Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Chocolate Quinoa Cake is one of those goodies you just want to bake because not only does it taste amazing, but it is a great conversation piece, as no one will believe you made it with quinoa and not one ounce of any kind of flour!  You can also tell them they are eating a healthy dessert that is packed with protein and amino acids (I mean, really, you know people are always looking to see how healthy their dessert can be)! This, also, is one of my husband's favorites, and he requests it often (and no, my husband is not the size of a house from eating all my gluten free baking).  It has also gotten rave reviews from others who I have served it to (even my neighbor, who I make try all my goodies, even though she is not so fond of chocolate.  I'm 
trying to convert her!).

Gluten Free Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Quinoa is a gluten free grain that tastes great sauteed with onions, garlic and olive oil...or pureed and mixed with chocolate.  There are not many ingredients you can say both of those things about, right?  Just make sure when making the Chocolate Quinoa Cake you nix the onions and garlic before pureeing the quinoa...because although I am a big fan of chocolate in almost every form, I'm not digging the thought of chocolate, onions and garlic.  I wouldn't have much of a following on this blog if I did, you know?

It is incredible to find that this cake, although containing no flour of any kind, gluten free or not, has a nice crumb to it and is rich and moist.  The few times I have made this cake, it didn't rise much (you might have better luck), but once sandwiched between thick chocolate frosting, it doesn't really matter!  Quinoa is also so easy to find in most all grocery stores, unlike a lot of the gluten free flours. Make sure to rinse your quinoa before cooking it, so it is not bitter.   I hope you try this amazing Chocolate Quinoa Cake out soon.  Let me know if you do!  I love to read your comments!

recipe from Barefeet in the Kitchen, originally from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Click Here for Printable Recipe

Cake Ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa, loosely packed
1/3 cup milk
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two round cake pans (or a 9x13 pan) and then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment (do not skip the parchment or you won't be able to flip the cake out of the pans).

Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in the blender or food processor and pulse a few times to combine.  Add the cooked quinoa and the butter and puree until completely smooth (this takes a while for me).  Stop the machine as needed to scrape the sides and make sure everything is well mixed.  This will be a thick and creamy consistency once the quinoa is pureed.  Whisk together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add the contents from the blender.  Stir until well combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake on a center oven rack for 28-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before inverting them onto a wire cooling rack.  Peel off the parchment and let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

Place the chocolate chips in a medium size glass bowl.  Heat the cream in a medium saucepan until it gently simmers.  Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.  Let this sit 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. 

I poured the frosting over the bottom layer, then laid the top layer on and poured the rest over that and then put the cake in the fridge until the frosting set.  It was quite rustic looking, but great tasting, thick and fudgy.  If you want a more polished looking cake, you can put the frosting in the fridge first for a couple of hours, or until set, and then whip it up with a mixer into soft peaks and then frost the cake.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Gluten Free Spiced Apple Butterscotch Cake

I didn't think I would be too into an apple cake, being the ultimate chocolate lover that I am, until I tried a Butterscotch Apple Cake before going gluten free.  I happily added it to my large collection of recipes, knowing I would certainly make it again...then I had to go gluten free.  What to do...what to do?  Make a gluten free version and spice it up...that's what to do!

Spiced Apple Butterscotch Cake 
After finding a recipe for a gluten free apple cake, I combined the best of the old and new and came up with a Spiced Apple Butterscotch Cake.  It didn't stop there, though.  It's topped with a Homemade Caramel Sauce and Homemade Whipped Cream.  Now we're talkin'!  This cake is a moist, not too sweet cake, with a tangy bite of green apple and pecans.  Butterscotch chips are sprinkled over the top before baking, and add a delicious touch of buttery sweetness, as does the drizzled Homemade Caramel Sauce on top.  This is a great summer dessert.  Enjoy!

Adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen
Yield: 12-16 servings
Printable Recipe

2 cups brown rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup potato starch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooked
3 1/2 cups granny smith apples (peeled and chopped)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 package (11 oz.) butterscotch chips
Topping: Homemade Caramel Sauce  Homemade Whipped Cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a 9x13 pan with butter or cooking spray.  Stir together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, spices and brown sugar.  Whisk the eggs lightly and then whisk in the sour cream and vanilla extract.  Add the milk and butter and whisk until smooth.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until combined.  Gently fold in the apples and pecans.

Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the butterscotch chips.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean.  Serve warm with caramel sauce drizzled on top and a dollop of whipped cream.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)

It is always nice to find a recipe that was not revised to make it gluten free, but was a gluten free recipe to begin with.  While I was trekking through the hot, steamy jungles of Brazil I found such a recipe.   The natives of Brazil had been making this for centuries, and it suited my gluten free life, so I knew I had to add it to my blog (okay, maybe I'm stretching the truth a bit to make my blog more exciting, and hearing about this recipe at a coffee shop in Long Beach, and then finding it on the internet isn't the most exciting story to share.  So, is embellishing the story a little a crime?). 
Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Bread (buns)

Brazilian Cheese Bread has become a staple at meals for my family.  My husband calls these the "Nectar of the Gods."  He really loves them, and I'm really glad because they are so easy to make and have few ingredients.  They are made with tapioca starch (a.k.a tapioca flour), garlic and cheese.  I have bought my tapioca starch at Walmart, Sprouts and health food stores.  These yummy, naturally gluten free Brazilian Cheese breads (or buns) are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.  I seriously could just sit and eat a whole batch of them right out of the oven, slathered with melting butter.  So good.  Okay, so now that I have your mouth watering, without further ado, here is the recipe!  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Bread (buns)

adapted from King Arthur Flour
Yield: 20 to 24 buns
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups tapioca flour (a.k.a tapioca starch)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (I press mine in a garlic press)
2/3 cup (heaping) grated Parmesan, Romano, or aged Asiago cheese (I use Parmesan)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly grease a mini muffin tin.  Put the butter, water, milk, and salt in a saucepan, and heat until the butter has melted and the mixture has come to a full boil.  While the mixture is heating, put 2 cups of tapioca flour into a mixing bowl.

Pour the boiling butter mixture over the tapioca flour, beating to combine.  Beat at high speed until the mixture becomes smooth and elastic-looking; this will happen very quickly.

Beat the garlic and cheese into the dough until well combined.

Stick your finger into the dough.  If it's uncomfortably hot, let is sit fora couple of minutes to cool a bit; you don't want to cook the eggs when you beat them in.  If it seems hot but not burning hot, continue with the next step.

With the mixer going, gradually dribble in the beaten eggs, beating until well combined and smooth.

Fill muffin tins 3/4 full (I use a cookie scoop.  The mixture will be quite runny).

Bake the buns for about 20 minutes, until they have a freckled appearance (from the browning cheese), and they begin to color a bit.  Remove them from the oven, and serve hot.

Note:  You can warm the left overs up in the oven and they will crisp back up again.  Or if you like them softer, you can warm them briefly in the microwave.