Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy!

As you know, my little guy has about a million food allergies. Halloween is always a giant pain for us. He's never been trick or treating, but we always have an awesomely fun night with friends, passing out candy and playing, "guess the costume." 

This year, I decided to go healthy with the halloween treat for his class party. I usually make gf/vegan cupcakes for everyone. It's kind of fun, actually - none of the kids realize that my cupcakes are allergen friendly. They just know that they are delicious. Anyhow, this year I made tiny little jack o'lanterns out of oranges and filled them with a fruit salad made of apples, grapes, oranges, and pears. I mixed all the fruit with a coconut cream whipped cream and marshmallows.  I really hope the kids enjoy them.

I am so happy with the way the "whipped cream" turned out. I'd seen the idea on other blogs, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

1 (full-fat) can of coconut milk
1 tbspn agave nectar
1 tbspn pure vanilla

Step one involves waiting. I am going to start keeping a can of coconut milk in the fridge for whenever it might be needed.  The coconut milk has to be refrigerated overnight to allow the fat to solidify.

When opening the can, be sure to NOT shake it, you want the solids on the top. Carefully, scoop out the opaque solids and put them in your stand mixer. (drink the leftover water, it's healthy and delicious!)

Add the agave and vanilla - and mix using your whip attachment (or hand mixer).  I let mine go about 5 minutes or so. 

This is what it should look like: 
 Totally decadent - and safe for my little diary allergic kiddo!!!


So, I learned something new this week while watching the Top Chef Just Desserts finale. Speculoos. Apparently, it's a spread made from ground up cookies. Matthew, from TCJD, said that it's kind of like peanut butter. Since my kids are allergic to peanuts, peanut butter substitutes make my ears perk up.

I did a little investigation and found a recipe for the actual cookie that Speculoos is made from.  I bake by weight, not volume, so this works for me. At some point, after I do some experimenting with using gluten free flour in the recipe, I'll convert to a volume recipe for those of you who are not baking by weight.

500gr flour
375gr brown sugar
250gr butter
½ tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp spices (ginger, nutmeg etc)
2 eggs
100gr almonds (powder)
Mix all the ingredients together and leave the mixture in a cold place till the next day.
Roll out the dough. Cut it into shapes (squares, not squares etc)Place all on a cooking tray.
Cook for 15min at low heat.

After the cookies are baked, you grind them up into a find powder - making essentially a flour from the cookies, then you toast the flour before using it. Sounds pretty darn yummy to me!! =)

On a different note, Congratulations to Chris - this seasons winner of Top Chef Just Desserts. I called this win early on. =)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blueberry Dump Cake

Yummy Blueberry "Dump" Cake

I always have blueberries in the house as they are one of my youngest kiddos' favorite foods. This easy peasy recipe was adapted from the Engine 2 Diet book by Rip Esselstyn.  In his book it's actually called "Blueberry Dumpster Fire Cobbler."  Due to the fact that all my baking is gluten free, I had to substitute the whole wheat pastry flour, and I chose to use Better Batter GF All Purpose Flour.  By using the GF flour, this actually turns out more like a cake than a cobbler, but it was absolutely delicious, just the same. It was just what I needed to fill my need for sweets after dinner.

2/3 cup GF AP Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk substitute (I use Silk Coconut Milk)
3 tablespoons either agave nectar or maple syrup
2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Combine the flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour batter into a nonstick 8" square pan. (I don't have this particular pan so I sprayed a glass pan with cooking spray). Sprinkle blueberries over the batter. Bake for 45 minutes or until browned.

This is especially delicious with lemon sorbet.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chocolate Chunk Blondies

This recipe is slightly adapted from Cybele Pascal's Allergen Free Baking Book. Her recipe calls for her own blend of gluten free flours, Boom Choco Boom bars, and Xanthan Gum. The gf ap flour mix I have already has xanthan gum in it, so I eliminated that. I also used dairy free chocolate chips rather than the bars.

2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons Better Batter GF AP Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup spectrum organics shortening
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons coconut milk
1/4 plus 1 tspn coconut milk
6 ounces chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray an 8x8 pan with (gf) cooking spray.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, combine shortening, sugars, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. (about 2 minutes)
Add vanilla and egg replacer - mix for about 20 seconds.
In three batches, add flour and coconut milk - starting and ending with flour mixture.
Fold in chocolate.
Spread batter evenly in your baking pan.
Bake for 40 minutes or until lightly golden brown, rotating pan half way through.
Remove from oven and let cool on cooling rack for 15 minutes before cutting.