Tag Archives: Desserts

Lemon Bars – Gluten Free

18 Jun

When I was a young adult and had first lived on my own, I got really into making Lemon Bars. I lived in this little basement suite with my cousin and I would make lemon bars in our tiny kitchen. Any occasion would call  for Lemon Bars and I even made them for bake sales when extended family would ask me to. Thinking back, it’s a bit surprising because I also worked as a baker. You’d think I would get tired of it but apparently not.

Recently, I decided to revisit the Lemon Bar. These are not something I would normally make any more because they have more sugar than I prefer to work with and I cannot figure out how to substitute coconut sugar or any healthier alternative. The reality is that these babies require standard granulated sugar. However, my husband was barbequing up a feast last week and needed lemon for his marinade. The store only had bags of lemon so we had lemon to spare. I so happen to have two potlucks this weekend so viola … Lemon Bars!

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 cup Sorghum Flour
  • 1/2 cup Potato Starch
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Starch
  • 1 cup Butter (soft)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3/4 cups Lemon Juice (juice of 4 lemons soaked in hot water first)
  • 3 TBS Lemon Zest (zest of 4 lemons)
  • 6 TBS Brown Rice Flour
  • 4 TBS Tapioca Starch
  • 1/2 Tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 3/4 Tsp Baking Powder

Instructions:

Prepare the crust first. Preheat oven to 350F. Using the whisk attachment for a stand mixer combine all the ingredients for the crust and mix until it is course and mealy. Press the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 18-20 minutes.

While the crust is baking prepare the filling. Using the whisk attachment again mix all of the wet ingredients, then add the lemon zest and sugar and beat until incorporated. Slowly add in the flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum and baking powder and beat until smooth. Pour over the par-baked crust and bake another 18-20 minutes until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with icing sugar.

When the bars have cooled slice into bars.

Yield: 9×13 pan

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Buttercream Icing

18 Nov

Oh creamy, dreamy buttercream icing! It’s so … versatile!! Yep it is. You can make mocha buttercream by making Chocolate Buttercream Icing and substituting coffee for the milk. Need maple? Easy use maple extract rather than vanilla. Craving Irish Cream? Why not use Carolans Irish Cream* instead of milk? There are many ways to serve up buttercream icing and they’re easy as … pie is not easy.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter** at room temperature
  • 3 cups of icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla or other extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons of milk or milk substitute

Instructions

Cream the butter until it is light and fluffy.

Turn your mixer down and add the sugar in small amounts. I do about a half a cup at a time. Continue to mix the sugar and butter on low until they are fully incorporated.

Add your vanilla and your milk or substitute one tablespoon at a time, turning your mixer up between each tablespoon. Add enough liquid to get the consistency you would like.

Scrape down the sides of your bowl and whip the icing on medium-high for 1-2 minutes.

If you add too much liquid, just add more sugar.

Notes

*I have preferred Carolans Irish Cream over the more common brands for a while. The reason is that I find Carolans a bit less sweet. The icing on the cake (hehehe) is that the Carolans website clearly states that their product is gluten and wheat free.

**I use salted butter in my icing. After reading many recipes and comparing notes, I realized that recipes either called for salter butter or called for unsalted butter but then indicated to add salt. I think salted butter has just the right amount of salt, plus then there is just one less step. That said, if you find your icing tastes a bit flat add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

12 Nov

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of salted butter at room temperature (if you’ve forgotten to take our your butter you can warm it in the microwave on 4 second intervals – do not melt the butter)
  • 2 cups of sifted icing sugar
  • 1 cup of sifted cocoa
  • 2 tsp vanilla (or more to taste)
  • 1 – 4 Tbs milk, heavy cream, soy milk, almond milk etc. The amount will depend on how thick you want your icing.

Instructions

Cream the butter

Add the icing sugar and cocoa with your mixer on low. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of your bowl to make sure that all of the dry ingredients are blended well.

Add your vanilla and then add your milk/milk substitute 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency of your frosting. If you add too much liquid you can add more icing sugar to thicken it up.

Yield: Enough to decorate a 8″ layer cake or a batch of cupcakes/mini-cupcakes.

Notes

I have not tried this yet but I believe this icing would taste pretty darn good if made with coconut oil rather than butter for those that cannot have dairy.
For more variations on buttercream frosting see my post here.

Cake on Demand

12 Nov

This weekend I was co-hosting a party that happened to fall on a friend’s birthday. I wanted to bake him a cake. His preference is cookies but to me, nothing says “Happy Birthday” like a cake. As  I do nowadays, I asked Mr. Google for some gluten free recipes and found one that I thought would work well. Of course, I did not follow the original recipe exactly because that is just not what I do. So the recipe below is the altered version.

The cake got rave reviews and some people didn’t realize it was gluten free. Success! In fact, the reason that this is the first post and the reason for the post title is because a friend really wants the recipe. In my opinion, this cake was a bit dense. I would have liked it to be lighter and fluffier, like the cupcakes I made for my birthday last week but that’s a whole other topic.

I think this cake turned out very pretty considering I’ve not decorated a cake in a very long time.

Melly’s Version

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup white rice four
  • 1/4 cup of corn starch
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (gluten free)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare your pans. I used two 8×8 square pans, that I lined with parchment paper, then lightly greased using coconut oil. I find fitting the parchment to the pans difficult so I use a little oil on the pan so the parchment has something to stick to.

Sift together or whisk together your dry ingredients and set aside.

Beat the oil, eggs, water, and vanilla together until well mixed, preferably with a stand mixer but a hand mixer will do the trick.

Gently mix in the dry ingredients adding them to the wet ingredients one cup at at time. Mix for 1 minute between each cup of dry ingredients.

When all the ingredients are combined, scrape down your bowl then mix on medium-high for 2 minutes.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. This batter is quite thick so you will want to smooth it out before baking it.

Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool a bit in the pan  before you put them on cooling racks.

Yield: two 8″ or 9″ round layers or 2 8×8 square cakes.

Chocolate Butter Cream Icing

  • 1 cup of salted butter at room tempurature (if you’ve forgotten to take our your butter you can warm it in the micorowave on 4 second intervals – do not melt the butter)
  • 2 cups of sifted icing sugar
  • 1 cup of sifted cocoa
  • 2 tsp vanilla (or more to taste)
  • 1-4 TBS milk, heavy cream, soy milk, almond etc.  The amount will depend on how thick you want your icing.

Cream the butter

Add the icing sugar and cocoa with your mixer on low. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of your bowl to make sure that all of the dry ingredients are blended well.

Add your vanilla and then add your milk/milk substitute 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency of your frosting. If you add too much liquid you can add more icing sugar to thicken it up.

Note: I have not tried this yet but I believe this icing would taste pretty darn good if made with coconut oil rather than butter for those that cannot have dairy.

Yield: Enough to decorate the cake as I did in the photo above, with a pretty decent layer between the cakes 🙂