Super Simple Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

This is by far the easiest gluten-free dessert I’ve ever made! Almost easier than opening a prepackaged mix. You only need two dishes to make this; a mixing bowl and a baking pan and you are ready to go. Start to finish, your cake will be ready in under 45 minutes!

I tried to cut down on the sugar since 1 cup seemed like a lot. I started adding it 1/4 cup at a time. I’m not sure if it was the cocoa powder or the gluten-free flour, but found that I definitely needed the whole cup. This cake is extremely rich and chocolatey. I ended up freezing about three-quarters of the loaf (I made mine in a loaf pan, not a cake pan). The slice I’ve defrosted since was just as good as the freshly baked. I think making this recipe into cupcakes, might make freezing a bit easier.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

 

 

Super Simple Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
From Food.com via FitSugar.

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used Better Batter.)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon guar gum or 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (only not included in GF flour mix)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 5 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water
  1. Heat oven to 350°F
  2. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add all liquid ingredients and mix well.
  4. Bake in greased and floured nine-inch square pan (or lined with waxed paper) for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Serve as is or with some berries and cream for extra indulgence.

Summer Fruit Pavlova

Summer Fruit Pavlova

I have to say successfully making this Pavlova was one of my finest moments in the kitchen. I remember thinking Pavlova was the fanciest dessert ever when I was growing up. But for as long as I can remember, the thought of making meringue has scared me. There are too many variables in meringue making and the fact that something can go wrong at any point in the process just stresses me out. I spent quite a bit of time reading old cookbooks and consulting the websites of chefs I trust for learning something new. The end result was a smashing success. I was so proud!

Summer Fruit Pavlova

I made this a bit earlier in the summer for my wonderful mother’s birthday, so depending on where you are peaches and cherries might not be at the peak. As far as  fruit selection goes, you can’t really go wrong. Personally, I would stick to berries and stone fruits, but there are endless combinations that would be delicious.

Summer Fruit Pavlova

 

Summer Fruit Pavlova

Ingredients

For the Pavlova
  • 4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white wine or distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Fruit Topping
  • 2-3 cups of mixed berries or fruits of choice.

Instructions

For the Pavlova
  1. Preheat oven to 250°F (130°C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7 inch (18 cm) circle on the paper.
  2. Pour the vanilla and vinegar into a small cup. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites and salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks/trails start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Increase speed to medium-high, slowly and gradually sprinkling in the sugar-cornstarch mixture. A few minutes after these dry ingredients are added, slowly pour in the vanilla and vinegar (if you didn’t use cream of tartar.) Increase speed a bit and whip until meringue is glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Gently spread the meringue inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper, smoothing the edges, making sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the center. (You want a slight well in the center of the meringue to place the whipped cream and fruit.)
  6. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the outside is dry and takes on a very pale cream color. Check on meringues at least once during the baking time. If they appear to be taking on color or cracking, reduce temperature 25 degrees, and turn pan around. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven. (The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see that the inside is soft and marshmallowy.)
For the Whipped Cream
  1. Whip the cream in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar gradually and then the vanilla, beating the cream until firm. Be careful not to over-do it, or might end up with a bowl of sweet homemade butter.
Assembling
  1. Invert the meringue disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with sweetened whipped cream. Spoon the fruit carefully into the middle of the Pavlova, leaving a border of cream and meringue.

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Gluten-Free Cheese-Filled Coffee Cake

I’m really not one for cakes (cheesecake is the one exception, but that’s totally different). But I have to admit, every once in a blue moon there is nothing better than a huge cup of coffee and a slice of coffee cake. I absolutely loved this recipe. I actually only made it because I had all the ingredients on hand, but it was so simple and quick to get together. Perfect for a quick breakfast sweet or an easy last-minute tea/coffee date.

I have to say that this coffee cake is definitely at its best straight from the oven. Despite wrapping  the cake up nice and tight, the next day it was close to rock solid the next day. That’s just the way gluten-free flours tend to be. A quick 10, 15 seconds in the microwave and the problem was solved.

Gluten-Free Cheese-Filled Coffee Cake

Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Recipe from Celiac Central.

