You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘baked goods’ tag.
My trip at the end of October took me out to visit relatives on my maternal side of the family. My uncle has an orchard and sent me back with a big bag of apples (among other veggies, I may or may not have had to acquire another bag in order to lug all of my foodstuffs on the plane! :D) that I have happily been munching through. However, I decided that such special fruit needed to be used for more exciting purposes than snacks and oatmeal add-ins, which is when I came up with the glorious plan of making apple caramel bars.
Think a peanut butter oatmeal crust topped with a delicious spiced caramel apple mixture. Oh it was a glorious fall treat in my minds eye, alas, in real life I had some issues. I made a peanut butter oatmeal cookie-like dough, pressed it into the bottom of an 8×8″ pan and cooked it up for about 20 minutes until it was browned. In the meantime I thinly sliced up three of the gifted apples, tossed them with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice, and got to work on the caramel. I used the caramel recipe from Ricki’s Sweet Freedom cookbook . It was this step where I started to run into trouble. I don’t have a candy thermometer (well, that’s a lie, I found out post baking adventure that our household actually does have one, but for the purpose of the story, no candy thermometer) but figured I could go by her description of the consistency and the times listed just fine. Once my caramel got to that stage, I wanted to pour it over the apples that were spread on top of the crust, unfortunately my timing was poor and the crust wasn’t ready yet. When all parts were finally ready the caramel was past the pouring stage so I kind of spooned globs over the apples and hoped for the best, despite the fact that the bit I had nibbled off the spoon hardened in my mouth rather quickly. Fortunately after another stint in the oven, the caramel did soften up a bit more, though not enough to spread around and glue all the apples onto the crust. Anyways, after all that it was pretty darn tasty, although not the most photogenic (see below). I would like to give it another go because I think in theory it is quite a workable recipe, but I am giving it a bit of a rest for now. Let me know if any of you give it a try, or have a similar recipe. 🙂
I’m on a quest for the perfect gluten free vegan brownie. If you had suggested to me a month ago that such a thing were even possible, I would have laughed at you. (but um, in a nice way.) BUT, I have since had a perfect gluten free brownies. (From Fresh, if anyone’s interested.) The brownie in question was dense, fudgey, and totally decadent – I never would have guessed that it was gluten free.
So, for my first attempt, I used this recipe. Apparently, it appeared in Food and Wine magazine, and the article online leads me to believe the recipe is from Babycakes NYC. In any case, it looked promising.
Aren’t they cute?
My results were definitely tasty. (If anyone is interested, my 1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. flour mix consisted of 1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. sorghum, 2 tbsp. corn flour, 1 tbsp. arrowroot, and 1 tbsp. besan) Although they didn’t taste gluten free (hooray!), I found that they were more cakey than fudgey. They were very moist (a good thing!), but also, very tender, and almost fluffy -not particularly brownie like. In addition, (and it pains me to write this), they tasted vegan. I think brownies are definitely something where vegetable oil just won’t cut it. If I were to make these again, I think I might make these adjustments:
-addition of walnuts chunks, and higher quality chocolate chips
-maybe a tiny bit more xanthan gum, although I would start to be afraid of heading into ‘squidgy’ territory
-melted vegan butter in place of vegetable oil
-perhaps a couple of teaspoons of dried coffee
Any other suggestions? Has anyone found (or developed??) a good recipe for GF vegan brownies? I would love to hear! 🙂
Recently, we were contacted by JK Gourmet, a Canadian company that produces high quality almond flour and gluten free/grain free baked goods, including biscotti, muffins, and granola. They don’t sweeten anything with refined sugar, and are looking to expand their line to include agave-sweetened vegan products! Very exciting! We were offered a bag of their finely ground blanched almond flour to sample, and since I am gluten free all the time, K and I decided I should receive it. I had never tried almond flour before, and I must say, the baked goods that I’ve made with this flour have been incomparable in their rich flavour.
Upon opening the bag, I was surprised at how light and fluffy the flour was. JK Gourmet is so fine that the little bit I sampled alone almost melts away in your mouth. It is slightly sweet and nutty, with a mild and delicious almond aftertaste. Along with the sample of almond flour, I was sent a recipe for an apple galette recipe from the Grain-Free Gourmet: Delicious Recipes for Healthy Living cookbook. It was dark when I pulled the baked galette out of the oven, and although this isn’t a great photo (nor is my galette particularly photogenic), it was demolished (I had help!) before I could snap a better shot! I’ll admit that I was concerned that the almond flour would turn into a puddle of almond soup in the oven, but instead it baked into a delicious golden crust. The almond flour pastry remained very tender and was so flavourful – perhaps slightly like marzipan? My boyfriend, who adores apple pie above all else was more than happy to help me polish this off in record speed.
