Tag Archives: baking

Wheatless Dark Chocolate Roll….from YouTube’s everythingdarkchocol

Whew! Back online!

Microsoft weirdness had me off the computer for awhile, but I think we’re good now.

I have been working a lot at my part-time job lately, as a couple of people were away and they needed me to pick up the shifts. I realize how much I’ve missed the writing time! It has also been far too hot here for me to do any baking… 😦

Before the heatwave I did get some wheatless burger buns done from a mix by Celimix. They’re not bad at all! Will post pics next time! Just in time, too, as we now own a GRILL!

In the meantime, I am posting this terrific vid I found on YouTube. The poster is “everythingdarkchocol” and the recipe looks awesome! She hasn’t tagged it as wheatfree, but it is!

Flourless Dark Chocolate Roll filled with Chocolate Ganache:





Celimix, Almond Milk, gluten-free Safeway…

I had a rather delightful DUH! moment today!

My sweetie and I do almost all our grocery shopping at Safeway. Most things are more expensive, but the lighting is largely incandescent, the music is quiet, the store is clean and they have an awesome selection of organic food – not just produce but soups, pasta sauce, frozen stuff – you name it.

Why, why, why then was I surprised today to find they have had gluten-free bakery stuff all this time and I didn’t realize it? The Safeway bakery department has a wall of glass cabinets displaying fancy cakes and the like. Next to it is an upright freezer with boxes of frozen creampuffs, tartlet shells..AND A BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF I NEVER BOTHERED TO LOOK AT!!

hmmmm…. I wonder what those could be?

Here’s a clue: when gluten-free bread is baked, you always slice it as soon as it’s cooled and store it IN THE FREEZER! That’s right! My local Safeway has gluten-free bread, cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins, pizza rounds…all from an Alberta company called Kinnikinnik.

YAY!!!! I bought bread and small pizza rounds!

I also found a new gluten-free mix at the health food store called Celimix brand. That had a zillion different kinds, and they don’t seem to rely on chickpea flour as much as Bob’s Red Mill does (which makes everything taste just a little like green beans). I bought the Hamburger bun mix – I’d like to give it a test run before BBQ season! Also, it uses very few ingredients, so maybe I’ll be able to recreate it from scratch!!

My mom has been telling everyone since the 1970’s that our diets were too restricted and all that wheat, peanuts, corn and soy was a bad idea. She has always advocated organic food and avoiding additives. I never SAW a cakemix or Jello or anything like that until I was an adult! Needless to say, she has quite the collection of cookbooks! She has lent me The All Natural Allergy Cookbook – Dairy-free and Gluten-free by Jeanne Marie Martin (1991) and The Food Intolerance Diet Book by E. Workman, Dr. V. Alun Jones, and Dr. J. Hunter (1986).

They both look really promising! The Carob/Chocolate cake looks very do-able and requires milk substitute. Though I have no problem with milk, I bought Blue Diamond’s Almond Breeze almond milk. I want to make it according to the recipe before messing with it.

I think I need something to WORK to boost my ego!



Gluten-Free Wackiness…

Well, as I mentioned yesterday my latest wheat-free baking was inedible.  I tried a classic wacky cake recipe.  If you’ve never baked Wacky Cake (and can have wheat) google the recipe and give it a go!  I grew up on Wacky Cake and it’s great.  Traditionally it’s chocolate, and the recipe was apparently developed in the Depression during food rationing.  Wacky Cake requires no eggs, no milk, and no butter.  It’s great for vegetarians, people allergic to eggs, lactose intolerance…. great cake.  Also, there’s no dirty dishes!  You put all the ingredients directly into the cake pan and stir it with a fork, so it’s perfect for kids.

I checked out a few websites and decided to substitute sorghum flour, potato flour and tapioca starch for the flour.  I also added 1/2 a teaspoon of xanthan gum to “capture” the air from the leavening.

They came out very flat.  I think part of the problem is I was TOO CONFIDENT since I’d baked this so many times before.  Traditional wheat Wacky Cake is VERY forgiving – I’ve even made it with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (because I was out of veggie oil), Hot Chocolate Mix (because I was out of cocoa) and Malt Vinegar (because I had no white vinegar)..AND..I baked it in a loaf pan.  It still tasted good!  As a result I threw in a couple of handfuls of ground hazelnuts – I think this made the texture too course and allowed the air to escape.

I think I also need more xanthan gum, to capture the air.  The chocolate chips I threw in sank right to the bottom, the texture of the cupcakes was very crumbly and the bottoms were oily.  Everything separated.  The nice thing is, Wacky Cake is very cheap to make!