Ingredients

For the Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese – room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
For the Cake:
  • 1 ½ cups Gluten-Free Bisquick
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter – softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
For the Crumb Topping:
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup softened butter – room temp
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (Bob’s Red Mill is fine.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease a round 9 in. cake pan and set it aside.
  2. Mix the cream cheese filling in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the butter, milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar. Gradually add the flour and mix until well combined.
  4. Spread about a little more than half of the batter in the bottom of the pan. Next put the cream cheese filling on top and try to spread around. (It may be difficult, but using the back of a tablespoon works well.)
  5. Lastly, put the remainder of the dough batter on top.
  6. In a small bowl, using a pastry blender tool or 2 forks, combine the topping ingredients until it resembles crumbs. Sprinkle over the batter in the pan.
  7. Bake for about 20-25 minutes (I would start checking it around 20). Insert a tooth pick into the cake and it should come out clean and dry when done.
  8. Cool well before dusting the top with sifted confectioner’s sugar, if you like. After cooling, be sure to keep covered for freshness.

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cakes

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt CakesSo I guess now that Thanksgiving has come and gone here in the States, I guess that means the holiday season is officially upon. I must admit I am a bit of Grinch. Mainly because I think christmas has just gotten far too out of hand. There is only one thing that I absolutely adore about the holiday season and that’s the obscene amount of baking that I can do. It’s the one time of the year that mass quantities of baking are socially acceptable.

I’ve already started thinking of fun and new recipes I can start testing out on my friends and family. It’s great having a willing and able built-in test audience, especially since I’m not too keen on sweets. I light of my mini dessert obsession this recipe seemed like the perfect combination of experiment and great taste. I really wanted to try out my new mini bundt pan (how fun is the word ‘bundt’?). I’m not sure if it was me, the recipe, the oven or the pan, but it was rough going when things came out of the oven. Luckily, after a bit of coaxing, everyone got their act together and cooperated in the end. The salted caramel flavor made this chocolate cake even richer. Add in the frosting and it was one of the sweetest and richest desserts I have ever come across. I decided to sprinkle on a bit of flakey sea salt to enhance the caramel flavor and cut the sweetness just a bit.

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cakes

Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Mocha Bundt Cakes

For the Cake

    • 2 cups Better Batter all-purpose gluten-free flour
    • ¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
    • 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
    • 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cups International Delight Salted Caramel Mocha Flavor
For Frosting
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons International Delight Salted Caramel Mocha Flavor

For the Frosting

    1. Mix powdered sugar with International Delight. Beat with electric mixer on low. If the mixture is too thick for frosting, add in more International Delight. If it is too thin, add in more powdered sugar.
For the Cake
    1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Grease mini bundt pan or baking pan of choice.
    2. In a large bowl, place the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, sour cream, eggs, vanilla and International Delight, and mix to combine well. The batter will be thickly pourable.
    3. Fill the wells of the pan. about halfway full with batter. Shake from side to side to distribute the batter in an even layer. Place in the center of the preheated oven, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. The cake should be a little spongy, not dense.
    4. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes in the pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    5. Place one mini cake on a piece of parchment paper, bottom side down. Drizzle a generous amount of frosting on top of the cake.

The International Delight Facebook page shares coupon savings and a chance to share your delight this holiday season.

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Baby Cheesecakes with Toffee Pears

Baby Cheesecakes with Toffee Pears

Earlier today I was discussing baked goods with my friend Zack (we don’t like them). This whole conversation came out of a discussion of birthday cakes (it’s my birthday today, we were just randomly discussing cakes). I like savory things much better. Personally I would be much happier if someone gave me a wheel of brie or blue cheese, stuck a candle in it and called it a day. There is one exception to my dessert rule and that would be cheesecake. I do like cheesecake.

This isn’t your typical cheesecake. There is blue cheese involved, which is initially why I wanted to make this. Combining my favorite cheese and my favorite dessert just seemed like a brilliant idea. I was slightly hesitant about the fact that there is no sugar added into the cheesecake. One of them fell apart when I was removing them from the muffin tin and I stole a bite and it was not a good idea. Luckily when I served them with the pears, it was a very enjoyable (and unusual) combination. I had enough crust for 14 cheesecakes, but only enough filling for 13. I would recommend only doing 12 as some of my came out a little thin on the cheesecake end of things. Luckily I like my cheesecake on the crustier side of things, so I wasn’t too bothered by that.

Baby Cheesecakes with Toffee Pears

Baby Cheese Cakes with Toffee Pears
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.

