Another great cookbook jumped off the shelf and into my arms at the library recently. This one is called Great Gluten Free Baking by Louise Blair. Can you guess where she's from by her name? She's a food stylist and home economist in the United Kingdom. Her gluten free cookbook is just FULL of wonderful recipes; sweet to savory, breads, scones, biscuits, and some elegant, but not too difficult desserts.
We've tried two of them over the last couple of weeks - Speckled Beet Cake was the first. It seemed like a fun way to use the beets we've been getting at the farm. (And an excellent way to get them eaten by all family members.)
The batter turns a beautiful hot pink with the folding in of the grated beets. The recipe said to bake it in a deep 8 or 9 inch round cake pan, but since my round cake pans are rather shallow, we opted for a bundt pan. It turned out fine, but I'd be interested to see the difference had we had the proper pan. The kids were a bit reluctant to try it, but since Kayla helped with the whole process, she went first and assured her brothers it was good. And it WAS good, but if I were you I'd arrange to not have any other dessert-type items around (especially those involving chocolate) when you serve this cake. If it is the only sugar filled option in your house, it is sure to get eaten! :)
Beet Speckled Cake
1 3/4 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
2-3 beets, peeled and grated
1 1/4 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, or mixed nuts. We omitted the nuts.)
3 eggs, separated
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
grated rind and juice of one orange
1 1/4 cup rice flour
3 Tbsp ground almonds (I used Trader Joe's Almond Meal)
(We also went without icing, and it was great. With icing it should be wonderful!)
1 cup cream cheese
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 cup nuts (this could be optional)
Cream butter and sugar. Stir in beets, nuts, and egg yolks. In a separate bowl mix together rice flour, ground almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, orange rind, orange juice. Add to butter/beet mixture and beat until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Cool. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and spread onto cooled cake. Decorate with nuts if desired.
The other recipe we tried this week was Cheese, Corn, and Bacon Snack Muffins. Cooper had his first day of Classical Conversations on Tuesday, so we considered it the first day of school for the whole family, and I made a special breakfast that included mocha smoothies and these muffins. These are great for breakfast or for mid-morning/late-afternoon snacks - which are a very regular occurrence in my house! They are just the perfect combination of protein and carbs, it seems.
Cheese, Corn, & Bacon Snack Muffins
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup corn flour
2/3 cup polenta
(I just used 1 cup corn meal in place of the flour and polenta)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
6 Tbsp butter
1 cup buttermilk (or the vinegar in milk trick)
1/3 cup corn kernals (I used frozen)
2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 oz Canadian bacon (I fried mine a bit beforehand)
3 1/2 oz. cheddar cheese - cut into 12 cubes
(I used thick cut slices of colby/jack)
Combine all dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Cream eggs, butter, and buttermilk in separate bowl. Add liquid ingredients to dry ones and stir to combine. Add corn, bacon, parmesan cheese, and salt - mix well. Fill muffin tin cups with a spoonful (fill cup 1/2 full) of batter. Place cheese cube on top, and cover with remaining batter. Bake for 20 minutes and 350 degrees.
I doubled this recipe with no trouble, and we've been snacking on these all week - or using them as a side for dinner or lunch meals.