TWD: GF Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes

 

This week’s pick came from Clara at  IHeartFood4Thought and you can find the recipe on her blog.

Milk. Milk. Milk.

That is what you need when eating these chocolatey, chocolatey cupcakes(actually they tasted more like brownies than cupcakes).

Delicious, but a bit too rich for me.  Let me rephrase that…they must not have been toooo rich, because I managed to devour two 🙂

Hmmm. Didn’t I say that I’m participating in mindful eating?

Since baking GF I have discovered that my goodies don’t rise as much as “regular” muffins and cakes. Explanation = because the GF flour mix lacks protein, aka gluten, the batters aren’t strong enough to hold the rest of the ingredients and create the rise.  In fact, after I take them out of the oven, they will sink in the middle and create a “well” of sorts.   I’ve done a little investigating and in turns out that I probably need to seperate the egg yolks and the egg whites in my recipes; add the yolks after I cream the butter & sugar and fold in the egg whites as the last addition. This will help create air and hopefully increase the volume.  Next time.

Thanks again to Pamela’s Baking Mix for my flour substitution.  

 NOTE: When I make this recipe again I will double the ganache recipe. I only had enough to decorate about half of my cupcakes. Maybe that was because I had to compensate for my “wells”.

Bake on!

-Erin

Breaking News : Gluten Free Style

Upon my daily blog browsing, I came across this article at Beyond Rice Cakes.
The news? At home Celiac testing will be available in the US next year!!
How cool!!
Take a look at the post and spread the word.

-Erin

Pros & Cons : A 3 Month Update

Yep. It has officially been 3 months since my Celiac diagnosis and I thought I would share pros and cons of what I’ve discovered so far.
Have you ever heard that doing something for 30 days will make it a habit? Well, it is true. Living and eating GF is a lifestyle for me now and I don’t even think twice about “cheating”.

Pros:
1) Even though my iron levels have not been retested since my diagnosis, I feel confident to say that between,going gluten free and taking a daily iron supplement , my anemia has improved. How can I tell? I have more energy AND I no longer have the desire to chew ice.
My dad, my husband and my dentist are all happy.
2) Prior to my diagnosis, I had these small, red bumps on my hands…somewhat itchy, somewhat sore. Well, they are GONE. And…these little stinkers(AKA Dermatitis Herpetiformis) have proven, post diagnosis, to be an indicator when I accidentally get “glutenated”.
3) I’ve rediscovered the beauty in naturally, GF foods; fruits, veggies, potatoes, rice, and meat. I no longer buy or eat anything prepackaged that has a B*TTload of preservatives and mystery ingredients.
4) I can still bake and GF baking is GOOD!!
5) There is a wealth of online Celiac support. God bless the computer, the internet and blogs.

Cons:
1) I have to admit that living GF is not always convenient. It requires planning and it sometimes brings jealousy.
I can no longer enjoy my favorite restaurants. I can no longer agree to a Friday night pizza or fajitas from my favorite mexican restaurant. Sure I can join the company, but company without the food isn’t always fun.
Grocery shopping now involves reading, reading, and reading labels. I can no longer just grab things off the shelf.
If food is prepared by someone else, and it is offered to me, I have to ask what ingredients they used, is there a chance for cross contamination, etc.
Do you get the picture?
2) An unpredicted weight gain. Yuck! Not too much but enough that my clothes fit differently:) I’m still reading about this, but from what I’ve learned, it is probably caused by a couple of things. My small intestine is healing and it is now able to absorb nutrients….AND…eating gluten free carbs, such as bagels & and baked goodies; all of which are very caloric and not very nutrient rich.
Sooooo……I have begun a period of mindful eating. Really paying attention to what I put in my mouth and listening to my body for the true signs of hunger. I’m hoping with this and my increase in exercise, I will eliminate the Celiac 15(sort of like the freshman 15).