  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup dairy sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 4 pears, cored and sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted broken walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line eight 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with foil or paper bake cups; set aside.
  2. For crust, in bowl stir together oats, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons butter until combined. Spoon 2 rounded tablespoons oat mixture into each prepared muffin cup. With bottom of a narrow glass press down lightly. Bake 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on wire racks. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  3. For cheesecake filling, in medium bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. Add egg and beat just until combined. Stir in blue cheese and sour cream.
  4. Spoon well-rounded tablespoons of the cheese mixture into each crust-lined muffin cup. Bake 20 minutes or until slightly puffed and set. Cool 30 minutes. Remove from cups. Place on tray, cover and refrigerate at least 2 or up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
  5. For Toffee Pears, in large skillet melt the 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the 1/2 cup brown sugar and cream. Cook and stir until bubbly. Add pears. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until pears are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool slightly.
  6. To serve, remove foil or paper liners from cheesecakes. Spoon about 1 tablespoon brown sugar-cream mixture into each of the dessert dishes. Top with a cheesecake. Spoon pears around cheesecake. Sprinkle each with toasted walnuts.

Japanese Cheesecake

And I’m back! I disappeared over the last week or so and it was kind of accidental. Basically, there was a snafu with a power cord before a big trip. Oops. I had all sorts of grand plans to share delicious recipes while I was gone, but onwards and upwards.

Where did I disappear to exactly?

Tokyo

JAPAN!

Tokyo to be exact and it was amazing. One of my good friends is working in Tokyo at the moment, so it was the perfect excuse to visit. Apart from exploring the city, meeting some amazing people and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, the highlight of the trip was definitely the food! Every meal I had was better than the last one. I ate a lot of things that I have had the Americanized version of before and wow, I have been missing out. I also ate a lot of things outside of my normal food comfort zone. You have to be a little adventurous when you travel.

The only downside of all the amazing food, is the fact that I will never be able to eat sushi again, which makes me sad. One morning we woke up at 3.30 to get down to the Tsukiji Fish Market and see the tuna auction. Afterwards we went and had sushi for breakfast. I cannot even put into words how amazing this sushi was. All other sushi has been completely ruined for me. According to my friend I had a look of total disgust on my face the entire time we were eating. Yes, I was totally disgusted, because all other sushi will just pale in comparison for the rest of my life. But it’s kind of okay, since I guess that’s just an excuse to go back!

japanese food collage

Now, let’s get back to business.

Japanese Cheesecake

Cheesecake is one of the few desserts I really, really like. Well, love actually. Naturally, I was intrigued by Japanese cheesecake.

This cheesecake is very different  than your standard American cheesecake. The consistency reminds me more of a sponge cake or angel food cake combined with custard than an American cheesecake. It’s very light and airy. It also does not have a crust of any kind. The crust is kind of , sort of, my absolute favorite part of an American-style cheesecake, so off the bat this cheesecake had a disadvantage to winning me over.

I topped my Japanese cheesecake with matcha (green tea) powder (not mold, I swear) and a raspberry sauce. Both helped give a bit of color and flavor to the dessert. I did enjoy this cheesecake, but it probably won’t be on the top of my must make again list.

Japanese Cheesecake

Japanese Cheesecake (adapted from allrecipes.com)

  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, divided
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line the bottom of a 9 inch round cake pan cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Warm the cream cheese and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cream cheese is melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and half of the sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the yolks. Sift in the flour and cornstarch, and stir until blended.
  4. In a separate bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites with cream of tartar until they can hold a soft peak. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining sugar and continue whipping to stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into the cream cheese mixture. Pour into the prepared cake pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet with sides.
  5. Place the baking sheet with the cheesecake into the oven, and pour water into the baking sheet until it is half way full. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Continue to bake for 15 more minutes. Let the cake cool before removing from the pan.
  6. Run a knife around the outer edge of the cake pan, and invert onto a plate to remove the cake. Peel off the parchment paper and invert onto a serving plate so the top of the cake is on top again.

Flourless Chocolate & Pear Cake

Flourless chocolate & pear cake

This cake is so easy to make. I was surprised it turned out so light. It really has a great texture, which is different than most other flourless cakes I’ve made. The cake is chocolatey without being overwhelmingly so. My pears sank a bit, but that did really matter to me. If you are more of a perfectionist when it comes to your desserts, make sure to whip the egg whites well to prevent sinking. I let mine sit a bit and had to re-whip them.

If you need a quick, last minute dessert for a Christmas or Hanukkah dinner, you probably have most of these ingredients on hand already. The cake would be just as good with or without the pears, so don’t worry about them if you don’t have them.You could definitely substitute almonds for the hazelnuts or apples or even canned pears for the fresh pears depending on what you have on hand. I would definitely use this recipe again with and without the pears for a simple and fast flourless cake. I only added powdered/confectioners sugar and freshly whipped cream for serving and it was perfect.

