Black Bean Brownies

I needed a gluten-free, vegan brownie recipe for my niece’s shower and found two excellent recipes.

Check them out on these blogs:

Vegan, Gluten-free Black Bean Brownies from the Minimalist Baker – Who would believe that a can of black beans and some cocoa could taste this good!!

Vegan Zucchini Brownies from Chocolate Covered Katie, The Healthy Dessert Blog

I made these in mini muffin pans and topped them with a small swirl of vanilla “butter” cream frosting (made with margarine and almond milk)


 

 

 

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Strawberry Pavlova

Pavlova Mmmm

I think this is the ultimate Canada Day dessert with it’s red and white colour scheme and local berries at their peak! You can make individual or family size meringues and they are so portable for picnics or potlucks or camping. Put them together when you are ready to serve! Use a handy can of whipped cream if you are not at home.

This morning I was able to spend time at our local berry patch, Morrison’s Berries, http://ontariofarmfresh.com/member-pages/morrison-berries-country-market/ listening to the birds and enjoying the summer holiday while picking a basket of strawberries. I seldom pick more than 6 quarts of berries at a time. That way I have an excuse to go again and again and it does not become a chore. To make our pavlova even more of a Canadian treat we harvested our first Saskatoon berries from bushes in our gardens. They are really abundant this year and taste like a cross between a currant and a blueberry and I think they will mix in nicely with the strawberries on top!

Meringues BakedSaskatoon Berry Bush

Pavlova– Click here for pdf version of recipe

Meringue:
3 egg whites, preferably room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Custard: This recipe makes enough for 2 batches of meringue or a Strawberry C  ream Pie
1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt, or less
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping:

Strawberries as desired, about 1 1/2 quarts washed and hulled
Sweetened whipped cream Meringue:

Whip egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean bowl with clean beaters until soft peaks form.
Gradually beat in sugar until stiff peaks form then stir in vanilla.
Spread all of meringue in a circle on parchment*lined baking sheet using a spoon to smooth and indent the centre slightly. I have also made individual meringues using a muffin scoop. This will make about 7- 8 individual forms.
Bake at 250°F for 45 -60 minutes until dry and firm. If you are not certain if it is quite done you may shut the oven off and leave it in until it cools
Custard:

Mix sugar, corn starch and salt until corn starch is evenly distributed to prevent lumps. Whisk in milk and microwave on high for 6 – 9 minutes, stopping to stir every 3 minutes When mixture has come to a boil and started to thicken add egg yolks putting a bit of the
hot mix into the yolks first to temper them.
Return to microwave and bring back to a boil, about 2 minutes.
Remove and add butter and vanilla, stirring until smooth.
Place a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap on top to keep from forming a skin and let cool.Cover baked meringue with cooled custard and berries. Top with a little sweetened whipped cream.

Anne’s Favourites Serves about 6

* You may use foil instead but lightly grease it before spreading meringue.

Hot Cross Buns – Gluten-free Easter Delight

Toasted Day Old Hot Cross BunsThese are the ones I tried today (March 9, 2013) with the 1/4 cup applesauce added. I like the extra moisture and taste :)
These are the ones I tried today (March 9, 2013) with the 1/4 cup applesauce added. I like the extra moisture and taste :)<br

Hot Cross Buns – GF< Click here for pdf version of GF Recipe
Marion’s Hot Cross Buns (Wheat)< Click here for the Original Recipe with Wheat

I’m about 4 blogs behind getting posted but I had to bump these Hot Cross Buns to the top because they were so good and last year I thought I would never get another toasted, fruity Hot Cross Bun the way I like to make them with wheat (There is a great recipe for the wheat version in Anne’s Favourites pg 96 and I will attach the pdf). Once I got the hamburger bun (a future blog) recipe developed a lightbulb went on and I just knew they would adapt to this Easter treat! I wish I would have thought about the Maple Syrup as the glaze before writing Anne's Favourites because it worked perfectly

The English muffin rings are available at The Kitchen Cupboard and Icebox http://www.kitchencupboardandicebox.com in Listowel at a really reasonable price. I bought 3 packages so I have 12. They are great for gluten-free baking, giving you an easy form to spread the dough into and edges to bake which really helps structurally and that is what you are missing without gluten. I use them to make sandwich/hamburger buns also.

I can't wait to make these again on the week-end and will try adding ¼ cup of applesauce to the dough and see how I like that. If you try these please let me know how they turn out for you.

Hot Cross Buns – Gluten-free
3/4 cup milk, scalded
1/4 cup melted margarine
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp honey
2 cups GF AP flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup whey powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp instant yeast
2 eggs
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins, I like to use some golden
1/4 cup mixed peel
1/4 cup candied cherries
maple syrup to brush tops
Scald milk and let cool with margarine, water and honey while measuring remaining
ingredients
Sift together GF all purpose and sweet rice flour, tapioca and potato starch, whey powder,
salt, xanthan gum, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Add yeast, eggs, cider vinegar and vanilla to lukewarm liquid ingredients.
Pour in sifted dry ingredients and mix on low until combined. Scrape bowl and mix on
medium speed for 4 minutes.
During last minute of mixing add raisins, peel and cherries and combine thoroughly.
Scoop into 11 or 12 English muffin rings and spread as evenly as you can sealing to the
edges. Let rise uncovered for about an hour until it reaches the top of the pan
Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes until nicely browned and internal temperature
is at least 200 degrees F. Brush immediately with maple syrup if glaze is desired.
You may pipe the cross on with some butter icing if you like.

Gluten-free Baking Tips

There are a couple of guidelines for gluten-free baking which improve the outcome of your efforts tremendously. Both I noted in the directions for recipes posted but they deserve extra emphasis.

When using your own or a commercial gluten-free all purpose flour mix whisk or shake it so you have as even a distribution of the various flours as possible before measuring. Follow this by sifting the measured flour with the xanthan gum, baking soda and other fine, dry ingredients before incorporating into the mixture.

Buy yourself an instant read thermometer and use it to determine when a cake or bread is fully baked. It does leave a hole in the baked product but I even test one of the muffins before removing them from the oven. Batters using starches for structure need to reach an internal temperature of 200 degree F to set properly.