S’more Creme Brulee

s'more creme brulee

I found this recipe on Pinterest and just had to try it.  Who doesn’t like s’mores and any chance to use my kitchen blow torch is always welcome.  Of course, you’ll have to find some gluten-free graham crackers or make your own to make this dish completely gluten free.

CHOCOLATE CRÈME BRÛLÉE

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 4 oz  semisweet or bittersweet chocolate , finely chopped (I used good quality semi sweet mini chips)

MARSHMALLOW MERINGUE

  • 4  large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

TO FINISH

  • extra sugar for bruleeing
  • gluten free graham crackers if you can find them (or a similiar flavor gluten free cookie)

FOR THE CRÈME BRÛLÉE:

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Set out six ramekins and a roasting pan that will fit all the ramekins comfortably.
  • Combine cream and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil on the stove.
  • Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and remaining tablespoon of sugar together in a medium bowl.
  • When the cream has just come to a boil, add chocolate to the saucepan and stir until chocolate is fully melted and combined with the cream.
  • Slowly pour the hot chocolate mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent eggs from cooking. Strain mixture into a bowl or measuring cup.
  • Divide custard mixture evenly among prepared ramekins. The mixture should come up just a little shy of the rim of the ramekins. Tap the ramekins lightly on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles.
  • Place ramekins in roasting pan so they are not touching the sides. Fill the pan with hot water about halfway up the height of the ramekins.
  • Carefully place roasting pan in oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the custard appears set but still jiggly. If you are using wide, shallow ramekins (like the ones in my photos), it will take closer to 25 minutes. If you are using smaller, deeper ramekins, it may take a little longer to set.
  • Remove from oven and carefully take out ramekins from roasting pan. Let cool until you can touch the ramekins, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

FOR THE MERINGUE:

  • Combine the sugar and egg whites in a medium metal bowl and place over a pan of simmering water.
  • Whisk the sugar mixture constantly over heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture looks smooth and shiny, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove mixture from heat and pour into a stand mixer bowl. Whisk on medium speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture has cooled.
  • Beat on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form, about another 5 to 10 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to combine.
  • You can now scrape the meringue into a piping bag to pipe, or if you want to keep it simple you can just dollop it on top of your dessert.

TO ASSEMBLE:

  • Sprinkle top of each ramekin with about a tablespoon of sugar. Use a kitchen torch or broiler to caramelize the sugar.
  • Pipe or spoon the meringue over the top of the ramekin. Use a kitchen torch or broiler to lightly toast the meringue.
  • Insert a few graham cracker pieces or cookie pieces into the brûlée and serve immediately.

Ode to Elvis – Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding with Bananas

Choc Peanut

This is a simple homemade pudding that even the King himself would be proud of.  I used a Hershey bar for the chopped chocolate and garnished with some fresh sliced bananas.  As you let the pudding cool in the pan before you put in serving dishes cover the pudding with plastic wrap sitting right on top of the pudding to avoid the dreaded “pudding skin” from forming.  Once it was cool enough I divided mine among four serving dishes and let it chill for about an hour. Now, Don’t Be Cruel and make yourself a batch. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

Preparation

  1. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa in a medium saucepan; stir with a whisk. Whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 1 minute or until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Spoon about 1/3 cup pudding into each of 6 bowls. Top each serving with 1/2 teaspoon peanuts.

 

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

peanut butter cookies

 

I made these cookies over the weekend and they were so easy and tasted so good.  They were great warm out of the oven or a few days later.  They stayed soft and slightly chewy and that little hint of coarse sea salt was devine.

 

Ingredients:
2 cups natural peanut butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg, lightly beaten
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the racks in the upper and lower third of the oven.

In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until well combined. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture about 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten the mounds with the tines of a fork, making a crosshatch pattern on the cookies. Sprinkle coarse salt on top of the cookies.

Bake until golden around the edges, about 10 minutes, switching the position of the sheets halfway through baking. Transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Makes about 26 cookies.

Gluten Free Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

 

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

 

I took a shortcut with these cupcakes and they came out really good.  I don’t like beer so I opted to just make a plain chocolate cake with a whiskey ganache and a Bailey’s frosting.  These will satisfy any little leprechaun!

