chocolate glazed chocolate donuts {gluten-free}

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Slowly but surely I’m becoming more excited about gluten-free baked goods.  Seeing gluten-free donut recipes pop up all over the blogosphere from Ashley’s new book is definitely partly to blame.  Are you guys familiar with Ashley’s blog?  It’s one of my newest favorites, since being diagnosed with Celiac and all. I’ve been ooh-ing and ahh-ing over every one of her donut creations and finally made some last weekend.  Wow, these are good.  And not good in the its-gluten-free-but-still-ok kind of good, they’re actually good.  Jon ate one to try and then packed two for himself to take to work the next day.  I took the rest to work and they disappeared quickly.  There’s only two (!) flours necessary, only measuring cups & teaspoons (no scales) involved and they come together so quickly.  Which means you have no excuses – get baking!  

chocolate glazed chocolate donuts {gluten-free}
yield: 6-8 donuts depending on the size of your pan

recipe notes: I adapted the donuts by leaving out the chocolate chips and like them better as all one texture.  I used a recipe for the glaze from Joy the Baker and cut it down, but still had some left-over.  The below measurements are approximately what you’ll need for these.  And if there’s leftover, well, you’ll have to find a way to use it.  Topping ice cream is one of many…

for the donuts:

1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp GF oat flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sweet rice flour
3 Tbsp sunflour oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup + 3T milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

for the glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
sprinkles (optional, but not really)

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease your donut pan.

2.  Combine the oat flour, sweet rice flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt & baking powder in a medium sized bowl.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, oil & applesauce.

4.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, just until combined.  Mixture may be a bit lumpy & that’s ok.  Do not overmix.

5.  With a spoon, spatula or piping bag, fill the donut pan.  The mixing bowl I used has a spout so I just poured into the pan directly from the bowl.

6.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  The donuts are done when testing with a toothpick reveals a slightly moist toothpick.

7.  Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.

8.  To make the glaze, combine everything but the sprinkles and whisk (with a fork is fine) until smooth.  When the donuts have cooled, turn upside down, dunk in icing.  Sprinkle the tops with sprinkles and let the glaze set.

source: donuts adapted from edible perspective, glaze from Joy the Baker

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chocolate dipped strawberries & chocolate bark

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When I first started out on my gluten-free diet, I cut out quite a bit more than just gluten.  I cut out dairy and pre-packaged anything (except for my daily gluten-free, dairy-free bar).  I cut out baked goods and I cut out chocolate.

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As I got a little more comfortable and less scared that something terrible would go wrong with my stomach, the first thing that got re-introduced was chocolate.  Just a little tiny piece, and went that went ok, it became my regular dessert.

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And while chocolate is great on its own, it certainly doesn’t hurt to do something fancy with it, either.  So when I found myself with a bowl full of strawberries I decided to embellish.  And when I melted a little too much chocolate for all the strawberries, that extra became peanut coconut apricot bark.  Both were delicious.  And gluten-free.  And a much welcomed treat.

recipe notes:  I apologize for lack of measurements in each of the following recipes.  I would imagine that a bag of chocolate chips (12 oz, typically) would cover a quart of strawberries, but that’s just a guess.  You’ll have to experiment.  The good thing is that there really isn’t a down-side to having too many strawberries – or too much chocolate.  If you’re left with more melted chocolate that strawberries to cover, start dipping whatever else you’ve got (pretzels, macaroons) or skip ahead and make some chocolate bark, another recipe for which measurements are arbitrary and the ingredients are adaptable to whatever you have on hand (see last year’s version).

chocolate dipped strawberries
yield: variable 

strawberries, cleaned
chocolate (I like dark, anything works, make sure it’s gluten-free)

1.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

2.  In a heat-proof bowl (I ❤ pyrex) set over (but not touching) simmering water, heat the chocolate until it melts.  Stir occasionally until smooth and melted throughout.

3.  Dip the strawberries in the chocolate then place on the baking sheet.

4.  Place the baking sheet in the fridge to cool.  Serve cool from the fridge or at room temperature.

chocolate bark
yield: variable

chocolate
peanuts
coconut (shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)
dried apricot, diced

1.  Let a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

2.  Melt the chocolate, as above.  When the chocolate is melted, pour 1/2 of the peanuts, coconut and dried apricot into the melted chocolate and stir everything together.  Pour the mixture out onto the parchment paper and use a spatula to spread it out, if needed.  I usually spread it to about 1/4-inch thick.

3.  Top the bark with the remaining peanuts, apricots & coconut.  You may need to press down on the peanuts and apricots a bit so that they adhere to the melted chocolate.  But no biggie if they fall off later.

