Pumpkin Cake

September 30, 2020

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

This is the original pumpkin quick bread from my wheat flour days that I’m sure many of you used to bake.  I’ve been making it gluten-free for years, it can be dairy-free without any of the dairy add-ins/ons. Without the cream cheese, a slice or two is a good sustaining breakfast or snack.  

I try and use less xanthan gum or even none if I can, as you get an even fluffier texture when baked. 

There is no xanthan gum in this recipe.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of 15 oz can (8oz) roughly 1 cup solid pack pumpkin, not pie filling (ingredient list should only be pumpkin)
  • 1c + 2 tbsp sugar (8 oz) 
  • 1/2c (4oz) melted coconut oil or almond oil or avocado oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 c water 
  • 1 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract 
  • 1+1/4 c (5+3/4 oz) my gluten0free flour mix or same by weight of King Arthur Flour gluten-free all-purpose flour (no xanthan gum, no baking powder, only flour blend)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) gluten-free apple pie or pumpkin pie spice that you know you can eat. So many brands aren’t labeled gluten-free. 
  • 1/2 c (2 oz) almond meal 
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
  • 1 tsp (5ml) gluten-free baking powder 
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 c craisins – dried cranberries
  • 1/3 c golden raisins (known as sultanas in UK) or ordinary raisins
  • 1/3 c chopped pecans or other nuts. 

Cream Cheese Center
Mix together:

  • ½ of 8 oz brick of cream cheese softened– I use lite 
  • 1 egg yolk or 1 tbsp liquid egg substitute
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract 

Streusel
Mix together:

  • ¾ c chopped pecans or nut of choice 
  • ¼ c sugar 
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar 
  • 1 tsp gluten-free apple or pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. Put pumpkin, oil, sugar, eggs, water and vanilla in large mixing bowl and beat well for 2 minutes until air bubbles are visible.
  2. Stir all dry ingredients together, then add and beat in dry ingredients. Stir in fruit and nuts.
  3. Grease and gluten-free flour a 10” bundt pan.
  4. Sprinkle half of the streusel around base of pan and pour in half of batter.
  5. Gently spread cream cheese mix on top of batter.  It won’t be perfect and might sink a bit.  Try not to spread cream cheese to sides of pan or it will stick.
  6. Gently pour in second half of batter and sprinkle second half of streusel on top.
  7. Bake in preheated 350 * oven for 45-55 minutes. If top is browning too much, cover with foil. The cake will rise and dome and look cracked from nuts and sugar.
  8. I prefer using a bundt pan, the cake looks prettier than in a loaf pan and with the hole in the middle, the cake cooks more evenly with less chance of a raw center. Cake should be well risen, it will be dark brown because of spices, firm at edges and pulling away from sides. I poke at middle of cake with a fork, since I find that most gluten-free cakes need longer cooking than regular flour cakes. Remove from oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes, turn out onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely.  Cake keeps fresh for quite a few days, freezes and nukes well.

Watch me make variations of this cake:

For Halloween, make the pumpkin cake in cupcakes, without filling. Frost with cream cheese frosting, tinted orange if you want (mix red and yellow food coloring together.  A recent bottle of McCormick’s food coloring stated it was a gluten-free food.) Top with Halloween candies that are gluten-free. 

Note: cream cheese filling and streusel adapted from a recipe in Port Danby Cozy mystery by London Lovett.

My rice-free GF mix:

  • ½ cup potato starch 
  • ¼ c tapioca starch from Asian market or Goya or Yoki brand in supermarkets.  
  • 2 tbsp amaranth or millet flour: Bob’s Red Mill (millet is roughly one third the price of amaranth, is not so nutritious, but is more readily available.)
  • 2 tbsp sorghum flour: Bob’s Red Mill. 

Larger quantity:

  • 1 x 14 oz bag potato starch, which is 3+1/2 cups – that’s the size I can buy. 
  • 1+3/4 c of Tapioca Starch is 7 oz
  • Just under 1 cup of Amaranth or Millet (actually ¾ c plus 2 Tbsps is 4 oz)
  • Just under 1 cup of Sorghum (actually ¾ c plus 2 Tbsps is 4 oz)

Making about 7 cups total of mix.

