Sunday, March 31, 2013

Orange Pound Cake (Gluten Free) #SundaySupper

Are you shocked to not see a traditional poundcake staring back at you?  Don't fret.  This Orange Pound Cake can be made in a loaf pan and served sliced OR you can get creative like I did and make it into a cake, you know, a pound CAKE.   

Why mess with something already so perfect?

I will have to blame it on the pregnancy hormones. I have not been cooking a whole lot over the last three months. My creative juices were going wild when I finally could step back into the kitchen and see, smell and taste food. I wanted to do something fun for my family.

I don't make a lot of cakes. Gluten free cake mixes are expensive and gf cakes from scratch don't always turn out for me. I found this Lemon Pound Cake recipe from The Baking Beauties and I was blown away. It tasted and felt just like a REAL pound cake.

Our Sunday Supper theme this week is "citrus".  I was excited because I love lemons, limes and oranges. One of my favorite Christmas candies is the chocolate orange that you WHACK on the table to slice. I thought to myself, could I make the pound cake into a cake and add chocolate fudge and achieve the same result: orange and chocolate yumminess?

I think I have come close. Like I said earlier you can make this in a loaf pan or you can make the "cake" version and use 2 nine inch round cake pans. The cook time will be reduced slightly and you can embellish the cake with any toppings or frosting you want.

I chose to use fresh whipped cream, shaved chocolate bar, orange peel zest and my homemade chocolate fudge. I also added some orange marmalade to the center as a filling and dipped orange slices into chocolate to crown the cake. It was a party cake and I had to use all of my accessories...LOL

I cannot wait for you to see all of the Citrus delights being shared by my friends for Sunday Supper this week. Our host is Jen from Juanita Cocina. The list of recipe links is below my recipe.

I hope your weekend is going well. Ours has been wonderful with a visit from the Easter bunny, a few dozen boiled eggs and T-Bone Steaks.  This is the first Easter dinner in 25 years I have not made a ham or leg of lamb.  The family voted and this is what they wanted. I think it has a lot to do with our Spring like weather and the fact they want to be outside using the BBQ.  It is just fine with me as long as they are happy and we are together.

Recipe: Orange Pound Cake, Gluten Free
Adapted from The Baking Beauties

3/4 cup super fine white rice flour (151g)
5 tablespoons sweet rice flour (40g)
5 tablespoons potato starch (55g)
4 tablespoons tapioca starch (40g)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 cup of butter, soft
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

Toppings are optional:   Cream for whipped cream, chocolate bar to grate, orange marmalade for cake, orange rind for zest, orange slices for dipped oranges, dark chocolate chips to dip orange slices in and hot fudge sauce.

HOT FUDGE SAUCE:  1 can of condense milk, 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of chocolate chips.  Combine in a pan and warm.  Stir to combine.  Serve on cake, ice cream or use to dip fruit.

Preheat oven to 325.  If using a loaf pan, line with parchment and spray ends of pan.  If using the 2 round nine inch cake pans, cut circles of parchment paper for the bottom and spray the sides.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and whisk well.

In a separate bowl, add sugar and butter. Beat for 4 minutes until light yellow.

Add one egg at a time to the butter/sugar mixture, combine well after the addition of each egg.  Add vanilla.

Alternate the orange juice/milk and dry ingredients when blending in with the egg/butter/sugar mixture.

The batter will be thick.  Add to the prepared loaf pan or distribute equal amounts of batter to the 2 cake pans.

Bake the loaf pan for 60-65 minutes and the two cake pans for 40 minutes.  A toothpick should come out clean.

Let cool for 5 minutes and remove to cookie rack to finish cooling. To assemble the cake, they should be completely cool.

Wrap well.  The pound cake is good for 3-4 days on the counter.  NOTE:  It will get drier the longer it sits out.

To make the orange slices:  Dip orange slices into melted chocolate chips. Cool on parchment paper until ready to use. If in a hurry, you can put them in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm the chocolate.

To assemble the cake:  Place one cake round on bottom of cake plate, cover with chocolate fudge, add a layer of orange marmalade.  Tip the second layer over and cover with fudge sauce and then add it to the top of the orange marmalade.  Top the cake with fudge sauce (it will fall over the sides and the insides will ooze out from the center).  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Remove and add whipped cream, shaved chocolate, orange zest and chocolate covered oranges.

Sorry this picture below is not prettier but this shows you all the layers really well.

