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.

The Hundred Foot Journey and Good Flatbread

Flatbread

The other day I rented The Hundred Foot Journey from Redbox.  I’m a total foodie so I love movies that center around food.  This was such a sweet story and I really enjoyed the journey Hassan takes in this film.  Manish Dayal plays Hassan and he’s not too shabby to look at it either.  I realized as I was watching the film that I started craving indian food so for the next couple of days I was knee deep in curries, rice and flatbread.  This gluten-free flatbread turned out fabulous so I just had to share.

Try your hand at making this at home and then watch The Hundred Foot Journey for yourself.  Let me know if you loved it like I did!

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450° Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine coconut flour, tapioca flour and salt.

In a small saucepan, combine coconut oil  and coconut milk and heat it up until it’s just warm and integrated and any solid particles of the coconut oil are melted. Do not overheat and do not boil.

Pour heated oil mixture on top of dry ingredient mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.

Put the mixture into the fridge to allow it to cool slightly.

While the mixture is cooling, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (Note, you can also use a pizza stone or cast iron skillet instead of baking sheets.)

Remove mixture from fridge and add beaten eggs. Combine thoroughly.

Pour 1/2 of mixture onto each baking sheet.

Flatten mixture into 1/4 inch thick flatbread shape using a spatula.

Sprinkle with garlic (or rosemary or any other seasonings or herbs).

Bake in 450° oven for 10 – 12 minutes.

The flatbread is best eaten within a few hours after baking, but it can store overnight. If you store it overnight, it does taste best to toast it slightly before eating.

Hundred Foot_

Christmas Cocktails to Try

These are some fabulous cocktails I’ve found that I’m dying to try this upcoming holiday season.  Aren’t they gorgeous?

pom_spritzer-3

Pomegranate Rosemary Spritzer

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bottle prosecco
  • 2 ounces peach schnapps
  • 4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 ounces pom juice
  • 1 small bottle mango flavored soda water
  • 6-8 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 fresh pomegranate
  • .5 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Add 1 cup of water to a small pan with 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, bring to a boil.
  • Add sugar to boiling water and stir until sugar dissolves.
  • Remove from heat, strain rosemary leaves and set to cool.
  • Clean and de-seed pomegranate. Set seeds aside.
  • Pour Prosecco evenly into 4 cocktail glasses.
  • Add .5 ounces rosemary simple syrup, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 ounce pom juice and a splash of mango soda water to each glass and stir.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of pomegranate seeds to each glass.
  • Allow the pomegranate seeds time to float to the top of the glass and garnish with 1 sprig of rosemary.

NOTES

Best if made with chilled prosecco and peach schnapps, or with 1 – 2 ice cubes if needed.

Simple Sangria Recipe

Holiday Sangria

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 1 bottle sparkling cider
  • 2 clementines sliced
  • 1 granny smith apple chopped
  • 1 gala apple chopped
  • 1-2 cups fresh cranberries

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Combine wine and cider in a pitcher.
  • Add fruit to pitcher.
  • Stir well and chill until ready to serve.

Eggnog-Martini-1

Eggnog Martini

INGREDIENTS

  • 2.5 ounces egg nog
  • 1 ounce vanilla vodka
  • 3/4 ounce amaretto
  • nutmeg

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Combine a handful of ice in a shaker and add all ingredients except nutmeg.
  • Shake and then strain into chilled martini glass.
  • Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.

Mild Lipstick Mandarin Cocktail

Heat

 

I saw Trisha Yearwood make this Lipstick Mandarin cocktail using serrano chiles, but I wasn’t sure if my crew could handle that kind of heat so I tweaked the recipe a bit.  Even this cocktail was too spicy for my Mom, but my husband and I enjoyed the mild heat you get after each lovely sip.  You can also add more orange flavor by adding the peel of one orange to your simple syrup and let it steep for 15-20 minutes and then pull out the orange peel.

 

Ingredients:
1 lemon, cut in half
Extra fine sugar, to rim glasses
4 small slices jalapeno pepper, plus more for garnish
4 ounces mandarin or clementine vodka
4 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice
2 ounces cranberry juice
2 ounces Simple Syrup
Ice

Directions:
Chill 4 martini glasses.  Rim each with a lemon half and then dip in sugar.  Squeeze into a shaker the lemon juice from the halves you used to rim the glasses.  Place the pepper pieces in the shaker and muddle.  Add to the shaker: mandarin or clementine vodka, orange juice, cranberry juice and simple syrup. Top with some ice, shake and strain into the glasses. Garnish each with a small slice of jalapeno pepper.

