Sunday, February 26, 2023

Baguette - Gluten Free

Ahh the baguette, one of the most delicious breads, to my taste. And once realizing I had to eat wheat free, which essentially means gluten-free, it was pretty out of reach. Until now!

If you haven't already discovered Gluten Free on a Shoestring by Nicole Hunn, leave this page now and check her out! Following her detailed and specific instructions, and you too will (re)discover the utter joy of baking! Yes, buy a food scale (about $20, so worth it!) Do make your own blends - she makes it so easy. And you will be amazed at the deliciousness you will again be able to create. Taste, texture, all the great stuff you remember and thought were gone for good! 

Now, her baguette is a regular in my kitchen, and it makes me so happy!


In this post, I provide the basic ingredients, and include my additional comments on how to ensure your baguettes turn out like the picture. Nicole provides lots of extra information about ingredients and substitutions, as well as detailed info about creating your own flour blends (which I highly recommend). Please visit her site for all that info. She recommends two flour bends, Better Batter (a brand I can't get, but she tells you how to make it, and Cup4Cup (which she also tells you how to make at home, even how to alter her mock Better Batter to make mock Cup4Cup.) I have had success with both of her mock blends.

Make sure your butter and egg white are at room temperature. The key to gluten free baking is hydration and having these items at room temperature ensures that they will mix in evenly to help hydrate the dough properly. Without it, your efforts will be a complete waste, which is a shame with these pricey ingredients!

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Yogurt Cheese Pie with Raspberry Coulis

When I was in graduate school eons ago, I threw dinner parties. The first party I made homemade lasagna noodles with a spinach bolognese sauce, thinking it was pretty fancy. My diners loved it but wondered where dessert was. Dessert didn't even cross my mind, not for the entire nine hours of food preparation! But realizing that it was expected, I developed this goodie for my future meals.

Dessert is not my forte, not a strong desire. Chocolate is fine, but give me bread and butter or cheese and crackers. Mine is a very savory palate! So this dessert isn't very sweet, but it seemed to satisfy those who ate it.

Before Greek yogurt was available everywhere, this pie was made of "yogurt cheese," strained yogurt, mixed with sugar and vanilla. Poured into a graham cracker crust (or something akin to it) with a raspberry coulis on top. I loved it! 

Now, you can buy greek yogurt, which is strained regular yogurt, which makes this pie that much easier. My pie is generally more tart than those who like their desserts sweet, so taste as you go. In the past, I rarely strained the raspberry coulis, since it was simpler and I was often more preoccupied with finishing dinner preparations. Here I did, and it was divine. If you have the time and the inclination, strain it!

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Chocolate Cream Pie - Your Way

When I was a child my favorite pie was Chocolate Cream Pie. Maybe it was because it was my dad’s favorite pie, maybe it was because my mom made it often. Whatever the reason, it always made me so happy. It’s been years since I have had any, let alone made it, so I figured it was time to try out this classic once again.

My mom always made a cookie crust or a graham cracker crust, but I present an alternative, because I happened to have some hazelnut flour to use up. You could easily use almond flour, or even actual almonds or hazelnuts, although you should process the whole nuts first before adding in the dates since it will be harder to grind them fine. Of course, you could go the easy route and buy a crust, making the whole endeavor quicker and easier. Make it your way!

I wanted to find a vegan pudding that worked just as well as a dairy based on, and this one is a winner! It firms up beautifully, and doesn’t really require too many odd ingredients. While the original vegan recipe I found online (from used almond milk, I have found that Ripple heats well and has that thickness that other vegan milks lack. It did not disappoint!

Of course you can get fancy and shave chocolate on top of your topping; personally, I prefer straight whipped cream!