Archive for Desserts

Mar
26

Chocolate Creme Brulee – Dairy-Free!

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So, if you’ve read my original post about Chocolate Crème Brulée, you’ll know that I discovered this wonderful dessert at the Bonefish Grill. It was so good, I just had to try to recreate it! I thought I did a pretty good job of coming up with a good recipe, though I don’t put in the Grand Marnier that I suspect the restaurant does. It does taste really good, but I find that an hour after eating it, I don’t feel so good. Too much dairy left me feeling bloated and lethargic.

So, when I read that Amy (of Simply Sugar & Gluten Free) was hosting this month’s roundup for ‘Go, Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free’ with a theme of Guiltless Pleasures, I knew what I wanted to submit: A Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Chocolate Creme Brulee recipe.

So, I started re-working my recipe to use coconut milk instead of milk or cream. Creating baked recipes is never easy for me because I am always distracted or interrupted by the phone, kids, schedules, etc. That means that measurements and directions often get messed up — like when I forgot to put the vanilla in, or when I put in whole eggs, instead of separating them like I intended to do. So, a few trials and errors later, I finally got it done.

It has a rich chocolate flavor and is quite satisfying. It is not as smooth and creamy as the original recipe with cream, but this delightful dessert is definitely a guiltless pleasure for me! I haven’t submitted a recipe for ‘Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free’ before, but I am happy to present this recipe as my new Guiltless Pleasure. It’s not exactly an everyday recipe, but one that is easy to prepare, easier on the tummy, and oh so yummy.

Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Ingredients:

1 (15 oz.-can) Coconut milk (Don’t use the “lite” variety.)
3.5 oz. of chocolate (I used a dark bar of 70% cocoa.); finely chopped
5 Egg yolks
1/3 Cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla

For sugar topping: 2 Tbsp sugar + 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300° F. Position oven rack in the middle.
  2. Shake up a can of coconut milk. Then pour it into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. (If shaking the can of coconut milk didn’t blend the cream and liquid, be sure to whisk together until evenly blended.) Once the milk is simmering, remove it from the heat and pour in the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and blended well with the coconut milk.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Pour a small amount of the hot chocolate mixture into the yolks and thoroughly whisk together. Then, slowly whisk in the rest of the hot chocolate mixture. Continue to whisk together until smooth. (It’s important to do this slowly so you don’t cook the egg yolks with the hot chocolate mixture.)
  4. Whisk in the vanilla, and set aside to cool.
  5. Place four 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups in a baking pan. Fill the ramekins with the chocolate mixture. Then fill the baking pan with water so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the custard is set. Carefully remove the custards from the water and cool on wire racks. Refrigerate the custards for 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Preheat the broiler. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine 2 TBSP sugar with 2 TBSP brown sugar, breaking up any clumps. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the tops of the custards.
  7. Broil the custards 2 inches from the heat source for 2-3 minutes to melt the sugar. Watch the custards carefully so that the sugar melts and lightly caramelizes but doesn’t burn. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Additional Notes:

  • If you have a kitchen torch, you can use that to melt the sugar instead of the broiler.
  • To get the ramekins close enough to the broiler to melt the sugar, I place the ramekins on top of an upside down baking pan and place it on the top rack of the oven.

Notable Links:

Categories : Desserts, Recipes
Comments (17)
Mar
24

Chocolate Eggs in a Cookie Basket

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img_1995xThis is one of my favorite Easter treats to make for the kids. OK, it’s really a treat for me, but don’t tell them that. :o) Chocolate eggs in a “basket” made of chocolate chip cookie dough — what could be better? You will need an Individual Tart Baking Pan (also known as a tartlette pan). You may also be able to use a Mini Muffin Pan or muffin-top pan, but I’ve always used my non-stick tart baking pan. I think it makes just the right shape for the basket.

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Chocolate Eggs in a Cookie Basket

Ingredients:

Chocolate Chip Cookie dough (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix.)
Candy-coated chocolate eggs (I used Cadbury Mini Eggs, but you can use M&M’s Chocolate Eggs, too.)

Directions:

  1. img_1985xxMix up chocolate chip cookie dough according to directions, and drop a large mounded tablespoon of dough into each tart impression in the pan.
  2. Bake cookies in the tart pan according to the recipe directions.
  3. When cooking is done, remove pan of cookies from the oven and press chocolate eggs into the center of each cookie tart. Leave in the pan for 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes, gently remove the cookies from the pan by grabbing the edges of the cookies and pulling out with a slight twisting motion. The pan will still be hot, so be careful not to touch it with your fingers!

Additional Notes:

  • If the cookies start to come apart while trying to remove, they are probably too soft and warm. Let them cool down for a few more minutes. If the cookies won’t move at all, they are probably too cool. Set them back in the oven for a couple minutes to warm them up. They should now release easily from the pan. (I’ve never had to spray my non-stick pan, but if yours isn’t a non-stick type, you may want to use a non-stick spray before dropping the cookie dough onto the pan.)
  • If you can’t get the chocolate eggs, or want to make these for another occasion, try using a different chocolate candy. These are really good with Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups or Hershey’s Kisses, too!
  • One batch makes about 24.