I picked up the America’s Test Kitchen Annual cooking magazine – a “best of” thing and there was a great recipe for Guinness Beef Stew.  I going to christen our slow cooker with it – though I can’t get hold of one bottle of Guinness!  I have to buy a whole six-pack and neither myself nor my sweetie are beer drinkers.  Also, I don’t know if Guiness has wheat.  I picked up a single large bottle of an English Ale – St. Peter’s Organic – which is apparently wheat-free, so I’ll try that.

I should get off the computer now, as I start my new job at the hardware store in the morning!



Getting Things Done! Yay, me!

I’ve finally replaced my blog’s generic header image (now that I have de-fracked my Photoshop!). I’m no graphic artist, but the image will do for now!

My first article on Fructose Malabsorption Disorder is finished and will be uploaded to my portfolio on Constant Content in the morning – then it will take a couple of days for the editor to approve posting it. I start my part-time job on Monday, so Tuesday I’ll start on the next article – something more in-depth.

I think my article on Self-Respect vs. Vanity will be polished soon, and I was inspired today looking at, of all things, a bottle of water. According to the “Nutrient Value” label on the side, water’s not very good for you! All the entries were of course, zero, zero, zero. Water after all, has no vitamins or minerals or carbs. It struck me that, while the Nutrient Value label on foods can tell you many things – it is not giving you the whole story. I’ll have to keep that article very focused though, goodness knows the “food nutrition” articles are a dime a dozen.

My novel is really coming along! Now that I have Photoshop back, I made myself a photo montage desktop wallpaper using images of my novel’s main characters, so each time I boot up the computer I see them. I am very visual. The actors I have mentally “cast” are David Andrews (JAG,CSI) as the male lead, Chris Mulkey as his brother (and the female lead’s former fiancee), Olivia Hussey/Seeta Indrani as the female lead, and Patrick Kilpatrick/Nick Chinlund/Zachary Quinto as the villain.

My latest wheat-free baking attempt was inedible again. ~sigh~

I will upload pics and write an entry tomorrow.



Gluten-free Chiffon & Freelancing Collide!

My obsession with adapting my love of baking with my newly discovered wheat intolerance (from Fructose Malabsorption) has met my burgeoning writing career! I have embarked on the first of a series of articles on Fructose Malabsorption! YAY!

I love it when passions meet!

My latest foray into wheatless baking was trying to adapt a recipe for Chocolate Chiffon Cake. What is distinctive about a chiffon is that it uses a lot of eggs, usually 5 to 7. They are separated and the yolks are mixed with the flour, and the white are beaten to a stiff meringue with the sugar, then the two components are folded together into a batter. This kind of cake uses the air in the meringue as the leavening, and the egg structure holds the air inside. I was hoping this type of cake would be better suited to a gluten-free flour blend (better than my last attempt – see my prior entry).

Also, many gluten-free bakers has spoken about problems with wheat-free breads and cakes not cooking in the middle. Chiffon cakes are traditionally baked in a tube pan, so I hoped that would also work in my favour.

As you can see, it didn’t fall – though the cracking indicates to me that it needed a lower oven.
wheatless choc chiffon cake in the pan

I had obeyed the directions in the recipe for a 350F oven (yes I have an oven thermometre), but changing the flour must have an impact.

Here is the finished, frosted cake:
wheatless choc chiffon cake, frosted
wheatless choc chiffon cake - slice

The texture is alright – a little too rubbery/tough, but not bad. As a matter of course, I had added xanthan gum to the wheatless flour blend and I don’t think it was necessary. Xanthan gum is meant to replace the gluten structure and help hold the air in the cake, but I should’ve realized it wasn’t necessary with all those eggs. Next time I’ll omit it.

The batter was not well blended as you can see. I didn’t have any Cream of Tartar – which is standard in most chiffon cakes – so I had to google a recipe without it. The recipe I used instructed melting the chocolate in a saucepan WITH a half cup of hot water! By the time the choc was melted the water had evaporated. As a result, by the time the choc was mixed with the yolks and the flour is was very dry and crumbly. I didn’t know if that was normal for this recipe or if the water wasn’t supposed to have gone…I ended up putting a little more water in to make the mixturee lighter, but trying to fold into the meringue was virtually impossible, even after lightening the mixture with a few heaping spoons of meringue.
The flours I used were rice flour, chickpea flour and tapioca starch/flour. The chickpea flour gave it that “stringbean” smell that chickpea flour seems to give everything. Gotta switch it for a different flour.

All in all, the cake was okay – the frosting saves it – but next time I will use potato starch/flour instead of chickpea, and use a familiar Cream of Tarter recipe that I know will blend well….and turn down the oven to 325F.