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TAGS: BREADS, DAIRY-FREE, DESSERT, FOR KIDS, HOLIDAY

Mongolian Beef Soup

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Easily made, tasty hot soup for Halloween or any chilly night. 

Gluten-Free Mongolian Beef Soup 

Ingredients: 

  • ~1 lb shaved steak, cut up into smaller pieces. I like the certified Angus my local chain grocery store carries.  I buy either shaved or ground Angus when it’s on sale. I think they have meatier taste in the mouth
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut into ~ 1” pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, washed, quartered lengthwise and cut into ~ 1” pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger 
  • 2 tbsp oil – I normally use avocado oil. I used to use peanut oil, I never use canola or soy oil
  • 1/3 cup tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • Chop some broccoli stalks if you have them
  • 1 tbsp beef stock concentrate (gluten-free)
  • Mushrooms, cleaned, halved and sliced
  • snap peas
  • 1/2 can baby corn
  • Handful of chopped frozen spinach
  • 4 oz fine gluten-free rice noodles
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pan, fry all veg together with oil, over medium heat, until softening then add beef and fry for a few minutes until sealed.
  2. Add tamari , light brown sugar, 8 c water and 1 tbsp beef stock concentrate (8 cups if you are cooking noodles in soup, only 6 cups if noodles are cooked separately.),  sliced baby corn, mushrooms,salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Leave to cook for at least 20 minutes until carrots and celery are tender.
  4. Add sliced snap peas, handful of chopped frozen spinach and about 4 oz very fine rice noodles, put on top of soup, leave to cook for 5 mins, then use scissors in soup to cut small. Noodles tend to explode outside of large bag and don’t break up easily.   I’ve only seen rice noodles in ‘bricks’ in large container of several bricks. Look at weight of packet and how many ‘bricks’ of noodles. Of course you can add more noodles to make soup thicker, or less noodles so soup is runnier.
  5. Thicken with tablespoon of corn starch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water if you want. Remember that noodles will absorb more liquid as soup sits.
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Summer Tomato Corn Galette

September 2, 2020

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

‘Galette’ just means rustic looking, single crust, free-form pie with a filling and the crust folded partway over the top of the filling. Bon Appétit says, “their imperfections are what set them apart—in fact, the less you do, the better they look.” 

Normally during the warmer months, once a month a girlfriend and I drive down to Wilson Farm in Lexington, MA. For those that don’t know, Lexington (yes the same one you learned about in history) is a very old area of Mass, full of expensive housing and Wilson Farm has 33 acres right in the middle. The farm has been operating there since 1884 with the first farm stand in the 1950’s.  

Most of their fruit and vegetables are locally grown and you can see the fields surrounding the shop, right in the middle of houses. Remember as I always say on NH’s ABC WMUR’s Cooks Corner, most real food is naturally gluten-free until manufacturers mess around with it. Inside, the fruit and veg are arranged like the finest French markets, with fresh baked goods (including gluten-free), large cheese selection, meats, fresh from their kitchen soups, salads, meals and more, as well as flowers and plants.  Weekends and special event times like the tomato festival, there would be samples to try. They have another farm in Litchfield, NH and locally we could look across the river from the Anheuser Busch plant to the red barn building in Litchfield, but had to drive the long way around to get there. 

There is a recipe wall behind the row of checkouts, with lots and lots of free recipe cards for you to take away and make yourself. This is one of the recipes I used to make in wheat flour days and now with fresh local corn and tomatoes abounding, I make it gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Summer Tomato Corn Galette
recipe Cornmeal Galette dough for 1 galette, about 11 inches in diameter

Again with local availability at the moment, I didn’t have regular gluten-free cornmeal so I substituted Krusteaz honey cornbread mix. Bob’s Red Mill carries gluten-free cornmeal and cornflour but one is too gritty and the other is too fine for my taste. 

