Thursday, February 18, 2010

nobody knows precisely where spelt orginated, but it was popular in the dark ages, so i am guessing nowhere good.

apparently, some people who are wheat sensitive/allergic/etc can have spelt. Leslie isn't one of them, praise Elvis! however, in my new babycakes cookbook she has spelt recipes for these people for whatever reason. as for me, let the replace spelt trials begin!

as i adore cobbler, i decided to start with the blackberry, peach& oat cobbler on page 126. how to replace 1 cup of spelt flour? well, for the first try, i thought i would use a pre made mix, bob's red mills baking mix has sorghum flour, fava bean flour, garbanzo bean flour and tapioca starch. i also used apples instead of peaches because fresh peaches in Colorado in February? i have more faith in santa. and apples, like stone fruit, hold their shape when baked. and since i used apples i replaced the cinnamon with nutmeg and added a wee bit of cardamom. result? not bad, but the cobbler topping didn't brown as well as i like and wasn't too crispy, more doughy. & i wasn't crazy about having it be spiced and no spices in the fruit. trial #2 had me using 3/4 c of bob's mix, then adding 2 tablespoons of coconut flour and a tablespoon of potato starch, and an extra tablespoon of tapioca starch. i upped to rolled oats to 1/2 cup (i am an oat fan). i also altered the recipe so that the spices got mixed in with the fruit. result? WOOHOO! the coconut flour lent it a more nutty taste, it was crispier and more evenly browned. more oats helped too, especially with crunch. so am going to post this recipe,(i also submitted it to slightly indulgent Tuesday) with my alterations:

Blackberry, Peach&Oat Cobbler

3 cups sliced fresh peaches, with skin
1 cup fresh blackberries
1/4 cup arrowroot
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup bob's red mills gfree baking mix (or your own)
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 tablespoon potato starch
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
1/2 cup rolled oats (gfree certified, duh)
3 tablespoons evaporated cane juice, plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or spice to your liking)
1/4 cup coconut oil, plus more for brushing
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 c hot water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. (i live about 5k, so i do 350) line bottom of 8 x 3 inch round cake pan with circle of parchment and brush with oil. or just brush with oil, if you have no parchment.
In small bowl, whisk arrowroot, cinnamon (or whatever spice you are using),and 1/4 teaspoon salt together. Add fruit and stir. Add 1/4c of the agave nectar, stir and set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together the flours and starches, oats, 3 tablespoons of the evaporated cane juice, baking powder, and remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt. Add the oil, remaining 1/4cup of agave nectar, the vanilla and the hot water to the dry ingredients. Stir until a moist dough is formed, like 4 min.

Using a rubber spatula, spread the fruit mixture evenly in prepared pan. Drop spoonfuls of batter over the top of the fruit, but DON'T SPREAD. Sprinkle the top with evaporated cane juice.

Bake the cobbler on center rack for 20-25 minutes, or until it is smelling divine and the fruit is bubbling through gaps in the crust and said crust is the shade of golden that you desire.

Let cobbler stand for 15 minutes before serving warm. I like mine with either a berry sorbet or coconut bliss coconut ice cream.

In the unlikely event that there is any leftover, it keeps for up to 3 days at room temperature, covered in plastic.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

we are not men- we read directions

in my quest to make gluten free, vegan baked goods i found a cookbook called Babycakes written by a bakery owner in New York City! fabulous, i thought to myself, as i ordered it toot suite off of amazon. upon its arrival, i was promptly drooling, looking at all the amazing pictures. however, as the title of this post reiterates, i am not a man, i read the entire cookbook cover to cover before i even went shopping. so, i set a date for friends to come over to eat, drink and not damage my new TV. i made everything according to Leslie's diet, so we were all eating gluten free, mostly vegan dinner; i say mostly vegan as we had pork roast, but no butter, cheese or other dairy products. does that count? what do you call people who eat in accordance with a vegan lifestyle in everything but meat? just dairyless diet? but i digress. for dessert i had made the chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting-mainly because i adore anything chocolate and the reviews on amazon were strangely vehement in their frosting angst. how hard could it be, really? (yes i am frequently smug)i followed the directions for the frosting; substituting hemp protein powder and hemp milk for the soy protein powder and soy milk-which she says to do if you are allergic to soy, which we are. i made sure the coconut oil was at room temp. i assembled it all in my trusty blender and whirled the ingredients into chocolate sauce goodness. i poured it into tupperware and set into the refrigerator to set up, believing the book that promised it would.
onto the cupcakes themselves. since the recipe called for cocoa, i automatically bloomed(whisked with hot liquid to bring out flavor)it in the hot coffee, then added to the remaining ingredients. oops. recipe didn't call for that. hoping i hadn't screwed it up irreparably, i baked them in muffin tins. they came out smelling like heaven. i knew they were gluten free, sweetened with agave nectar of all things and had no eggs, but when i tasted them i had no idea-it was plain chocolate goodness in my mouth. i did notice they crumbled easier than college girls at mardi gras- super delicate crumb. note to self-ALWAYS use cupcake liners. i made sure i put them away in zip loc for the next day. 12 hours later, the frosting DID set up. and still tasted like chocolate! maybe not the chocolate frosting with butter i am used to, but tasty. so, as my friends are walking in, i am frosting cupcakes, hopeful that people won't gag en mass when eating them. as i am making the coffee, people start in on the cupcakes. i am asked multiple times for the recipe, by people who have no idea these are gluten free and vegan. when i gave it to them their reaction was complete shock. so two recipes in, a successful baking event. sorry no picture though, they were gone before i could find my camera-yes they were that good. i decided to post a review on amazon, so that i can rebut those negative ones, the gist of which was: if you can't be bothered to read the directions, we can't be bothered to listen to your whiny assed complaints.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

1st post

the title of my blog refers to my fabulous friend/sister-Leslie. she was recently diagnosed gluten intolerant, soy intolerant, egg intolerant and casein intolerant. no wheat. no soy (not that i think that is a loss, personally. i think most soy products taste like newspaper your let your dog poo on, then ground and mashed for food. fortuantely for me, i am soy intolerant as well), no eggs, no butter, no milk, no cheese, no yogurt, no...well, you can, literally write pages of what she CAN NOT have. so, this means that in addition to gluten free challenges, she also eats like a vegan. unless she is eating meat, which she does, because she is not cutting anything else out of her diet. i looked at this like a food challenge, one i am determined to be victorious in so that she can have cookies, and cake and frosting and fried chicken everything she once had eaten. but, you know, within her dietery constrants. yes, i am amazingly OCD, however did you guess? so this blog will detail my experiements, the good, bad and the ugly. there might even be pictures. and as the title of my blog spot details, i am petite, have red hair, and frequently cranky. or just downright bitchy, it all depends on the day and my caffiene consumption throughout. small warning to the world at large.