Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Best-ever GF, CF Chocolate Cupcakes

I really mean that.  Best.  Ever.  You may remember last year when I made cupcakes for the Princess's class, with the orange and black icing?  This year, I left out the chocolate, and went with green/purple.  I'd wanted some gummy spiders or something for the tops, but left it till today to shop for them and could find any.  So, nonpareils, it is:

Cute, are they not?  But the real story is the cupcakes themselves.  They're so soft and moist, you'll never miss the gluten OR the dairy.  Now, on first read, this recipe might look a little scary.  Why all the cocoa powder?  What with the yogurt?  It can be difficult to find even baking chocolate that has no dairy and has not been processed on equipment that may have processed dairy.  So I went with all cocoa powder.  Just for the record, if you ever need to, you can make a chocolate/cocoa conversion.  Each 1 oz square of baking chocolate (unsweetened) can be replaced by 3 Tbsp cocoa and 1 Tbsp oil or butter.  So this recipe has something like 8 oz of chocolate.  Easy, right?

The yogurt and vinegar both help (along with the acid in the cocoa) to react with the leavening and create the right texture.  Since this as an oil-based recipe, rather than a butter cake, the cake is very moist and tender.

Best-Ever Gluten Free, Casein Free Chocolate Cupcakes

3 c. Fancy Flour Blend, other GF AP flour OR
1/2 c. millet flour
1/2 c. sweet rice flour
1 c. white rice flour
3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp tapioca starch
2 Tbsp potato starch
1-1/2 tsp guar gum
1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 c. cocoa powder
3 eggs
1/3 c. canola oil
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. brown sugar
6 oz non-dairy Greek Yogurt style-fermented coconut or almond milk
1-1/2 Tbsp white vinegar + enough almond milk to make 1-3/4 c.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place cupcake liners into cupcake pans.  (This recipe makes 36-42 cupcakes... be prepared.  Or you can make 24 cupcakes and one 8 or 9 inch layer)

In a bowl, sift together flour, guar gum, baking powder, soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs, then add canola oil and coconut oil.   Add vanilla.  Mix until combined.

Add sugar and brown sugar, mixing well.

Beat in yogurt.  I used coconut-based yogurt.

Combine vinegar and almond milk.  Stir.  Yes, it's going to look curdled.  Trust me.  Really.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture.  When all ingredients are combined, beat on medium high for 2-3 minutes, till smooth.

Portion into cupcake liners with a 2 oz disher.  Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Almond Buttercream

1/4 c. dairy-free margarine, such as Earth Balance
1/2 c. shortening (such as Spectrum)
1 tsp almond extract
1 lb. powdered sugar (about 4-1/2 c.)
1/4-1/2 c. almond milk

Cream together shortening and margarine.  Add about 1 c. of the powdered sugar and beat well.  Add almond extract.  Continue adding powdered sugar and almond milk alternately until all sugar is incorporated and frosting is of a soft, pipable consistency.  Tint as desired.

These are really fabulous cupcakes.  And I'd bet you can take them out in public and no one will even know what's missing!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Waffles

It's that time of year again.  Octember.  When the retail giants try to smoosh all the fall and winter holidays into one giant spending spree.  And convince us all that we'll just *die* if we don't get that limited-time-pumpkin-pie-spice latte before they're gone for the year!

Yeah, I get tired of it, too.  But I'm going to jump on the pumpkin bandwagon one more time because it DOES taste good.  And these waffles are really, really pumpkin pie-y.  No beauty shots this time, as my children were more interested in just eating them with a little brown sugar.  But I'd recommend whipped cream.  Or some caramel sauce and pecans.  Or both!  These are adapted (rather loosely) from Williams-Sonoma.