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz, ¾ c KAF gluten-free all-purpose flour – no xanthan gum, no baking powder. 
  • 2/3 cup/ 4 oz Krusteaz gluten-free honey cornbread mix, does contain both xanthan gum and baking powder so don’t add any more. Substitute cornmeal/cornflour that you have, by weight, and dough might need more liquid added.
  • (1 tsp. Sugar – not necessary if you use Krusteaz)
  • salt and pepper
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese, I’ve also used Sharp cheddar when I was out of Parmesan
  • 6 Tbsp, 3 oz, cold butter, cut into ½-inch slices 
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp ice water

Filling

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. marjoram, chopped, I’ve also used fresh oregano and fresh basil, depending on what you have grown or what’s available 
  • Kernels from 2 ears of corn (about 2 cups) Fresh corn makes a phenomenal difference in taste compared to frozen or canned but they still taste good. I cook extra corn day before, then cut off kernels
  • 1 large roasted red bell pepper, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1” squares.  I don’t know what this would taste like with jarred peppers, freshly roasted red bell pepper is addictive and freezes well
  • ~3 large ripe tomatoes, sliced – I like Campari
  • ¾ c 3 oz shredded cheddar

Directions:

  1. I put the flour, Krusteaz, (sugar), salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese in food processor. Add the chilled butter and pulse until butter is small pieces. Or in a bowl by hand or with a pastry blender.  Add the olive oil and ice water, and pulse until the dough begins to come together. It should be soft. Gather the dough with your hands and shape it into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  2. I like to cook onion in microwave-safe dish until meltingly tender and sweet.  Plus you don’t have to keep watching pan to see if it’s burning. Season with salt and pepper. When onion is tender, add the corn, cut up bell pepper, garlic, marjoram or herb of choice, and set aside to cool. I have also made this with 2 diced zucchini cooked with onions and didn’t think it added to taste.
  3. This is a soft dough and I find it easiest to grease pyrex 9” pie plate and bake on metal sheet or use my Le Creuset cast iron 10” skillet. Put soft ball of dough onto skillet/pie dish, dust your fingers with some gf flour, press with your fingers. and press dough to reach up sides of pan. You are going to fold down edges of dough on side of pan on top of onion corn filling.
  4. Spread the onion and corn mixture over base of the dough. Starting about 2 inches in from edge of onion mix, arrange the tomatoes in a single layer over the onions and season them with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cheese over the tomatoes. Lift the edges of the dough and fold them inward over the filling, pleating as you go, to form a folded-over border. I use a thin plastic spatula and ‘flip’ the dough from edge of pan down onto filling.  I find this easier than trying to persuade dough away from side of pan with my fingers. Pinch together any tears in the dough. I have tried making this by rolling out and lifting dough and find pressing dough into pan is easier. 
  5. Bake in preheated 375 * oven until the crust has browned and the cheese has melted, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. This is a rich, very ‘short’ pastry.  In a metal pan, the bottom crust is more thoroughly cooked. A totally different recipe said about serving a potato casserole with salsa, sliced avocado and sour cream.  I tried that but I thought it was too many extra flavors.

wilsonfarm.com recipes are online
Wilson Farm, 10 Pleasant Street, Lexington, MA 02421
(781) 862-3900

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Egg-Free Chocolate Cake

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

After asking a friend to share a new cake recipe, she pointed me to The Joy of Baking, and a chocolate cake that I could adapt to gluten-free, use butter or oil, make egg-free and didn’t use flaxseed meal, chia seeds, or any egg alternative. 

I’ve made this cake several times, it’s very quick and easy to make, everyday ingredients. Since gluten-free flours have little flavor compared to wheat flour I used light brown sugar rather than regular sugar. For laziness as well as to make it dairy-free, I have used both almond oil and avocado oil. Using melted butter would give more flavor. Interestingly if you Google this cake, there are quite a few recipes for it, many claiming authorship and changing quantities of ingredients. 

Gluten-Free and Egg-Free Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups King Arthur, all-purpose, gluten-free flour, no xanthan gum or baking powder. 
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil, or almond oil
  • 1 cup warm water 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure coffee extract (optional), zest of orange, or different gluten-free extracts

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 c, 6 ounces, gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips – I use Tollhouse
  • 1 c, 8 fl oz heavy cream 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F (180* C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter or spray an 8 or 9 inch (20 or 22cm) cake pan with a nonstick cooking spray, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, spray paper and dust pan with cocoa.
  2. In a large bowl whisk or stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the melted butter or oil, water, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, and coffee extract (if using). Beat all the ingredients together until well blended. Pour the wet batter into your pan and bake in preheated oven for about 28 – 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Don’t overcook it. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 – 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan.

