Adventures in gluten-free, dairy-free baking... all part of the fun and future of FLOURS & HUNNY Bakery

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Apple Cranberry Crisp

I love Autumn.  And here in New England, especially this year, the colors and weather have been spectacular.  Almost makes me wish we were settling here for the long haul.  Almost.  But in addition to the actual seasonal characteristics, I really love the food.  Pumpkin and warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.  Roasted nuts.  Hot chocolate and mulled apple cider.  Apples and cranberries.

So, as a full Autumn moon approaches, holiday tunes already playing in our home, and with fresh organic and local apples and cranberries in my refrigerator, I turned my usual apple crisp into a new, improved seasonal delight.  Presenting...

Apple Cranberry Crisp

5-7 apples, peeled and sliced
8 oz bag fresh cranberries
1/2 -1 cup raw sugar (per your desired level of sweetness, and use less if your apples are sweet)
3 Tb tapioca starch

Topping:
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon (more if desired)
Ground nutmeg (optional, and I add a few unmeasured sprinkles)
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter stick, cold, cut into a few pieces
1/2 cup chopped raw pecans (more if desired - I was very generous with my measuring cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Oil or butter a 13x9 baking dish.  I prefer coconut oil for this step.

Mix apples, cranberries, sugar and 3 Tb tapioca starch in a large bowl, until evenly coated.  Pour into oiled dish.

Place all topping ingredients in a separate bowl.  Using a pastry knife (or large fork or a couple of butter knives), cut butter into the flours and spices until it is blended and looks crumbly.  Evenly pour mixture on top of fruit mixture.

Bake, uncovered, for 50-55 minutes until fruit is soft and you see some of the glorious red juices bubbling and peaking out at the edges of the topping.  Serve warm, with or without a nice coconut ice cream.  



Since I still have another bag of cranberries available, I may take a pass at converting this to a more paleo-friendly recipe.  We've been sticking to that way of eating for some time now, but being pregnant has found me craving starches.  This recipe is very forgiving though, thus my notes about adding more of certain ingredients as you see fit.  I've taken the guesswork out of creating a classic free of the gluten and dairy, but since this isn't a cake or cookie that requires rising and such, it's yours to use as a baseline.  

I'd love to hear your comments if you try it!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cake, cake, and more cake!

Birthday season just ended in our house.  We call it "season" because all four of us have birthdays between mid-July and early-September.  And that means I've been baking!  Here are a few of our cakes...

To the right are Wylie's 1st Birthday cakes, with the little one being his smash cake.  Alas, he wanted nothing to do with smashing or even eating it.





The next two pictures are from our Funny Hat Party, which was to celebrate both kid's birthdays since they are so close to each other.  It was my best effort at designing a hat and it came out great!  I used two small and one larger round pans, plus real ribbon and a bow.  Since the other part of the theme was rainbows, I even made it a rainbow cake inside.  That was so much fun, though I would have definitely preferred to avoid artificial food coloring.  If anyone has ideas that actually work, I'd love to hear them.

Next was the Tigger cake requested months ago for Amelia's birthday.  Since we had a small party on her actual birthday, she got two cakes!  I know that fondant is all the rage in cake decorating these days, but you still can't beat the fun of a frosted cake full of piped stars.

And this last picture shows some cupcakes that were ordered by a friend for her son's birthday party.  She specifically requested no dairy, gluten, soy or nuts; all easy and my norm, except for the soy exclusion.  I do limit the soy I use, but have yet to find an acceptable frosting that doesn't contain soy.  Sure, you can make glazes, icings, and such but I need to be able to put it into a decorating tube and make things with it.  Thankfully, I did stumble upon a fellow blog with many vegan, soy- and gluten-free recipes and was able to try out her coconut frosting and chocolate frosting.  As you can see from the picture, the coconut frosting wasn't exactly what I wanted, but I improvised and the cupcakes still came out looking great.  The chocolate frosting was perfect!  Both tasted terrific and everyone loved the cupcakes.