Better with Citrus Breakfasts:
Big On Citrus Breads & Condiments:
Make You Pucker Salads, Sides, & Main Dishes:
Sour Citrusy Sweets & Desserts:
Sour Sips & Drinks:

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, March 31st to talk all about citrus recipes! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

Written by Sherron Watson

Sunday, March 24, 2013

French Gratin Potatoes #SundaySupper

This Sunday our Sunday Supper group is sharing Passover and Easter recipes.  When I think of Easter in my home growing up we always had ham and scallop potatoes.  In fact, my sister has kept the tradition going for many years, when the celebration is held in her home.

I find myself experimenting with dishes and changing things up sometimes.  This potato dish is different then the one I grew up with because the cheese is a different style and flavor and this changes the dish slightly.  I like the use of gruyere cheese personally.  The flavor is one that is unique and allows this dish to shine.

I found this recipe a while back on a page called the French Tart.  I will share my adapted version below.  I even went and bought a fancy Le Crueset baking dish to prepare my gratin dish so that it would have the right presentation for my family.  I love these oval baking dishes.

I invite you to visit my friends from Sunday Supper  (recipes below).  They are a great group of men and women and I am always impressed with their dishes and stories.

Recipe: French Gratin Potatoes or Dauphinoise

Serves 6
Prep and Cook Time: 2 hours

3 lbs. of waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cups Gruyere Cheese, grated
2 cups of heavy cream
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 sprigs of fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 3oo degrees.

Butter the inside of a heavy duty baking dish.

Add a layer of potatoes and a sprinkle of salt/pepper to the bottom of the dish, cover with cheese.  Repeat this until all of the potatoes and cheese are gone.  Your last layer should be cheese.

In a small saucepan, add heavy cream, garlic and thyme. 

Bring to a gentle boil, remove from heat and remove thyme.

Pour hot cream over potatoes.

Bake for 1.5 hours or until potatoes are done and the top is browned.

Breakfast, Breads, and Buns
Appetizers and Sides
Main Dishes
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

Written by Sherron Watson

Friday, March 22, 2013

Croque Monsieurs, fancy ham and cheese sandwiches

While traveling in France with my high school french class during the summer of 1984, I fell in love with French food.  You could say it was the butter, the cream sauces or even the french bread, but I think it was more about the french kitchen and the french cook.  

They were passionate about their food, they loved their kitchen tools, the techniques were perfect and most dishes had the most deliciously sounding titles.  The French language is music to my years.  Even to this day if I hear it spoken I just want to sit and listen.  I don't care that I don't understand much anymore because it reminds me of the time I did spend in France when I could understand a few things.

Many of you know that I write for a local magazine, Capital Style Magazine.  For the month of March my assignment was to find family friendly French recipes.  I looked to my own family for inspiration.  My kids eat a ham and cheese sandwich every single day, sometimes two a day.  I go through about 6 pounds of ham a month.

I remembered this sandwich and thought of several things.  First it's French.  Secondly it can be prepared in a short amount time (family friendly) and thirdly, it can be made the traditional way with white bread or you can substitute gluten free bread or a croissant (pictured above).  It is a sandwich that can be altered to fit your dietary needs and still retain some of the original idea.

I know that at Whole Foods you can buy frozen gluten free croissants or attempt to make them from scratch.  I found this recipe HERE, although I have not tried them myself.

I will tell you the cheese sauce that goes over the sandwich is heavenly.  Smooth, creamy and the right balance of flavors.  I had some left over and added it to a bowl of noodles...YUM!  Just saying--it's super good.

Enjoy this recipe and I will be posting the other recipes that I shared with the magazine soon, so check back!

Recipe: Croque Monsieurs

Makes 8 sandwiches
Prep and Cook Time: 25 minutes

2 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons flour (I used brown rice flour to make it gluten free)
2 cups of hot milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
12 ounces of Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
8 croissants or 16 slices of white bread (use gluten free bread if this is an issue for you)
Dijon mustard
8 ounces of ham, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Melt butter in a small sauce pan, add flour and stir for 2 minutes.  Slowly pour in hot milk and whisk until sauce is thick.  Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of Gruyere cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted and set aside.

Cut the croissants in half and place on the cookie sheet.  Bake for 4 minutes, flip and bake for an additional 2 minutes.

Remove croissants, spread Dijon mustard on one half.

Add the ham and Gruyere Cheese, top with croissant.  

Spoon cheese sauce over each sandwich, top with more Gruyere cheese.

Bake in the oven for 5 minutes or until tops are browned.

I have included the pictures below to walk you through the process of making the sandwiches.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Peanut Butter and Nutella Cookies, gluten free

The one thing that seems to be constant when I become pregnant is the need for peanut butter.  If at anytime--and this has been most of the time over the last two months--I start to feel queazy, I long for a peanut butter fix.

