Sunday, October 12, 2014

Another Thanksgiving, another PIE!

I am always pleasantly surprised when I make pastry at how easily it comes together.


Here is the dough, just formed and ready to go in the fridge to chill.
Half will be for my pumpkin pie, which I will make on Sunday (to eat on Monday).
But what should I make with the other half?

The finished product:

Decorated with free-form pastry "leaves", half plain and half dusted with cinnamon sugar for visual contrast. The leaves also help to conceal the fact that my crust shrunk- because I did not let the shell chill long enough before baking. Oh well! Necessity is the mother of invention!
Can't wait to eat this tomorrow.
:)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cupcakes...



...are delicious, right?
These are too, even if they are gluten free.
I have amended this recipe to be gluten free, and my kids (who are not gluten free ) love them anyway, which many can appreciate is, well, amazing!

Many thanks to the original recipe, found here:
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/extreme-chocolate-cake/detail.aspx

Extreme Chocolate Gluten Free Cupcakes


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 + 1/8 cup rice flour
  • 3/4 + 1/8 cup tapioca starch
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp xantham gum
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Pre-heat oven to 350
Grease cupcake pans and dust with cocoa powder (or use Cupcake liners).
Fill kettle and boil water.
Combine dry ingredients, and mix well.
Add all wet ingredients (except for boiling water), and mix for 3 minutes*.

Add boiling water, and mix BY HAND (I use a whisk) until just combined. Pour into prepared pans.

Cupcakes: bake for about 20-22 minutes. Test with a toothpick, if it doesn't come out clean, bake for a few more minutes and test again. 
*Don't overmix, as this can prevent the baking powder and soda from adding airiness to your final product!


Saturday, August 16, 2014

SOCCA

Today will be a new adventure in alternative bread making: Socca.
Thought to have originated in Nice, Socca is a thin, crepe-like pan bread made with Besan, or Chick Pea flour.


Ingredients:
1 cup  chickpea flour
1 cup  water
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper 
(You can also add spices and seasonings here, but for my first attempt I am going to keep it classic.)

The recipe is ridiculously simple. I found many recipes out there, and they are basically all the same: Mix equal portions of flour and water, a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and seasonings. Let sit 1/2- 2 hours before cooking. Baking alternatives include: in the oven under the broiler, on the stovetop using cast iron griddle or pan, or non-stick pan. Today I am opting for the stovetop cast iron combo.
This strikes me as VERY similar to making corn tortillas, in terms of just basically adding water to the flour and letting it rest before cooking. My mixture is resting now.

Mixture rested, time to cook!

These turned out like crepes- but chickpea flour has a very distinctive bite to it, and I thing to fully enjoy them, that "beanyness" really needs to be balanced with whatever is used for the filling. These ideally should also be served as they are cooked, because for me they lost their pliability if left to cool and then re-heated. 
Something different to try, I would recommend making a small test batch to see if you like the flavours, and play with your fillings/pairings!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Gluten Free Lime-Curd Tarts

Well, it would seem I am on a pastry kick!

I made lime-curd tartlets yesterday for some guests, and they were a hit amongst GF and non-GF alike!
I have never done a curd before, and was looking for something new for a filling, and happened to have some limes on hand.  Found a very simple recipe on All-Recipes which you can link to here


Lime Curd

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 TB lime zest
2 eggs, beaten

1. Before assembling the ingredients, place the eggs in a bowl of very warm water. This will help the eggs to blend with the hot mixture, and prevent the eggs from "scrambling"

2. Before cutting and juicing the limes, zest them!! (It is very hard to zest a spent lime) :)

2. Place all ingredients except for the eggs in the top of a double boiler, over medium high heat.
Once the butter has melted, mix 2-3 TB of the hot mixture into the beaten eggs, and whisk well.

3. Reduce the heat to medium. SLOWLY whisk the egg mixture into the hot lime mixture, whisking until smooth.
Continue to cook until the lime mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 20-25 minutes.  Stir/whisk occasionally.

4. Cool slightly, and spoon into a glass or ceramic jar. Cover and refrigerate.

This really needs a good few hours to properly chill and set.
I presented these tarts 2 ways: half plain, and half with a layer of melted chocolate in the bottom of the shell, and then a small drizzle of chocolate on top.
Both were so good I don't even know which ones I liked best! I am making more for a dinner party tomorrow, and will do some with fresh blackberries.
Made with my pastry recipe on this site.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pantry Bounty


A shot of my pantry, featuring GF breadcrumbs, croutons and granola!
Tomorrow, Lime Curd tarts  :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Apple Pie Creation, in pictures

Time again for Apple Pie!  Hubby's birthday yesterday, and that was the request. Went to 3 different stores before I could find Granny Smith Apples, but it was worth it!
(Pastry recipe is already posted)
 Readying the counter-top for the pastry
 Pastry ready to trim.  It held together so well I was able to drape it over my rolling pin and lift onto the pie plate. (Usually I roll out on parchment but I forgot this time)
 My alternate to a top crust or lattice. Roll out pastry and cut with whatever cookie cutter you choose. This cutter is an old tin one from my childhood, and the top crust took about 20 medium sized hearts to cover .  * Symmetry is good here :) 
 This is the caramel sauce that really is the key to the filling. Toss the sliced apples with the sauce, reserving about 1/4 for glazing the top crust
 The glazed top crust, pre- baking. You can see the first row of hearts at the rim are placed side to side (no overlap), but the following rows do overlap. You can have lots of fun with this.
 The finished beauty!
Yum.
You can see the caramel has set- the key is to let the pie cool off at least a couple of hours before  cutting into. This was so amazing my Mother-In-Law (who is Celiac) could barely contain herself :)

Filling recipe to follow.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Hallowe'en!!!!

I will be roasting pumpkin seeds later, but for now, here are some eggshell eyeballs to enjoy…