Next up, I knew exactly what cookies I wanted to bake with my almond flour! I had been eyeing this recipe for chocolate chip cookies from Elana’s Pantry (not veg.) for ages. Made with almond flour and sweetened with agave, these were much healthier than the average cookie. Despite that, they were the richest tasting cookies I’ve had a long time. The JK Gourmet almond flour created wonderfully dense, moist, and chewy cookies – so different from the usual crumbly gluten free cookie! As an aside, JK Gourmet almond flour is one of the few brands that Elana of Elana’s Pantry recommends – clearly, she knows her almond flour! I’m already thinking about my next almond flour cookies – maybe snickerdoodles? Yumyum!
If you would like to purchase JK Gourmet almond flour, you can click through to see a list of their Canadian retailers here, or you can purchase it online. In Canada, it seems to be fairly widely distributed, so keep your eyes peeled! 🙂
Thanks for the sample, JK Gourmet!
This recipe is from my mom, who says she got it from the Dutch neighbours that lived next door in the tiny Quebec logging town she grew up in. Given that, I feel confident enough posting it here – but if you recognize it as your family recipe, let me know! This is reasonably simple to put together, but is fancy enough to make for guests. It’s also delicious – the running joke in my family was that we had no idea how well this lasted, since there were never leftovers past the next day’s breakfast.
Dutch Apple Cake
Preheat oven to 425F and grease a pizza pan.
Prepare the apple slices first:
-Peel and core 4 large apples (I like Braeburn, but my mom always used McIntosh), and slice them into medium-thin slices. Each apple should yield around 14 slices. Toss with a dash of lemon juice and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine:
-1 ener-g egg replacer, prepared as per package instructions (1 1/2 tsp. powder whisked with 2 tbsp water)
-2/3 c. non-dairy milk
In a mixing bowl, measure:
-1 1/2 c. a.p. flour
-2 tsp. baking powder
Combine these, and then add:
-1/4 c. COLD non-dairy butter
With two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until well combined – until it resembles sand, with no lumps of butter.
Quickly add the egg replacer/milk liquid to the flour/butter bowl, and stir until just combined- don’t overmix! It will be quite moist. Scoop the batter/dough onto the greased pizza pan, and use floured hands to press it into the pan. Cover with the apple slices (start at the outside of the pan, and work in!) and bake at 425 for 25 minutes.
-1/4 c. room temperature non-dairy butter
-1/2 c. brown sugar
-1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
It will resemble a thick paste.
When the 25 minutes are up, remove pie and turn the oven down to 350F. Spoon the butter/sugar/spice paste over the hot pie, and spread it around so that everything is evenly glazed. Return to the 350 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. If the edges look like they might burn before everything else cooks, cover them with a tin foil edging.
This is wonderful served warm with a scoop of vanilla non-dairy ice cream, but I strongly encourage everyone to try at least a sliver of this, served cold, for breakfast the next day!
Another festive goodie! I like this one because it’s actually pretty good for you, so eat guilt free! The texture is best on the day of baking so don’t leave it too long before eating. Feel free to substitute the flours with what you have.
Cranberry Walnut Banana Bread
5 tsp ground flaxseed
9 Tbsp water
1/2 cup silken tofu
1 tsp lemon juice
3 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup wheatgerm
1/4 cup each quinoa and whole wheat flour
2 cups spelt flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup each of brown and granulated sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9″ by 5″ loaf pan and set aside.
Combine flaxseed, water, tofu and lemon juice in blender. Mix until well combined. Add bananas one at a time, blending between each addition. How smooth you make it at this point depends on personal preference. I don’t like banana chunks in my bread so I made it completely smooth.
Combine wheatgerm, flours, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
Mix sugars, applesauce, vanilla and spices together and combine with blender mixture. Stir into flour mix in a few batches. Don’t overmix. Fold in walnuts and cranberries.
Pour into pan, smooth top and bake for 1 hour or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.