Notable Links:

Feb
16

Gluten-Free Beignet Recipe

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This winter, our family went to the movie theater to watch Disney’s latest animated film “The Princess and the Frog.” We loved the movie. And, although I haven’t spent a lot of time in New Orleans, I was reminded of the fun times and good food I’ve had there in the past. In the movie, there were scenes where Tiana (“the princess”) makes or powders beignets (pronounced ben-YAYs), a kind of doughnut that was made famous by Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. While watching the scenes, I wondered about making these gluten free. Of course, I couldn’t find a gluten-free recipe, so I had to come up with my own.

I am so excited to share this recipe with you. I’ve never actually eaten a lot of beignets – only when I’ve been at the French Quarter in New Orleans. They really are a delicious treat. If you’re not familiar with them, I would describe them as a square doughnut, or bread dough deep fried into little square pillows, and topped with powdered sugar. They are so yummy! If you aren’t celebrating Mardi Gras with a Gluten-Free King Cake this year, then you should definitely indulge in these little gems.

Gluten-Free Beignet Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup warm water
1/4 Cup sugar
2 tsp yeast
3/4 Cup almond milk (Regular milk should work, too.)
1/2 Cup butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Cups brown rice flour (I use Authentic Foods finely ground.)
1 Cup potato starch
1/2 Cup sweet rice flour
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 liter vegetable oil for frying beignets
powdered sugar for dusting the beignets after cooking

Directions:

  1. You’ll need a large pot of vegetable oil to fry the beignets. Electric deep fryers are great for keeping the temperature consistent. However, you can use a pot of oil on the stove top, but you’ll need to watch the temperature closely. You should fry the beignets between 360° - 380° F.
  2. Start by combining the yeast with the sugar and the warm water (110° - 115° F is recommended but I don’t usually check the temperature.) in a small bowl. Set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the brown rice flour, potato starch, sweet rice flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Add in the melted butter, milk, and eggs and mix thoroughly.
  4. Now stir the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. The dough should start to pull together into a soft ball.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper and top with plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s about 1/8″ thick.
  6. Using a pizza cutter, cut the beignets into 2-1/2″ squares. You should be able to make 24 – 30 beignets.
  7. Fry the dough in the heated oil 1 – 3 beignets at a time. Don’t fry too many at once, as it can lower the temperature of the oil too fast. Thus, inhibiting the beignets to puff up like they should. Once the beignets start to brown, flip them over using a slotted spoon or tongs. Once the beignets have been lightly browned on both sides, carefully remove them from the oil and place on paper towels to absorb extra oil. The beignets should only take one or two minutes to brown on each side.
  8. Generously top each beignet with powdered sugar and serve while warm.

Additional Notes:

  • These aren’t terribly sweet. Most of the sweetness comes from the powdered sugar, so you can easily adjust it to your liking. You can even drizzle a little honey on it, like my husband did,  if you have a sweet tooth.
  • In case you’re wondering: I didn’t find it necessary to wait and allow the dough to rise. I simply cut them out and fried them up.
  • This dough wasn’t very sticky, so you might be able to roll out the dough without using the parchment paper and plastic wrap, but I find it convenient. A little dusting of potato starch on the counter and rolling pin should work fine.
  • Just roll out the dough once. I tried to re-roll the dough (balled it up and rolled it out again) to cut perfect squares. As a result, the dough fried up flat and a little tougher.
  • Watch the temperature of the oil while frying. If it’s too low, the beignets won’t puff up. If it’s too high, the center won’t cook through and will be a little gummy. If you’re having trouble, try putting two pieces of dough into the oil at a time when it’s at 380° F.
  • Although I don’t believe it’s traditional, I think these would be nice with a little cinnamon mixed into the dough. I might try that next time.
  • In order to save time for breakfast, the traditional meal time to eat these, make up the dough the night before and keep the dough in the refrigerator. In the morning, roll it out, cut it and fry.

Notable Links

  • I did eventually find another recipe for gluten-free beignets. This one by Teri Gruss at About.com uses a cake mix for the flour.
  • There are more tips for cooking beignets at Cafe Du Monde .
  • I’m linking this to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays because I only used 1/4 Cup sugar in the dough and I reduced the lactose content by using almond milk.
  • For more gluten-free recipes, visit The Gluten-Free Homemaker at this week’s edition of “What Can I Eat That’s Gluten Free?
  • Know a fan of Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog”? Here are some coloring/activity pages my daughter has enjoyed.
Feb
09

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Candy

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This month I’ve been experimenting with chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. I made three different versions: Easy, Delicious, and Addictive! Plus, some heart-shaped ones for Valentine’s Day. Let me start with the easy recipe:

Easy Chocolate-Covered Macadamia Nuts

Ingredients:

Whole Raw Macadamia Nuts
Dark Cocoa Candy Melts

You’ll also need a Truffles Candy Mold.

