Archive for April, 2012

Gluten-free Dark Chocolate Cake with Coconut Frosting

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Gluten-free Dark Chocolate Cake with Coconut Frosting


1 package Dark Chocolate Cake Mix from The Pure Pantry

1 cup coconut milk, such as So Delicious regular flavor  (or almond, rice or regular low-fat milk)

3 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Coconut Frosting:

1 cup non-hydrogenated palm shortening from Spectrum Organics, or 1 cup coconut oil

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup coconut creamer, So Delicious Brand

Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Shaved coconut for decorating top of cake


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 9 inch round cake pans.  Place cake mix in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl beat eggs with electric mixer for 2 minutes.  Add milk and oil.  Slowly add mixture to large bowl and blend on low.  Add hot water and blend until combined.  Pour batter into greased cake pans and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool completely.

Prepare Coconut Frosting:Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, coconut creamer, seeds from vanilla bean or vanilla extract.  Beat on medium speed until blended.   Increase to high and beat until light and fluffy.  Run knife along edge of cake pan.  Turn cooled cake over onto round cake plate.   Spread about 1/3 of the frosting on the top of the cake.  Run knife around edge of second cake.  Turn over on top of frosted first layer.  Spread frosting on top and sides of cake.  Sprinkle top with coconut.



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Easy Gluten-free Dark Chocolate Pound Cake | Quick Gluten-free Recipes

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Looking for a simple dessert that is easy to bake and serve?  Try this dark chocolate pound cake recipe.  No need for complicated frosting: serve it with fresh berries and a dusting of confectionaire’s sugar or a dollop of whipped cream and you are good to go!  You will be in and out of the kitchen in less than 50 minutes!


1 package gluten-free Dark Chocolate Cake Mix from The Pure Pantry

4 eggs or equivalent egg replacer

1/2 cup melted coconut oil or vegetable oil

1 cup hot water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Using electric mixer, beat eggs for two minutes.  Add oil and blend.  Add package of dark chocolate cake mix and hot water and mix on low until combined.  Add vanilla and blend, scraping down sides of bowl with spatula.

Batter will be thick.   Spoon batter into greased pan and smooth over the top with spatula.  Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool completely.  Remove to serving plate.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with fresh berries.


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Strawberry Kiwi Pavlova with Agave Sweetened Cream

Saturday, April 28th, 2012


My husband’s mother is from Australia and his father from New Zealand.   The most celebrated dessert reining from down under is “Pavlova” named after the beautiful dancer Anna Pavlova.   Our family often serves this dessert at birthday parties, Passover, and dinner parties.  Aunt Lynette is the ultimate Pav maker and I owe this recipe to her.  I made a few changes to reduce the sugar in both the meringue cake and the cream topping.   Here is Anna Pavlova in a beautiful meringue like ballet tutu, quite resembling the cake itself.   I hope you enjoy this light and elegant dessert as much as we do.

Anna Pavlova


5 large egg whites, room temperature

Pinch of salt

1 cup superfine sugar

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 tablespoon corn starch

2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

1 teaspoon agave nectar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Strawberries and kiwis


1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  There are two ways to bake Pavlova, one is free form on parchment paper and baking sheet, the other is in a spring form pan with a removable collar.  For free form look, use an 8-inch bowl as a guide, and trace the perimeter of the bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper. Transfer parchment paper, pencil side down, to a baking sheet. Set aside.   Form spring form pan, lightly grease entire plan and dust with cornstarch, set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt together until glossy peaks form. With mixer running, add sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating until meringue is stiff and glossy. Sprinkle in cornstarch and cream of tartar and continue whipping until stiff.  Add vinegar, and vanilla; gently fold to combine.

3. For free form look, mound the meringue in the center of the 8-inch circle. Using a spatula, evenly spread meringue out towards the edges.  For spring form pan, gently spread mixture in pan using spatula. Transfer to oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

4. Turn off oven and let meringue cool completely in oven with oven door slightly ajar.

5. Beat heavy whipping cream in mixer.  Add 1 teaspoon agave nectar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  When meringue is cool and completely dry, top with whipped cream and arrange kiwis and strawberries on top.

