August 22, 2011

Gluten-free Spicy Carrot Cake with Cheesy Layer

Today was a very good friend's 55th birthday (love you Babbitt).  I know he likes carrot cake so I thought I'd try and be a little creative.  I think the result was pretty good. 

 It's basically a spice cake with carrots in it along with a yummy cream cheese layer and of course cream cheese frosting!  And, it has none of the yucky stuff like raisins or pineapple :)  Of course, if you can't do the cream cheese it would be great without it and a powder sugar glaze instead of the frosting...but where's the fun in that :)

 Be sure you have a large bundt pan or it will overflow! And, no one at work realized it was gluten-free.  Seems like a winner to me.

Gluten-free Spicy Carrot Cake with Cheesy Layer

Cake Part:
1 3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 c vegetable oil (I used olive)
4 eggs
1 T vanilla
2 c or to be more accurate 10 oz. gluten-free flour mix
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
3 c peeled, grated carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and oil and flour a large bundt pan (I have to admit I used PAM with flour because Mom left it here after this weekend and it worked great).  

Beat sugar and oil until combined.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add the vanilla.  Sift all of the dry ingredients together and mix well.  Add to the liquid mixture and mix well.  Stir in carrots.
Pour into the prepared pan.

Cheesy Part:
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 egg
1/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Use the same bowl and mixer...It won't hurt anything.  Mix all of the cheesy ingredients until well combined.  Drop into the cake batter in the center.

Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes until it starts to pull away from the edges and a toothpick or something sharp like that comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan at least 10 minutes if not a little longer.  Turn out onto a plate.  A little will likely stick in the pan.  Scoop it out and pat it back into place.  You're just going to cover it with frosting anyway and no one will know but you!

Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting or use the recipe below as a starting point...sometimes you need to add more sugar!

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 c butter (at room temperature)
8 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)
2 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Mix well.

August 21, 2011

Zucchini and Corn Fritters

As I've said before, it's that time of year...the time of year when there are lots of zucchini!  And, I have a weakness for free food.  I'm growing some yellow zucchini but do I say no when others want to give me some...yeah, not so much.  Therefore, we are eating a lot of zucchini.  Beyond chocolate cake, Dylan and I made fritters tonight that were inspired by this recipe.  I had some leftover frozen corn so I thought I'd add it.  All in all, pretty darn good.  Dylan thought so too!

Zucchini and Corn Fritters

2-3 zucchini shredded, didn't measure but it was probably around 3-4 c.
2 tsp salt
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp dried dill
fresh ground pepper to taste
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 to 1/2 c frozen or fresh corn kernels
2/3 c gluten-free flour blend

For pan frying:
2 T olive oil

Shred the zucchini and put into a colander.  Sprinkle salt on top and let set in the sink or over a bowl for approx. 10 min.  After the 10 min. squeeze as much of the excess liquid out as possible.  Combine with the remaining ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Drop by spoonfuls in a pan heated with the olive oil.  Flatten slightly and cook approximately 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown (I did ours on a nonstick electric griddle at around 300 degrees).  Enjoy!

August 20, 2011

Classic White Gluten-Free Cupcakes

We had Dylan's birthday party today.  While Mom made a beautiful teddy bear cake for Dylan, it had wheat in it, so I made a few gluten-free cupcakes for the rest of us.  And, they turned out pretty darn well.  I used a half batch of the Chocolate Honey Beet Cake recipe (with 2 eggs) for one set (made 10 cupcakes) and this recipe for the other.  I was going to make cream cheese frosting but there was enough chocolate butter cream frosting leftover from the teddy bear that I just used that.  It also worked pretty well to cool the cupcakes, freeze them in a Ziploc without the frosting and then defrost them the day before and frost the day of.

Classic White Gluten-Free Cupcakes

1/2 c butter, at room temperature
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c (or more accurately 7.5 oz) gluten-free flour blend
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pan with paper liners.  Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla.  Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture one third at a time, alternating with the milk.  Pour into the prepared cupcake pan (approx. 1/4 c batter per cupcake).  Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Makes 12 cupcakes.

August 7, 2011

Coconut & "Nut" Macaroon Torte...and Kubb

Last night we had Rebecca, Hans, and Destiny over for dinner. Andrew and I really enjoy spending time with them. There is no drama and while we have many things in common, we have enough not in common that it's fun learning from each other. 

Speaking of learning from each other...We also learned a new yard game from Rebecca and Hans called Kubb.  It's a Swedish game with blocks you knock down with sticks and then you knock down the "King" in the middle.  I wasn't very good but it was a lot of fun.  We're hoping they can bring it to Dylan's birthday party.

Rebecca and I aren't really eating wheat so I wanted to try a new recipe for dessert. I made the Coconut & Almond Macaroon Torte recipe from Molly Katzen's Enchanted Broccoli Forest.  Of course I can never leave well enough alone though.  I decided because my other friend, Rebecca, had given me some pecan meal when I was down in Georgia that I would use that instead of the almonds.  I also didn't have chocolate chips so I used a couple Rice Dream chocolate bars for the topping.  Turned out well enough I'm telling you about it here today :)

Coconut & "Nut" Macaroon Torte

The Cake
6 eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 c finely ground almonds (or pecans)
1 c shredded coconut ( I use unsweetened)
1/2 tsp orange rind (I used almond extract)

The Filling and Topping
1/2 c raspberry jam
2 T butter (I used coconut oil)
1/4 c semisweet chocolate chips (I used two Rice Dream chocolate bars...probably quite a bit more than 1/4 c)
1 T cocoa
1 T powdered sugar (I didn't use this at all)
1/4 tsp orange rind (didn't use either)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter the bottom of a 10-inch spring form pan.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff in a large bowl.

In a different large bowl, without worrying about washing the beaters, beat the egg yolks, gradually adding brown sugar and salt.  When all is added, beat 2 minutes on high.

Stir the ground nuts and coconut into the yolk mixture.  Add the orange rind/extract.  Mix well.

Fold the egg whites into the mixture - carefully and quickly.  Transfer to the prepared pan.  Bake undisturbed for 30 minutes.  Cool the cake completely in the pan.

Once the cake is completely cool, remove from the pan, and cut in half, using a serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion.  Spread the bottom half with the raspberry jam.  Replace the top half.

In a pan on low heat, met together the butter (coconut oil) and chocolate chips.  Stir in the cocoa and powdered sugar and orange rind (if using).  Spread this mixture, while still warm, across the top.  Put in the refrigerator to firm up.  

Tastes great served on a warm summer evening, on the deck, with decaf hazelnut coffee!

Love Letters to My Sons..