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate candy melts in the microwave. Start by melting at half power for about two minutes. Then, put in for another minute at a time to finish melting.
  2. Fill about a third of each candy truffle mold with the melted chocolate. Push a nut into the melted chocolate in the mold. Then, finish filling the candy mold with more melted chocolate. Tap the mold on the counter to release any air bubbles.
  3. Place the mold in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Then, pull it out of the refrigerator, turn it upside down and pop the candies out.

Additional Notes:

  • The candy melts are so easy to work with, and they make very pretty, shiny candies. However, it isn’t as tasty as using good chocolate. (That doesn’t mean they didn’t disappear as quickly as I made them.)
  • For melting the candy melt discs, I used a plastic squeeze bottle.  It made it easy to melt the candy  and fill the candy mold. You can keep the bottle in a bowl of warm water to keep the chocolate warm while you’re filling the candy molds with nuts. Or, just pop it back into the microwave for a minute or two, if necessary.
  • You can, of course, melt the chocolate on the stove with a double boiler. Just be careful not to get any water into the chocolate, as it can make the chocolate seize.

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Delicious Chocolate-Covered Macadamia Nuts

For an even better tasting candy, instead of raw macadamia nuts, I used Elana’s recipe for candied macadamia nuts at Elana’s Pantry. It’s a pretty quick and easy recipe, and is a very tasty treat by itself. But, the sweetness of the agave nectar combined with the salt, and then roasted in the oven gives this chocolate candy another tasty layer which is delicious!

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Best Tasting, Addictive Chocolate-Covered Macadamia Nuts

For the best tasting chocolate covered macadamia nuts, use the candied macadamia nuts and use real dark chocolate! Using real chocolate just makes these even better. In order to get the best looking results, too, you’ll have to temper your chocolate. I’m still trying to perfect the tempering process, but even if it doesn’t work for you it will be delicious! It just may not be as pretty. Un-tempered chocolate also has a tendency to bloom at room temperature. So, if you don’t temper your chocolate, eat them right away or store in the refrigerator.

Valentine’s Day Treats
So, for Valentine’s Day, I made some of these with heart-shaped molds. I couldn’t find any candy molds that were deep enough to accommodate the macadamia nuts, so I used these silicone gelatin/ice cube molds I found at the dollar store.

Related Links:


Healthy Snacks with NutsOnline!

Categories : Desserts, Holidays, Recipes
Comments (11)

IMG_4859xWith the first yummy taste of these, I knew I had to share this recipe with you. Just look at how quick and easy it is to have a chocolate dessert or snack ready.

I made these Chocolate Mini-Muffins for my daughter to take to school to share with her classmates. I  intended to make banana muffins, but didn’t have any ripe bananas. So, this is what I came up with at the last minute. I guess I should call them cupcakes because that’s really what they are. But, I didn’t frost them like cupcakes. I was trying to keep them from being too sweet. It didn’t matter to anyone in our house that they weren’t frosted, the muffins disappeared very fast! I did, however, manage to save a few of them to see how they would last. Thanks to the pumpkin, they were still moist after sitting on the counter (in a sealed container) for a few days.

I’m linking this to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays this week because the pumpkin adds to this treat a good amount of vitamin A, but adds no saturated fat or trans fat. And, no egg, oil or milk is needed to bake these; the pumpkin provides all the moisture needed. That’s good news for our friends with additional food allergies, too.

Chocolate Pumpkin Mini-Muffins made with Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Combine the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  2. Scoop batter into a Mini-Muffin Pan with paper liners or lightly sprayed with oil. You can also bake these on a flat baking sheet. Just place scoops of batter onto a baking sheet lightly greased or lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 350° F.

Additional Notes:

  • Makes about 36 mini muffins.
  • No need to add egg, milk, oil, or anything else.
  • I used 1-1/3 cups pumpkin because I had it leftover from a pumpkin pie I made. You could probably use 1 Cup, but I wouldn’t try a whole can (15 oz.) of pumpkin.
  • The batter is very thick, so you can’t pour it into the muffin pans. I used a small cookie scoop, which gave it a round shape. Baking it did not make it spread. It actually kept its shape on a flat baking sheet.
  • Please note that these do not have a strong pumpkin flavor. I used the canned, plain, solid pack 100% pumpkin. I also didn’t add any pumpkin pie spices. You could certainly do that if you’re wanting more of that flavor. But, if you do want a pumpkin-flavored muffin, I would try it with Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix and add in some pumpkin pie spices.
  • When I make these with chocolate chips, my kids think they taste like brownies.

Ready to get baking? If you need one of these cake mixes, why not enter the giveaway of the Betty Crocker gluten-free dessert mixes I posted last week.

Comments (13)