4.  Cool in the fridge or on the counter until the chocolate has hardened again.  Break into pieces.  Enjoy.

source: Anna Maria original, inspired by chocolate

 

brownies, blues & a birthday

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I’ve been slow to tackle gluten-free baked goods.  The lemon & coconut bars were the first gluten-free baked good to come out of my kitchen, but I can’t really take responsibility for making them.  I simply watched them be made, took pictures of them and then ate too many over the next few days.  But then last week when my brother announced he was coming to visit, the weekend before his birthday, along with his lovely girlfriend, baked goods were in order.  (And so were tacos, but we’ll save that for another post).

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Fortunately, one of my awesome co-workers had brought these brownies into work a week before.  So, I knew they were good.  And since the boy loves chocolate (we’ve been through this before), these were the perfect pick.  I toyed with the idea of mixing in some soft of peanut butter swirl but opted against it because I was worried about texture.

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In the end, it didn’t matter.  The brownies were amazing on their own, and (per the birthday boy) slathered with a big scoop of crunchy peanut butter.  All in all, the brownies, the blues and the pre-birthday weekend was a success.

Happy birthday, Joe.  Come visit again soon (and please bring Kate).

this birthday, last year:  chocolate peanut butter cake (not gluten-free)

gluten-free brownies
yield: 9-12 brownies

recipe notes:  I followed the directions exactly as they are written in David’s post.  The part about the batter pulling away from the sides of the bowl in step 4 is important.  I set my timer when beating to one minute and didn’t see the sides pulling away.  After beating another 30 seconds, it started to.  Mine crumbled a tiny bit, but only the ones from the very edge of the pan that got a little more done that the middle ones (which is probably because I baked them in a small toaster oven).  Otherwise, the texture was spot on – fudgy and delicious.

6 tablespoons (85g) butter, salted or unsalted (see headnote)
8 ounces (225g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch process
3 tablespoons (30g) corn starch

1. Line the inside of an 8-inch (23 cm) square pan with foil so that it goes up the sides to the rim. Lightly grease the foil with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350º (180ºC).

2. Melt the butter and chocolate (and salt, if using) in a medium saucepan over very low heat on the stove top, stirring constantly until smooth.

3. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar, then the eggs, one at a time.

4. Sift together the cocoa powder and corn starch in a small bowl then stir them into the chocolate mixture. Beat the batter vigorously for at least one minute, until the batter is no longer grainy and nearly smooth. It will pull away from the sides of the pan a bit.

5. Add the nuts, if using, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

6. Bake for thirty minutes, or until the brownies feel just set in the center. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing.

storing: The brownies can be stored at room temperature up to 4 days and in the freezer up to 1 month.

source:  David Lebovitz

variations:
– Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
Salted Caramel Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

I’ve been preoccupied lately…with wedding invitations to design and rank lists to create.  In my free hours each evening there’s been a lot of sitting and staring at my computer, doodling on scraps of paper, hoping and waiting for Spring to come quickly so that all the ranking and waiting and wondering will just be over (and the invitations will just be printed so I won’t be able to fiddle with them any longer).  Luckily, there have been more than a few birthdays that have offered some reprieve.  So today, it is my pleasure to share with you this absolutely over-the-top irresistible Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake.

It starts with a Sour Cream Chocolate Cake as the base.  Now, I’ve made a good amount of chocolate cakes in my life (not nearly as many as some but probably more than the average person my age) and this one, my friends, is my absolute favorite.

The frosting is a Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Frosting.  It is sweet, peanut-buttery and has a hint of tang from the cream cheese.  When nestled between layers of this rich chocolate cake, it’s a chocolate peanut butter lover’s dream.

But it doesn’t end there.  The cake is finished with the most amazing chocolate peanut butter glaze.  And while the cake may border on being too rich and the frosting on being almost too sweet, when topped with this glaze everything comes together to create one of the richest and most delicious cakes I have ever made.  The only advice I offer is this: cut thin slices, have a tall glass of milk nearby and make sure you have plenty of people to share it with.

This wouldn’t be a good birthday post unless I included a picture of the birthday boy himself.  This photo, circa 1996 in Kenya, shows him picking out his very own cow as a birthday present.  There are no comparisons I can draw between the cow and the cake (thank goodness for that) except to say he loved them both.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
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A few tips I picked up from Deb: This cake is very moist and subsequently can be difficult to work with.  I recommend letting it cool and flash freezing it in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before working with the layers.  I made my cake a day ahead, wrapped it in plastic wrap and left it in the freezer overnight.  My cake baked unevenly so I had a good amount of leveling to do and it was fine.  If I hadn’t froze it, it probably would have fallen apart.

When frosting the cake, it is wise to do a “crumb coat” first – ice the cake with a thin layer of frosting, put it back in the fridge for about 20 minutes then finish frosting.  It prevents all the dark crumbs from showing up in the light peanut butter frosting.

Finally, after frosting and before adding the glaze, place the cake in the fridge for about 20 minutes.  The glaze turns out better when placed on a cooler cake and you’ll get a better dripping effect when doing this.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1/2 cup chopped reese’s peanut butter cups (I skipped it this time but have done it in the past)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely.

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut butter cups, if using.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

Source: Smitten Kitchen, originally from Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes