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Category Archives: Desserts

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Whipped-cream Frosting… “Happy Birthday” cake!!!

We just celebrated two birthdays in the last 3 weeks in my family – my husband and my son. I made the same gluten-free cake for both of them. It’s a tradition in my family – chocolate cake with chocolate, whipped-cream frosting! We have it at every birthday celebration…sooo good! I would have included a picture of the cake, but it was eaten too fast – that’s how good it is.

I must admit, though, it’s the frosting that really makes this cake so delicious and I have to give credit to my mother for that one. She made chocolate, whipped-cream frosting since before I was born (and I’m not telling how long ago that is!!). In my family growing up, we could request whatever kind of cake we wanted for our birthday. Only my father and oldest sister (#1) would request something different for their birthday – my father loved Boston Creme Pie and my sister liked Apricot Pie. The rest of us (#2 sister, #3 brother, #4 brother, mom and myself, #5) would have cake covered in Chocolate, Whipped-Cream Frosting – any cake. It could be sponge cake, Angel food cake or chocolate cake. In the end, chocolate cake was the best choice – every year!

This recipe makes a LOT of cake. What I’ve done is make 2 – 9 inch round cakes and use the extra batter for cupcakes. If the cupcakes survive long enough, they are frozen for a quick treat some other day! They taste great warmed in the microwave, then add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top – no frosting required.

I’d love to hear some of your family birthday traditions – please share!! Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

(**This recipe makes 3 – 9 inch round cakes or 30 cupcakes or 2 – 9 inch cakes and 12 cupcakes.)

1-1/3 cup strong, brewed hot coffee

1¼ cup cocoa powder

2 sticks butter

2¼ cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3¼ cups Pamela’s Gluten-free Baking and Pancake Mix + 1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cake pans and dust with gluten-free flour or use paper liners for cupcakes. In a medium bowl, whisk together hot coffee and cocoa powder until very smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla extract and mix until well blended. Add half of Pamela’s mix to the butter mixture and blend well. Add half of the coffee/cocoa mixture and beat until well combined. Add the remaining Pamela’s mix and coffee/cocoa mixture and blend completely until smooth. Spoon batter into prepared pans and fill to half full. Bake cake pans for 40 minutes or cupcakes for 20 minutes. It is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool cake pans for 20 minutes then turn cake onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Whipped-Cream Frosting

1 pint heavy or whipping cream, chilled

Hershey’s syrup

Chill a large mixing bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove bowl from the freezer and add the cream. Beat cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add ¼ cup Hershey’s syrup and continue to mix until well blended. Add more Hershey’s syrup until desired chocolate flavor has been reached. Frosting will not get darker, just have more chocolate flavor. This recipe makes enough for a two layer cake with frosting in the middle and covering the outer surfaces completely. Refrigerate cake after frosting.

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Posted by on July 22, 2012 in Desserts

 

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Lemon Cheesecake…simple, light and creamy!

My family has always liked cheesecake, but it usually only gets made for special occasions. Years ago, my husband would make it and he would experiment with different flavors for Thanksgiving and Christmas – pumpkin, chocolate, almond, citrus, marble,… It was a time-consuming process making the crust, cooking it, letting it cool, blending all the cheeses together, greasing the spring-form pan,… Even though it was so delicious, it was very dense, rich and full of calories.

I recently found this recipe online at Easy Eats Blog, so I’m re-blogging it here. It was fabulous! My son endorsed this as his ALL-TIME favorite cheesecake – light, creamy, not too sweet, smooth texture, and gluten-free! My husband loved it too and didn’t miss the crust at all. I know I’ll be making it again and more often than just at the holidays. I really like that it has agave nectar instead of sugar and not too much ricotta cheese. Sometimes a cheesecake can have a grainy texture with too much ricotta in the recipe.

I used a large, round, deep stoneware dish to bake it in and after chilling, it cut very easily and was set perfectly. Next time, I may try adding lemon or orange zest for a deeper citrus flavor. I also want to try adding cocoa powder or almond liquor. Mmmm, the possibilities…!!! Enjoy!

Gluten-free Lemon Cheesecake

8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
¾ cup light agave nectar
2 large eggs
5 teaspoons brown rice flour
5 teaspoons corn starch
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (whole fat)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a round, deep baking dish or pie plate. Combine cream cheese and ricotta in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Add agave syrup and blend well until creamy and smooth. Add eggs one at a time and blend well after each. Add rice flour, corn starch and extracts and mix very well. Add melted, cooled butter and yogurt and beat until completely blended together. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the pan in the oven for 1 ½ hours to cool gradually. Remove from the oven and chill for 4 or more hours. Top with fresh fruit or whipped cream. Makes 6 to 8 servings.