In searching the internet and pinterest I found this delicious recipe.  I have changed it just a hair and added my own special ingredient but the original recipe can be found on a blog titled Laurens Latest which another blog titled The Spiffy Cookie shared too. 

I am pretty sure I have made these too many times to count.

They are easy.

They are tasty.

They are my new favorite.

I added the uncooked oatmeal to add more texture and to add more fiber.  I think the pairing of the three flavors works well. 

Tell me what you think?  A keeper or what?  

Have a wonderful start to your 2013 Spring, I know I will.

Recipe:  Peanut Butter and Nutella Cookies, Gluten Free

1 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter  (260 g)
1/4 cup white sugar (55g)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (55g)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Nutella
1/4 cup uncooked old fashion oats (20g)
Course Salt, optional

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl blend peanut butter and sugars.  Add egg and vanilla.  Blend until smooth.

Stir in oatmeal.

Scoop onto cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and transfer to wire cookie rack to cool.  While still hot, use something to make a well in the top of the cookie.  I have an old spoon that works well.

Place Nutella in baggie and pipe into the well of each cookie.

Let finish cooling and then serve or eat them hot, either way they are moorish and you may find yourself making a second batch immediately...LOL

Written by Sherron Watson

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Carrot Cookies, Gluten Free #SundaySupper

Spring is coming!  I am so excited for the warmer afternoons and longer days.

The flowers are already showing their cute little heads in the rich brown earth and the buds are almost visible from my window on the trees in my yard.

Spring in Maryland is so beautiful.  The array of colors is breathtaking.

Our recipes today are all about spring flavors and memories.  I have had this cookbook, that was given to me by a friend, for a long time.  I know it is old because the date on the front is typed: 1976.  The entire cook book is typed.

The second reason I know it's an older cookbook is because the recipe calls for shortening.  I don't use this ingredient very often. I wasn't sure if I should.  I went for it anyways.

The cookies were quite tasty.  The texture soft on the inside with a bit of a crispy edge on the outside.  I added a bit more orange juice to balance out the flavors a bit.  I say the cookie is a carrot cookie but it has a lovely blend of orange and carrot.

I hope that you enjoy our recipes for Sunday Supper. All of the links are listed below.

Recipe:  Carrot Cookies, Gluten Free

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of shredded raw carrot
6 tablespoons orange juice
1 cup of rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 teaspoon xantham Gum
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon finely shredded coconut (optional)

NOTE:  You can substitute 2 cups of flour for the rice flour, tapioca starch and xantham gum if you don't need them to be gluten free.  The cook time will vary too--10 minutes.

Cream shortening and sugar, beat in egg and vanilla.

Add carrots and orange juice.  Combine well.

Sift dry ingredients together and combine with wet.

Drop by large spoonfuls onto a lined cookie sheet.  The cookies do spread so leave 2 inches between each one.

Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.

Remove and transfer to cookie rack.

Green and Spring Dishes Menu Includes:
Apps, Bread, Salads, Soups and Dressings:
Main and Sides:
Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite Springtime recipes!
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pinca: Croatian Easter Bread #GlutenFree #TwelveLoavesMarch

Pinca, Croatian Easter Bread,  is given at the end of Lent as a symbol of good wishes to family and friends.  Our theme this month for Twelve Loaves is Easter or St. Patrick's Day breads.  We have compiled a wonderful list of breads that can be made in your own kitchens for these two special holidays.  The list and links can be found at the end of this post.

I first saw this bread a few years ago and immediately clipped and kept the recipe.  I knew someday I would find the perfect gluten free bread dough that would work best for this bread recipe.

The dough I have been working on is a great Easter dough because it has more than a normal amount of egg whites (not full eggs, but hey, this is gluten free baking so some rules will need to be changed).

I love the combination of citrus, rum and golden raisins.  Together they made the perfect roll and loaf that we served with warm butter and honey (at least this is how we ate our bread this past week).  

A few details had to be changed from the original recipe simply because I am dealing with gluten free flours and starches.  The most noticeable will be the shape and the rise times.  The traditional loaf is more round on top with a noticeable cross cut in the middle.  I tried, but the dough is very wet, unlike the normal recipe.  The second difference as I mentioned is the rise time for the dough.  It does not require 3 different rises, so a single rise is perfect.

In researching this bread I came across this article and wanted to share with you the list of Easter breads and where they are from.  I found it fascinating how similar some of them were but with their own unique name and differences.

Dan Lepard wrote an article about Easter breads and listed a selection from various countries.  His full article can be read over at the BBC Food Blog .