I'll be working on another order for cupcakes later this week too...
Vanilla Hunny Cake with Banana Buttercream frosting, and some chocolate for good measure.  Everyone should be surrounded by this much cake!

As a reminder, I've also joined the facebook community with a page for Flours & Hunny.  If you haven't already, please stop by and show us some love in the form of 'liking' our page.  (There's a little button toward the top left that makes you a 'fan' and if you also add us to your newsfeed, you'll get our updates and pictures as they're posted.)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Busy as a Bee... Flours and Hunny Update

Well, life sure is busy with two kids.  I expected it to be so, but I don't think I truly understood the impact... And I'm not sure it makes much sense that time passes so quickly when there are not quite enough hours in the day.  Not that I wouldn't do it all again...

for those who can't decide on a favorite flavor,
presenting a Vanilla Chocolate Swirl Cake

I have been baking, of course, but have not been able to get online much to share about the projects.  For the sake of a quick update, here are a few recent creations.


Summer Citrus Rose Cake -
freshly squeezed and zested orange cake with a
seedless raspberry glaze and a mini chocolate chip border

Our 1st Holiday Gingerbread House -
not only was it entirely gluten and dairy-free, but it was also delicious and fun to eat!

I have also changed the bakery name slightly to 'Flours & Hunny' - do you like it?  Since many baked goods contain local, organic honey along with the many gluten-free flours, I think it fits well.  We also have a facebook page now too.  Please join us there by 'liking' the page, and then you will get updates a bit more frequently.  I've been enjoying the ability to pose questions, get feedback, and post pictures quickly and easily.

Kale Salad

Chocolate Sunbutter Millet Squares
(simple to make, very few ingredients
and free of all common allergens!)
Strangely enough, considering the lack of "free" time, my husband and I have started yet another project called Our Sustainable Kids.  Please check it out and let us know what you think.  We'll be inviting other parents, health experts and others to join us in that blog venture all about raising healthy, active children.  And I'll be posting recipes there, like these to the left too (gluten and dairy-free, of course!).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pancakes, Pancakes, Pancakes

Ah yes, it's been awhile again.  But, the wait pays off this time too... with another recipe.  I've been having fun experimenting with various combinations of gluten-free flours, all the while dreaming of the day I will serve lots of delicious, healthy breakfasts in my someday bakery.  As it turns out, the pancake recipe is extremely versatile, forgiving and easy.  I am positive it will make some of you very happy.  And you will start your day out right... which is exactly what we need more of in this world because well fed, healthy and happy people have the ability to pass on that happiness.  Consider this my little gift toward a better world.

1 cup total gluten free flours, recommended combinations below
1 Tb + 1 tsp flaxseed meal
1 Tb sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 - 1 cup milk or milk substitute (we use almond or rice milk)
1 1/2 tsp oil

Mix dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, vanilla, 1/2 cup of milk and oil.  Stir the wet mixture into the dry, just until blended.  If batter is too thick, add more milk until desired consistency.

Flour combinations:
 - 1/3 c potato starch, 1/3 c sorghum flour, 1/3 c tapioca starch
 - 1/4 c brown rice flour, 1/2 c sorghum flour, 1/4 c tapioca starch
 - 1/3 c sweet rice flour, 1/3 c tapioca starch, 1/3 c millet flour

Other options to add in:
1/4 tsp - 1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c fresh berries
1/4 c chopped nuts
1/4 c chocolate chips
1 mashed banana
1 chopped apple, peeled
(one of our personal favorite combinations to add is banana, nuts and chocolate chips!)

