Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chocolate Chip Tea Cakes - Gluten Free

I have found a way to "set free from gluten" (Hallelujah, it's been set free!) a lot of the things I love to make and eat, but there are just some things that just can't be made gluten free, so I don my black mourning clothes and then move on.  

Well, it's time for a good ole Hallelujah miracle service! There has been a raising from the dead!  An all time favorite cookie of family and friends that I have made for many, many years that I had counted out and buried in the gluten graveyard of things I had to give up, has been set free of gluten and resurrected!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Tea Cakes
I'm talking about my Chocolate Chip Tea Cakes.  These cookies are similar to a Mexican Wedding Cookie...except of course mine have chocolate chips and a chocolate drizzle on top (I promise I will post something without chocolate)!  They are super simple to make, but up until now, I didn't think I could find the right combo of flours and starches to get the right texture to this cookie (especially since I tried once and it failed!).

Most of my gluten free baking consists of various gluten free flours (such as brown rice) and starches (potato and tapioca) as well as xanthan gum, which all help take the place of the missing gluten.  Finding the right combination of these flours and starches can sometimes be tricky.  If a recipe calls for two cups of flour, for instance,  and you want to make it gluten free, the rule is to divide that in half, with one cup being gluten free flour, and the other cup a combo of starches...some recipes turn out better than others doing that and some don't...it's a science of trial and error for sure.

I have used flours in some gluten free recipes that all ready have the starches and xanthan mixed in, and it's a relief when they work.  I have to say, though, that when I try to use them cup for cup when revamping a recipe of mine, it doesn't always work. 

While shopping at Walmart, of all places, I found a gluten free flour called Domata, which says it is an easy cup for cup exchange.  They even challenge you on the box to make chocolate chip cookies with this flour using the recipe from the chocolate chip bag...cup for cup.  I took up the challenge, but upped it one by making my Tea Cakes instead.  Here is where the miracle occurred, the jumping for joy, the sheer pleasure in making and eating a Chocolate Chip Tea Cake the same way I used too ( I said eating a cookie, three or four might be more accurate).

The family thanked me too, for bringing these cookies back from the dead, since if I can eat it, I'll make it more...I'm so selfish.

I hope they come out for you too and you enjoy them as much as we do!

makes about 2 dozen cookies
Printable Recipe

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups Domata Gluten Free Flour
2/3 cup finely chopped nuts (I use pecans)
2 cups (12 oz. package) semi-sweet chocolate chips divided

Beat butter and powdered sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy.  Beat in vanilla.  Gradually beat in flour and nuts.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips.  Roll dough into 1-inch balls, place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10-14 minutes or until set and lightly brown on bottoms (the gluten free version did not brown as much as the original recipe, so don't expect a golden brown to occur). Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Microwave remaining chocolate chips in heavy-duty plastic bag on high power for 30 seconds.  Knead.  Microwave an additional 10-20 seconds intervals, kneading until smooth.  Cut a tiny corner from bag and squeeze to drizzle over cookies.  Chill cookies for about 5 minutes or until chocolate is set.  Store at room temperature or in fridge in airtight container (I keep mine in the fridge).

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Hershey's Perfect One Bowl Chocolate Cake - Gluten Free version

If the thought of eating gluten free gives you nightmares about eating dense, dry, baked goods, let me end your nightmares here and now.

I have picked this cake as my first recipe to post, basically because it's, well, aaawsome!  This cake is so light and fluffy, moist and yummy.  I am telling you, no one, and I mean no one, will ever, ever think this is gluten free.  This is not only the best gluten free cake I have made as of yet, but it is one of the best cakes I ever made, gluten free or not (and that is saying a lot, cause let me tell you, I've made a lot of cakes in my day).  

Of course I have a bias towards chocolate, so those of you who have that terrible genetic disorder of not liking chocolate...you may not agree with me on this cake (and by the way, I am so sorry for your disorder and in no way do I want to offend).  It is super easy to make and has a very lovely pourable frosting.  I make mine in a bundt (you may pronounce it boont, if you are a fan of My Big Fat Greek Wedding because that's how it sounds in my mind).  My husband even requested this cake for his birthday instead of the traditional and family favorite birthday pick, the Kahlua Cake (which by the way is on the list of working into a gluten free version). 

One of the tricks to gluten free baking, especially with cakes or muffins, is to let them only cool slightly in their pans, but take them out asap to further cool on a rack, as further warming will change the texture and make them fall more.  Gluten free baking falls a bit more than non gluten free, so the less falling, the better!

Make sure and share this blog with anyone you know who might benefit from it, for that is my goal!  You can elect at the bottom of the page to have my blog posts sent automatically  to your e-mail too.

There is so much more to come!

recipe adapted from Hershey's cocoa and Barefeet in the Kitchen
Yield: 16 servings or 24 cupcakes
Printable Recipe

2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon xantham gum
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup light flavored olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Frosting Ingredients:

3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, 6 ounces worth
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a bundt pan and lightly flour it with a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder.  (alternatively, grease (2) 9" round pans or prepare 24 cupcake liners.

Stir together all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat with a mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Slowly pour in the boiling water and continue stirring to combine.  The batter should be very thin and watery.  Pour into prepared bundt pan or divide between two round pans or cupcake holders.  Bake the bundt cake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  (2) 9" rounds will bake in 30-35 minutes and cupcakes will bake in 22-24 minutes.  Cool completely.

Frosting Directions:

Heat the cream on the stove-top over low heat until steaming, or in a medium size glass bowl in the microwave until simmering (2 minutes in the microwave works for me).  Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the hot cream.  Let this sit for a few minutes.  Stir or whisk to combine, until the chocolate mixture is smooth and glossy.

Add the sugar and cocoa powder and stir until completely smooth.  Pour the frosting over the cooked cake.  Serve immediately or place the cake in the refrigerator to chill until the frosting is set.  I like to keep mine in the fridge so the frosting keeps a fudge-like consistency.