Cupcake Ingredients:

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix

1/3 c sour cream

3 eggs

1 cup water

Prepare cake batter as directed, but add sour cream.  This gives you a really moist cake.  Pour the cake batter in large or mini muffin tins.  I sprayed my muffin tins with non-stick spray and then put the cupcakes in pretty cupcake wrappers after they cooled.  Bake regular size cupcakes for 20-24 minutes in 325F oven.  Mini cupcakes take about 15-16 minutes.  Let the cupcake cool and then work on the ganache.

For the Whiskey Ganache:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Taste as you add whiskey a little at a time to make sure you don’t overdo it.  Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped or spooned into large hollowed cupcakes.  For the mini cupcakes I dipped them into the ganache and left the cupcakes whole.

Let the ganache set and then make your frosting.

For the Baileys Frosting:

2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.

Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with green sprinkles.  Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.

Cinnamon Bundt Cake

Bundt Cake

 

Don’t you love the feeling of fall in the air?  The smell of the cinnamon brooms as you walk into the grocery story always entices me.  This past weekend I decided to try my hand at a cinnamon bundt cake and it was delicious.  The cake was very moist and so easy to make.  I was disappointed with the icing glaze recipe that was listed with the cake.  I followed the instructions, but my glaze was clear and disappeared into the cake so I served mine with a little sweetened whipped cream too.  I’m adding a different glaze recipe to this that should work better.

 

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • ¾ cup sorghum flour
  • ¾ cup potato starch
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • 1¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon (Vietnamese if you have it)
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk or 1Tablespoon vinegar + milk to = 1 cup

For the Glaze

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 1/2 c confectioners sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients.
  2. In your mixer bowl, beat the butter. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and milk alternately in fourths, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix well, scraping the bottom of the bowl to be sure the butter is incorporated.
  4. Spoon the batter into a sprayed or greased bundt pan.
  5. Bake at 325° for 50 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  7. Melt butter for glaze and then add the rest of glaze ingredients.  Drizzle glaze over cooled cake.

 

 

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread

I made this butter slightly salty shortbread cookies over the weekend and I was really pleased with how they turned out.  The key to making these cookies stay really pretty is chilling the dough before rolling it out and chilling the cookies for a few minutes before baking them in the oven.  You could add finely chopped pecans, lemon zest, finely ground lavender or a host of other flavorings to this dough so be creative.

Ingredients:

  • 5 1/3 ounces (1 1/3 cups) white rice flour
  • 2.5 ounces (1/2 cup) sweet rice flour
  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (this prevents the cookies from spreading)
  • 7 ounces (14 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In small bowl, whisk together white rice flour, sweet rice flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla extract together, on medium-low speed, until a thick paste forms, about 30 seconds. Shut off stand mixer. Add dry ingredients. Turn on mixer and mix until a dough forms, about three minutes.

Lightly white rice flour your countertop. Turn dough out onto counter and shape dough into a disk or log shape. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.  Once chilled use a rolling pin to roll dough out, about 1/4-inch thick. Make sure you measure this.  I though I had rolled it out to this thickness, but when comparing it to a ruler my dough was 1/8 inch thick.  Cut using a cookie cutter dusted with flour and place cookies on prepared baking sheet, about two inches apart. Chill cut cookies for 5-10 minutes before baking.  Bake until cookies are lightly golden brown on the edges and aromatic, about 20-25 minutes.

 

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Cream Cheese

There is nothing better on a spring day than a great big dollup of cream cheese frosting topping a wonderfully moist carrot cake.  This cake is gluten free, but you’d never know it.  This treat is packed with flavor and will have you coming back for a second or third slice if you’re not careful.  My nine year old son who usually doesn’t like any kind of cake gobbled down a slice and asked for more.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 3 cups freshly grated carrots
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups gluten-free powdered sugar

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350° F

Use two round 9-inch cake pans, one 9×13 pan or 36 muffin cups for this recipe. If using round cake pans, lightly grease and place a circle of parchment in the bottom of the pan for easy removal. Use paper lining cups if making cupcakes.

  1. Cream sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric beater or stand mixer. Add oil and vanilla and beat just until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl combine gluten-free flour mix, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until blended.
  3. Stir in grated carrots and nuts. Pour the batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. While cake is cooling place butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
  6. When cake is cool frost all over.

Irish Coffee Cupcakes

Irish Coffee Cupcakes

I hope everyone enjoyed their St. Patricks Day.  I made some really yummy dishes.  Two of them are certainly blog-worthy.  This is the dessert I served and if you love the flavor of coffee you can enjoy this cupcake year round.  The only thing I did differently was I added some homemade chocolate buttercream around the top of the cupcake and put the whipped cream topping in the middle.  I thought the chocolate addition would be a tasty added treat.