Around the world, home kitchens offer a wide selection of Easter baking ideas:

Babka - a sweet yeast cake found in Eastern and Central European baking
Bochánek - a sweet bread from the Czech Republic
Choereg - an Armenian spiced plaited bread
Colomba Pasquale - a dove shaped sweet bread from Italy
Cozonac or kozunak - found in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Albania, a rich sweet raisin bread
Fola, or pão doce - a Portuguese bread that is often sweetened
Gubana - a hazelnut-flavoured sweet bread
Hot cross buns - the English tradition, though now popular all over Britain.
Kulich - Russian sweet bread
Paasbrood - a fruit Dutch bread
Pinca - a Croatian bread
Pinza - from Germany, Austria and Slovenia
Tsoureki - a Greek plaited bread wrapped around, or served with, a coloured egg
Velykinė boba - from Lithuania
Rosca de Pascua - from Argentina

Pinca bread can be described as such, "An Easter tradition in Croatia, pinca also known as sirnica is a sweet bread that is flavored with raisins, rum and citrus zest. It is commonly shaped into a round loaf that is marked with a cross to symbolize the Crucifixion of Christ. Another variation is to tuck hard-boiled colored Easter eggs into the bread’s folds."  Monica Topolko, The Hungarian Girl has an excellent Pinca recipe that is not gluten free.

Recipe:  Pinca, Gluten Free Croatian Easter Bread 

300g Fine Brown Rice Flour (about 2 cups)
300g Fine White Rice Flour (about 2 cups)
120g Tapioca Starch (about 1 cup)
73g Oat Flour (about 2/3 cup)
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoon Xantham Gum
1 cup of warm water
2 1/3 tablespoon of yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
2.5 cups Seltzer water
6 egg whites, at room temperature
zest of one lemon
zest of one orange
1/4 cup of golden raisins
1 tablespoon of dark rum (you can also use rum flavoring, but reduce the amount to 2 teaspoons)

NOTE:  I strongly recommend that this recipe be made using a scale to weigh the flours and starches.  The cups are only close recommendations.  I make this dough all the time and the weights with the scale have never let me down.  I always buy my fine flour blends at H Mart. This is a popular Asian chain grocery store.  They are blended to a powder consistency and are not grainy when used in baked goods.  The texture it produces will shock you.  I have tried all of the carbonated waters and Seltzer works best.

In a small bowl add raisins and rum (or flavoring).  Let these soak until needed.

In a large bowl on a scale, add and weigh the flours and tapioca starch.  Add the salt.  Whisk together until well combined.

In a small bowl, add the warm water, sugar and yeast.  Let proof for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, add egg whites and seltzer.  With a hand mixer, blend the two together.  Notice all of the bubbles?  This gives the bread air and helps it to rise.

Combine the proofed yeast, egg/seltzer combination with the flours.

Mix the dough for 4 minutes with an electric mixer.  The dough will be thick. Add the raisins with rum, lemon zest and orange zest.  Mix until well combined--about a minute.

Grease your pans.  I used a 12 cup cupcake pan and a 9 inch cake pan to make this batch.  I wanted to see how the dough would perform as rolls and as a loaf.  Both the roll and the loaf are excellent.  The only thing to vary is the cook time.

I have included two pictures so that you can see how full to make each pan.  See below.

I preheated my oven to its lowest heat setting and then turned it off.  I added both of my pans and left the door open.  Let dough rise for 2 hours.

Remove pans from oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Return pans and bake cupcake pan for 25 minutes and cake pan for 40 minutes.  The top of the loaf should start to brown.  You are welcome to use an egg wash but I notice with the gluten free bread it doesn't produce the same results.

Remove bread from the oven and pans. Let cool on rack.  I stored the rolls and the loaf in large ziplock bags.

To warm, we microwaved each roll for 20 seconds.  I also used the bread as the base for a grilled ham and cheese open face sandwich <----that was GOOD!

#TwelveLoaves March: Holiday Bread. Bake a bread, yeast or quick bread, loaf or individual.

This #TwelveLoaves is all about the incredible holiday breads featured in March. Do you have a favorite Easter or St. Patrickís Day Bread? We would love to see it. Letís get baking!

Look at what our very talented #TwelveLoaves bakers have created this March!

We would love to have you join our #TwelveLoaves group; itís easy!

 1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyoneís posts. Please make sure that your Bread is inspired by the theme!

 2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.

3.  Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this March, 2013 posted on your blog by March 31, 2013.

Written by Sherron Watson

Donut Breakfast Casserole

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