Happy Baking!  May all your days start out this good...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Non Dairy, Gluten Free Ice Cream

After such a long hiatus, it seems only fitting that I should do something I never do... share a recipe!  Yes, you read that right.  And I know, I know, I'm such a jerk for not sharing recipes.  I get asked all the time and my response is always the same... someday I plan to open a bakery and I'd like my recipes to be my secrets until then.  I work so hard on getting them right, always with the end goal of creating something that even gluten-eaters will love.  And I have to admit that I'm often successful.  It's these victories that make it into my sacred notebook, which I hold (literally) near and dear to my heart.

Fortunately for you, dear readers, every now and again I create something that isn't really in the plans for the bakery.  Like ice cream.  I imagine cakes, cookies, breads and perhaps breakfast foods someday.  Maybe even my delicious vegan Potato Leek soup or (cow) Dairy-free Lasagna.  But probably not ice cream.  So here it is... a super yummy Chocolate Ice Cream recipe using coconut milk.  I make mine in an automatic ice cream maker but I would guess you could try freezing it in a bowl too.  Feel free to ask any questions, if needed.  Otherwise, enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
3 cups unsweetened coconut milk (not lite)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol-free, if you can find it - Trader Joe's has one)
1 ripe banana
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Put all ingredients, except nuts, into a blender and mix until smooth.  Pour out into a running ice cream maker and let freeze for 20-25 minutes.  Add in nuts and let freeze and blend for an additional 5-10 minutes.
The texture should be perfect after the above, but will get quite solid after putting any leftovers into the freezer.  Simply leave it out at room temperature for awhile before eating and it should thaw just fine.  (I sometimes microwave it too, if I'm impatient.)


Oh, and for those of you wondering where I've been... I had a baby.  :)  A sweet little boy who is keeping me busier than I've ever been in my life.  Amidst one of our more hectic days, I needed a break... and here is where I ended up.  Cheers!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dip Dip - Dooowha!

If you have trouble tolerating cow-dairy like I do, but you also love a good French Onion Dip like I also do - I have a delicious recommendation!  Whole Foods has an organic Onion Dip spice packet that can be blended with plain Goat Yogurt.  Just stir it all together and let it chill for 24 hours.  It's easy and delicious - and you'll never miss the stomach ache.  Or all that awesome cow fat, for that matter. 

With this kind of success, I'm guessing you can substitute plain goat yogurt for any recipe calling for sour cream.  I have used it in a few baked goods too and it works out beautifully. I'd add a little extra sweetener for cookies and cakes though, to offset the slightly sour taste of the goat milk.

I have plenty of other updating to do here on my blog also, but will have to save it for another time.  Life's been busy with some family in town; my first big cake project in Boston for a baby shower (wait until you see the pictures - the end result was impressive, especially considering it was quite an adventure!); and my first paid bread order (I didn't get feedback, but I sure hope they liked it).  Good times.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Did I mention the bread?

Amazing, exciting realization... now that I have the perfect gluten-free bread - I will be having THE BEST Thanksgiving stuffing ever!!!  Most years, I've had to make the Thanksgiving meal a "cheat day."  I would just go into that day preparing for the stomach ache, heart-burn, whathaveyou associated with eating gluten.  Or, I'd suck it up and use the store-bought gluten free breads - and that was always a disappointment.  I mean, who needs gummy, dense bread for their stuffing!?

Since I wrote last, I have continued to experiment and now routinely make Buckwheat, Teff, Mesquite, and/or Quinoa loaves.  One of our absolute favorites is an Italian Herb variety - it contains grated sheep's milk Romano cheese, garlic, and herbs.  When you toast a slice of this...mmmm... the entire house smells delicious!!  It's so good, I'm planning to work on the recipe to make it into pizza crust.

And now, the question is... are you ready for Thanksgiving stuffing this year?  If you're still dreading the thought of how to make it gluten-free, order your bread from Flours (that's me) now!  I am taking orders (no, not that kind!) and will only have the time for so many loaves.  Plus, you're going to want to order a few - for eating, and for cooking - and your stuffing bread needs time to get a little old and dry... what are you waiting for then?  Call, email, messenger-bird!  I hope to hear from you soon.