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Gluten-free Sweet Pie Crust

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Here is a simple gluten-free sweet pie crust recipe, or pate choux which you can use instead of the sugar cookie crust in my recent recipe for gluten and dairy free Berry Tarlets:

Recipe from “Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen: Gluten-free & Allergy-free Recipes” by Elizabeth Kaplan


Makes 1 pie crust for 9 inch pan or 8 individual tartlet pans

½ cup (1 stick) chilled butter or coconut oil

½ cup non-hydrogenated shortening by Spectrum

½ cup rice flour

½ cup sweet rice flour

1 cup potato starch flour

½ cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 tablespoon sugar

1 egg or equal equivalent egg replacer

2 tablespoon cold water

1 teaspoon cider vinegar


1 Cut butter or margarine into small pieces with a knife.  Blend butter and shortening with dry ingredients using finger tips.

2 Add egg, cold water and cider vinegar and blend until well combined.  If too sticky, add a small amount of rice flour.  Roll dough into ball and flatten.  Cover with waxed paper and chill for 30 minutes.

3 On floured  parchment paper or surface, roll out dough.  Fit into pie plate or individual tart pans.  If filling with cream pie filling or fruit, bake crust at 350 for 12-14 minutes.  Otherwise, follow baking instructions the pie recipe you are preparing.



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The Blender Girl Features The Pure Pantry’s gluten-free/dairy-free Berry Cheesecake Tartlets| Kitchen Aid Mixer Contest

Friday, April 6th, 2012



The Blender Girl and Kitchen Aid are sponsoring an amazing gluten-free recipe contest.  Check out my recipe and all of the other yummy treats and enter to win a beautiful Kitchen Aid Mixer! The Blender Girl Kitchen Aid Contest




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Gluten-free Easter Brunch

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Gluten-free Easter Brunch |Baked Asparagus Red Pepper Frittata, Quinoa Mango, Avocado Salad, Easter Citrus Brunch Cake, Gluten-free Raspberry Scones



Gluten-free Easter Brunch

Here is a menu that is easy to make ahead so you can enjoy the Easter festivities!  Make the Frittata in advance by blending all the ingredients and placing them in the springform pan in the refrigerator prior to baking.  Pop in the oven about an hour before you are serving brunch.   The gluten-free Raspberry Scones can be made the day before as can the Citrus Brunch Cake.  The Quinoa Mango Avocado Salad is a breezy recipe that can be make in under 20 minutes.  Happy Easter and Happy Gluten-free Entertaining!

Baked Asparagus Red Pepper Frittata

Gluten-free Asparagus Frittata – “Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen” cookbook


Serves 8

2 tablespoons olive oil

¾ cup red bell peppers, finely chopped, or ¾ cup tomatoes, finely chopped — juice drained off

¾ cup onion, finely chopped

5 spears asparagus, washed, trimmed and sliced into ½ in. pieces

1 garlic clove, minced

5 large eggs or 5 egg whites and 2 whole eggs, beaten

1 cup ricotta cheese or low-fat cottage cheese

1/3 cup Elizabeth’s Flour Blend (recipe here) or 1/3 cup The Pure Pantry Gluten-free All-Purpose Baking Mix

1 tablespoon fresh basil

1 10 oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

½ t. sea salt

½ t. pepper

Spray 9 inch spring form pan with cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350˚ F.  Place olive oil to large skillet and heat over medium heat.  Add red bell pepper, onion, asparagus and garlic. Sauté until tender for about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain any excess liquid and cool.  In a mixing bowl combine beaten eggs, ricotta and baking mix until well blended.  Add basil, chopped spinach, salt and pepper, cooked vegetables and crumbled feta cheese.

Pour mixture into prepared spring form pan, place pan on baking sheet.  Baking for 45-50 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before cutting.

Quinoa Mango Avocado Salad

Serves 4-6


1 ½ cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegan option)

¾ cup quinoa

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 ½ teaspoon curry powder

1 mango – peeled, seeded and half of it diced, the other half sliced for garnish

3 green onions, chopped

½ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

1 avocado, sliced for garnish


Place chicken stock, quinoa, garlic, salt and pepper and bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.

