Tag Archives: Gluten Free

Buckwheat Pancakes

24 Nov

Buckwheat pancakes with berries, pecans and yogurt is one of my favorite breakfasts. I make my own pancake mix and then just add the wet ingredients whenever I want pancakes. They’re so delicious and so easy – two of my favorite things! These tasty numbers are also very filling. The photo is not my suggested serving size! I just wanted to make the pancakes look pretty for you.

You can add various foods to the batter to switch up the flavors, or to change the nutritional makeup. For example, some flax meal, chia seeds or nuts would go beautifully in these. You can also add fruits directly to the batter. This recipe comes in two steps, first make the mix, then make the pancakes.

Buckwheat Pancake Mix

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups of buckwheat flour blend *See notes on whole grain flour blend below.
  • 4 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons of Baking Powder (gluten free)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • cinnamon & nutmeg to taste**

Instructions

Blend ingredients well, sifting if necessary. Store in a sealed container. Note: you may need to refrigerate your mix, depending on the flours you use.

Buckwheat Pancake Batter

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of buckwheat pancake mix (use 1 1/2 cups for medium-thick pancakes and 1 1/4 cups for thinner as in the photos)
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cup milk/soy milk/almond milk etc
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla (gluten free)
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter or oil (I use sunflower oil)

Instructions

Measure your pancake mix into a medium sized bowl.

Pour your wet ingredients over your pancake mix and lightly whisk. Do not over-mix the batter, you want to stir it until it is just blended.

Let your batter stand for 5-10 minutes while your pans heat up. Warm your pans to medium-low.

Pour the batter onto your greased warm pan or griddle. When bubbles form and cover the top of the pancake, they are ready to flip. Do not flip too many times or they will come out rubbery.

Once flipped let them cook for approximately 3 more minutes.

Serve ’em up!

Yield: 4-5 8″ pancakes

Notes

*I use my whole grain flour blend for this recipe. You can substitute other flours according to your preferences. I mix this blend up in large batches and store in an airtight container in the cupboard then use it for muffins, loaves, pancakes etc. If you do not anticipate going through the mix quickly, you may want to store it in the refrigerator.

The ratio of this blend is: 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup buckwheat flour and 1/2 cup of starch (cornstarch, tapioca starch).

**Spices such as  cinnamon, and nutmeg go a long way with this recipe so be generous. I have never measured so I do not have any guidelines for you. “The nose knows”, as they say. Buckwheat can be a bit of a strong flavor and using this spices can make it more palatable, especially to those new to gluten free flours. The same is true of vanilla, so feel free to add another smidge.

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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 Cupcakes

18 Nov

Another weekend, another birthday party. November babies are taking over the world! Ok, well at least my social calendar. I don’t mind one bit though, it gives we the chance to celebrate my friends and make delicious treats.  I made these cupcakes for my own birthday a couple weeks ago – it was partially my way of avoiding a cake and candles and a group of people singing to me. That just makes this introvert feel awkward.  But of course, I also wanted to have a birthday treat with no gluten.

I was delightfully surprised by how light and fluffy these cupcakes are. The texture reminds me of the chocolate cake my mother used to make when I was a kid. My mother’s chocolate cake was very popular and was even featured at my wedding. Yes, my mom made my wedding cake. No regular wedding cake either – a steampunk cake. You rock mom! Anyway, back on track.  I haven’t had a delicious light and fluffy cake in a long time. Prior to going gluten free I was using spelt flour, which made a denser cake. So these delicious delicate little cupcakes were a long time coming and a great reward for learning to bake gluten free.

