Grain-Free Chocolate Popover Cakes (GFCF)

It was only yesterday that I finally (!) got a hold of The Gluten-Free  Almond Flour Cookbook from my library. I put it on hold ages ago and it only just came in. If the title sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve been to the author Elana Amsterdam’s blog, Elana’s Pantry. Would I recommend her cookbook? Definitely. The book is nothing short of beautiful colour photography and has ninety-nine recipes included, all made with almond flour and sweetened with agave nectar. The cookbook is also just the right size, too, for carrying around and resting on your kitchen counter for it to be by your side as you cook or bake out of it.

Because all her recipes are made with almond flour [edit: some recipes also use arrowroot powder], the recipes are very easy and simple – at a glance, that goes for even the more complicated ones. In my own experience with baking with almond flour, it is much simpler to use because you’re not having to deal with a mix of gluten-free grain flours as is often the case with gluten-free baking by and large. Baking with gluten-free flour mixes, which here I mean working with a variety of flours, i.e. one cup of this flour, one cup of that flour, not pre-mixed baking mixes, isn’t hard either but it can feel complicated to those new to gluten-free baking and are still learning to get their way around. Baking with almond flour alone will not give the same results as baking with wheat or other gluten flours, or even gluten-free flours, but many things often taste just as good, if not better, depending on what it is you’re making.

As Elana’s recipes are based on using almond flour, her recipes can be easily tweaked for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet – really, the only thing you could tweak is just substituting the agave nectar [edit: and yacon syrup, which she also uses] with honey instead. Chocolate is not one of things allowed on the SCD for what is a largely unknown reason, or at least never has been fully explained, but if you want to treat yourself, this is it. Or at least one of several. Sugar-free, dairy-free, grain-free, and, of course, gluten-free.

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Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Icing (GFCF)

When Diane of The W.H.O.L.E. Gang announced she was hosting Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free, with the theme Scared Silly: food that we were scared to try, but really had no reason to as soon as we tried it (and liked it), I wasn’t sure.  To my knowledge, I’ve never been afraid to try anything; add to that, there’s hardly a food I don’t like. It’s effort to think of foods I don’t like. But when I started thinking of food that I like or love, in an unfamiliar context, then I started to think. The first thing that came to mind was avocado in chocolate: while I’ve expressed enthusiasm to try it many a time, warming to the idea of using it as a replacement for cream in recipes, I just didn’t do it. So far it was just all talk, but no walk – I decided to change that.

So, with an avocado in hand, I went out to make frosting for cupcakes that I had made the day before. My family loves these cupcakes – to me, they’re a good, gluten-free version of a standard vanilla cake or cupcake you could find anywhere. How did I do with the frosting? Well, everyone who has tried it so far has liked it – the only thing I don’t do is tell anyone there’s avocado in it until they try, unless I know they’re the adventurous type. 😉

And with that said, make this my Halloween post for the year.

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Adopt a GF Blogger: Cinnamon Quill’s Chocolate Mochi Cake (GFCF)

Chocolate cupcakes last week, chocolate mochi today. It’s chocolate on chocolate! I try not to post anything too similar close together, just for variety, but in this case it was inevitable just due to timings and my schedule – consequently you can expect some backlog here, but that’s alright – it just means more to spread over the course of October.

This month’s Adopt a GF Blogger was hosted by none other than the creator herself, Sea of Book of Yum – her site’s a wonderful plethora of recipes, all gluten-free and with a wide, international range, and you find yourself lingering there for quite a time, before leaving with armloads of recipes you want to try and ones you can make right now. (Who knows, maybe I’ll adopt her next time.)

This is my second time to participate in this event – I was giddy to participate: waiting in anticipation for that adoption sign-up sheet to pop up, and then the rush of everyone signing up, picking who they want to adopt – some trading off if more than one person picked the same blogger as is sometimes the case. When I signed up, I picked Jenn of Cinnamon Quill – in addition to her blog, she also runs the fantastic Gluten-Free Feed website: think of it as a gluten-free Tastespotting or Foodgawker, if you will, but much more open in several ways. Off the top of my head, I’ve submitted about two or three recipes of mine so far. Through Gluten Free Feed, I’ve also found several blogs I don’t think I would have otherwise or recipes from blogs that I do follow but that I missed the first time round!

For my adoption, I chose to make Jenn’s Dark Chocolate Infused Mochi Cake. Inspired by a blueberry mochi cake, this mochi cake uses cocoa powder. This is not the kind of mochi traditionally associated with Japanese New Year and other Japanese holidays (although it is also eaten year-round), which is sticky and made from pounding glutinous or sweet rice into a paste. This mochi is made from sweet rice flour, also known as mochiko, and this cannot be substituted or else it would not be mochi anymore, as well as most likely not possess the same characteristics – this second part here I’m only guessing as I have not attempted to make the mochi with any other rice flour.

One day I do want to make the sticky mochi, but not today.

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