Friday, May 24, 2013

Macarons and the Learning Curve

Yes, as in French Macarons. I made a batch of chocolate and a batch of vanilla, two different recipes. The chocolate recipe turned out to be the best recipe to follow since no liquid food color or liquid vanilla was added.

There is a fine line in folding the meringue into the dry ingredients. If macaronage isn't done correctly the macarons don't have the right consistency. Not enough mixing results in the outer surface not having that smooth even look, which is the result above with my chocolate batch. Over mixing makes the meringue mixture too wet with a baked result of hollowness and cracking. Under baking will cause hollowness too since the inside doesn't get a chance to fully cook. Even though the outside of my vanilla batch is brown, the inside was under cooked and hallow. I macaronage the vanilla batch to what looked like the right texture, but with the liquid vanilla added that made for more moisture in the batter. Lowering the oven temperature and longer baking time most likely was what I should have done with the vanilla batch.

Rapping of the tray on the counter before cooking is a must to dislodge any air bubbles that could rise up to cause cracking of the shell.

I made one more batch of the chocolate since I felt that I had the hang of the macaronage technique. The top has that smoothness and the bottom has the classic feet. Looks good!

Since I'm not a fan of the buttercream bases, I filled all batches with mascarpone that had been mixed with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and 2 tbls of Hershey's 100% cacao since.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Strawberry Cake

Well this cake flopped! It fell after I took the cake out of the oven. That's when I knew this cake would be super dense, not the fluffy cake seen in the recipe's photo. I followed this recipe:

After reading many of the comments left about the recipe, I noticed that a couple of others had problems of the cake collapsing too. The cake is tasty and worthy of another try to rectify the fiasco. Next time I make this recipe, I will separate the egg whites, whisk egg whites into stiff peaks, and then fold whites into the batter. The recipe calls for baking at 350F for 30-40 minutes, but I plan to bake the cake in a water bath at 300 F oven for 60 minutes. Hopefully that will work!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Gluten-free Chocolate Babka Buns

These are simple the BEST! The dough is just like a yeast dough!
I followed Karen Morgan's recipe:

My dough was very wet and sticky after the 30 minute rise compared to the recipe's dough. Since the stickiness made the kneading of the dough impossible, I just added more glutinous rice flour until I had the same consistence as shown in the recipe's photo.

These buns are so tasty with the warm melted chocolate. The next day, they still had the same texture of dough as they did when taken out of the oven.

I'm planning to use this dough recipe with a savory filling. A ham and cheese filling would make for a yummy breakfast bun too.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Perfect Popovers

I love popovers. I thought I would never be able to make the perfect popover with non-wheat flours, but was I ever wrong.

This excellent recipe can be found in the Gluten-Free Makeover cookbook by Beth Hillson. Her recipe calls for her basic blend flour and 1/4 cup of chickpea flour.  I substituted the chickpea flour with oat flour and used buttermilk for the milk. I was very surprised with how well this recipe worked with substitutions. The texture is just like the wheat flour popovers.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Rosemary Rolls

These rosemary rolls are a perfect accompaniment to the Chicken with Thirty Clovers of Garlic dish. The bread recipe can be found in "gluten-free girl and the chef" cookbook.

I baked these rolls on a pizza stone on the grill to achieve the flawless texture. 
Even though this dough requires 3 hours preparing, it's well worth the wait since the rolls are wonderful to use in soaking up the garlic gravy in the scrumptious chicken dish.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Maraschino-Marzipan Kisses

These elegant cookies are so easy to make. The recipe is from Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free cookbook. I was so surprised as to how easily it is to make marzipan from just almond flour, sugar, almond extract, and egg whites.

The centers of these delicious cookies are maraschino cherries.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chicken with 30 Cloves of Garlic

This is a very simple meal to assemble and bake. The chicken always comes out so moist and tasty without the garlic overpowering the dish.

Wash and dry chicken quarters. Pour a small amount of olive oil in bottom of a casserole dish to just coat the bottom of the dish. Place one layer of chicken quarters in dish, and then top quarters with half of the garlic cloves, chopped rosemary and thyme. Add remaining chicken quarters and top with remaining garlic and herbs.

To make the dough seal for this dish:
I use to make this dish with a wheat flour paste to seal the lid of the casserole dish. Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour can be used alone with psyllium to make the dough paste as a substitute.

I used about 1 cup of the flour, 1/4 cup of psyllium, and water to make a thick paste. If the paste is too thin it just runs down the rim of the casserole dish.

Place the thick paste on rim of dish and then place lid on top to seal. It doesn't have to be pretty or perfect since it's just a seal.

Bake for in 375 F for 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is cooked. Pry open the lid with knife. There will be lots of wonderful juices that can be use to dip gluten-free rosemary dinner rolls into the juices.