As I have FructMal, sucrose (table sugar/brown sugar/icing or confectioner’s sugar) must only be used in moderation. The more I can switch to dextrose (glucose) or even stevia, the better. The problem is, dextrose is only about a third as sweet as sugar – but almost the same calories.

This frosting is PERFECT for dextrose as the texture and chocolatiness is great, it’s very easy to make, but – to my palate anyway – sickeningly sweet when made as directed with confectioner’s (icing) sugar.
I substituted half the required sugar for dextrose and it was still much too sweet – so next time I’m making it entirely with dextrose and it will taste rich insead of sweet. I got this recipe from Yahoo Answers, so I am posting it here under it’s original name, though modified with dextrose:
Please note: measurements are in American Cups.

Kahala’s Fluffy Chocolate Frosting – Dextrose Redux

1/2c softened butter
2/3c cocoa powder
3 1/2c dextrose
1/3 + c whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Mix butter, cocoa & sugar in medium bowl. Slowly add milk and vanilla. Add extra milk by the tablespoonful as need (while still beating) to attain desired texture. *Be conservative! It doesn’t take much milk to radically change the texture of this frosting,

This recipe makes a lot of frosting. I frosted my chiffon cake and only used about half. You could frost quite a large cake, even between layers with this recipe.

Well, now I’m off to write and pick up cream of tartar (and sorghum flour for my flatbread baking!).


Gluten-Free Fallen Dreams! :(

fallen amaranth cupcakes

I refuse to think of this as a failure.

My first attempt at baking gluten-free from scratch was…inedible. BUT, educational! I was using a combo of amaranth flour and arrowroot powder, neither of which I’d used before. The concept of putting these two flours together came from a wheatless, stevia muffin recipe I have.

Instead of using the muffin recipe though, I used a recipe for a Chocolate Mayonaisse Cake. For those not familiar with a Chocolate Mayo Cake, the idea is that the mayo substitutes for the butter and the egg, and gives you a moist cake. I had chosen the recipe because many sites about alternate flour mentioned dryness being an issue.
I also added a tsp of xanthan gum to the recipe as a gluten stand-in. As the photo illustrates, all for nought.. ~~sigh~~

What went wrong?
Amaranth flour feels a lot like cornmeal…very gravelly. As you can see from this photo, not all the little, white amaranth seeds get ground up in the flour – some are still whole:
amaranth cupcake - amaranth seeds visible

I’ve heard amaranth baking described as “pleasantly crunchy”, but if these cupcakes are an indication….it’s like having little stones, or course sand in your cake! This, I believe, was a major source of the lost leavening. Watching them in the oven, they did rise. They fell immediately, though. I think the flour was too much like gravel and just let all the air escape.

Yes, there was also arrowroot powder in there (which clings to EVERYTHING! Even the outside of the measuring cup came out of the bag with powdr caked on the outside of it), but the ratio leaned heavily toward the amaranth.

The cupcake were also very greasy and oily. Even with their little paper cupcake cups on, they left an oily footprint on the counter when I set them down. Again, I think the amaranth was too course to absorb the fats.

On the up side, even though they fell they were not hockey pucks! The texture was still fluffy and cake-like.

Next experiment will be a switch to softer flour – rice, maybe chickpea, and a recipe that uses egg to advantage for leavening. Maybe a chiffon cake.


Gluten-Free Cupcake Fun!

So! Before I try and modify existing recipes for my FructMal, I decided to make up a batch of cupcakes from a gluten-free (GF) mix and get a feel for how the batter feels and looks when you work with alternative flours.

I used THIS mix:
Bob's Red Mill GF Chocolate Cake Mix

Bob’s Red Mill has a lot of flours and mixes if you are trying to avoid wheat. I had heard from many people that when using alternative flour, it’s common to have it very well-done on the outside while still raw in the middle – so I did cupcakes!
This mix uses Garbanzo bean flour, fava bean flour, sorghum flour as well as leaveners etc.

The cupcakes were great! I thought they tasted just like the real thing, though my husband (who has a very discerning palate) said they didn’t taste exactly the same, but very, very good! I tossed a few chocolate chips on each one before they when in the oven!
Chocolatey fun:
Red Mill Cupcake Torn

The texture was bang on! Exactly like a “real” cupcake. The smell was good too. I’m glad I decided to do this because the texture of the dough when it was raw was very different from the batter I’m used to with wheat flour. It smelled very strongly of string beans! LOL! The finished product was great though, and I know as I do my experimenting how close you CAN get with alternative flour.

Can’t start though until I get xanthan or guar gum. These are in almost every GF recipe to replace the elasticity of gluten. hmmmm…..