Let quinoa cool.  Place cooked quinoa in a medium serving bowl and stir in curry powder, mango and green onions.  Sprinkle with toasted almonds, garnish with mango slices and avocado slices and serve.

Gluten-free Raspberry Scones


Recipe from “Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen: Gluten-free & Allergy-free Recipes”

Makes 8-10 scones


2 cups Elizabeth’s Gluten-free Flour Blend  (cookbook recipe) plus 2 tsp. baking powder

OR 2 cups All Purpose Gluten-free Baking Mix from The Pure Pantry

½ cup millet flour or almond flour

½ cup butter, chilled, or coconut oil, chilled

2 eggs or egg replacer

2 tablespoons agave nectar, preferably Nature’s Agave Amber variety

¾ cup fresh raspberries

½ cup So-delicious Coconut Milk Creamer (dairy-free) or regular cream

Raw sugar for topping (optional)


Preheat over to 375˚F.  Grease cookie sheet and lightly dust with baking mix or rice flour.

In a large bowl add the baking mix (add baking powder if using Elizabeth’s Flour Blend) and almond or millet flour.

Cut butter or coconut oil into small pieces with knife.  Add to flour mixture.  Blend butter with a fork or your fingers until it resembles course meal.  Add eggs (or egg replacer) and agave nectar, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Wash and drain fresh raspberries.  Fold in raspberries. Dough will be sticky.

Lightly dust a work surface and hands with rice flour or baking mix. Turn dough out onto work surface.  Knead lightly and pat dough into an 8 inch circle shape and place on parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Score top of circle with knife, creating 10 wedges but not cutting all the way through dough.  Or, using a large spoon drop approximately ¼ cup dough onto greased cookie sheet, 3 inches apart.

Place coconut milk creamer or regular cream in small bowl.  Using a pastry brush, generously brush cream on top of scones.  Sprinkle with raw sugar.  Bake for 25 minutes or until scones are golden brown.  Cool completely.  If you created the 8 inch circle, cut into 10 scones and serve.


Easter Citrus Brunch Cake with Lemon Strawberry Glaze

Serves 6-8


½ cup coconut oil at room temperature (or non-hydrogenated shortening)

1 cup organic sugar

2 eggs (or equivalent egg replacer)

2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)

1 t. vanilla

1 T. lemon zest

1 T. orange zest

2 cups Elizabeth’s Gluten-free Flour Blend (cookbook recipe)  or organic All Purpose Baking mix from The Pure Pantry

1 t. baking powder

3/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream coconut oil  and sugar in electric mixer.  Add eggs (or egg replacer), one at a time, mixing until well blended.  Add honey or agave nectar and vanilla.

With fine grater, grate the yellow skin of a lemon until you have 1 tablespoon.  Add lemon zest to mixing bowl.   Grate the skin or an orange until you have 1 tablespoon.  Add orange zest and blend in both citrus zests.

With mixer on low setting, add baking mix and baking powder Blend until combined. Add water and blend until smooth but do not over mix.   Pour into  greased 4 cup (small) bundt pan or 10 inch cake pan for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.   Cool.  Turn out onto plate.  Pour Lemon Strawberry Glaze on top and garnish with fresh strawberries.

Lemon Strawberry Glaze

½ cup lemon juice

½ cup agave nectar

1 tablespoon strawberry jam

1 T. lemon zest

1 cup powdered sugar


Stir together lemon juice and agave in medium mixing bowl.    Add lemon zest and strawberry jam and whisk to combine.  Sift in powdered sugar and blend together.   Pour glaze over cake.

What is Easter without beautiful flowers?   Here are a couple flower arrangement ideas.  The first one  is from my friend Jennifer Cole of Jennifer Cole Florals. She has an amazing knack for designing creative and gorgeous arrangements for weddings, showers, events and home entertaining.   I love the bright poppies and the use of star jasmine which will bring a spring time fragrance to the whole room.  Check out her blog at:

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Cole Florals


This is also a great Easter table idea from Jenny Steffens Hobick’s blog:  I love the use of live potted daffodils and easter eggs.  Jenny has fabulous entertaining ideas, although she is not a gluten-free cook, I get a lot of inspiration from her.   Photo from Jenny Steffen’s blog.


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