 

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
2 tablespoons good Irish Whiskey (I used Bushmills)
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder – use divided
½ cup white rice flour (preferably finely milled)
¼ cup sweet rice flour (preferably finely milled)
¼ cup potato starch (not potato flour)
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup ½ half and half, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons confectioners sugar (add more to taste if needed)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.

In a small saucepan, stir together the granulated sugar and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Take off the heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon of instant espresso powder. Stir in the whiskey and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the white rice flour, sweet rice flour, potato and tapioca starches, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and remaining 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium high speed until fluffy, 2 – 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add half the flour mixture, then the half and half and finally the rest of the flour mixture. Blend until almost all the flour is mixed in. Add the vanilla and mix. With a large spatula, finish mixing the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then spoon coffee whiskey mixture over cupcakes.  Let cool completely for 30 minutes and then whip cream with 2 tsp of sugar to swirl on top.

 

**This is the chocolate buttercream recipe I used from Savory Sweet Life**

Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted!)
  • 3½ cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time.

 

Japanese Cheesecake

 

Japanese cheesecake

If you are like me you may not have heard of Japanese cheesecake before.  I certainly had not discovered this little gem until recently.  I came across a recipe while scouring the internet looking for gluten-free desserts.  This cake is naturally gluten-free and is kind of like a cross between pound cake and cheesecake.  It’s a little effort to make, but it is totally worth it.  I made mine in a loaf pan, but you could also use a springform pan.  I had to convert all the measurements from the metric system , but it turned out very yummy.  This is best made one day ahead of time and then eaten on the second day.

Ingredients:

10.5 oz cream cheese

3.15 Tablespoons unsalted butter

3 egg yolks

1.5 Tablespoons of granulated sugar

2.5 tsp cornstarch

2/3 c milk

3 egg whites

4 Tablespoons granulated sugar

Cut some parchment paper slightly larger than the pan you are using and line your pan with it.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Put egg whites in the freezer so they just begin to freeze around the edges.  Sift the cornstarch.  If your cream cheese is not softened wrap in plastic wrap and microwave for 15 sec intervals until it is soft to the touch.  In a large bowl melt the butter over a double boiler and then add cream cheese.  Whisk well to combine.  In a second bowl combine egg yolks and 1.5 T sugar and then mix in the cornstarch.   Heat the milk so it comes to a boil and then slowly add to the egg yolk mixture until it thickens over the double boiler.  Add egg yolk mixture to cream cheese and combine well.

Add a small amount of remaining 4T of sugar to egg whites and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Gradually add remaining sugar to egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add 1/4 of the egg white mixture to your cream cheese mixture and combine.  Fold remaining meringue into cream cheese mixture and then fill pan.  Smooth the top of your cake mixture and put pan inside a roasting pan.  Add boiling water to roasting pan until it comes about a half inch up the loaf or springform pan you are using.  Bake for 15 minutes and then lower your oven temp to 320F and bake for 25 more minutes.  Turn off your oven and leave cake in oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour.  The top should be slightly browned.  Let cake cool in pan and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before removing from the pan.

I served mine with a blueberry sauce and some fresh whipped cream.

Peach Cardamom Crisp

Georgia is known for their peaches and I love using them in desserts.  When you can’t get them fresh you can always find sliced peaches in the frozen food section at your local grocery store.  This gluten-free dessert was super easy and tasted really yummy.  I also love any excuse I can get to use one of my favorite spices…..cardamom.

Filling Ingredients:

4 c sliced peaches (fresh or frozen) – if using frozen thaw them before using

1/2 c granulated sugar

2 T gluten-free all purpose flour

1 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping Ingredients:

1 c gluten-free all purpose flour or gluten-free baking mix

1 c gluten-free quick cook oats

1/2 c brown sugar

pinch of salt

12 T chilled unsalted butter, diced

Preheat your oven to 350F.   In a large bowl toss together the peach filling ingredients and mix well.  Pour the peaches in a 9X13 baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, mix the 1 c flour, oats, brown sugar and salt on low.  Add the cold butter and continue mixing until it begins to look like small pieces of dough.  Don’t overmix or you’ll be left with one big piece of dough.  Top the peaches with the dough mixture and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.  Let dessert cool slightly and then serve with cinnamon whipped cream or cinnamon ice cream.