 
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Posted by on July 6, 2012 in Desserts

 

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Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars…an old-fashioned favorite!

Time for a little sweetness in this blog! My college son is in the kitchen making some kind of cookie, so I’m inspired to add this recipe to my blog tonight. I remember eating these blondies when I was young – only then, my mother made them from a boxed mix. The boxed mix disappeared from grocery stores at some point, but I still love the flavor of these. They are a combination of butterscotch brownie and chocolate chip cookie – how can you go wrong with that?! Even though there is no butterscotch in the bar, I use dark amber agave syrup – it gives a similar taste. Otherwise, brown sugar is the preferred sweetener.

Easy recipe, simple ingredients and of course, my favorite gluten-free mix – Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix. Bake a little sweetness tonight! Enjoy!!

P.S. My son just brought me two warm cookies and a glass of cold milk! If I can get him to remember how he made the cookies (they are gluten-free!), I’ll write about them at some point! Yummy!!!

 

Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars

1 stick butter, softened
½ cup amber agave syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 cups Pamela’s Gluten Free Pancake and Baking Mix
½ cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 X 8 inch baking pan. Combine butter and agave syrup in a medium bowl, mix until blended. Add vanilla extract and egg, mix until well blended. Add Pamela’s Mix and mix until smooth and creamy texture. Pour the batter into prepared pan and spread with a spatula. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. (** Optional: add chocolate chips to the batter and mix in.) Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool and cut into bars. Makes 12 bars.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Desserts

 

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Italian Tiramisu…Schär Ladyfingers work great!

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts! With a hot, frothy cappuccino alongside, it is the perfect ending to any meal. We recently went to some friends’ home for dinner and this is what we brought for dessert. My husband is usually the one who makes it, because it started out being my “birthday cake” a few years ago. Now, the tradition has stuck – it’s his culinary “baby”! And he does an excellent job, too – so creamy, luscious and light. Even though it has cream cheese and heavy cream, it still tastes light. The ladyfinger cookies soak up the coffee and become soft, the coffee liqueur adds a wonderful full flavor and the chocolate powder on top is just right.

Once our kitchen became gluten-free, though, this dessert could no longer make an appearance. I think the ladyfinger cookies would be hard to duplicate from scratch, although I never really tried…

But, then I found the Schär company (see my earlier post about their sandwich rolls)! These ladyfinger cookies can be bought online through Amazon.com or directly from Schär’s website. They worked great! I challenge anyone to tell me this tastes different than a regular wheat recipe! We adapted this from the Family Circle magazine recipe – “Coffee-Scented Tiramisu”.

Buon Appetito!!

Italian Tiramisu

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup coffee liqueur

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups heavy cream

2 pkgs.(5 oz. each) Schär Gluten-Free Ladyfinger cookies

1 cup strong brewed coffee

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Beat cream cheese, sugar, coffee liqueur and vanilla in a medium bowl until light and creamy. Whip heavy cream to firm peaks. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until well blended. Arrange one package of ladyfingers in an 8 x 8 inch dish, one layer only. Drizzle the ladyfingers with half the brewed coffee. Top with half the cream cheese mixture, spreading smoothly. Sprinkle with half the cocoa powder. Arrange the remaining ladyfinger cookies over the cocoa, one layer of cookies only. Drizzle with the remaining coffee. Top with the remaining cream cheese mixture, spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining cocoa powder on top. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Makes about 8 servings.

 
 

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Five Minute Gluten-free Chocolate Mug Cake…long name, short time to a sweet treat!

I know this recipe has been all over the internet for years now, using regular all-purpose flour. I’ve tried that one and it doesn’t taste good at all. The texture just isn’t right – too rubbery. Maybe I didn’t find the right recipe? Anyway, we’re gluten-free now…

So, when I substituted Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix for the regular flour, it came out good enough to fill my husband’s craving for something chocolate and sweet. The texture is not exactly like chocolate cake, more spongy, but we make this often enough that it is something we look forward to enjoying. It has good flavor and we can whip it up anytime we want a sweet treat.

I think it’s really important to use a baking mix that has baking soda, salt and baking powder already in it, or add it on your own. I know there is a Gluten-free Bisquick mix on the market now, and it may work in this recipe, but I have not tried it, so I can’t make any promises.