Flourless Chocolate & Pear Cake (from BBCGoodFood.com)

  • 85g butter/roughly 1/3 cup, plus 1 tbsp extra for tin
  • 85g golden caster sugar/roughly 2/3 cup, plus extra for tin
  • 85g gluten-free dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 85g hazelnuts, toasted and ground in a food processor
  • 4 very ripe pears, peeled, halved and cored
  • icing sugar , for dusting
  1. Cut a circle of baking parchment to fit the base of a 25cm loose-bottomed tin. Melt 1 tbsp butter and brush the inside of the tin, then line the base with the parchment and brush again with more butter. Spoon in 2 tbsp caster sugar, swirl it around to coat the base and sides, then tip out any excess.
  2. Heat oven to 350F/180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water, remove from the heat, stir in the brandy and leave to cool. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick; fold into the chocolate with the hazelnuts.
  3. In a separate bowl, with a clean whisk, beat the whites until they reach a soft peak (try not to whisk them too stiffly or you’ll have trouble folding them in). Stir a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mix, then carefully fold in the rest of them in 2 additions. Spoon into the prepared tin. Level, then arrange the pears over the mixture, cut-side down. Bake for 40 mins until the pears are soft and the cake is cooked all the way through. Leave to cool in the tin slightly before releasing it, then place on a rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche.

Gluten Free Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

This was a new recipe for me. I have heard of olive oil cake before, but never tried it. It was definitely a different type of cake. Kind of like a cross between a regular ‘box’ cake and a flourless cake. It was both dense and light and really moist. I didn’t find the olive oil to be overwhelming, but the chocolate made it very rich. I actually decided to freeze one of the 9-inch rounds (this recipe yields two) because I knew there was no way to get through a double layer cake that is this rich. I would definitely make this again, but only if I knew there were going to be a lot of people around to eat it.

I topped the cake with a mocha ganache and served it with vanilla whipped cream and some raspberry coulis. 

Gluten Free Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (adapted from BetterBatter.org)

  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour (I used Better Batter)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 7 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cold water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  2. With mixer at low speed, beat in oil, vinegar, vanilla and water; beat until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into two 9-inch pans coated with butter and dusted with more (gluten free) flour.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Put the cake pans on cooling racks and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before removing the cakes from the pans to cool completely.

Mocha Ganache

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup/8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I just used chocolate chips)
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

In a heavy sauce pan, bring the cream almost to a boil. Add in chocolate chips and espresso powder. Remove from heat and stir until all the chocolate is melted. Allow to cool slightly before using.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

When I was living overseas, there was no such thing as pumpkin pie spice. Pumpkin just isn’t put in pie form in other parts of the world. But I was quite happy to learn that it was super easy to make your own pumpkin pie spice. I’ve never used the ready mixed version, I’ve always made my own and word on the street is that it’s pretty good.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
Combine all the spices in a small container with a lid. Shake together to combine. Shake it some more. Store in small jar or spice container.

Peanut Butter Carrot ‘Pup’Cakes

So, this week we had a very momentous occasion to celebrate, my darling pups turned 10!

Naturally, we needed to have a party. Yeah, I’m that girl. Deal with it.

I spent about 8 minutes attempting to take a picture of the two of them looking cute in their party hats, but homegirls had other ideas. After much bribery and coercing and cursing on my part, we all just decided to call it quits. As you can tell by the look of sheer terror on Bella’s face, she still hasn’t quite forgiven me for putting her through the indignity of it all. She was so pissed she wouldn’t even play with her new toy… which her brat of a sister stole approximately 2 seconds later.

The real excitement came when the cake came out. Peanut Butter and Carrot Pupcakes! They were a smashing success. These are human grade dog treats and my dogs absolutely love them.

For the ‘frosting’ I whipped up some plain cream cheese to make it easier to spread and added a few carob chips, which are 100% dog safe. 

Peanut Butter Carrot ‘Pup’Cakes (adapted from this recipe)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl mix flour and baking soda. Then add remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
  2. Pour into greased 8″ round cake pan or into muffin tin prepared with liners. For round cake pan, bake 30 minutes. For pupcakes, bake 15-20 minutes
  3. Let cool. Serve and let your pup enjoy!
The pupcakes can be served as is, or topped with ‘frosting’. I would recommend either more peanut butter (which is sometimes too ‘sticky’ for dogs to eat) or cream cheese and add on some more carrot shreds or carob chips.