Simple Syrup:
Combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from the heat and cool.

Chicago Deep Dish Gluten Free

Chicago Deep Dish

 

My kids love pizza and recently we were talking about Chicago Style Pizza.  They had never tried it before so I decided to take a shot at making some gluten free.  I reviewed lots of recipes online, but decided on a simple one using the Betty Crocker gluten free rice flour blend.  Although my crust didn’t rise too much (I only gave it an hour so next time I’ll try it longer) the result was one of the best gluten free pizzas we’ve had as a family.  The kids and everyone in attendance loved it.

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/4 cup coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons canola (or other neutral) oil
3/4 cup warm water (about 100° F)
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Directions

  •  In a medium-size bowl or the bowl of your food processor, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornmeal, yeast, sugar and salt and stir or pulse to combine.
  •  To the flour mixture, add the 4 tablespoons of canola oil and the water in a steady stream, either pulsing in a food processor or mixing with a spoon or fork to combine. If you are using a food processor, pulse while streaming in the water, until a ball begins to form. Otherwise, stir constantly while streaming in the water and continue stirring until the mixture begins to come together. If the dough seems super sticky, add some more flour a tablespoon at a time, and stir or pulse to combine. Press the dough into a disk.
  •  Place the dough in another medium-size bowl and drizzle it with the olive oil. Turn the dough to coat it with oil. This will prevent a crust from forming on the dough while it is rising. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm, draft-free area to rise until it is about 1 1/2 times its original volume (about 1 hour or more).
  •  After the dough has risen, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
  •  When you are ready to make the pizza, preheat your oven to 425° F. Grease well with canola oil a 12 inch round baking dish or a cast iron skillet if you have it.
  • Press the pizza dough evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides, leaving a small clean edge toward the top of the pan so there aren’t exposed edges that can burn easily during baking. The corn meal will have made the pizza dough much less smooth and pliable than ideal, but it is worth it for the taste in the final product. Trust me.
  •  To assemble the pizza, use whatever ingredients you like. Slather the bottom and sides of the crust with softened unsalted butter. This will give the crust a nice buttery taste.  Then layer in slices of cheese of provolone cheese then whatever else you like (I used cooked italian bulk sausage, pepperoni, fresh basil, bacon fresh sliced tomatoes, & mozzarella cheese), cover with tomato sauce and a thin layer of finely grated Parmesan cheese.
  •  Tent the pan with aluminum foil, and place it in the center of the preheated oven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, uncover, and bake again until the sauce and cheese are bubbling and the crust is nicely browned (about another 10 minutes).
  • Cool in the pan for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Serve right away.

I made a homemade pizza sauce for my pie using these ingredients:

28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 medium white onion diced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp granulated garlic

1 T dried italian seasoning

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flake

pinch of sugar

1/2 c water

Put everything in the pot and simmer for a good hour for the sauce.

 

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.

 

 

Pillsbury Gluten Free Cookie Dough

 

Pillsbury

The dough boy has come out with three gluten-free products:  chocolate chip cookie dough, pizza crust and pie crust.  I decided to try the cookie dough over the weekend.  The tub, found in your grocer’s refrigerated case, cost around $4.50 and will make approximately two dozen very small cookies.  The instructions on the tub tell you to scoop the dough by the tablespoon onto a cookie sheet.

After baking, this is what you get – tiny bite size morsels of yumminess.

Cookies

 

If you were a fan of the pillsbury cookie dough prior to going gluten-free then you should enjoy this product.  The taste and texture are very similiar if memory serves me.

After doing some research it would appear that Pillsbury does not make these products in a gluten-free dedicated facility; therefore if you have been diagnosed with celiac disease these cookies may have trace amounts of gluten in them.  For those that have gluten insensitivity these cookies might just hit the spot.

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.

 

Ali’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ali's

My co-workers were so kind as to bring back a gluten-free cookie for me try today.  This was one big cookie.  It was about 3 inches wide and about an inch thick.  This cookie was moist and filled with great chocolate chip flavor.  It reminded me of the gluten filled cookies I used to enjoy.  I could certainly taste that this cookie was fresh and it was filled with semi-sweet chocolate goodness.   Upon visiting Ali’s website I noticed that some of her cookies were featured on Rachel Ray.  Not all Ali’s cookies are gluten free, but she does ship one dozen chocolate chip cookies or a 12″ gluten free cookie cake that can serve 12-14 people.

If you get a chance check out her site SHIPACOOKIE.COM.  It will be well worth your time.

 

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