Chocolate Ganache: Heat cream in a microwave-safe jug for about 1 minute. Stir in the chocolate, and leave for a few minutes.  Stir until smooth.  I like to use an immersion blender to make the ganache totally smooth.  

Leave in the fridge for at least an hour so ganache thickens and then spread over top and sides of cake.

I also tried making this with ¾ cup milk and one egg rather than 1 c water.  The photo shows whole cake with ganache and chopped nuts. The cake rose more and was definitely moister.  Without the egg, I found edges of cake were a bit harder, not bad, just noticeable to me.  

Original recipes talk about putting dry ingredients in cake pan, adding wet ingredients, mixing and baking. I find it easier to mix in 4 c (1 ltr) pyrex jug and pour into cake pan.  Flour and cocoa tend to fly everywhere when mixed in shallow pan.

Note that unsweetened cocoa (Hershey’s regular) reacts with vinegar/lemon juice giving a reddish tinge, like red velvet cake.

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Sweet Cookie Pizza

July 28, 2020

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

The base is a gluten-free sugar cookie I made from a Better Homes and Gardens wheat snickerdoodle cobbler recipe. When the cookie dough is cooked on its own cooking sheet, it cooks up thin and crispy. The original topping was 3 x 8 ounce packets of cream cheese. I used only 1×8 ounce and we liked that quantity the best. The original recipe added circles of kiwi fruit to look like pepperoni. I used circles of strawberries to look like pepperoni. I chopped fresh mango to imitate yellow bell peppers and drizzled chocolate sauce to imitate balsamic glaze. We also preferred just the sweetened cream cheese topping without the key lime juice and lime zest.

Gluten-Free Sweet Cookie Pizza

Ingredients:

Crust

  • ¼ c (2oz, 56g) butter, softened
  • ⅓ c (2+1/2 oz) sugar
  • 2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ c (2+1/2 oz, 70g) King Arthur all-purpose gluten-free flour – doesn’t contain baking powder or xanthan gum.
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum

Topping

  • 1 x 8oz packet cream cheese, softened.  I use stores own ‘lite’ which is also softer.
  • ¼ c (60ml) powdered (icing) sugar or to your taste.
  • 1 tbsp key lime juice – optional
  • zest of ¼ lime – optional
  • Fresh fruit

Chocolate sauce

  • ¼ c (60ml) semi-sweet chocolate melted with ¼ c cream until smooth.
  • Let cool so it thickens.

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl beat all crust ingredients together for 2-3 minutes until soft and fluffy. This is a very soft mix, not stiff cookie dough.
  2. Draw a 9” circle (measure a dinner plate and use that for circle size) on parchment paper on a cookie sheet/jelly roll pan (unless you’re confident that cooked cookie will release without sticking from your pan).
  3. I use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop. Make outer circle of dough blobs on parchment paper, about 1 inch apart, and then space out the rest of the dough inside the circle. Wet your fingers and flatten slightly.
  4. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 18-20 minutes. Every oven differs and cookies will cook faster if over flattened. Cookies should merge together as a complete ‘pizza’ base and be a golden color, but not dark and just under ½ inch deep. Remove from oven, let cool and then remove from parchment paper and lift onto serving dish. Don’t worry if it cracks, cream cheese and fruit will hide cracks. Cookies will soften if left out, from humidity and from the topping.
  5. Beat cream cheese and sugar together, and spread carefully on cooled base.
  6. Decorate with strawberry slices, fruit, and chocolate sauce.

You can find Chef Oonagh Williams at Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh on FB, LinkedIn or her website. Chef Oonagh has a culinary arts degree, celiac disease and other food allergies. Remember most real food is naturally gluten-free until manufacturers ‘mess’ around with it and only baking really needs changing.

