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January 14, 2013 by Tamika
A new year. A new gluten-free cake.
Much of the world right now is starting a-new, focusing on fasting, juicing, internally cleansing all that accumulated over the last year, if that can be done. We did not buy ourselves a juicer or vita-mix, (we chose entertainment!) and while I have healthy intentions (more exercise, less grains consumed weekly) my cleansing this year is in my WORDS. I find myself saying ‘we need’ too often, and feeling it. We NEED a vita-mix. We NEED a juicer, an espresso machine (maybe). We Need a new toaster oven, coffee maker, sewing machine, dang OOMPA LOOMPA for goodness sakes (would that I had a thousand bucks just to buy all the new ‘necessities’, I NEED the Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs). Early in the morn, when I go out to take care of our chickens, if I take a few minutes to meditate on the beauty of our little homestead I can find the grounding point, the center in me which strives to not be entangled in this suburban, sub-rural culture just shy of NYC. ‘Oh yes, You want to be a farmer, an activist, an educator, a nurturer.’ I remember, my intentions become important, my words clean.
This has everything to do with baking a cake. Baking is tradition, history, scientific, mathematical, skill oriented, hands-on work that is satisfying on emotional, physical and spiritual levels. The skills our fore-fathers and mothers grew our CULTURE and our Countries on. We get back to basics when we bake, like planting seeds that will become food. Sure we’re using a stand mixer, great ovens (compared to wood burning and fireplaces) technology that has developed over many years, due, in part, to our homesteading, farming, industrious relatives. Baking, and cooking, for me, are as grounding as tending my chickens and garden.
It’s no surprise then that I should bake a NEW cake right after the intense holiday order-filling baking blast. Having nothing to do with sugar and fat cravings (I don’t), I just needed grounding. I also found my December issue of Food and Wine, which somehow made it’s way to my mother-in-law instead of me.
Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake
(adapted from Food and Wine: Reverse Marble Bundt Cake recipe)
2 tsp cocoa powder (plus more for dusting)
10 oz dark chocolate, chopped
3 1/4 cups ap basic gf flour blend
1 tbsp psyllium husk powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
8 oz unsalted butter at room temp (not warm), cut into pieces
2 cups organic sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
12- 16 oz yoghurt (if yoghurt is very thick, such as Greek, you’ll need 16 oz)
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350*
Coat 10 inch bundt pan with spray oil or butter, then sprinkle with cocoa powder or ap gf flour to coat. Set aside.
Melt chopped chocolate either in microwave at 30 second increments or in a stainless bowl over an inch of simmering water. With both methods heat chocolate almost to melted, remove from heat and stir to combine chunks still remaining. Whisk in 2 tsp of cocoa.
Sift gf flour blend with remaining dry ingredients into a bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl with a hand mixer), beat butter at medium speed until very smooth. Add both sugars, beating until fluffy, scraping down the sides of bowl once. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scrape bowl, add 12 oz yoghurt.
At low speed blend in the dry ingredients in 3 batches, scraping sides of bowl in between. If the cake batter seems too stiff add remaining yoghurt.
Coat your bundt pan with gf flour or cocoa.
Spoon 1/2 the chocolate batter into the bundt pan, spreading it into the shape of your pan (remember, the bottom is the top).
Add the vanilla batter, spreading just in the center of the chocolate, swirling the batters together a bit with a knife. Add the remaining chocolate batter on top, spreading evenly, then swirl a few more times. Tap pan on your counter firmly a few times to settle the batter (and release air bubbles). Bake in the center of your preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
It’s perfectly normal for the cake to crack. Let cool for an hour before inverting on a serving plate.[caption id="attachment_177" align="aligncenter" width="590"] gluten free Chocolate Marbled Bundt Cake[/caption]
Mix a spoonful of powdered sugar, pinch of cinnamon and pure chili powder (if you like!) into a small mesh strainer (I use a tea strainer), with a spoon gently tap the sides sprinkling the blend over the cake .
LET THEM EAT CAKE in this new year! Hand made, labour of love CAKE.
December 2, 2012 by Tamika
I’m not sure why I’ve avoided baking biscotti all these gluten free years. I used to have a small, local, cookie company focusing on biscotti, the gluten version (Bodhi Biscotti). They were so popular I was baking biscotti all the time, I limited myself and became bored. With the holiday season upon us, and one of my busiest baking-to-order times, I decided to try a small batch yesterday, what did I have to loose? I used the same old tried and true base recipe, added some dried cranberries, pistachio and cocoa nibs. Perfect. Exactly how they used to be gluten!
Now if I could just let go and be brave in the rest of my life.
I offer you a base recipe for gluten free biscotti. This is based on an old traditional recipe handed down to me from someone (I forgot!), devoid of any added fats, though a tablespoon of good olive oil can be used as a lovely flavouring. Be totally creative with this recipe, but avoid too much added liquid, it makes the dough very soft and sticky and will spread like a cookie in the oven instead of holding it’s shape.
Gluten Free Biscotti
2 1/2 cups apothecary basics all purpose flour mix (recipe found on this page) *
2 tsp. psyllium husk powder
1/2 tsp apple pectin powder (optional, adds a bit of structure)
1 tsp salt
1 cup organic sugar or other dry sweetener (maple sugar, madura, palm sugar)
3 or 4 large eggs (if you want to add a tbsp of olive oil do so after the 3rd egg)
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1 cup raw pistachios
1 cup dried cranberries, soaked in very hot water for 15 minutes then blotted dry
1/2 cup cocoa nibs
Egg for egg wash
coarse sugar to top
Preheat oven to 350* line baking sheet with parchment or silicone (silpat)
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine all the dry ingredients (through sugar), turn mixer on low a minute to blend. Add eggs one at a time with the paddle blade on medium, after three eggs let the dough mix thoroughly, if it doesn’t come together into a ball add a little olive oil or another egg. Add extract, pistachios, cranberries and cocoa nibs.
Scoop the dough out on to a (gf ) floured surface, with floured hands need it into a log shape, if the dough is too loose to hold it’s shape need in a little flour at a time, it will be sticky, but should stay in place.
Make an egg wash by whisking an egg with a little water. Spread a thin layer on top of biscotti log, sprinkle with coarse natural sugar.
Gently place biscotti log onto prepared baking sheet, put on a rack in the middle of your oven, bake for 25-35 minutes, until golden on top and a little hollow sounding when thumped. Remove from oven and let cool to warm or room temp.
With a bread knife, cut log into 1/2 inch slices, either on a diagonal or straight across (diagonal will give you longer pieces).
Lay these bake on your baking sheet cut side up and bake for another 20-30 minutes, turning once halfway through, until golden. If you like biscotti drier, bake another 10 minutes.
(sorry about the blurry picture.. only one I had. It’s really annoying)
Some variations to consider:
chopped crystallized ginger and dark chocolate!
dried cherry with pine nuts (or almonds, or pecans, or chocolate!)
chopped candied orange peel and chopped dates, with a 1/2 tsp cinnamon and cardamom!
Cocoa nibs with dried chili powders, cinnamon and chopped candied orange peel!
lemon zest with chopped toasted almond and almond extract!
chopped dried apricot with pine nuts and dried lavender!
Oh MY, the list can go on.. you get the idea!
*Keep in mind I only ever use my tried and true flour blends, if you should choose to use a commercial blend I can’t be held responsible for your biscotti (or anything) not working. that said, King Arthur brand GF flour mix is basically rice, tapioca, potato starch and should be a good substitute. It’s considerably less expensive to mix your own.