All in all, I feel very thankful for my diagnosis. Kind of a weird statement to say, but I’m appreciative that Celiac is something managable and living GF is something that is proving to provide a healthy lifestyle(minus the GF desserts). 🙂

Bake on!
-Erin

TWD: GF Pumpkin Muffins

Yes, last week I took a brief hiatus from TWD. No fault to my fellow TWD bakers or to Dorie herself, other things just took priority 🙂

This week’s pick came from Kelly at Sounding my Barbaric Gulp. I very timely choice, considering it is Fall and Halloween is just around the corner.

After baking these muffins, I am now 100% convinced that living a gluten free life does NOT mean I can no longer enjoy DELICIOUS desserts. This is exciting news considering that baking, before being diagnosed with Celiac, was a large part of life. I am happy to know that I can continue doing what I love.
I do wonder sometimes if my satisfaction with the recipes is because I’m so desperate for a sweet treat, that I’ll eat anything that is homemade and has sugar, or if the recipe is truly reminiscent of “the real thing”. To solve this, I have enlisted the hubby as my official taste-tester. For those interested in facts, 3 out of my 4 latest GF baking attempts, he ruled that the GF version tasted just the same.
Could a GF bakery be on the horizon?

Back to the recipe. I absolutely loved the addition of golden raisins and pecans in these pumpkin muffins. In fact, I can’t see myself using regular raisins again, even in something like oatmeal/raisin cookies. To me, the golden raisins are a bit more appealing to the eye and lend a little more sweetness to the muffin. I didn’t have any sunflower seeds on hand to “decorate” the top but I don’t think it would have added too much in terms of flavor. I do however, think they would have helped with my photografia.

Once again, I substituted the FABULOUS Pamela’s Baking Mix for the AP flour and the baking soda in Dorie’s recipe. My next baking challenge will be to venture from this “pre-made” flour mix and create my own. No guarantee as to when that will happen, but that is my goal. For now, Pamela’s provides convenience and dependability, which I need during my busy weeks.

Bake on!
-Erin

TWD: GF Caramel Peanut Topped Brownie Cake

 

Let me introduce the latest addition to my “make again” recipe collection….GF Caramel Peanut Topped Brownie Cake. This week’s, TWD recipe was chosen by Wee Treats by Tammy. Thanks Tammy for a great pick. 

 

With the chocolate, peanuts and caramel, this cake reminds me of a snickers candy bar. But, OH SO MUCH BETTER! The cake is fudgy, the caramel is creamy sweet and the peanuts are salty. The combination creates such a guilty pleasure.

 

There is no way I can keep the rest of this cake at our house, as I will eat the ENTIRE thing.  The kiddos’ teachers are getting a sweet surprise today.  Shhhh, I’m not telling them that it is GF. Which by the way, I followed Dorie’s recipe except I substituted Pamela’s Baking Mix for the AP flour and eliminated the baking soda(the baking mix already includes baking soda).

Bake on!

-Erin

GF Caramel Apple Crisp

 

Let the apple obsession continue!

Homemade caramel, apples, pecans, oats, and cinnamon.  A comfort recipe at its best. You can serve this to your non-gluten free friends/family and I guarantee that they won’t believe it is gluten free. Once again, this would be divine with ‘nilla ice cream; I just didn’t have any 😦

On a side note, I’m on the hunt for a new camera.  If anyone has a recommendation, PLEASE let me know.

 

GF CARAMEL APPLE CRISP

HOMEMADE CARAMEL:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 cups brown sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

4 Tbs. butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. salt

CRUST:

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 butter

1 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. salt

1 cup Pamela’s baking mix(includes baking soda)

1 cup pecans, chopped

2 cups GF oats

FILLING:

3 1/2 cups peeled and sliced granny smith apples

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup caramel

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 9×13-inch pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

Prepare caramel: Mix caramel ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, until it reaches soft-ball stage (230-234 degrees). Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, beat the brown sugar and butter. Mix in the salt, cinnamon, baking mix and oats until crumbly. scoop out 1 cup and set aside. Place the remaining crumbs into your prepared pan.

Toss apples in a large bowl with the salt and cinnamon. Arrange them over the crust. Drizzle 1 cup of warm caramel over the top and the sprinkle with the remaining crumbs you set aside.

Bake 35- 40 minutes until bubbly and the apples are just tender. Remove and let cool.