The original recipe calls for one cup of coffee. Since I have a handy dandy fully automatic espresso maker, I didn’t mind this at all. But upon making these for a second time, I have come to the conclusion that the coffee doesn’t really add to the flavor. With the cost of organic fair trade coffee being what it is, I think I’ll substitute the coffee for milk or soy milk next time. I will likely warm the milk ahead of time so it will blend well with the cocoa. Who knows, I might even switch it up and prepare this cake in a pot on the stove, the way my mother’s cake is made. I will update as experiments continue. The November birthday rush is coming to a close, which winds down my experimenting opportunities for cupcakes. But I wanted to post this recipe sooner rather than later, which is why you’re not getting the final recipe here. Still this is a darn good recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hot coffee (or warmed milk, see above note)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups of rice flour
  • 3/4 cups corn starch
  • 3/4 cups tapioca starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, starches, baking soda, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum in a medium bowl. Sifting if necessary,  which I almost never find it is. Set aside.

Stir hot coffee (or warmed milk), cocoa powder and hot water together until smooth. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Stir in the eggs one at a time. Once your eggs are added and fully mixed in, add your vanilla.

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the cocoa mixture to your butter mixture finishing withthe cocoa mixture.

Once all your ingredients are added, scrape down your bowl then mix on medium high for 2 minutes or until smooth.

Let the batter stand for 10-15 minutes while you prepare your baking pans* and tidy your workspace.

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or a disher scoop fill your muffin tins to about full.

Bake at 350° for 20-22 minutes. Note: that is the cooking time required for mini-cupcakes. The original recipe calls for cooking cakes for approximately 40 minutes for 8-9″ cake pans. Either way, the cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool these for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. If you let them cool too long, they may stick to the pan, too little time and they may break apart.

Yield: 3, 8-9″ cakes or approximately 60 mini cupcakes.**

Notes

*When making cakes, I like to line my pan with parchment paper and then grease the paper. I also use a little grease directly on the pan to make positioning the paper easier (it gives the paper something to stick to). I do not flour the parchment after greasing it, though I do know some that do. If you are not using parchment, always grease your pans and then dust them with flour so they will not stick. Note: for extra decadence try dusting your cake with cocoa rather than flour. For cupcakes use paper muffin liners, I do not find it necessary to grease my non-stick muffin tray on top of using the liners.

**Yah, 60 is a lot!! This recipe can be halved. I currently have a bunch in the freezer because I cannot transport them all to my friend’s birthday party. I will write back to let you know how they are after being frozen.

Whole Grain Banana Muffins

14 Nov

These muffins come out very moist and are very delicious. I originally adapted them from a recipe I found online, which I’d share with you if I had saved it. It was one of those rare occurrences where my original adaptation was spot on, so I didn’t need to refer to the original recipe. The first time I made these, my husband and I ate almost half a pan of mini-muffins for breakfast. Ahhhh weekend indulgences.

I prefer to make these with whole grain flour for extra fiber. I think I’d also like to try cutting the fat a little bit, so I am going to try adding unsweetened apple sauce in place of half of the butter/oil.

Whole-Grain Banana Muffin Recipe

2 cups of whole grain gluten free flour*

1 1/2 tsp baking powder (gluten free)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter/coconut oil

1/4 to 1/2 cup** palm sugar (you can use brown sugar)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp vanilla (gluten free)

3 tablespoons maple syrup

5 large mashed ripe bananas

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease your pan. I use melted coconut oil.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream together butter, vanilla and sugar. Stir in eggs, maple syrup and mashed bananas until well blended.

Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture; mix until batter is just moist.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the muffin comes out clean.

Note: You could add 1/2 cup chocolate chips, or nuts without adjusting the basic recipe. If you add berries or other fruit toss them in an extra bit of flour so they aren’t too moist.

Flavour: Make this recipe your own by adding your favourite spices, like cardamon, allspice, nutmeg, or cinnamon. All of these do wonders with gluten free flours.

*Whole Grain gluten-free flour: I make my own all purpose whole grain flour mix using the following ratio: 1c Buckwheat, 1c Brown Rice and 1/2c starch (tapioca, arrowroot, potato, or corn). I make this ahead of time and keep it on hand.

**Amount of sugar depends on taste. I prefer less sweetness and find these perfect with 1/4 cup of sugar.

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 🙂