Saturday, December 18, 2010

Orange Carrot Muffins with Almond Flour

I don't have many muffin recipes; I have one. I'm sure there are many other fine muffins out there, deserving of my attention, but when it muffin-making time comes around, I can imagine none better than this recipe. The others will have to wait.

It's not mine. It's found here: But it's such a great recipe, beloved of gluten avoiders and eaters alike, that I want to share it here. The fresh citrus zest brings such a bright flavor. They're sweet and gobble-able (I've considered frosting them & calling them carrot cake) but also low-guilt, because the carrots, almond flour & walnuts add protein & lots of nutrients. They're also a great way to use up some winter squash if you sub butternut for carrots.

I follow the recipe pretty faithfully - unusual for me - with a few exceptions/variations:

1. Disregard the stated 50-60 minute baking time! That's probably for a loaf, not muffins. Muffins are done in 22-25 minutes.

2. I've no idea what "mixed spice" is, but pumpkin pie spice works beautifully. Failing that, I'm sure you could sub ginger or more cinnamon.

3. Carrots can be switched out in favor of peeled, grated butternut squash (seeds discarded). Also, I've used up to 250g of carrots/squash, so you don't need to be super-precise with the quantity.

4. Use any citrus zest you happen to have - I've used lemon or lime when I didn't have an orange on hand.

5. Turbinado sugar or coconut palm sugar work fine in place of demerara. The muffins are a bit sweet, so you can cut it down a bit - I used 190g last time, and I'll try 180g next.

6. If you're on the fence about raisins (aka "sultanas") in baked goods, I'd say give it a shot. I like them only in moderation, and 60g is just about the perfect quantity. Or, 70g of mixed raisins and dried cranberries = yum. You can go generous on the walnuts - they're good for you :)

7. I don't like using plain rice flour, so I substitute something healthier - brown rice, sorghum, teff - depending on my mood.

8. If you don't have almond flour, no problem. Just pulse some almonds, blanched or skin-on, in a food processor until they're a cornmeal texture. Just be sure to stop before you get to the almond-butter stage.

9. If you're a gluten-eater, leave the almond flour in, but substitute an equal weight of regular flour for the rice & tapioca; omit the xanthan gum.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Crusty GFCF artisan bread?

Shauna aka the Gluten Free Girl posted a lovely recipe for a gluten-free artisan boule bread - the recipe happens to be dairy free as well - which I've been meaning to try it out. I can count on one hand the number of times I've made from-scratch yeast bread, and I didn't have one of the main ingredients on hand, but I STILL didn't manage to screw up this recipe. It's actually really simple, no-knead, and you could easily make this without a Kitchen-Aid. And the result? ohmylord.

Since I'd run out of brown rice flour, I substituted 1/2c millet, 1/2c teff, and 1/4c sweet rice This, according to my math, added up to the same weight as 1c brown rice flour, though higher in protein. If you're a by-weight baker, the weights I used were: 158g brown rice (or my subs); 102g sorghum, 180g tapioca. I also left by bread to rise and rest longer than called for. These changes weren't willful; just the way it worked out. My bread turned very dense and moist with very small bubbles, a great crunchy crust (not super-thick) and wonderful sourdough-like flavor. I can only imagine the results if I would've followed directions ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hale & Hearty

For fans of Hale & Hearty Soups, I emailed the company and got their latest gluten-free soup list with nutritional information, dated March 2010. The list also tags soups that are vegetarian, low-fat or dairy-free - which is one reason I adore H&H. The other, of course, is that their soups are so good!

I uploaded the file to my Google docs - view/download it here:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Flourless Chocolate Cake/Cupcakes

This rich, fudgy, amazing cake is so easy to make, I can whip it up on a weeknight. It's already gluten free and dairy free, but I wanted to try an egg-free version for vegan friends. The eggless version sunk in the middle, and that recipe could use some further tweaking, but it was delicious nonetheless, and the dent made a great holder for extra frosting :).

Chocolate Can o' Cake
(Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free)

1 can (15 ounce) garbanzo or black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips
3 eggs*
dash xanthan gum (optional - it's fine without, but a little crumblier)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant coffee
1/3 tsp baking powder (i.e. a heaping 1/4 tsp)

*Vegan option: substitute 1 Tbsp Ener-G egg replacer whisked into 1/4 cup cold coffee or water and 1/4 cup silken tofu.

1. Preheat oven to 350. Rinse and drain beans. Prepare your baking vessel - a greased & sprinkled (with GF flour or cocoa powder) cake pan or 10 cupcake liners

2. Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl. Nuke on medium for 90 seconds, stir, then continue in 20-second intervals until melted.

3. Meanwhile, blitz beans, eggs (or replacer), and xanthan (if using) in food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides halfway through. Add remaining ingredients, except chocolate, and blend to mix. Finally, add chocolate and blitz, scraping down the sides once or twice to ensure everything is evenly mixed.

4. Pour promptly into your cake pan or cupcake liners - as the mixture sits, it will get thick & harder to spread. Bake time will depend on the size/shape of your pan - an 8" round will take 45 minutes or so, and cupcakes take 20-25 minutes. Check doneness with a toothpick inserted in the center.

5. Embellish with frosting, fruit, nuts, or simply dust with powdered sugar. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting.

Notes: Any of the flavoring ingredients (coffee, vanilla, cocoa) can be omitted if you don't have them on hand, but they really help to deepen the chocolate flavor. A teaspoon of cinnamon is also a welcome addition, for a warm, Mexican chocolate flavor - you can even add a touch of cayenne if you're feeling bold. Mix in walnuts or top with sliced almonds, if you wish.