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TAGS: APPETIZERS/SNACKS, DESSERT, FOR KIDS

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Cauliflower rice can be boring. I wanted to come up with a recipe that’s not as boring and I think I have achieved that with this one. I hope you like it! Half a head of cauliflower should yield about 1lb or four cups of rice using the (coarse) grating attachment for your food processor. If you chop or pulse the cauliflower you just get square-shaped bits similar to couscous, not rice. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower shredded – about 1lb (500g) weight, 4 cups.
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) butter
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil, avocado oil or almond oil
  • Medium onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely crushed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 1/2-1 inch squares. I like red for color and sweetness.
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) hot pepper jelly, optional
  • Lime juice – about 1 tablespoon /15 ml
  • About 1/2 c (120 ml) cilantro chopped – is about 2 tbsp (30ml) when chopped.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp butter to finish – optional

Directions:

  1. Break the cauliflower in florets and cut off most of the stalk. The stalk just doesn’t shred nicely.
  2. Rinse cauliflower, drain and pat dry.
  3. Put shredding blade into your food processor and shred cauliflower. It shreds into rice looking grains except for little pieces of stalk.
  4. Melt some butter and olive oil together in 9 inch skillet.
  5. Add finely chopped onion, red bell pepper and garlic. Cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes until softening.
  6. Add cauliflower rice, salt, pepper and optional hot pepper jelly, stir well, cover and cook for another 5 minutes until cauliflower is cooked as you like it.
  7. Stir in lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, add a knob of butter if you want, it really adds to taste. Turn off heat, let stand for a minute for flavors to mingle.

Note: Use basil and sun-dried tomatoes for Italian flavors, oregano, mint, artichokes, and feta for Greek flavors. Use cooked beans and some coconut milk for Caribbean style. Parsley and green onions can be used on all recipes.

You can find Chef Oonagh Williams at Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook, LinkedIn or her website. Chef Oonagh has a culinary arts degree, celiac disease and other food allergies. Remember most real food is naturally gluten-free until manufacturers ‘mess’ around with it and only baking really needs changing.

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TAGS: DINNER, SIDE DISHES, VEGETARIAN

Strawberry Vinaigrette

June 30, 2020

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

I’ve tried some strawberry vinaigrette recipes with sour cream and yogurt and didn’t like them. So I went back to my old faithful of a maple herb vinaigrette.  Use honey if you don’t have maple syrup. Strawberry jam sweetens and helps intensify the strawberry flavor. You MUST use sweet ripe strawberries or you’re wasting your time and money. It’s not sticky sweet. A girlfriend that doesn’t like sweet loved it. My husband thinks a salad isn’t complete without feta cheese and cashews. 

The following was filmed and edited by us at home. It aired on ABC-TV on June 3, 2020.

Gluten-Free Strawberry Vinaigrette
Makes about 1 cup of vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, or white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.  Please make sure vinegars say made from wine or grapes, apples or cider. 
  • 1 tsp gf honey mustard or regular Dijon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp strawberry jam – I’ve used Bonne Maman or Trappist jams
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey or 2 tbsp jam. 
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley 
  • green of the stalk of one green onion – none of the white end.
  • 4 med to large ripe strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
  • 1/4 c light tasting oil. Extra virgin olive oil overpowers the flavor. I tend to use 3 tbsp avocado oil and 1 tbsp evo. I never use canola oil.

Directions:

  1. Put everything in a 2 cup jug and blend it with an immersion blender, or a liquidizer. If you don’t have either, mash the strawberries really well with the rest of the ingredients. 
  2. Cover and leave for at least an hour for the flavors to meld. Taste then and adjust salt, sugar, vinegar to your taste.  But remember a dressing tasted on its own on a spoon or fork tastes very different from a dressing on a salad with other fruit, veggies and cheese. So stir dressing and dip a lettuce leaf in to taste after dressing’s sat for a while.

I like fresh crisp lettuce, some more sliced strawberries, some chopped celery or Gala apple for crunch, and some feta cheese.  I’ve tried it with Brie but it didn’t taste right. Add cooked chicken, shrimp, tuna for more protein. Spinach leaves. Try making it with fresh raspberries, peaches, mango and appropriate jam. 

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Impossibly Easy Cheesecake

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

I found the original wheat flour version of this cheesecake recipe on the Bisquick website and made it with gluten-free King Arthur flour. 

