 2-3 inches of canola or vegetable oil in a deep pan or pot (oil should reach around 350-375 degrees fahrenheit)
Use a small scoop or spoons to place rounded balls of dough in the hot oil (be careful! don't drop them in or the oil will splatter, be gentle or use a slotted spoon)
Donuts should cook approximately 4-5 minutes in total, until golden brown on both sides (cook only 3 or 4 at a time)
They may turn themselves over! Just use a slotted spoon or tongs to turn them back if they were not ready yet
Using a slotted spoon remove the donuts and place on the prepared paper towels
Once some of the oil has drained but the donuts are still warm, shake in a plastic bag full of sugar or roll in a bowl of sugar
the successfully filled donut
Fun Options:
-Fill with your favorite jam or jelly using a piping tip or condoment bottle
-Or just spread the jelly on if you don't feel like piping (we split them open and spread raspberry jam on as well as apple butter which was delicious!)
-Dip in warmed nutella
-I did not try this but my roommate suggested dunking in syrup for breakfast! (probably delicious)
-Add cinnamon to the sugar coating

There are countless things to do with donut holes and I look forward to exploring these possibilities (chocolate, chocolate covered, cream filled, apple cider, etc)

Cake Donuts or Yeast Donuts?

Will the ever ongoing debate between these types of donut (doughnut) type come to an end?  Probably not.  As I am experimenting with some jelly doughnut holes tonight and tomorrow, I plan on doing some research regarding this topic.
I haven't had real donuts in years so I honestly cannot pick a side.  However the donut holes I will be making later are cake donuts (buttermilk jelly donut holes to be precise).  I'll have to give yeast donuts a shot in the near future so I can have more donut holes for research! Yes research.
Stay tuned for a recipe and discussion on these delectable fried treats.
(a fried vs. baked donut discussion may be necessary as well)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

My first recipe created straight from my head.  Although there are many peanut butter cookie recipes out there, I really wanted to try my hand at creating my own.  For a first attempt I find they were pretty successful!  I did research on ratios for cookies and such to ensure some success
Although I will most likely tweak this recipe in the future, it is certainly good enough to enjoy now
This recipe is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, the flavor is a subtle and not too sweet

2 Cups AP gluten free flour*
1/2 tsp Xanthan gum (or Guar gum)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup + 1tbsp of brown sugar (I used dark)
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a small bowl combine flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside
Cream together butter, sugars, vanilla, and peanut butter
Once combined, add in eggs one at a time, beating completely after each addition
Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined
Stir in chocolate chips
Scoop into cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes
Should produce around 36 cookies depending on the size! (I use a small cookie scooper so they're little)

* I use Bob's Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour, which happens to taste real weird before it gets in the oven.  I will be experimenting with my own flour combos shortly and will be sure to post about it!