The other important piece of this recipe is the microwave wattage. If you don’t know the wattage of your microwave, check the manual that came with it. Or, look for the sticker with a serial number and other small printing on it. The sticker may be located on the back of the machine or when you open the door, it might be facing you. Somewhere on that sticker it should say what the wattage output is – microwaves have varying amounts of outputs, usually from 700W to 1400W. (My microwave is 1200W output, so I have to adjust it for this recipe.)

If you want to get the correct cooking time for your microwave for this recipe, click here and it will bring you to a Microwave Conversion chart. Scroll down to the “Convert Microwave Cooking Times” box and enter 1000 in the “From Wattage” box, enter your microwave’s wattage in the “To Wattage” box and enter 3 minutes, 0 seconds. Press “GO” and the chart will give how much time to cook this recipe using your microwave on HIGH. I’m sorry if this sounds a bit confusing, but it will help the recipe come out better, I promise!

Let me know how it comes out when you try it… I’d like to hear your ideas and suggestions! Enjoy!

 

Five Minute Gluten-Free Chocolate Mug Cake

4 tablespoons Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 egg

3 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons canola oil

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons chocolate chips

In an extra-large coffee mug, add the first three dry ingredients and mix well. Add the egg, milk, oil and vanilla extract and mix very well until completely combined. Add the chocolate chips on top – don’t stir in. Place mug in the microwave oven and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (oven watts may vary, adjust power or time accordingly). The cake will rise near the top of the mug and fall again – this is normal! Allow to cool slightly and tip onto a plate. Cut in half lengthwise and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. Makes 2 servings.

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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Desserts

 

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Avocado Lime Pie…really creamy!

Why would anyone put an avocado in a pie? Well, the first time I saw something similar to this was on the Food Network show “Chopped” a couple years ago. I decided to try it this week and see if I could make something gluten-free and delicious. I think it worked, but the true test is if someone else likes it too (my husband does, but he likes almost everything)! It has the consistency of pudding, with a mild lime flavor and not too sweet. I can’t taste the avocado myself, but I think it adds a wonderful creaminess to the pie. The walnut crust has a nice crunchy texture and I think pecans or almonds would work just as well.

It really has to be chilled well, so it’s firm enough to cut. The flecks you see are from the walnuts leftover in the food processor. I used the food processor for the crust first, then without cleaning it, added the filling ingredients and processed them. This saves me time and makes for less dish duty. Always a bonus in my kitchen!

Serve with fresh whipped cream – yum!

Avocado Lime Pie

Crust:

2½ cups shelled walnut pieces

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Filling:

1 ripe avocado, pitted and skinned

1 container (7 oz.) 2% plain Greek yogurt (or 1 cup sour cream)

3 tablespoons lime juice

1/3 cup sugar

¼ cup Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix

2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 inch pie plate. For the crust, place the walnuts in a food processor and grind until crumbly. Add in the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Process until well blended. Press firmly into the greased pie plate. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges begin to brown slightly. Let cool.

Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Again using the food processor, add the filling ingredients and blend very well. Pour the batter on top of the walnut crust in the pie plate. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the center is set. Let cool, then chill for a minimum of 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream. Makes 8 servings.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Desserts

 

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Apple Crumble…add sweetness to your winter!

I went to visit a good friend today. We had a very nice time, chatting about life and things we have in common. She cooked lunch for the two of us and it was delicious! For dessert, she made an Apple Crisp — she said she’s been craving one for over a week now! (Me, too!) It was so sweet and juicy, with that little bit of crunch on top. It was the perfect way to end the meal.

This reminded me of a recipe I have for Gluten-free Apple Crumble. In the middle of winter when everything is either white or dirty brown (especially in Maine), it’s hard to remember the other seasons and their bounty of ripe, colorful fruit. I’m grateful to be able to get fresh apples that still taste good at this time of the year!

Here’s to winter wherever you are, add a little apple sweetness to your table.

Enjoy!

Apple Crumble (Gluten-free)

Crumb crust/topping:

1½ cups gluten-free rolled oats

2/3 cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup Pamelas’s Gluten-free Baking and Pancake Mix

1 stick butter, softened

Filling:

4 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

½ cup sugar

3 tablespoons Pamela’s Gluten-free Baking & Pancake Mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. For the crust — in a large bowl combine oats, brown sugar and ½ cup Pamela’s mix; stir to combine. Cut butter into oats mixture and blend well. For the filling — in a large bowl combine fruit, spices, sugar and Pamela’s mix; toss with a spoon to coat well. Pour fruit mixture into the greased dish. Spoon oats mixture on top of fruit and spread evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Desserts

 

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