Impossibly Easy Gluten-Free Cheesecake
makes at least 8 servings, over an inch deep

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup milk, I used 2% Lactaid
  • 2 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp gluten-free almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 x 8 oz packets of cream cheese, soft, room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup King Arthur gluten-free, all-purpose flour—no xanthan gum, no baking powder
  • ½ tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Topping:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
  • Fruit

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9” glass pie plate
  2. Put milk, vanilla, almond, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in food processor. Blend on high speed for 15 seconds.
  3. Add cubed cream cheese and blend for 2 more minutes until no blobs of cream cheese remain. Scrape down the sides. If you don’t have a food processor, put cream cheese in 8 cup bowl, add milk, extracts and dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Then beat in eggs.
  4. Put the pie plate on jelly roll pan, pour in cream cheese mix, it fills the pie plate but doesn’t overflow. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes.  Usually, for a cheesecake or custard, I will insert a knife halfway between edge and center and see if the custard is sticking to knife rather than runny as it stiffens on cooling and isn’t overcooked. With this recipe, I find I have to cook it until center is set or it still tastes floury. Roughly an inch around outside will look golden brown, center of cheesecake can have some cracks, it will have risen and will deflate on cooling. Cool completely.  I prefer it refrigerated overnight and then removed from the fridge about one hour before serving so texture softens.
  5. For the topping: mix the sour cream, honey/sugar, and vanilla extract together. 
  6. Spread sour cream mix on top. Serve with fresh fruit, drizzle with chocolate ganache, lemon curd mixed with whipped cream, strawberry or raspberry sauce.

Don’t expect a crust like a regular pie crust, but it does form an outer layer. 

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Chilled Avocado Citrus Soup

June 1, 2020

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

I had this soup years ago at the Elephant Walk Restaurant (Cambodian/French) in Waltham, MA, and got the staff to give us the recipe. I made my own variations of it since then. It was really good, but I think the most important part is wonderfully ripe tomatoes, followed by ripe avocado. I made it again this week with temps in New Hampshire above 90 and humid.

Gluten-Free Chilled Avocado Citrus Soup
Makes 4-6 Dinner Party portions

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped or chopped green onion and 1 tsp salt
  • 1+1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp – 1/4c freshly squeezed lime juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp  sugar
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely crushed (flavor mellows and raw garlic taste disappears)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large, ripe avocado, halved, stoned and flesh cut into ½ inch cubes.
  • 4-5 Fresh button mushrooms, cleaned, halved and cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 2/3 cup (about 1 Large) really ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed and cut into ½” dice or 5-6 Campari tomatoes.
  • Freshly chopped cilantro for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Mix the chopped onion with salt and leave to stand for 20-30 minutes. Rinse the salt off the onion, drain and squeeze off excess water. Draws out the strong juices of raw onion.  Or use chopped green onions (spring onions, scallions) and don’t salt them.
  2. Mix orange juice, lime juice, garlic, sugar and salt and pepper, stir to dissolve sugar and salt.
  3. Add olive oil and mix well.
  4. Add diced tomato, avocado, mushrooms and onion, stir gently to mix well.
  5. Let chill and blend for about 1 hour before serving. Taste and adjust salt, pepper and more lime juice before serving.
  6. Top each portion with chopped cilantro – optional

The soup kept well in the fridge for several days.  The orange juice prevents the avocado from browning. It’s also tasty with some tiny salad shrimp or crab.

 

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Lazy Boston Cream Pie

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Yes I know, I normally cook from scratch but I also get tired of dirty dishes. This was an easy dessert to make with the kids for Mother’s Day. It’s a simple recipe with ingredients that many already have at home.

I used half of King Arthur 22 oz gluten-free gold cake mix—substitute your favorite packet mix cake, vanilla, chocolate, or a from-scratch recipe that makes 2 x 8 or 9” thin layers.

I only used half a packet of cake mix and made 2 layers per packet instructions (reducing quantities of eggs etc) in my lined and greased Wilton maxi whoopie pie pan.

I filled with Jell-O instant vanilla pudding made up with whole milk or cream. I used less milk to powder (1+3/4c) so it was firmer. For the first cake, I used a half packet of jello but next time preferred to use whole packet for creamy indulgence.

Topped with your favorite chocolate glaze—homemade chocolate frosting, chocolate ganache or store-bought chocolate frosting.  I melted 2 oz, half stick of butter, added 1 cup (6oz) Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips and 2 tbsp corn syrup, microwaved and stirred until lovely and smooth. Don’t overheat as chocolate will scorch.  Let cool slightly then gently spoon onto the top of the cake. If still warm, chocolate drips down the sides, if cool, chocolate stays on top. This is a very fudgy textured topping.

Enjoy!

 

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