Pumpkin Pie Waffles

1-1/2 cups Fancy Flour Blend, other GF AP flour OR
1/4 c. millet flour
1/4 c. sweet rice flour
1/2 c. white or brown rice flour (or even amaranth, teff, or quinoa if you'd rather)
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp tapioca starch
2 Tbsp potato starch
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp guar gum
2 eggs
1/4 c. canola oil
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. plain or vanilla greek yogurt (or soy yogurt, if you need to be dairy-free)
1 c. milk (or almond/soy/rice milk)
1 Tbsp vanilla

Heat waffle iron.  When hot, spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.  (Be prepared to spray the iron every 2-3 waffles.  This batter is delicate, and the high sugar content makes them a little prone to sticking).
In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, soda, spices, salt and guar gum.  Whisk together.

In a bowl, whisk eggs until well blended.  Add oil and continue to whisk until combined and oil is emulsified.

Add vanilla, pumpkin, and sugar.  Whisk again.

Stir in yogurt, then milk, whisking until thoroughly combined.

Add dry ingredients and whisk until batter is moist and only small lumps remain.

Bake in waffle iron based on manufacturer's directions.

Not only are these delicious, but they make the house smell fantastic as well.  As an added bonus, they reheat in the toaster on the lowest setting and crisp up even a little better than when fresh.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pumpkin Doughnuts with Salted Caramel Glaze

Things are finally settling into the Fall rhythm around here.  Kinda sorta.  Homework with Autism probably involves more than the usual amount of arm-twisting.  And I'm still on the hunt for a way to try to get the Princess to really grasp the concept that numbers mean things.  She's hit a wall with math, and I suspect it's a lack of understanding the correspondence between the symbol and the number of things it represents.  There is probably a certain ironic justice in the universe that is forcing a woman who was always a terrible tutor to not only slow down but to try to explain things that are intuitive concepts for most people - to someone who is just this side of nonverbal.

Everybody needed a pick-me-up this weekend.  And, as it happens, a friend had asked early this week if I had a recipe for GF baked pumpkin doughnuts.  I didn't.  But I couldn't see why I couldn't manage one.  What do you think?

 These were adapted from King Arthur Flour's Pumpkin Doughnut recipe on that wonderful company's blog.  Go check it out for more tips and suggestions.  The donuts themselves are also dairy-free.  If you wish, you can make the glaze dairy-free by using a dairy-free margarine and soy or almond milk.

Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

1 c. Fancy Flour Blend, other GF AP flour, OR
1/3 c. millet flour
1/3 c. sweet rice flour
3/4 c. +2 Tbsp white rice flour
1/3 c. tapioca starch
2 Tbsp potato starch
1 tsp guar gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp King Arthur Cake Enhancer (optional)
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1/3 c. canola oil
1-1/4 c. granulated sugar
1-1/2 c. pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 2 doughnut pans with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, guar gum, spices, Cake Enhancer (this helps GF baked goods, which are notoriously fast to go stale, to last a little longer), salt, and baking powder.

Whisk to combine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs until light and frothy.  Add oil and beat until incorporated.  With mixer on low, add pumpkin, vanilla, and sugar.  Scrape down sides, then beat again until smooth.  Add dry ingredients and beat until combined.

Fill the wells of the doughnut pans.  King Arthur's suggestion to use a 1 Tbsp cookie scoop worked pretty well.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into one of the donuts at the deepest part of a well comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then invert:

Cool completely.

Caramel Glaze

2 Tbsp butter or Dairy-free margarine
1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3-4 Tbsp milk or almond/soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. powdered sugar

In a small, shallow saucepan, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar.
When melted and combined, stir in vanilla.  Add powdered sugar and milk alternately in small additions until all sugar is incorporated and glaze is a smooth, pou-rable consistency.
Dip each doughnut into the glaze, hold it over the pan for a moment to allow the excess to drip off, then set on a cooling rack to dry.
I topped mine with a sprinkle of black sea salt.  I think it makes a nice contrast.  You can use any coarse salt that you think looks nice.  I liked the orange-and-black Halloween-y look.
So, first of all, enjoy the doughnuts!  And second, know that I'm always open to requests, especially if you've got an old-fashioned recipe you had to give up when you went gluten-free.  Send it along and I'll see if I can convert it for you!  If it gives me an excuse to avoid the math homework.....  ;-)